I'm not a violent person. I don't kick my dog or spank my kid. But when I heard that a 10-year-old girl is suing her mother's ex-boyfriend because the grown man won't give the little girl's dog back, I had one thought and one thought only. That man ought to be slapped upside the head.
What kind of jerk holds a little girl's puppy hostage ... to the point where a 10-year-old has to take him to COURT? Apparently 54-year-old Mitchell Rechter, or that's what 10-year-old Hannah Wise's lawsuit alleges, anyway.
Note: Hannah's mom Adrienne Lenhoff isn't suing Rechter. Hannah is. Lenhoff has signed off on this lawsuit. Because Hannah is a minor, mom had to. I'm a little perturbed that a 10-year-old has to go to court over something like this, but I do give credit to Hannah's mom for letting her daughter go this route.
According to the suit, Hannah and her mom lived with Rechter for four years -- until the adults split up. Adrienne moved out, taking Hannah, but leaving the girl's tea cup poodle with Rechter until they got settled. Only when they went to get the dog back, the lawsuit alleges Rechter refused to turn the dog over.
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The poodle, named Mystery, was a gift from the girl's grandmother, given to her when her older dog, Mystic, was diagnosed with cancer. The child says Mystery helped her get through Mystic's death, and she loves the little pup.
The mom in this situation could have told her daughter to forget it, that she'd get her another dog. It would be a lot easier than dealing with an ex, right? But what kind of message does that send to the kid? That animals are disposable? That her attachment to a dog doesn't really matter in the scheme of things? That a grown man can get away with being a jerk to her just because she's a kid and he's an adult?
It may be "just a dog," but if the lawsuit's allegations are true, Hannah is in the right here, and the kid has every right to fight for what's right. No matter the outcome, and least she'll know she stood up for herself. That will serve her for years to come.
Sometimes there are things our kids just need to fight for, and it's in our best interests as parents to back them up.
What would you do if someone took your child's dog? Would you take it to court?
Image by Jeanne Sager