Singapore Adventure

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

by venitha

Highlighted in red, an addition to our lease agreement wrenched my heart: No pets. Oh, do I miss Maggie.

When Jim and I started to talk seriously about Singapore, it didn't take long for the initial excitement to be replaced by concern about the many difficulties involved. What will happen to our house? What about my job? And hardest of all: What will we do with Maggie?

Our first impulse was to take her with us, and we looked into the red tape involved. A fellow HP expat summed up the situation: a brutal flight, a 30-day quarantine, and if you're concerned about putting her through it at her current age, think about how you'll feel putting her through it on the way back... in two years. By the way, have you heard that it's hot here?

It was completely discouraging, and all our fantasies about Singapore were reduced to one inescapable fact: We could not desert Maggie. Adopted from the pound ten years ago, she was our baby, our constant companion, our best friend. "She's only the cutest sweetest most wonderful dog in the whole wide world. It's not a big deal or anything," I frequently told Jim, and we would argue over whether sweetness or cuteness was her defining quality.

Pragmatism soon won out over Jim's emotions. "It's not like we're going to leave her out on the street," he said. "We'll find her a good home." We had, after all, a number of friends who would take her if we needed them to, and we had months to find her an ideal home, with someone who really wanted her.

So it happened that soon after Jim's Singapore job was announced within HP, Jeff, a co-worker, approached him about Maggie. He loves dogs. He has an enormous yard. He has two daughters just the right age to fall desperately in love with Maggie. And he knows older dogs, having recently retired his own cutest-sweetest-most-wonderful-dog-in-the-whole-wide-world, Roger. And Roger, by the way, looked a lot like Maggie. "She must be Roger's sister," Jeff's daughters earnestly told me.

It's such a perfect fit and came about so easily that it was surely meant to be.

But that doesn't mean it's easy. Unpacking adorable Maggie pictures in our air shipment reduced me to tears, and petting a soon-to-be neighbor's dog left me wandering tragically around the block trying to get a grip. Every evening as Jim and I step outside for an after-dinner walk, my thoughts turn to Maggie: She would love this.

But then I think of the quarantine, the stifling humidity, the small apartments with no yards. And I picture her in Colorado, lying on Jeff's deck, defending her new yard from the nearby foxes, riding in Jeff's truck, being petted and petted and petted by Jeff's daughters. I know that she's happy.

But, oh, do I miss her.