Although my husband and I are living our dream in going to China, there are difficult aspects to the move; the most difficult of which is figuring out what to do with our animals. We have a dog and a cat, and I just don't think we can take either one with us. This dog is the dog I have wanted all my life. I finally got the opportunity to have an Airedale, which is what I've always wanted. But now I'm having a dilemma about what to do with her.
A family member said they would take her. This made me really happy because I felt like I could get her back when we moved back home. I looked at it as more of a "fostering" situation, than a permanent home. I even prepared to pay someone to walk her a couple of times a week, and groom her. But now it sounds like that family member has changed their mind. Now I don't know what to do.
I have looked in to taking her with me to China, but the expense and red tape are incredible. First I would have to buy a kennel large enough for her to fly in. That is a big expense in itself. Then I would need to purchase plane fare for her. Another big expense. If it were just me and my husband, I would go for it, but I have children in college that need financial help. Secondly, I would have to get veterinary certificates to show that she has been properly immunized and is healthy. That's not so hard, but I also would have to get a form signed by the USDA. I also have to have something attached to my passport, showing that she belongs to me. When I get to China, she would be in a 30 day quarantine. Actually, we have heard that sometimes they wave that for a fee. But even the quarantine costs money.
Now let's imagine that I get her over there, now how do things work? Well, in the first place, mainland chinese don't normally have dogs as pets. I don't even know where I would get dog food. Secondly, I don't know what kind of living arrangements we would have. If we are in an apartment, we would have this big dog stuck in an apartment all day. And what if we went on vacation? Who would walk her several times a day? (for toilet needs) And then when we came back to the States, she would once again have to be in quarantine, not to mention that we would have to pay for airfare again.
This is probably the biggest stress I face right now. I wake up in the night wondering what I'm going to do. She is a great dog, but she is a big dog, and not the kind of dog everyone wants. I just don't know what I'm going to do, but I have to think of something fast because my time is running out.
Next I am stressing about my cat! This cat is so wonderful. He is the most friendly cat we have ever had. He even walks out to the front sidewalk to greet strangers that go by. He likes dogs, and will even walk out to greet little dogs that walk by. My kids love this cat. If they were in a position to take him, they would. But my son that is staying in the states is living in student housing where pets aren't allowed.
I even worry about how my animals will feel. This cat comes in the middle of the night and scratches on my window to ask to be let in. Then he curls up at the end of the bed by my feet. How is he going to feel when he is in a new home and new environment. And what about my dog? How would she feel being separated from me? I'm already her 4th owner!
I know that with an international move I should be worrying about a lot of other things, but this is the stress that I'm having right now. I wish I could find a way to have both animals fostered for just a couple of years. I think either my son or daughter will probably be getting married during that time, and would at least be able to take the cat. This is a tough decision!