Marital Tension in Deerfield Beach After Dog Dines More Extravagantly Than Family

Sounds like the Wolaks needs a visit from a pet therapist. The Deerfield Beach family is featured in an article in today's Wall Street Journal about people whose love for their pets damages their human relationships. In the Wolaks' case, that pet is Buck, a 1-year-old German shepherd who was served steamed broccoli, raw ribs, then a grilled chicken breast and baked sweet potato on a day when Marina Wolak served her husband and 10-year-old daughter only the chicken breast for dinner, with no sides.

"Hello, what about us?" says Mr. Wolak, a 43-year-old computer consultant in Deerfield Beach, Fla. "She caters to this dog and has nothing left in the tank for the family."

It gets worse, after the jump.

A typically luxurious week for Buck in the Wolak household:

Mr. Wolak says his wife buys fresh beef, chicken and rabbit for Buck, takes the dog to the park three times a day and puts fresh sheets on the mattress in his kennel twice a week. "She will stay up late if the dog needs an extra walk because he is constipated, but she can't stay up and spend a little quality time with her husband," he says.

Making matters worse: Both Mr. Wolak and their daughter are allergic to the dog. He estimates he has spent several thousand dollars on doctors' appointments, as well as a special air filter for their home. And, he says, he argues regularly with his wife over the cost of the dog's special diet, toys and training.

"There is only one answer to fixing the wedge between us, and that is to get rid of the dog," says Mr. Wolak, who believes that wouldn't be fair to Buck.

"So I am stuck with him--and because he eats so damn well, he is going to live forever."

Ms. Wolak, for her part, says, "To get rid of Buck would be like getting rid of my daughter."

I'm sure pooch is great, but I've gotta side with Mr. Wolak on this one. Time to pass the Buck.

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