well, practically wordless Wednesday… for me and her royal silliness…
Nowadays, many of us pet parents, consider our fur babies our children. There is nothing wrong with that, in my humble opinion. Except that the law considers them property not kids. Still, issues like divorce bring up similar considerations between spouses, what to do about the fur kids. Who gets to “keep” the fur kids? Will custody be shared? Can one party “keep” the fur baby and how often can the other party visit? Below an attorney, guest blogger, Charla Bradshaw, flushes out the issues more fully.
I don’t wanna get divorced…
Consider making up a pre-pup arrangement (like a pre-nup) that spells out what happens to your pets if your marriage splits up.
True Love American Style
“We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals”
The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers conducted a poll of 1,500 members and nearly a quarter said they had noticed an increase in custody issues over pets. Courts have had to determine not only who gets the pet but whether one party has the right to see the pet after the marriage breaks up. Identifying the best interests of the pet in a divorce case can safeguard that the pet is properly cared for after divorce.
Pets can provide unbelievable companionship and unconditional love for adults and children. Animals such as dogs, cats and horses are considered personal property for divorce purposes and unfortunately can also be the subject of domestic violence.
In a divorce, pets must be awarded as part of the property division and therefore will usually go to one spouse or the other. However, spouses can choose to co-own the pet going forward and create a visitation schedule for the pet. We have done these orders and they actually work very well. We also see pet schedules associated with a child’s visitation schedule where the pet goes with the child. When spouses co-own a pet, going forward, we must provide provisions for the expenses related to the animal. This can be important when dealing with livestock, such as horses, or an animal that has health issues.
Since pets are considered personal property, there can be disputes over whether the pet is the separate property of one of the spouses or community property. Separate property can be acquired by a gift, inheritance, or if the property was owned on the date of marriage. Separate property cannot be divided by a court. Spouses may argue over whether the pet was a “gift”, or whether the spouses bought the pet together, making the pet community property subject to being awarded to one spouse or the other.
Unfortunately, pets are often targets in family violence but Texas has come to the rescue. Texas courts can now include pets in protective orders in domestic violence cases. Because pets have suffered abuse when family violence has occurred, in 2011 the Texas legislature amended the law to prohibit the removal of animals from the possession of a person named in the protective order. In a protective order, the court may prohibit a party from removing a pet, companion animal, or assistance animal, as defined by Section 121.002 of the Human Resources Code, from the possession or actual or constructive care of a person named in the protective order. The “actual or constructive care” verbiage was added in 2013. In turn, in 2013, the Texas Penal Code was amended to specify what the possession of a pet, companion animal, or assistance animal by a person actually means.
So what do these protective order laws actually mean for pets? They mean that a person subject to a protective order that violates a pet provision in the protective order can go to jail, plain and simple. An abuser will often turn on a pet to cause pain and suffering not only to the pet, but to the perpetrator’s victim(s). An abuser may also threaten a pet’s life in order to keep their victim(s) close. As a result, a victim may stay in an abusive situation to keep the companionship of the pet, not realizing the court can make orders with regard to the pet.
One of the problems is that most facilities and shelters for those running from family violence are not equipped to take animals and therefore the animals are left behind. There is a growing need in this regard not only for the safety of the pet but because the unconditional love a pet can give may be lost at the time it is needed the most.
Divorce or abuse can actually take a toll on a pet. The Humane Society of the United States sets forth the following signs of pet stress:
• They become depressed
• They sleep a lot
• Their appetite lessens
• They’re not interested in their walks or other daily activities
• They start to cry or whimper
• They groom, lick and/or bite themselves excessively
• They have accidents in the home
The bottom line is that pets are often the subject of divorce and family violence and the laws are improving to protect them. It is important for everyone to be aware of these laws especially so that abuse victims may realize the court can include a pet in a protective order. Abuse is bad enough for the lives of those who suffer it, but losing or leaving behind a pet can only make the suffering worse.
Victims asking a court for a protective order should ask the court to make orders regarding their pet(s). Additionally, spouses in a divorce should be aware that pet(s) are property. Sadly, a pet may become the subject of a very expensive fight when the real issue is to cause pain to the other spouse.
Charla Bradshaw is an accomplished family law attorney and Denton Managing Shareholder known for successfully summarizing some of the most difficult cases. She was listed among the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas (2014) and rated one of the Best Women Lawyers in North Texas by D Magazine. While she employs an aggressive approach to litigating family law cases, Charla Bradshaw is also a certified mediator and handles collaborative law cases.
This is a blog hop post… click on link here
1. How long have you been blogging? And, if you’re stopping by for the first time, please tell us why you started blogging and give us a quick description of what your blog is about.
It has been six years, how is that possible???? seems like only yesterday..
