There was a heated discussion on the British Expats board yesterday over a post I made saying that I didn’t know if I thought it was a good idea to ship my pets over to the UK with us, or would a better choice for us and our pets be to find them loving homes here in Canada instead. This stemmed from a post that someone else had made stating that due to the “Manifest Cargo” requirement of shipping pets in the country (not including the cost of microchipping, vaccinating, deworming, and special crate purchasing) was OVER $1700 USD for ONE dog going ONE way! Now, we have two pets to move… figuring on half that cost for the cat (I hope!!) we estimate it’ll cost us over $2500 USD to ship an old cat and a young dog.
Now. I should state clearly here. I believe pets are pets. I know from experience that pets don’t carry the same emotional baggage we as people do. I’ve adopted pets that have been horribly abused yet were loving and grateful in our home, I’ve rehomed pets who were just as happy in their new home as they were with us – happier even in one case, as the dog did NOT like small children, she was much happier in a home full of teens. SO, why do some attack others’ characters just based on a decision about a dog or a cat. Yes, it’s so sad to hear of the thousands of animals left unloved and unwanted in the world. sniff, sniff. This is simply a plea to pity. It’s an illogical conclusion to state that because one dog was unloved after it’s owner (yes, owner, not mommy and daddy, we don’t have puppies, we own dogs) had to rehome them. But it’s not all the time. In fact, we took in someone else’s dog, had him till the day he died, and loved him terribly. He didn’t end up in a shelter when his owner abandoned him on the street when they moved.
I would like to point out, that’s not even SLIGHTLY what we’re considering doing. We are merely discussing whether or not it is a good choice to take certain pets with us. There are many ways to look at it.
- We take all the pets, and can’t find a landlord to rent to us so we end up homeless with pets we can no longer afford to return to Canada with.
- We take all the pets and find a place, but have thousands less to help us get settled after paying that money for Manifest Cargo shipment of said pets, and the high deposit a landlord requests to secure that my pets won’t damage his property. This leaves us with less money to start up with, and more stress/pressure for our primary breadwinner, my Hunny.
- We leave Young Cat here, still pay a small fortune to get the other two pets over to the UK, taking the risk that the Old Cat makes it thought to the other side in good condition (no guarantees).
- We rehome Young Cat and Old Cat together, take Dog. Reduces costs by about a thousand, but takes some risk that we might not be able to find them a place together anyhow, this would probably put undue stress on Old Cat.
- We rehome Dog and Young Cat to good loving homes, and take Old Cat with us so that he at least has his “family” around him when he dies.
- We rehome all pets, and just take ourselves. This would be the most cost effective solution monetarily, but would subject the kids to a fair bit of stress… Dog? She wouldn’t care – she’d be just as happy with another family as with us, as long as someone feeds her and takes her for walkies.
- There is the option of taking one or more pets with us, but flying into Paris instead, and then arranging for my Hunny to pick me up at the border, but that involves a wayyyyy more complicated route and plan, and with moving to a new country, I think we’re going to have enough OTHER complications to deal with – not sure we want to arrange extras.
It’s not a clear cut choice. As you see, there are many points to consider. How do we see our pets? Are they “family members”? Well, no, not really… they are pets. I paid for them. I purchased them for my pleasure. Yes, for pleasure. IF they are not pleasurable – I personally have no issue with finding them another situation that would be more suitable. I don’t “adopt” pets, I buy pets. I pay good money, and continue to provide for them at a premium level by buying quality food (not the crap on the grocery store shelves), paying vet bills when they need medical care, buying toys to entertain, beds to sleep on, taking them for walks for exercise and entertainment, and I train them to have good manners. SO, I guess if doing all that makes me a bad pet owner, I’m guilty as charged. But I don’t see it that way.
What if it were a different situation. What if my husband was dead (say he died youngish – sorry, Hunny. *grin*), I had no children around, and I was facing unexpectedly the loss of my home and financial security. Should I keep my pets then? What if it meant I couldn’t eat so that I could keep paying their costs? Do I sacrifice my personal health just to make sure their lives never change? The unexpected happens all the time. Sometimes the path Life takes you on isn’t the one you expected… and you are faced with tough decisions. That’s where we’re at.
It is entirely possible that we will decide that we will miss them too much and are willing to spend the money and take the risk that no one will let to us and we might end up homeless with pets… who knows? All I know is that it’s OUR decision. And disrespecting, or implying that they are selfish or callous is not the way to go about having them see your point of view.
I was mighty disappointed yesterday by the response I received on what appeared to be a friendly forum. I pray it’s the one and only time – a fluke of the ‘net if you will. I think for now I’m going to go take the Dog on a walk.
PS, I noticed I forgot one option up there… we could move all the pets, find a great landlord that won’t charge us extra, and live happily every after. It could happen.