Life’s Ruff!

Everyone who knows me knows my love for my dogs. It seems in life either you’re a dog person or a cat person. I don’t have anything against cats; it’s just that I’m more of a dog person. Ok and when I say dog, I don’t mean the kind you can dress up and put in a purse. I like dogs… stick eating, rough and tumble dogs! [nbsp]

When we moved to the Netherlands from the United States, we brought with us our two beautiful labs. When we found out that we were moving, the question of the dogs and what to do came up. Should we take them, should we leave them, who would keep the dogs if we left them? They were both older, being 9 and 11 years of age. Traveling with a pet is always scary, but a trip across the ocean for 10 hours is a lot to ask of an animal. Then came the question of cost to move the girls. I’m pretty sure the company my husband is working for would have moved them if we had asked but when we found out the cost we just didn’t feel right asking. It was going to cost us $6,000.00. That would cover everything from the vet bills, to getting their papers in order, to travel and finally delivery to us at our new home. So of course I’m thinking… Ok, I can drive my dogs to the vet to make sure their shots and papers are in order. I can book them a spot on the plane. My husband can make sure there’s a van at the other side to drive us all to the new house. There was no way I was taking the dogs from the plane to a train. And I didn’t even know if that was legal. So after the vet bills and their secured spot on the plane were paid for, they were ready to go international. They flew on the same plane as us. It was quite comical watching them and all the other people around us wanting to see them. The funniest part was when they were being boarded onto the plane their crates were going up the ramp to the plane. Thank goodness the wonderful airline had assigned people to watch over our babies and was there to make sure they didn’t tip. Their arrival in The Netherlands was just as fun as curious on lookers wanted to get a glimpse of the new kids on the block. ‘Pawsports’ in paws, they went through security with flying colors. Then onto their new stomping grounds. [nbsp] Sadly we lost our little Missy to cancer about a month after we arrived. Luckily she went fast and I thank God that I brought her with me. It’s confusing enough when you’re a dog and don’t know why you’re sick but to not be with the family would have made it so much harder for her. She truly loved it here in The Netherlands. The weather was cooler and there were so many wonderful things to explore. I had so many wonderful people post on my Facebook page their condolences after Missy passed and thought I would include this poem here to remember. “God saw she was getting tired, and a cure was not to be.So He put His arms around her and whispered, Come with Me.With tearful eyes we watched her suffer and slowly fade away.Although we loved her dearly, we could not make her stay.A golden heart stopped beating, playful paws were put to rest.God broke our hearts to prove to us, He only takes the best” We spent the next several months helping our other beautiful lab heal. All my focus could now be on her. Sugar had never been a day without Missy so the loss was long and difficult. Anyone who has ever heard a dog cry can understand my pain. But, with each passing day she got better and better. Sadly a year later, our little Sugar lost her battle with the pain of hip dysplasia. I’m just thankful that her pain is gone. We knew bringing our dogs from the States would be hard but there is no way we would have adjusted to life in a foreign country without our furry family members. Our home is now the proud “parents” of Bear and Dirk. Bear is our Dutch born chocolate lab. Yes, he is a stick chewing, bird chasing, and bumblebee killing machine. And I’m proud to say he is already bilingual. He can say woof in Dutch and English. Ah smart boy! And Dirk is our English Mastiff puppy that will be arriving here in The Netherlands in a few short weeks all the way from Texas. I look forward to many more adventures here in The Netherlands with our precious boys. Having a friend you can curl up with no matter where in the world you live….. Priceless! Lisa Jochim

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