But, I haven't said a peep about Mocha.
Well, I don't really want to talk about it - because it pretty much sucks. But, if I'm going to write about this experience, I need to write about Mocha too. So. Ugh.
1. China regulations permit only "one pet per passport."
2. We have two passports.
3. We have three pets: Two indoor cats and one outdoor dog.
1. Decline the job/life opportunity because it requires us to leave one pet behind.
2. Find a way to "smuggle" one pet in in violation of the rules.
3. Draw straws to see which two go.
4. Come up with various rationales why it'd be "better" for one to stay over the other two. For example, apply the seniority rule: first in, last out. Take the first two pets we adopted, find a loving home for the last one we adopted.
5. Sob incessently for hours (and hours) thinking about how Options 1-4 are really horrible horrible options and just refuse to make the decision because it's an utterly impossible decision to make.
I was stuck between 4 and 5. For a while. Then something happened which made the whole situation .. tolerable. Or as tolerable as it can be. I can't say it's awesome - because Mocha is a wonderful wonderful dog and we both love her very much. She's very much J's dog, but she loves me too -- and is just the most easy-going dog I've ever known.
Then Mocha's "aunt" -- the woman who takes care of her all the time when we travel now -- asked me whether we would allow Mocha to stay with her while we were gone. I won't share all the details of that situation for privacy reasons. But -- she truly loves Mocha and we know that Mocha just loves her. And for a variety of reasons, the "timing" of this all was such that it would just ... work out.
NO, it's not "perfect" -- or anywhere near that -- that we won't have Mocha with us. It's actually .. basically awful and everytime I think about it (like now) I just get all upset and ... i'm not a pretty cryer.
But it's pretty amazing that before we could even ask, the one other person in the world who is with Mocha weekly and loves her actually asked whether we'd be willing to allow Mocha to live with her. (And that's exactly what she asked me.)
So, that's the resolution. Don't like to talk about it. Don't want to talk about it. But ... can't pretend that it's not happening. And, as the days here with her wind down, it only gets worse. I am comforted knowing where she will be and knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that she will be happy and loved. But we will miss her terribly. And I can rationalize that it'd be hard for her there since she's been an outdoor dog for eight years, who would be stuck in a high rise all day except for walks .. and all that. But -- that all sounds weak even as I say it. It just ... sucks! I can't find another more appropriate word. And I honestly don't know what we would have done -- how we would have resolved the "one pet per passport issue" -- had it not worked out the way it did. But -- it still sucks. It's the one and -- to date -- ONLY awful aspect of the ... whole deal, but it's pretty daggone awful. Tolerable only because I know where she'll be and that she'll be ok and loved and happy. And because she was wanted by her "aunt" so much so that I didn't even have to ask.
Ok. I "came clean." Not that it makes me feel one iota better to have done so. But. Still. There it is.