We always knew we would take Jack (our pug) where ever we went (Read how to bring your pet into Ireland). He is part of our family and we love him dearly. In truth, I love him more than most people. He has always brought us so many laughs and love in the 3 short years we have had him. But I never really knew how much we needed him until we moved to a new country.
Moving countries is hard. It is genuinely the hardest thing we have ever done. But I think it would have been so much harder if we didn’t have our beloved pet. Only since we have moved over have I realized how much a pet can improve your life as an expat.
When everything is said and done, only people who have gone through a move to a new country, or are going through a move like this, can really empathize with what you are going through. People get busy, and when you are not around them, they move on and life happens. But a pet will always be there no matter what. Jack genuinely just loves us. I think he loves his little life with us, and having him around has lifted our spirits when we have felt despair and loneliness. The truth is, we have had an emotional year so far. As much as we have grown stronger as a couple, having Jack has improved our lives greatly too.
I have been unemployed for over two months now, and it has been a hard adjustment for all of us. You have this idea of how things will go: move over, get a job, start traveling, life is grand. But life doesn’t always stick to a plan you have designed in your head. We have had to work out a budget using only one salary. We have had to learn how to figure out this new dynamic of me being home all day, and Rob going off to work. Rob has had to figure out the new work culture here, and when I start work, things will change again. But every morning we start the same as we did back home, and every night when we go to bed, the same as we did back home. We do it with Jack. We do it all three of us together.
Jack gets up when Rob gets up in the mornings, and he sits with him while Rob eats his breakfast (hoping for treats, I am sure). Then when Rob hops into the shower, Jack jumps back into bed with me, for a snuggle. When I get up, we play with the sheets (I try to make the bed, Jack tries to sleep some more). We mission down the stairs and start our day. Jack follows me everywhere. He comes out and watches me load the washing machine, while I make coffee, while I iron and clean the house (except when the vacuum cleaner comes out because then he hides away). When I sit to blog, check mail, make calls, scan social media – he sits on my lap and snoozes. He loves to be where I am. And I love that he loves me so much. The best part of my day is when we go for our walk. The way that he runs and sniffs everything. I think I see him smiling. He is always so excited to get outside. To meet other dogs and get treats from other people. I could be having the worst, loneliest, saddest day but the minute we are in the park and Jack is off his lead, I can’t help but smile and love him even more. He lifts my spirits. I think more people need to live life like Jack: care-free and with an open heart.
When Rob comes home, often as he is turning the key, Jack is running to the door. He is the first one to greet Rob when he comes home. And it makes Rob so happy. I see it in Rob’s face – the love he has for both of us. Jack just makes our hearts happy. Rob goes up to get out of his work gear, and the two of them play while I cook dinner. Sometimes the three of us walk together; or we sit and watch series; or talk about our day. After dinner, we all get ready for bed. He is the first one to snuggle up in between us and usually starts snoring before we turn the lights off. We kiss each other good night, all three of us together. One happy little family.
I have heard all the benefits on owning a pet, and how a pet improves your life. But I can’t stress it enough, how much our pet has improved our lives as expats. When everything is foreign, and new – he remains the same, and loves us just the same.
If you are on Instagram, check out my stories, Jack features in a lot of them!
Let me know in the comments: Do you own a pet? How has your life improved since owning a pet?
Unlock the simple life,
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