friday was the departure of another american family from vladivostok. dan, lisa and anya took off for home and their onward assignment. that's dan on my scooter, before his successful foray around the outer regions of vlad. thanks chris for the photo! after they left friday, i could already feel a void at work and the townhomes. it's multiplied double with chris leaving earlier this summer. after processing it for a couple days, it feels like a new post all over again. you get use to the americans you work with and then the time comes for you or they to depart. i'll never get use to it. it's probably the worst part of the foreign service. unless you can stand the person, then you're counting the days till they have to leave. but with dan and lisa it was easy to say they'd be missed by everyone at the consulate, including me. i'll miss the conversations.
along with their leaving, we also had our first change in weather. some tropical storms have been stirring up cold fronts that reached well into our neck of the woods. the past couple days have been rainy, cold and miserable.
i've finally found a dog kennel for lucia. unfortunately, she doesn't feel the same way. i'm trying to find the right place to keep it permanently. she doesn't act thrilled where it's at right now but usually settles down after a bit of whining. it's done wonders for my cleaning duties though. she's a champ at holding back her endless barrage of urine and poop, while she's caged up. i started out with keeping her in it and checking on her during the day every 3-4 hours. during the night, i was worried she'd have a problem, but so far she's been doing great.
i've been having a bit of trouble finding a nice selection of dog equipment around the city. i can find food and medicine but toys and accessories have been difficult. thank god for online pet stores. i found a good pet clinic also. she's even got a pet passport now that has a list of the shots she's gotten so far. everyone there speaks russian so it's been a good test of my russian vocab with words like worms, fleas and ticks.
looking back over the last month, i sometimes wondered if i made the right decision adopting her. with my busy schedule i felt like i just added a project that would consume every free moment i had. but now that work is quiet and i have more free time, it's become easier to organize her feedings, walks, and playtime. i do have to cancel out of over night trips that people invite me to, which is a bummer but a small price to pay. right now there's not a lot of options for finding someone to look after her if I'm away. when she gets older and more use to travel i think we'll be able to make the trips together.