It was the second time in a month I had to gaze back at beautiful, confused, loving brown eyes and turn away. My heart, only recently reassembled from the last parting, shattered again. Waterfalls erupted from my eyes. Miss Monster shot a single bark at my back, a reminder to come back for her. The door closed between us and the longest day began.
Her journey started at 4am. Sleep for me had been fleeting and I wanted some extra snuggles before the imminent heart-wrenching parting. She, drowsy in the wee hours, patiently endured my nuzzles and promises today would not be goodbye - only see you later. She followed me to the van and hopped in her crate with all the trust in the world. As I left, a part of me pleaded with the universe for that trust to be unblemished when we reunited. Sixteen hours later, she arrived safely in Oahu and I was able to breathe again.
I've talked a lot about the hard parts of this decision. Leaving family. Finding housing. The employment quandary. I suspect years down the road, looking back on our decision, the part that will emerge as the most difficult will be clear - shipping the dogs. Not just figuring out the logistics of how that would work. The parting. The trust I had to put in strangers to care for the most vulnerable in our family. The look in their eyes. Knowing they don't understand why I'm walking away. Being separated from Husband is incredibly difficult, but we have the ability to communicate frequently. There is an understanding as to why we are parted. Our pups do not have this comfort. They just have an enormous amount of change with which to cope and no clear explanation as to why their snow globe has been shaken.
Three of our four are now home in Maui. Now it's my turn, the last turn. And we're down to single digit days.