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Weekly column about living with a dog – 4 June 2023

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One happy furry family

When my husband and I moved to Dubai, we brought our dog Eva with us from Egypt. Some people laughed, hearing we put all this effort, and money, into bringing a dog over by plane. For us, it was never even a question if we would take her with us. Without any discussion, we both knew Eva would join us wherever we would go. We already left much of our human family behind when moving abroad, so there was no way we would leave our fur baby.

With some help in Egypt, we applied for all the needed documents, vaccinations, and flights. In September 2018 it was finally time to pick her up from the cargo terminal at the airport. I remember feeling excited and nervous at the same time. Worried and hoping everything went well during the flight and with the importing process. But also so pumped to see her again!

After a bit of back and forth between the different departments for the import checks, we finally ended up at the airport vet. The final step before we could take her with us. Everything went smoothly and with the last hurdle completed, we moved outside to bring Eva to her new home. Our new home.

That’s why it pains me so much to see the increase in dogs left behind when people leave the country. One week after another, there are multiple dog adoption and foster days organised by amazing pet rescue and shelter organisations.

It seems there is a group of people who don’t consider a dog’s true value. Who don’t see our four-legged friends as part of their family, but more like a disposable item. An expense they can eliminate as soon as it becomes inconvenient.

Because UAE is a temporary home for most of us. People need to keep a relocation budget in place. If you have children, you keep in mind the extra cost you will have to relocate with your children. If you have a dog (or any other pet for that matter), you need to include them in your relocation budget too.

I cannot imagine our life without Eva, however bringing a dog on board is not a decision to take lightly. It truly impacts your whole life and all the decisions you make. For us Eva is worth more than anything we would have to give up. But I’m not sure if all aspiring pet parents truly think about it before bringing a dog home.

Understandably it is hard to think logically when you see those bright puppy eyes staring at you. But it will only complicate your life and the dog’s life if they don’t really fit with your lifestyle. Check these 4 questions to ask yourself before adopting a dog.

Imagine waking up one day, your family is gone. they are nowhere to be found. On top of everything you’re not in your own home, but in the streets. When you finally find the way back to your place, you can see other people living there and they send you away. You’re getting thirsty and your stomach starts growling. It’s too hot outside…

You have nowhere to go. Finally lying down in the shade a rock lands next to you. Then another one almost hits you on your head. You try to run away. Cars honking past you while you’re struggling to reach the other side of the road. You wonder what you did wrong to end up here…

This sounds horrible, right? It could be the life story of an abandoned dog. Now what can we do to help? In the first place don’t abandon your dog! Your dog is a family member and is there for life.

If you decided a dog fits your lifestyle, please look at fostering or adopting from any of the shelters or rescue organisations in your country (for UAE, check Stray Dog Center, RAK AWC, Animals And Us , Furrballs, or the many other lifesaving shelters). Don’t go to a pet store to buy #adoptdontshop.

However, if you want to help, but realise a dog doesn’t fit in your life at the moment, there are other things you could do. Firstly, great job to you for thinking clearly and still wanting to help. We can all support these rescue organisations which are working day and night to save other dogs from the streets (by donating money, time, resources, or exposure).

A better world begins with yourself, right?

Thanks for reading and see you next week in another weekly column about living with a dog!

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