Pet Diaries: The Dog Who Taught Me to Move On

Lounging dog

Introducing  Pet Diaries: Life lessons we learned from our pets. This five-part series explores the ways pets have a positive impact on our lives. It's brought to you in partnership with GOOD.is. Check out more stories at  GOOD Pets.

When Kevin and I broke up nine years ago, we sold the Eames couch we bought together from a vintage shop in San Francisco. We couldn't agree on who would get custody, so selling it and splitting the $1400 seemed like the best way to keep things fair. My half would go toward the security deposit on a new apartment. I was moving out.

More difficult to divvy up was Chauncy, the 5-year-old bulldog mix Kevin and I had adopted together. But we did our best to split the dog down the middle, too. I found a new place right across the street. It was the best apartment I had seen, and hey, I liked the neighborhood, I told everyone. But really, I liked that Chauncy wouldn't need to adjust to new sidewalks and parks and neighbors, and he'd be close to Kevin, too. I gave Kevin a spare set of my keys. He would come over every afternoon to walk Chauncy, and take him in when I was out of town.

Kevin and I started dating in college, then built a happy life together in San Francisco. On my 21st birthday, Kevin arranged to fly in a little puppy from an Alabama farm. We met him at the airport and named him after a member of an R&B group. Then, we moved to New York, and everything unraveled. We fought about spending too much money and not enough time together. Couples therapy failed to save the relationship. We thought we could stay best friends or, at least, close ones. Sharing Chauncy would help maintain the bond...

To read the rest of Marisa and Chauncy's story, please visit GOOD.is/Pets.