We’ve got moving on the brain since it’s summer and high moving season, but all too often our furry friends are forgotten when we start discussing a move.
Pets bring us comfort when we’re down and love us no matter what. It’s time we focused on their needs for a bit. I’ve moved across the country twice with our dog. One time we drove from Maryland to Arizona, without our kids, but with our dog. She was so happy to be the center of our world, as she had never known a world without kids.
Our next move found our dog frantic as we took her to a friend’s house while the packers came. She was scared we were leaving without her. But as soon as we put her bed in the van, she calmed down immediately. She knew she was coming with us. She traveled from Arizona to Florida protectively guarding the baby and catching any goldfish that escaped the car seat.
One more move later, she rode shotgun with my husband on the day-long trip from Florida to Georgia and was really excited when we found a house that she could explore. To be honest, our family wouldn’t be the same without our dog, and for that reason alone, we spend time preparing for her to PCS just as we do ourselves.
Putting Pets First
It seems odd, I’m sure, but there are several ways in which our dog’s needs were put first in our moving plans. For example, we only considered hotels that were pet-friendly, and we preferred the ones that didn’t charge a pet fee. We also knew we couldn’t have long stops while on the road because we couldn’t leave her in the car. Even stopping at a fast food restaurant for lunch involved a rotation of who stayed with the dog and the vehicle and who managed the kids. I’m not the only one who does this, I know.
Pet PCS Problems
Military families feel frustration when PCSing with their pets, often due to the extra rules and fees. For example, the pet fee we pay at hotels is not reimbursed by the government. Nor is the cost of flying pets overseas. Flying pets cargo in the summer is almost impossible and, of course, that’s when the majority of moves take place.
Flights changed last minutes due to pet policies, additional expenses, and “rules” that change daily make it seem like the military doesn’t even care about pets. And while we all know that the military didn’t force us to have pets, it still isn’t fair. One family had their dog stuck at the airport for a week after they were given incorrect information from a military veterinarian. Such a disaster!
As you approach a PCS or even a TDY, make sure you are putting enough emphasis on what each member of your family needs. Even the furry ones.
By: Rebecca Alwine
At Military Crashpad®, we want you can bring your furry friend with you. Check out our pet-friendly locations!