2. Name one thing about your blog, or one blogging goal that you accomplished during 2013, that made you the most proud.
Well, one thing that was a lot of fun we went on a dog friendly press trip. It was both challenging and fun to meet new people and it was a whirlwind tour of SLO, a lot of activities for the pooches (although some scheduled play time would have been good, too). It was a trip to visit a place with other writers and editors (I think I was the only blogger). And I think we all learned a lot. Cici and I have always traveled alone so this was a nice change of pace to have the Visitors Bureau and PR reps set up the itinerary.
3. When you look at the post you wrote for last year’s Pet Blogger Challenge, or just think back over the past year, what about blogging has changed the most for you?
Am starting to wonder how much more I can write about dogs and dog travel, although there does seem like an endless amount of material living with a dog every day. As she ages, there have been some health issues. And sadly, it seems like we lost of a lot of dogs this year from Wallace, the world champion disc dog, to three of the former Vick dogs (Lucas, Georgia and xxx) as well as a whole pack of pet bloggers dogs. This has been a rough year. One happy note that did get resolved (FINALLY) was Patrick’s Law was finally passed in New Jersey with harsher fines for animal cruelty and neglect and Patrick’s adoption into the Scavelli family became official.
4. What lessons have you learned this year — from other blogs, or through your own experience — that could help us all with our own sites?
Alternatively, if you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one challenge you’re still having with your blog, what would it be?
I often feel like I’m just at the edge of the crowd, I do the blog hops and such but often feel like an outsider, do not really feel like I am IN with the other bloggers. This to me is old family issues and like high school. I feel awkward and am nervous about approaching the popular kids, etc. Sitting in the cafeteria alone. Insecurities. Does anyone else feel like they are standing in the sidelines watching everyone else have fun? maybe it’s just this time of year. Hardly can believe it has been another year.
5. What have you found to be the best ways to bring more traffic to your blog, other than by writing great content?
by promoting my blog posts on social media (Facebook, twitter) and just letting other people know about my blog (handing out biz cards, etc). I tell everybody, even people who probably could not care less. Giveaways are good, too.
6. How much time to do you spend publicizing your blog — and do you think you should spend more or less time next year?
Not enough time. I am much better suited to publicizing others than tooting my own horn. Just the way it is. There have been opportunities that have come my way in the past which has been nice but I did not seek them out. I should spend more time but do not know that I actually will. Thinking about getting t-shirts, also to raise money, that would be one way to do it.
7. How do you gauge whether or not what you’re writing is appealing to your audience? And how do you know when it’s time to let go of a feature or theme that you’ve been writing about for a while?
I will answer the second question first, when I am no longer interested and interest in the topic is dwindling. It is often difficult for me to know who is reading what. Sometimes there is a controversy and lots of comments. But mundanely, these are few and far between. I hope that when I share topics of interest to me and what happens with my dog that my readers think it is pertinent to them and are happy to not feel alone (and they seem to be reading).
8. When you’re visiting other blogs, what inspires you to comment on a post rather than just reading and moving on?
When I can relate to the topic and how the post is written, if I think that I can add something different to the comments. And sometimes I feel very moved and don’t say a word when I probably should.
9. Do you do product reviews and/or giveaways? yes, I do.
If so, what do you find works best, and what doesn’t work at all?
I always do positive reviews. If I do not like or my dog does not like a product, I will let the people know that I will not be saying anything. And they usually understand. I may make a constructive criticism. I think being honest, within limits, works. If I bashed products, that would not work at all so I do not do it. Had a few contests, photos worked, but doing giveaways usually gets people involved, depending upon the products offered.
If not, is this something you’d like to do more of? What hurdle is getting in your way?
10. When writer’s block strikes and you’re feeling dog-tired, how do you recharge?
I just write anyway even if it is bad or I feel like I have nothing to say eventually I do. When I’m feeling dog-tired, I snuggle with my puppy girl and she makes me laugh or sleep and helps me recharge.
There is nothing like a big polka dot dog butt in one’s face on your pillow to make you feel better, inspire you and have happy dreams LOL
11. Have you ever taken a break from your blog? How did that go?
Not really. There are times when I only write one or two blog posts a week an other times I write more. Lately, I’ve been writing less posts (one or two a week). It has been difficult dealing with Cici’s health issues and other stuff that has been going on. So in that sense, I give myself a break from having to keep to any type of rigid schedule. That is what works for me. Maybe I have missed some stories but c’est l’vie. I do what I can do and I am certainly not perfect. I am a human bean and we are works in progress.
