Apr 23, 2009

Did I mention I have joint custody of my dog?

PippinThis is probably one of the weirder arrangements that has come along with being in a long distance relationship. Last year, Kellen lived with me for six months while he was doing an internship in Portland. When we first started dating, I often commented that I wanted a dog someday. Kellen vetoed that idea immediately. Why? "Dogs shed. Gross." (Note: That's not a verbatim quote, but pretty close.) So I spent the next several months convincing him that dogs are awesome (I grew up with six), and we would be getting one someday.

I've always known that I'm pretty persuasive, and with Kellen, particularly so, but...I wasn't expecting to be quite as convincing as I ended up being. When Kellen moved in, he decided it was time for a dog. Immediately. (He will tell you that this isn't the case. Believe me. It was all his idea.) He also wanted a puppy, which I tried to caution him against since puppies are only half as cute as they are trouble. "Let's get an old dog!" I said. But noooo. We had to get a puppy.

We spent some time researching breeds and ended up deciding that a beagle was the right dog for us. They are kid friendly, sturdy, and smart. And best of all? They have short hair. Kellen was pretty sold. We eventually found Pippin, our ridiculously adorable beagle mix, at the Oregon Humane Society. As far as puppies go, Pippin really wasn't that bad. He was house trained. For a hound, he's surprisingly quiet. (He only barks on command. Or makes little low "mmmmuff, mmmmuff" sounds when he sees another dog out the back window.) He's incredibly smart and easy to train. Sure, he chewed through a few pairs of shoes, and he runs up vet bills like you would not believe...but he's so cute and sweet, it's impossible not to love him to pieces anyhow.

Come September, though, it was time for Kellen to go back to school and with his return to school, we had to make a big decision: who gets Pippin? I swore for months that Kellen was taking his dog with him back to school, but when the time came to ship him off, I had a change of heart. Now, we share custody of the dog, and depending on who's busiest, we take turns keeping him. For the past few weeks, I've been Pippin-free. Kellen is at the beginning of his term, so his workload is pretty light, and I've had a string of dentist appointments and this week, I'm moving. But next week, Pippin will be back, and I'll be very glad to have someone to cuddle with on the couch again.

In a couple of months, Kellen will be moving back in for another six-month internship, and Pippin will no longer have to be shuttled back and forth between cities every weekend. I'll be glad to have both of them back home full-time again. 


  1. That must be difficult! I'm sure it's totally worth it though! Pippin is cute!

  2. As a dog lover and owner, I can't help but wonder how Pippin feels about this arrangement.

    Would he prefer to be with his "Mommy" (most likely) males prefer female companions or does he prefer his "daddy?"

    It might just come down to who feeds him best! :)

    Either way, he is a lucky boy to have 2 people love him so much. Think of all the animals in the world that have nobody.


  3. I share custody of my dog with my parents!