Famed Wife Guy comedian John Mulaney (or is he a Male Wife?) is divorcing his Wife. Very Page Six of him. Devastated fans have already tweeted their condolences, astonishments, and accolades two weeks ago when the news dropped, but there is a key question that remains unanswered: who gets the dog?
What we know is that on May 9th, alongside the gossip rag divorce announcement, Petunia Tendler-Mulaney, the French bulldog Mulaney and soon-to-be-ex-wife Anna Tendler co-own(ed *sad face* ), unfollowed Tendler on Instagram. What we know is that Petunia still follows Big Mouth assistant to the executive producers and John Mulnaey standup specials producer Joellen Redlingshafer.
A lesser gossip columnist would report this as proof that Mulaney and Redlingshafer are carrying out an illicit relationship. They work together, they novelty dog Instagram together, surely they must also ??? together. Combine this with the common knowledge that Mulaney is a known philanderer, and you could sell a nice graf to Us Weekly. But, the likelihood is that Redlingshafer, as a frequent collaborator of Mulaney and Nick Kroll, had the bright idea to make little Petunia Insta famous by getting her name dropped in his Comedy Central specials and subsequent press tours.
My educated/obvious guess is that Tendler maintains the account. Just a cursory glance through the photos, and there seems to be a point where Mulaney is never featured anymore, on account of his busy schedule hanging out with Nick Kroll and Tan France or whoever. Why unfollow Tendler if Tendler maintains the account? Probably to un-affiliate her personal account with Petunia’s in the instance Mulaney’s army of tendersoft Twitter fangirls wage war against her for breaking their fav’s heart.
As much as Tendler cares for and adores the dog, the dog is a necessary part of Mulaney’s standup. Without Petunia, how can he make jokes at her little doggy expense? But if Tendler retreats to the suburbs, while Mulaney maintains an NYC condopartment, then shouldn’t Petunia move onto literal greener pastures?
So, to the matter at hand: who gets to keep the dog?
If Petunia was a gift, it would be pretty open and shut. Whoever was the giftee would get to keep her, as per both legal rules surrounding gifts and the basic social premise of gifts. If the giftee was mistreating the poor thing, then it would be up to the judge’s discretion. If the Tendler-Mulaneys had children, they might see Petunia follow wherever the children went in the ensuing custody battle.
In early 2020, a Time Magazine article revealed one couple’s particular solution to their divorce doggy problem: visitation.
For nearly two years, Giarrusso fought for custody of the pets in family court and then in the state supreme court, spending about $15,000 in legal fees. “I went through hell,” Giarrusso says. The fight was worth it, he says, when a judge in April 2019 said Giarrusso could have the dogs on Tuesdays and Wednesdays every week.
Okay, so, they can both end up with the dog if they agree to it, but, like, what if they, you know, don’t agree to anything? Based on some attorney in Colorado’s website, women are awarded custody of children in “nearly 90 percent” of divorces, no note if this includes lesbian divorces.
A lesser blogger might ask how we don’t have data on who gets to keep the doggo in the divorce, but said lesser blogger would forget that divorce rates are their lowest in 40 years. Millennials in particular are bringing down the divorce rates, hence the above Time Magazine article about the fate of pets in divorce having to find some Boomers to profile. Yet another industry killed by millennials.
So we don’t know who gets to keep the dog, and we don’t know if Deux Moi posters champing at the bit to accuse Olivia Munn of girl code crime are right, but with the whirlwind of Mulaney-verse news it’s just a matter of hours till we learn he was involved in the deaths of Princess Diana and Dodi al Fayed. But celebrity gossip moves fast, they may have even broken up by now.