Travel Sacrifices: Leaving my Best Friend

A life of travel does not come without its sacrifices.  I gave up a lot in order to fulfill my dream of traveling around the world. I resigned from my job I held for 9 year, sold my home I owned for 6.5 years, and sold all of my possessions. None of these decisions were easy, but they were all standing in my way of pursuing my dream and following my heart. Once I pulled the trigger and became homeless and unemployed, it was quite gratifying, albeit scary at the same time. But now, I wasn’t tied to material things or chained to a desk anymore.  I felt free.

There is one sacrifice I had to make that was the absolute most, without a doubt, the most difficult. It was the one thing that I struggled with and nearly kept me from leaving.  I had to leave my four legged best friend behind.  Meet Sawyer.

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He is an 80lb. boxer with a cute under bite that loves playtime, chasing geese, hiking, digging, and snuggling on the couch.  Don’t let that cute face fool you though…he is quit mischievous and a notorious counter surfer while no one is watching in order to devour a loaf of bread or cookies and has managed to land himself in the vet emergency room more than once. But, I love this guy.

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I absolutely was not willing to give him up in order to pursue my dream and so I knew I would need to find him a temporary home while I was away.  Some of my very best friends, without hesitation, told me that they would take him and love him like their own along with their dog.  They are truly amazing people and I am very blessed to have them in my life!  But, after I sold my house in the summer, my sister and her family welcomed Sawyer and me.  After three months, my nieces and nephews got a bit attached to Sawyer (and my sister and brother-in-law too, a bit :)) and he is now happily living with them and loving all the attention he receives from three kids under six.  Again…very blessed to have them!

I have managed to bring a ‘piece’ of Sawyer with me on my travels, though.  Here is the travel version of Sawyer!  He will be joining me for adventures along the way and making appearances on the blog.  So far, he has survived skydiving from 16,000’ in New Zealand with many more exploits to come!

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Yesterday was Sawyer’s fourth birthday!  I am very sad to not be there to celebrate with him  and I miss him terribly while being away.  But, I know he is having an amazing time with his cousin dog and my sister’s family.  He has a lot of good years left in him and I know the reunion will be sweet when I see him again!

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Tips for Pet Owners:

  • Start early to find a foster:  This was the very first thing I did before I ever making another move.  If I couldn’t find a good temporary home for Sawyer, I would not leave him.
  • Ensure your pet is healthy: Take them to the vet for a check up before you leave and ensure all vaccinations are up to date. The less work your foster has to do, the better.
  • Make monetary arrangements: Give your foster money up front for food, toys, treats, veterinarian trips, and unexpected items. Try to avoid having your foster have out of pocket expenses (budget all this into your trip!)
  • Have a List of Pet Sitters:  Make a list (names, address, phone, email) of family and friends that would be willing to watch your pet should your foster need a break or if they are going out of town.
  • Create of binder: Put all your pet’s important documents in there to include: vet records and phone numbers, registration, pet insurance info, microchip info, etc.
  • Pre-pay Pet Insurance: I am a big believer in pet insurance to cover the catastrophic injuries and illness.
  • Have a plan:  Should the worst happen, you need to discuss your plan with how to deal with extreme injuries or illnesses ahead of time.  You might not always be accessible should something happen.

What was the hardest sacrifice you had to make when deciding to travel?

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