As time has gone on since our initial offer to go to Singapore, and no official paperwork has been issued, I have questioned whether we are really going or not. I’m beginning to suspect this has been an elaborate ruse on Marcus’s part to get rid of all of our pets. He’ll be the first to say he’s not a “pet person” which is too bad for him because I totally am and he has two little girls who have visions of owning every animal under the sun one day.
As time has gone on (and on and on and on…) we have gained more insight about Lulu’s life in Singapore. In fact, when we first found out where we were moving the very first thing I did was to reach out to a few girlfriends who I thought had spent time there. In a moment of foreshadowing, one of my girlfriends casually mentioned that Singaporeans really love their small dogs which more or less went in one ear and out the other. Now I am realizing what she meant.
Considering much of the housing in Singapore is apartment living it isn’t a surprise that smaller dogs are preferred. Big, bull-in-a-china-shop dogs such as our Lulu don’t fit as nicely. Another cultural difference is that certain breeds of dog and those who are deemed vicious must be muzzled when on walks. I would assume a dog deemed vicious in the U.S. must also be muzzled but I’m not sure. Lulu isn’t aggressive but she is a little under-socialized which is something that I have been working on since we got her but makes me very anxious for her in a new country. If she doesn’t know you, she doesn’t trust you and it takes a bit of time for her to accept you as a non-threat.
Honestly though, it is the change in her quality of life that makes me most concerned. Our house sits on nearly 1.5 acres, all of which is entirely fenced-in. She’s allowed to come and go as she pleases, chasing squirrels and birds and the occasional baby bunny (we do not condone the chasing of baby bunnies). Moving her across the world to live in an apartment just seems wrong and this, dear reader, is when I realized that Lulu needed to stay in the U.S.
This has not been a decision I have come to lightly. As a family we have suffered the loss of pets for a myriad of reasons (e.g. we had a beloved chicken who turned out to be a rooster so he had to go live on a farm, we had an even more beloved German Shorthaired Pointer who died unexpectedly at the age of 2, not to mention the bearded dragons, other less beloved chickens, and foster pets we grew attached to that have come and gone). I’m just sorry that at this point in our lives we’ve given our girls a very unrealistic and irresponsible view of pet ownership.
Despite all of this, I just knew in my heart that taking Lulu to Singapore was not going to be a good idea. I don’t know if I mentioned that Lulu came to us first as a foster in November 2020. I put her picture on social media and a girlfriend from high school reached out asking about her. However, within a few days we had fallen in love with her crazy ears and decided to keep her. So, it was on a whim that I reached out to my friend and asked if she would be interested in having Lulu. She agreed to take her for a weekend and see if she would be a good fit. Turns out she was a great fit for my friend and her family. Now, instead of two sisters, Lulu has two brothers who adore her and a family that will probably treat her better than we did (I just found out she got to hang on a boat so right away she’s doing better).
All of this is not to say that if you are moving out of the country you should rehome your pets. You need to do the research and make the best decision for your animal. In our case, we had only had Lulu for a few short months and while it was hard to say goodbye it was made easier knowing where she was going. In the case of our kitty (Lasagna, whom I mentioned in the previous post), her old age helped me make the decision to ask friends to take her because I’d rather she be alive and safe in the U.S then die midflight across the world.
If you are moving to Singapore and have a pet I found the links below to be helpful in deciphering all of the information out there. It might also help to join a group on Facebook who can give some guidance as to their experiences.
“Legal Duties of Pet Owners” which is a PDF created by Singapore Management University Law school.