Friday, March 7, 2008

In retrospect, pet fish would have been a good idea

As you probably know, we are the adoring dog parents of two fuzzy freaks we call Livy and Owen. They pretty much dominate our lives with their incessant demands for food, belly scratches, more food, and potty time. Both of these guys got off to a pretty rough start in their lives, and the thought of handing them over to just any loser who answers a "Free to Good Home" ad made us a little nauseated, so we decided to take them with us to New Zealand.

What does shipping two 50 lb mutts to New Zealand entail, you may ask? I get a lot of questions about this, so here is my "Taking your dogs to New Zealand FAQ."

Q: What do you need to do to get them over there?
A: Lots and lots and lots of vet tests over a six month period. And vaccinations. Signed by 10 different vets from six different offices in four different colors of ink, notarized and sealed with the blood of each vet's firstborn child.

Q: Is it true you didn't leave for New Zealand when Chris did because the dogs weren't allowed to travel until April, and you decided to stay with them?
A: Basically, yes.

Q: Isn't that a little weird?
A: Next question, please.

Q: Do they ride on the plane with you?
A: They have to ride in the cargo hold of the plane in a travel crate.

Q: Isn't that going to emotionally scar them for the rest of their lives?
A: Aren't you about done with all of your questions?

Q: Will they have to be quarantined in New Zealand?
A: Yes, for 30 days. They get to be in an indoor/outdoor pen, just the two of them, in a very nice-looking facility, which you can see here. They are allowed treats and toys and their own bedding. They are allowed visits but unfortunately this place is about a 4-5 hour drive from Dunedin, so I'm not sure how well that will work.

Q: 30 days is a long time.
A: Yes, but it used to be six months. It is still six months for certain countries, like South Africa. By comparison, 30 days is a cakewalk.

Q: Is all of this expensive?
A: Yes. Oh, dear Lord, yes.

Overall, the decision to take them is both unbelievably stressful and incredibly comforting at the same time. And look at those fuzzy faces. Like you would just leave them behind?


Anonymous said...

This is Emily, though I am posting as anonymous b/c I have an irrational fear of setting up a blog account (yes, this is despite the fact that I have been harassing Shana for months to set up this blog).

Shana, I must say that I am very impressed with your dog devotion. Perhaps it was a good decision on the part of the dog adoption group to reject me as a dog mom. I'm not so sure I am cut out for all of this.

It may be a bit of a struggle for O & O at first but then there will be sheep for them to chase (and in the case of Olivia - snarl at and perhaps eat), oceans to swim in and lots of rolling green hills to frolick through. All in all, what's a month in quarantine when you have all that to look forward to? If given the choice, I'd seriously consider it.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely would not be able to leave my pets (dog and cat), nor would my husband. We're seriously thinking about moving to New Zealand (both of our scores are good) so this sort of information is great...and definitely not what you get from the official state-sponsored outlets.