When Hayley and her husband John separated after 21 years of marriage, they were faced with the very modern divorce dilemma – what to do with Max, their ten year old Bull Mastiff dog.
In 2021, divorce and pets is an increasing large battle ground in the divorce courts. For their separating owners, dogs are the unwitting victims of separation, the asset which can’t be split. Unlike with Children, where the precedent is set for dividing their time, pets are often over-looked and for the non-owners out there who may not fully understand the strength of bond between people and their pets, custody over the dog is a really big deal. Step forward Hayley and her story.
“When we split, we were able to come to an equitable agreement on almost everything. Everything besides Max, our ten year old Bull Mastiff. In the end my ex-husband John ‘won’ Max. I was devastated.
It sounds terrible to say it, but it felt like Max had died. The sense of loss in the situation is really very similar to when a pet crosses the rainbow bridge. A huge part of my life walked out of the home on those four gorgeous paws and I was beyond devastated.
By chance, I saw an advert on Instagram for SquishyFacedCrew, a personalised pet site which focusses on their pet shaped pillow.
The premise is simple enough. You upload a photo, choose your size and they hand sew a cushion in the shape and from of your pet.
I’ll admit a half empty bottle of wine next to me, and was probably feeing a bit more emotional then I realised as I placed my order. Combing through photos of Max was a raw exercise and I was a bit sceptical of SquishyFacedCrew – I have had some bad experiences buying stuff from Instagram and Facebook.
It took a few weeks for my 3D pillow to get made, but I was kept in the loop. The day after I ordered, I got a preview (into a tool which was a little clunky to use but all good). I requested a change, the change was made and then I approved it.
I didn’t have huge expectations for my pillow, I was kind of expecting it to be ok. When it arrived I was blown away. The quality was beautiful but more then that, it was so soft and huggable. I now have Max sat back on the sofa, on ‘his spot’, and I find myself cuddling him as I watch TV in the evening. It really is so very comforting”
In Hayley’s case, she can still see the real Max from time to time, but most SFC customers don’t have that luxury. SquishyFacedCrew has made over 17,000 3D pillows, and according to their founder Mike, the vast majority are celebrating pets who have left us. “The main reason people buy our pillows is to get a cuddly reminder of a pet who crossed the rainbow bridge”. He continued “at first we were a bit taken aback by the use case, but now we recognise we actually serve an important role in peoples grief process, whilst giving them a beautiful life long reminder of their fur baby”
SquishyFacedCrew 3d pet shaped pillows start at $27.97 and you can get yours here