You’ve moved overseas to begin a new life, but you weren’t able to bring your furbaby with you. How do you deal with the loss of your animal companion?
For many expats it not possible to relocate with their pet due to high transportation costs, accommodation inappropriate for pets, lengthy quarantine periods or a different lifestyle.
Expat Sarah Shumate shared in a blog on The Wander Blogger, the hardest part of moving abroad for me was saying goodbye to her pets.
“We miss our friends and family, we really do… but we can stay in contact with them via Skype, FaceTime and email,” she said.
“When we said goodbye to our pets, we said goodbye, and it hurt!”
Of course you can never replace a cherished pet, but there is an alternative to be able to enjoy the company of a furry friend.
PetCloud connects pet lovers with pet owners to offer pet sitting, dog walking, house minding and a variety of other services.
When PetCloud CEO and founder Deb Morrison met a Brisbane based expat the idea of connecting with pets and their owners resonated strongly.
Expat Daniel Nalborczyk said he deeply missed his big dog back home and has since joined PetCloud to provide loving care to pets.
“With a recent move - I had to leave my big dogs behind and when I found out about PetCloud I saw it as a great opportunity to fill the void left by the companionship I had with my dogs,” Nalborczyk said.
“The opportunity to look after another local pet owner's dogs that needed walking was the perfect solution without committing to owning a pet full time.”
Pet sitting allows expats to look after animals in the owner’s home or their own when it suits them, as well as providing an opportunity to connect with their neighbours.
PETS BOOSTING COMMUNITY SPIRIT
With much research showing the benefits of pet ownership on mental and physical health of the owner, but what promoting our connections within the local neighbourhood.
Research from Edith Cowan University has shown only one-third of Australian say they trust their neighbours.
Professor Hugh Mackay spoke to TheConversation.com on the erosion of our commitment to our local community.
“’We don’t know our neighbours’ has become a cliché of contemporary urban life,” he said.
However pets might be the saving grace.
In a recent study ‘Social Capital and Pet Ownership’ completed at the University of Western Australia investigated the relationship between pets and social capital.
The study’s author and associate professor Lisa Wood said dog owners are five times more likely to have got to know people in their neighbourhood.
“We found owning a pet was significantly associated with higher social capital compared with not owning a pet,” she said.
“Given pets are entrenched in the lives and homes of many Australians, it makes sense to tap into this as a way to strengthen the social fabric of local communities.”