There should be a word for that moment when you realize your relationship is over. For me, that moment could be summarized in one syllable: dog. I adored my foster dog, Zoe, immediately, but my boyfriend really, really didn't. With that, our bond began crumbling, and months later we broke up. After seeking a new place that would welcome Zoe and me, I moved in next door to a kind, smart, hilarious and handsome man with a pet of his own. He and I became fast friends, then partners. And a year-and-a-half later, we were married on the doorstep where we met. Animals have since remained a key part of our relationship.
Looking back, it doesn't surprise me — or animal behavioral experts — that the same animal that drove one relationship apart ignited and still fuels another. As rewarding as pet parenting can be, it often isn't easy, nor is it anything to take lightly. If you're considering adding a furry friend to your relationship, take some time to weigh out the pros and cons.