Have you ever thought about quitting your blog altogether? What makes you stay?
yeah, lately. When I am feeling down. But then I will get inspired by something someone has written or is doing related to dogs. I’ve thought about writing a writing blog but don’t know what I’d say. And I thought about doing a dating one, 300 dates in a year. Of course, I haven’t had ONE date in a few years. Can a 60+ year old woman find true love ??? sounds like a lot of trouble. Maybe a cooking blog? nah, have not found another topic that I could maintain. health, blah. maybe. pet communication, see? have not run out yet.
12. What goals do you have for your blog in 2014?
For my writing, I’d like to write more articles for pay in publications. For my blog, keep on writing. More interviews. More fun topics. More travel. I’d also like to actually get my ebook formatted so that I can actually sell it. It is based upon my blog and it has reviews of 80+ places in California that Cici and I have traveled to and stayed at with lots of tips, for fun travel with canines.
I’d also love to do more Blog Paws promotions. The Subaru one was a hoot.
Don’t stress — and don’t be afraid to ask for help! If you have any questions
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took Cici to the vet this week. she has lost 12-14 pounds… she had fleas (do not see anymore, thankfully), she may have worms, and she has a terrible skin infection. Without her cone on her head, I have to be REALLY vigilant, or she will make a bloody mess of her rear end in under two minutes.
Questions I have not yet asked the vet (we go back for a follow-up in two weeks)… did the fleas drink 12-14 pounds of her blood or did the worms eat up all of her food (because I was feeding her twice as much as normal and she kept dropping weight)… is she EVER going to stop scratching, itching and chewing on herself????
Lessons learned again: even when you want to do the best thing, all natural remedies and treatments need to be advised by and / or treated by a knowledgeable pet expert / holistic vet. I learned that Cici cannot tolerate essential oils (she gets rashes) and some recommended home remedies do NOT work to relieve itching or fleas. I found out that grains and coconut oil, for instance, sweetens the blood and attracts fleas. I stopped giving it to her immediately. gave her a nice grass fed beef broth made with parsley, a clove of garlic and water, for two days…
the vet techs gave her a medicated bath and I gave her one too at their instructions and she is still itchy… she was given confortis for the fleas, a de-wormer pill, and is on antibiotics twice a day (hidden in hot dogs)… she is eating a grain free diet for the next couple of weeks (rabbit, turkey burgers, and meat meat meat), not prescribed by the vet… but hoping to hulk her up.
also hope to strengthen her immune system so that she can get her weight back. have found a way to give Cici ASEA every day, add some raw meat or butter to it and she licks it right up… since I have been giving this to her, she does not seem as scrawny, bones do not seem to be protruding as much. I spray it on her itchy spots and when she chews on herself to alleviate the itch and the spray works really well…
ASEA helps cells work more efficiently and empowers the body to repair itself. It also increases cellular efficiency and intercellular communications… amazing molecules
I also hope to be able to get these products for Cici that were recommended by Pet communication expert Kate Solisti…
the company that offers these products is earthanimals.com
HERBAL INTERNAL POWDER (Yeast Free): Formulated by Dr. Bob Goldstein
Ingredients: Alfalfa Powder, Garlic Powder, Blue-Green Algae (Spirulina), Kelp Powder, Papaya Leaf, Nettles Leaf, Hawthorne Berry Powder.
Herbal Internal Powder is a culmination of organic herbs for flea and tick prevention, it is “yeast free” for dogs and cats that can be sensitive to yeast. It contains, the highest quality ingredients rich in minerals that will help cleanse and purify the blood, support circulation, help deter fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and black flies. Taken regularly, the Herbal Internal Powder makes your animal less attractive to infestation.
By simply adding the powder to your animals daily diet, the combination of the minerals and herbs, helps to change the odor of the dog and cats blood chemistry, so that fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and black flies do not like the odor or taste of the blood. The odor is undetectable by humans and is loathed by bugs, therefore they do not like to imbed or go on the animal at all! At the same time, building their immune system. We believe the healthier the animal the less likely for any infestations. It works! Over 20 years of proven testimonials!
No More Flea Drops
An organic, herbal remedy designed to help alter the chemistry of your dog or cats blood scent, so the scent of the body is loathed by fleas. It helps assist the dog or cat in his/her defense against flea infestations and flea bite dermatitis. We suggest adding the drops over and above The Herbal Internal Powder or Internal Powder. The drops, in liquid form have a high absorption benefit and will enhance the powder for ultimate prevention from fleas.
