In September 2015, Kelsey and her husband Rocco started their life in Chengdu, along with them flying from the US are two dogs who have accompanied the couple for six years, Mattingly and Moose.
It was not the first time travelling for the two dogs, but it was the farthest.
Seeing Dogs as Family Members despite Their Breeds
On the lawn soaked in afternoon sunshine, two medium-sized dogs are frolicking in good mood. Sometimes they speed up running for a while, sometimes rush to a fountain gulping the water, forming a dramatic picture of happy life! They seem to belong to the same breed since both of them have brownish yellow spots scattered among black hairs. Kelsey, however, does not know and never bother about their species. They have accompanied each other for six years already.
Seven-year-old Mattingly is a sensitive "lady". She was not too social at her young age, and was a little nervous when she first came to Chengdu. But now she fits in well and always keep her eyes open wide, curious about people walking by. She would still avoid cameras though having fun. Moose, on the other hand, is more like a silly boy. He loves everyone and seems to long to play with people all the time. Actually, he is just six months younger than Mattingly, so he is sort of "middle-aged" among dogs.
There is always a companion of dogs in Kelsey's life. She has raised at least 15 dogs up to now. She expressed her attachment to dogs, "They are my family, and I never thought about leaving them behind wherever I go. Both Mattingly and Moose were adopted from an animal shelter in North Carolina in the US, and then lived with us in New York and Boston in succession. As soon as Rocco got his job in Chengdu, we started to run the going-abroad procedures for them like examination and relevant certificates. I have no idea about why would people abandon their dogs just for going abroad, you know."
In the US, people prefer adoption to buying when they decide to raise dogs, unless they have special needs, like guide dogs, show dogs, and police dogs, etc. Speaking of American policy of pet adoption, Kelsey told me, "You need to pay a sum of money when applying for adoption in the US to show your support for the animal shelter. The adoption of Mattingly and Moose cost us some USD 150. My cousin got a purebred bulldog. Though it is very cute, it cost her USD 2,000. And I would rather buy something else for my dogs with such a large sum of money."