Leaving a Family Member at Home

Of course there are many people that I miss back in the states. I hope that no one takes it personally while reading this blog about one family member in particular. Our last two days in California went something like this: We received a phone call around 2pm on a Thursday. We were told that we were supposed to jump on a plane the following day, make sure to have all of our affairs in order, and say goodbye to all of our family. Moments later, we were informed by the USDA that our veterinarian had made an error in the vaccination process of our four legged friend Rory. We would not be able to take one of our pets with us to Italy.

To say that I was sad would be an understatement. I literally fell to the floor weeping! I have even waited to write about it in my blog because the topic instantly fires me up! I get emotional just thinking about the family member we had to leave behind. The USDA office did EVERYTHING they could to help us get our puppy overseas. I think seeing me break down made many of them empathize with our situation. The veterinarian on the other hand was unapologetic, accusatory and unhelpful. With a saddened heart we said goodbye to our pet, our family, and our friends and left for this new life.

Lets rewind to January when I started working with the vet office manager to go over the steps and procedures to get our pets to Italy. The secretaries at the front desk were so helpful! They assisted me in finding the website I would need for step-by-step instructions on how to bring my pets to Italy and they even helped me schedule each vet appointment for the following eight months so that we would make sure to get every single vaccination and procedure done in order. Sadly, there were some miscommunications and misunderstandings between secretary and doctors when getting a procedure done in May. I fought the doctors judgment about one of the vaccinations but the assured me that he knew proper procedures. I opted to trust the vets expertise rather then following the instructions online. Because of all the misunderstanding and misinformation we spent our last two days trying to problem solve and correct mistakes to keep our family pets with us instead of spending it with our families and loved ones before we left. Sadly, because of an unapologetic veterinarian, we will be paying more vet bills, finding boarding, paying for another pet flight out of the country, and inconveniencing parents who will have to act on our behalf since we no longer live in California.


Obviously, there is nothing we can do to fix the situation now.  Our poor dog is being put back through the vaccination process, is left without his family, and we have no way of explaining to him what is going on. I miss his cuddles when I am sad, the quirky way he plays with avocado pits instead of toys, his angry face when you blow on his fur, and having him follow me like a shadow throughout the day. Luckily he will be able to join us in a few months once we goes through the medical procedures again.

Looking on the bright side, living without our household items has been hard and it will be easier to bring a dog into the house once we have received all of our things. This has also given us a lot of time to spend with our cat Mochi and given her the time she needs to get adjusted.

Still, I just hope Karma attacks that vet with a vengeance! Meanwhile, I’ll try to let go of some of this anger…..


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