Ingredients: Garlic, Wormwood, Yellow Dock, Alfalfa, Nettles, and Kelp.
has your dog ever lost weight? had a bad skin infection? had worms? what did you do to fatten them up again? stop them from itching?
have you ever tried sleeping with a conehead? either the cone winds up on my legs or on my head…
Find the coneless dog head…
oh there it is, with dog bed ear (humans get bed head, apparently dogs get bed ears)…
contemplating her bath today / wondering who to call to get her out of it…
alas, she had her bath and is now conehead once again…
The funny thing is that I was just talking on Facebook to a friend I have never met about cats and dogs and the different energies, benefits of both types of animals as pets. We love them all and she has a few cats and a dog and is going to be getting another dog, who is being trained to help her daughter with her peanut allergy. Cats are wonderful beings and can be trained, despite conventional thinking. If Cici did not have cat issues, I would have brought a cat into our home for us. On Must Love Cats on Animal Planet last week I saw a show where people were teaching cats to do agility and cats were competing at shows. Cats are much smarter than people give them credit for. And you can walk them on a leash, too.
Here are a few of Nikhi’s fur babies, are these the cutest fur babies ever???
Alfie and Oliver, the cat…
Well, after my Facebook chat, I received this gift guest blog post and decided to post it here. Enjoy !
If you’re considering adding a pet to the family, cats can seem like the ideal choice. They don’t have to be taken for walks, housebreaking is a breeze and their largely independent attitude means that they don’t need the same level of attention and companionship as a puppy or even a full-grown dog. Households that count small children among their number, however, should take a few things under consideration before adding a feline friend to the family.
Cats are beautiful and gracious creatures with their own individual personalities and quirks. For some families, they’re irreplaceable members of the household that are dearly treasured. Others may find them too aloof and disinterested, depending upon the temperaments involved. Before making the decision to bring a cat home, you should make sure that the lifestyle of your household is conducive to caring for a cat. (Editors note: Please adopt a cat or dog or pet from your local animal rescue or shelter, ie, save a life and spay and neuter your pets, thank you).
want to see more of this positive pit bull press…
Imagine if a pit bull and her/his guardian have their own reality show… maybe it would be too boring for reality TV… no fights, no drama, just lots of fun, loving kisses, goofy antics… am thinking of doing a piece about celebs and their pit bulls as well as every day folks and their pit bulls… a day in the life of an ordinary pit bull and their guardian… and the day in the life of a celeb pit bull and their guardian… if you’d like to be part of this, let me know, thanks.
Shorty Rossi hinted that Hercules will soon be having his own show on Animal Planet but of course, Hercules and Shorty are not exactly your every day pit bull and guardian, definitely, they are celebs. And were just in our neighborhood at the Bay Area Pet Expo. I did not get a chance to go there. Cici and I attended a couple of years ago and it was much too much stimulation for the Polka Dot Princess.
“Pit Boss” star Shorty Rossie and his pit bull, Hercules, are going to be on Anderson Cooper’s Live Thursday’s show!
During the Golden Globes, there was a cadillac commercial with a brindle pit bull
and since pit bulls are still the most euthanized dogs at shelters, it is really important to support Nathan Winograd’s NoKill Advocacy…There ARE more than enough homes for pets who have been dumped in shelters. More and more shelters are getting on board, reducing their kill rates, so that healthy and treatable pets do not get put down just because there is no room at the shelter, they get ADOPTED into loving homes.
The No Kill Conference is offering free registration to municipal shelter directors. Please help enlist them in the mission to save America’s shelter animals. Contact your local shelter director and let them know.
July 13-14 in Washington, D.C.
now go check out all the blogs, and thanks to Be the Change for this quarterly blog hop…
15 biz success secrets I learned from my polka dot princess and other dogs
Claim your top spot throne, hog the bed… / limelight / garner the maximum attention
an awesome trendsetting divalicious babe… Be happy in your own body and style!
A top dog makes lots of friends by meeting people, networking every day and finding out what they have in common
Be positive, enthusiastic, optimistic at all times or when in doubt, yawn…
Steal people’s hearts with your unconditional love, acceptance, kindness and that special look
Charm the treats out of them by making people laugh (be flexible and roll over for belly rubs)
One treat is never enough, go for the gold, lick the one you love
Roll in the grass, smell the roses, bark at the birds, have fun and play every day
Beach Dog Yoga
Keep focused, get your priorities straight, have a dream, go for what you want, be persistent stare into their eyes, look sad, wag tail… until you get what you want
Appreciate your friends, biz associates, co-workers, clients, love the ones you are with, best friends
Why settle for less, when you can have the best
Be yourself even if you have a bad reputation
Sleep soundly, rest between naps
Show/prove your loyalty
Use your imagination, be creative, challenge yourself, have an adventure, venture where you’ve never gone before
what Cici can learn from Alfie
what’s it all about, Alfie? Keep your enemies close, sleep with the enemy, besides, cats make great bedfellows
and if you are in a stressful situation…do what a dog would do…
what have you learned from your dog/cat/pets???
Wordless Wed. blog hop, catch the code…