International Move: Should We Bring the Dog?

Chris and his wife are moving to a small Pacific island. The price to move the dog with them is astronomical, and Chris isn't sure how much to devote to taking the dog with them.

QUESTION: Chris in Austin says his wife has been offered a job on a small Pacific island. They’re moving August 1, and they have yet to fully fund their emergency fund. The price to move the dog with them is astronomical though, and Chris isn’t sure how much to devote to taking the dog with them. Dave gives Chris the answer he wants.

ANSWER: A thousand dollars a day for the ferry ride sounds like a good bargain. Certainly the difference between $2,000 and $5,000—you go get the dog and ferry it as far as that goes. I just didn’t know it cost that much.

It’s just a value call on your part. Different people value things differently. I grew up where our dogs were inside dogs and in a subdivision, and the dog was one of the kids, so to speak. My wife grew up where the dog was on the farm, and they ate stuff that the dog hung around with. They’re not as valuable in that setting. They view them differently.

If I made $92,000 a year, I would do it. I would pay the $2,000. I’d ferry the dog. I’d save the other money once I got him on that side of the world and go get on the ferry and drag him across. We would do that. But you guys have to decide that. There’s some point that everybody reaches a breaking point. Everybody’s like, “I’m an animal lover!” Well, let’s say it cost $22,000. All of a sudden, I’m not a freaking animal lover. It is an animal at some point. It’s not my kid. Two thousand seems like a reasonable ratio in your world for something that you care deeply about, and it would be for us. We’ve got three dogs, and we love our dogs, especially since we’re empty nesters. They’re the only kids we’ve got left, and we can’t seem to have any grandkids, so I’ve got to work on that…

Yeah, we would do that.