updated 6/5/2006 4:57:11 AM ET 2006-06-05T08:57:11

A court denied a man's request to make unannounced visits at his ex-wife's house to see a dog, saying such an arrangement would be like "pie in the sky."

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The ruling was issued Thursday by a court in Barcelona, which rejected a lower court ruling in the fight over a golden retriever named Yako, Spanish newspapers El Pais and La Guardia reported.

The newspapers gave only the couple's first names — Elisabeth and Jose Luis.

When they divorced, she got to keep the dog but agreed he could visit the animal if he gave warning in advance. But Jose Luis started showing up announced, and Elisabeth stopped letting him in.

The man sued, and a court in Granollers sided with him last June. His ex-wife appealed.

In a three-page ruling, Judge Pascual Ortuno Munoz wrote that while pets are important to people, the couple was treating Yako like a person.

"Visiting rights concerning an animal are unprecedented," the judge wrote.

An arrangement among hostile ex-spouses for unannounced visits to the dog would be messy and unworkable, he said.

Jose Luis' demand to pay unannounced visits to his dog is "pie in the sky," the judge wrote.

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