I share custody of my saussage dog with my ex

I got a sausage dog with my ex after we couldn’t have a baby and now we share custody of Mr Plum – it’s not just children who need co-parenting

  • Miniature dachshund Mr Plum splits his time between his two owners’ houses
  • Ruth Ashby, 38, and Liam Scadding, 39, separated in 2022 but have made it work
  • READ MORE: James Middleton pays tribute to his beloved therapy dog Ella

For some people, dogs are their babies – and now a couple has shown that it’s not just children who need co-parenting after a split, as they share custody of their dog.

Ruth Ashby, 38, from the West Midlands, and her then-partner Liam Scadding, 39, welcomed miniature dachshund Mr Plum into their home in 2021.

They got the sausage dog when they decided to stop trying for a child together after five miscarriages – so the pup held a very special place in both of their hearts.

After separating last year, Mr Plum now stays with Ruth from Monday to Friday while Liam, a van driver, takes weekend custody.

But the arrangement can lead to some disagreements, with mother-of-three Ruth saying her former partner ‘spoils’ Mr Plum with junk food.

Mr Plum, Miniature dachshund Mr Plum splits his time between his two owners’ houses after the couple split up

But the dachshund never goes without at his ‘dog mum’s’ house either – as Ruth serves him a cooked dinner of meat and vegetables every night and treats him with dog muffins and healthy snacks.

Ruth, a cleaner and kitchen assistant from Walston, said: ‘We stay in touch over the dog.

‘As time has gone on we have gained a friendship, as we didn’t didn’t split up over anything bad.

‘You can’t explain to a dog, like a child, that you’re not going to see each other when you split.

‘That dog is always going to be waiting for their mum or dad to come back, so seeing them is the best thing, even if it’s just once a week.

‘You wouldn’t stop the other parent seeing their child.’

Liam explained: ‘We came to the decision because he loves us the same I reckon.

‘You can see how excited he is around me and around Ruth, so we couldn’t let him just live with me, it would have been unfair.

Ruth Ashby, 38, and her then-partner, Liam Scadding, 39, got miniature dachshund Mr Plum in 2021 and sadly split up a year later

Mr Plum is now being ‘co-parented’ by Ruth and Liam, spending the week with the mother-of-three and the weekend with van driver Liam

‘Whenever he is ready to switch houses you can see that excitement because he knows he is going to see his mum or dad.

‘We got Mr Plum when we were trying for a baby, so he’s really become part of the family.

‘It would be horrible not to see him.

‘All my family live in Australia, and I think I would have moved too after the break-up – if not for Mr Plum.’

When they amicably split last year, the couple decided Mr Plum would stay with Liam because he was his ‘favourite’.

But with Ruth and Mr Plum pining for each other, they decided a co-parenting custody agreement was best.

‘I was sobbing because he is my little best mate,’ Ruth said.

‘He was pining for me as well, so we just spoke about sharing him. We’re both on the same page with it – there’s no animosity.’

Mr Plum joined the family at eight weeks-old when Ruth and Liam bought him together.

Ruth’s 12 year old son Dylan with Mr Plum at home in Walton, West Midlands. Ruth described the dog as ‘my little best mate’

Although Ruth was previously ‘terrified’ of dogs she describes Mr Plum as being like her baby, alongside her three children – Courtney, 23, Tyler, 18, and Dylan, 12.

She and Liam now co-parent relatively harmoniously, apart from some disputes over food.

‘Liam feeds him junk and he comes back with a bad tummy,’ Ruth said.

‘Last week he gave him a KFC – he’s very spoilt.’

Ruth claims Mr Plum knows when he is due to move between his two homes.

A video Ruth shared to her TikTok account about the arrangement now has over 600k views, and followers and friends have said they would also consider co-parenting a pet after a break-up.

Mr Plum’s excitement to see Liam is clear to see in the clip, with the little dog howling as he looks at her wide-eyed.

Mr Plum gets a bit over-excitable and wees all down Liam’s leg after he is reunited with him for a weekend at his house

He wags his tail and runs around the house as she gets him ready to go to Liam’s house for the weekend, with Ruth even putting a sweet little jacket on her baby.

She films the moment the pup is reunited with his other owner, and Mr Plum launches himself into Liam’s arms as she opens the door.

Hilariously, Mr Plum gets a bit over-excitable and wees all down Liam’s leg – but the dog lover looks unconcerned as he cheerfully cuddles and plays with his little dog. 

Mr Plum even has a designer weekend bag, so he has all his food and bedding ready to go to his second home. 

‘As soon as I pick up his weekend bag he’s running around non-stop, he’s so excited for me to put his coat on,’ Ruth said.

Mr Plum is put in a little coat by his owner, Ruth, as she gets him ready to stay at her ex-partner Liam’s house

He wags his tail and runs around the house as he gets ready to be picked up by Liam for a weekend at his place

And posting the TikTok showed Ruth she wasn’t the only dog owner with the novel set up.

‘It was so nice to read how much people care about their pets, and I was shocked by how many people are now co-parenting animals,’ she said.

‘It just seems like the right thing to do.’

Liam suggests couples should try to co-parent pets if they are on good terms with their ex-partners.

‘I would recommend it 100 per cent to other couples if they’ve got the bond with their pets,’ he said.

‘It’s like a child, if you split you wouldn’t just turn your back on them and say you won’t see them any more.’

Source: Read Full Article