First, I want to thank folks for their comments. I'm really excited about moving. It's going to take at least six months to be ready to leave. Moving the dogs is proving to be the most difficult barrier to overcome. By the way, in answer to Gledwood(I'm not yet sure of the best way to answer direct Q's posed in comments. Should I answer here in my post, or directly contact person commenting?) I guess I can't say for certain that their feet "burn" exactly. But something bad happens because they start hopping around on two feet at a time, switching it up every 30 seconds or so. Most of the time they will refuse to walk if it is too cold, or snowy, or wet and salty. Then we end up carrying them home, each of us holding three at a time, which is not easy. We've tried the little booties but their feet are so small and their legs are dainty and they inevitably fall off in the snow; even when they are snugly strapped on it makes them walk kind of like prancing horses. I guess I just figured it must burn because that is what it feels like for me when I have a cut on my hand and touch something salty or citrus-laced. But I kind of treat my pets like people and assume that they feel what I feel.I'm convinced that animals are a lot smarter than most people give them credit for. But you must have a lot of experience with witnessing animals doing things that you would never think they would be capable of. I bet we would be amazed at some of the stuff your little critters do. Some folks write about how animals don't have emotions and that always bothers me. They seem to have emotions to me, they certainly get bored and they show fear and they get stressed, right? Maybe I'm one of those crazy animal people. I do have little sweatshirts and jackets for my dogs for when it's really cold. They are also trained to go to the bathroom in a litter box inside. That way if it's really cold or when we're at work, they can still do their thing. With six of them, that's a lot of poop to pick up if there were not a specific location for them to go. they're pretty good about it too. Sorry to go on and on about doggie bathroom habits and emotions. Besides work, our dogs take up the majority of our time.
On another note, it's really hard to find information on shipping the dogs by boat from California. I've got a few leads on some shipping companies that will ship our car and some other belongings. We're thinking about having our car shipped about a month before we leave so that it gets there about the same time we do. It seems like having our car there is going to be important. If it were just a crappy beater I might not bother, but it's still a decent car. Then we were thinking of renting a vehicle to drive from Vermont to California and we're still trying to figure out if we can all (dogs included) take a boat from there or is flying the better option. I'm really not down with flying the dogs in the cargo hold of a plane which seems to be the norm. I don't think they would deal well with that. I figure there has to be an option to go by boat. How do people get horses overseas? They couldn't fly them, right? In the very least I think I'm going to learn a lot throughout this adventure. It's definitely time for a drastic change. I've been in Vermont for, like, ten years or so and I'm ready to move on.
It's okay if jobs are scarce on the Island. Neither one of us is picky about what we do. I plan on finishing school part-time and aside from that, I'll work nights at a gas station if I have to. A job is a job when you have to pay rent. I'll clean hotel rooms or whatever I have to do. And Mikey can blow glass and it seems like glass pipes might be easy to sell there because there seems to be a lot of people who smoke buds and tourists probably need pipes for their vacations because they don't want to fly with their own from home. Pretty much wherever we go we can always sell glass it seems. But hopefully we will have enough saved to live for a few months in case jobs are harder to find than we anticipate. Please don't hesitate to leave comments about anything to do with traveling overseas, especially with pets - and especially Hawaii bound. Thanks to all.