Tail of two cities

Migrating with your family can be a complicated process, especially if you’re taking your furry friends abroad with you.
By Gillian Lim
Published on Thursday, 10 August 2017

  • Sang Shin, 42, Technology change agent
  • Jamie Alison Kloor-Shin, 37, Humanitarian/Model
  • Sable, 9, Labrador

It’s been more than a year since Sang Shin and Jamie Alison Kloor-Shin moved to Singapore, but their beloved pooch Sable still can’t get used to the sweltering heat. What she’s more familiar with is the balmy, cooler climate of California. Back then, the couple would run errands with the Labrador, enjoy long car rides, and go on carefree walks and runs in the afternoon. Occasionally, the trio would take road trips to Lake Tahoe, Sedoa, and Las Vegas.

In humid Singapore, Sable doesn’t go on long road trips anymore, runs out of breath quicker, and she has to live in a smaller apartment. Yet, these are little setbacks for the family of three, who moved from California in May 2016 due to the allure of Singapore’s economic stability. While it cost them around $7,000 to relocate Sable to Singapore—accompanied by a tremendous amount of paperwork—they never once considered leaving Sable behind. 

Jamie shares more.

How did the big move go?
Actually, we didn’t arrive in Singapore together. Sang and I had to move ahead to find a place to stay, so we left Sable with a family we found on a dog-sitting site. Sable knew we were leaving and it was really tough to leave her—even if it was just for a month—while we found our next home. When we were gone, the family’s dog bit her close to her eye. She needed stitches and we weren’t there for her. It broke our hearts!

What about Sable’s flight arrangements?
We were quite worried, especially since we didn’t sedate Sable for the flight. She stopped over in Amsterdam from San Francisco. We chose an airline known to specialise in transferring animals like race horses, so they had handlers who took care of Sable during the stopover.

What was it like reuniting with Sable at the airport?
It was such a happy moment. We hadn’t seen her in a month, and she didn’t know if she would ever see us again! She had to undergo quarantine for 10 days, so I visited her every day. The quarantine room was nice and air-conditioned.

This is an excerpt from an article in our People & Their Pets column. For the full story, flip to pg 42 of our Aug/Sept 2017 issue!