One year ago today, Tom and I welcomed this little guy into our lives.
Happy Gotcha Day to the sweetest, cuddliest little pup in the whole world. He completes me. Really. He does.
We got him when he was 9 years young. Now a year later with a full decade under his tail, he’s still one of the most energetic little guys you’ve ever seen. And we love him more than I thought possible. I think about him as if he were my own progeny, and I see nothing wrong with this behavior. Dog people get it.
Since he’s become a part of our family, he’s been on lots of adventures with us.
He’s visited his five furry cousins in Oklahoma.
He’s gone to a wedding with us in Chicago.
He’s a great traveler. He doesn’t get too nervous on a flight or in the car as long as he’s close to to us, and he settles into our temporary accommodations quickly (as long as there’s soft spot to lay and plenty of treats, he’s solid).
Like I said, he’s the best dog in the world.
But I have to admit, the decision to bring him to Brazil was kind of tough. Not only was the flight here very long, we plan to do a lot of traveling while we’re here and I don’t know how easy it will be for us to find people to watch him when we go places he cannot. Plus, I just hate leaving his little face.
The situation has also started off differently here than we had expected and without going into a lot of boring details, I’m not home with him as much as I expected to be (though hopefully that will change this week).
I know he’s a dog and not a child and he will be fine and whatever. But I don’t want our decision to up and live in another country to negatively affect his health or happiness, so it’s something I’ve struggled with a bit.
Not that he’s given us any cause for concern, he’s been as happy and healthy as can be during the entire process. And he’s such a comfort to us, our best friend, always wagging his entire butt and wiggle-jumping around in circles every time we come home. There is almost nothing that can happen in a day that can’t be fixed by that welcome. It’s priceless.
He seems to like living here quite well. He’s an easy-going chap.
We drink beer on patios together…
He likes going to coffee shops…
This past weekend, we took him on a road trip to Sao Paulo (more on that later) and he enjoyed a stroll around Parque Ibirapuera.
He rides in style.
The walk was a treat, because for some reason the temperature in Sao Paulo was almost ten degrees cooler this past weekend than it was in Bauru.
The heat has been a bit of an adjustment for him, especially with his long hair, so we haven’t really gone on many walks in Bauru yet except to the park near our house so he can do his business. But we finally found a place to have him properly groomed and will do so this week so that should help.
Other than the heat, he’s adjusted like a boss. Several people in the apartment building we’re staying in have dogs, several of them also poodles, so he’s in good company.
We tell people quite honestly that if we wouldn’t have been able to bring Ashton on this trip with us, we wouldn’t have come. He’s a part of the family, and where we go he goes.
It will definitely change the way we go about things while we’re here, as opposed to how we’d do them if we were without him. But he’s more than worth the extra effort and, occasionally, money to make sure he’s taken care of and comfortable.
It makes me think, though.
I’ve always seen myself as a person who would always have a dog, at least one (Ashton doesn’t like living with other dogs, but I’d kind of like a whole crew some day), and also as a person who would always travel as much as possible, doing things like this Brazil stint whenever they pop up, since my trade doesn’t really require me to live in any one place.
But when I really stop to think about it, those two things don’t really go hand in hand.
Ashton is an awesome traveler, but many dogs aren’t. And logistically it wouldn’t really be feasible to take him much further than Brazil, especially as he gets older.
It’s something we’ll definitely have to figure out as we go along, and I’m sure we’ll make it work.
You know what they say, “What’s life without dogs and travel?”
(Oh, they don’t say that? Are you sure? I think it sounds like something “they” would say. How about Keep Calm and Travel with a Dog? I’m pretty sure that’s embroidered on somebody’s throw pillow somewhere.)
For now, we’re just going to enjoy the day-to-day adventure.
He really likes to take selfies, and who can blame him with that face? (He’s way better at them than I am with my permanently wonky selfie eyes.)
If you’re a frequent or permanent traveler, have you ever had a pet while doing so? Would you?