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Comment on Expat’s Best Friend by RANDOM NOMAD: Turner Jansen, American Canine in Holland « The Displaced Nation

By Clogsandtulips @clogsandtulips

Comment on Expat’s Best Friend by RANDOM NOMAD: Turner Jansen, American Canine in Holland « The Displaced Nation

When I said “yes” about twenty times to my husband’s proposal, I knew I would be making a huge step and moving to another country. Making new friends, finding a new job, meeting new people, getting involved in new things, learning a new language, getting used to a new home and new surroundings, learning a new culture. What neither of us thought about is how the move would effect my dog Turner.

It was agreed upon when we decided that I would move to the Netherlands that Turnerwould come too. We agreed that I would need a friend – someone to spend time with and share my lonely, home-bound days with while I was just starting out and adjusting. I also knew how much he depended on me and was afraid how of he might react if I left him in the States.

While in the US, we were so concerned with wedding plans, moving details, and all the administrative stuff we had to do to get myself and my dog into the Netherlands. It never occurred to me how the long journey, country change, and country-to-city transition would effect him. The last thing he knew, he was sitting in his car and went to sleep. All the sudden, he wakes up to new people, things, places, smells, sights, and a different language. The home he had known for well over half of his life was gone and the people he was always surrounded by were gone too. So many cars, bicycles (something he’d never seen before), lots of people, lots of dogs, busy streets, loud noises. Taking him out for a walk was a great adventure those first few weeks!

He’s come an awfully long way since then. He’s still afraid of bicycles no matter how many times I take him out with mine. And he’s terrified of the huge city truck that comes once a week to empty the recycle bins across the street. Trash days still make him nervous. He clearly recognizes my parents. He hasn’t seen my brother since before we left the US, but it’s obvious that Turner recognizes his voice when we Skype. It upsets him that he hears my brother’s voice but can’t figure out where he is. What I wouldn’t give to be in Turner’s head and know what he’s thinking. Or that he could speak and describe for me what it’s all been like.

He adores my husband and lives for 6:30pm when he comes home from work and the two of them play on the rug in front of the TV for 5-10 minutes. And the fact that I have to take him out and walk him 3-4 times a day has really strengthened the bond between us.

He helps me take care of the boy I babysit on Tuesays, and we practice cycling on the way there and back. He’s developed a taste for fine French cheeses, vla, and kwark. He’s learned to shake with the commands “paw” and “poot” (Dutch for paw). Turner’s also become quite the gardener! He loves to sit out on the balcony with his nose in the daisies. But before he lays down to relax, he makes the rounds, checking inside every pot to make sure that everything’s growing to his satisfaction.

As a result of the move, Turner’s gotten worlds braver – if you’d known him in the States, you’d hardly recognize him now! And he’s become quite famous. Well, in the IWCUanyway. He relishes in the parties we throw and loves having people over (normally he would hide whenever we had gusts), and has been pictured in the IWCU bi-monthly newsletter The Contact twice and mentioned three times since January. I think, like me, he’s learned to love it here. And it’s obvious how much it means to him to have a family of his own.

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