People (UofC and other) are constantly telling me to "just go to Japan". At this point my response is frustration. Most of them are used to dealing with students who are completely unencumbered by spouse/pets/kids. I try to explain to them that it's not that simple, that my dogs are behavior problem cases and that London in particular, with his fear aggression, is not easy to leave with someone.
I explain, when they express dismay at my owning dogs, that I got dogs before I thought I'd like to study Japan. It may have been a bad decision in light of what I want to do now, but that's sort of irrelevant because I have them now, and I love them in a way I can't explain to people who aren't crazy about their pets.
(People with kids can understand better, oddly enough and I don't even pretend to have the same bond with my dogs as a parent does with their child.)
I can't do the "teach english" programs, as they won't accommodate dogs or even a spouse in most cases. While I am constantly working to find a safe place to leave my dogs for more than a week, I won't ditch j for more than a month. That's just not something I as an individual am capable of (that also might be something people who don't have anxiety disorders find odd. I don't know.)
I can't even afford to take the Japanese language intensive here this summer! I explain. I've financed two master's degrees out of pocket and some of my bachelor's! Do you know what my student debt load looks like? Probably like your mortgage if you live in a really nice house.
I made those choices for a reason (I think...) but it means I am broke, have dogs, and have a j. That's where I am.
Maybe I just don't have what it takes... but if it takes heartlessly putting my dogs somewhere where I don't feel like they'll (and the people/animals around them) will be safe, then I'm okay with that.
So bugger off.