I am now sitting in a hotel in Dubai, believing and hoping that Bear is somewhere nearby. It is late Friday morning here. I join the plane again at 3.30am and arrive in Munich 7.10am Saturday morning.
That means my very next Post will be from Germany.
For those interested in the mechanics of international travel with a dog.
I chose to organise everything through an agent. I selected Jetpets because I have used them for years to hire a crate when travelling along the east coast of Australia with my dogs. And nothing ever went wrong. The crate was always there!
As well, no close friend or relative had a deadly, disastrous tale of neglect to tell. There are several companies that do the job but so far I have had good experiences with Jetpets. The final mark will be given in Munich. Of course!
The two things that I think are necessary when moving a dog around the world are 1. a proficient agent and 2. a client willing and able to spend a fair amount of money on the job.
It is not cheap!!!
For Bear to go from Australia to Germany was/is easy. He needed the general vaccinations that we already do and a rabies shot. The only issue with the rabies shot is having time for it to be incubated. About a month. (This is not an accurate veterinary description of the process)!
The Vets involved must always be specially credited and recognised by AQIS. The paperwork seems to be deadly. Bear was given a Vet check on day of departure and all 12 pages were sent to me. I have not read them...yet. And that is just to leave the country.
Coming back to Australia is going to be a pain in the butt.
The rabies is done and I have had the blood test that lasts a couple of years done for him but there are other vaccinations, many blood tests and strict timelines. You start your "returning home" run about 40 days out. You just don't do what you have to on the AQIS list. You do it on a certain day. And you (ie vet and agent) sign for it.
But when Bear returns quarantine is now just 10 days. It will be in Melbourne but I cannot visit him. A posh hotel with no visiting rights.
Bear HAD to stay 6 hours in Dubai. I do not know whose rule that is. He will be toileted, walked and given some food. But because I need to arrive in Munich Saturday morning to be picked up by Susanne the stopover has turned into 20 hours. Bear probably thinks he has arrived! And his handler probably thinks I am a thoughtless....fool(?) But it is not my fault Dubai airport is open 24 hours and you can be certain that I am not looking forward to my 1am wake up call. Blame the dog!!!
By the way we are flying Qantas A380. Very nice.
I received an email from Bear's Jetpets handler in Melbourne, Fabian, to say what a nice dog he was (I have never met Fabian so I do not know if he Bear was twisting his arm) and most importantly confirming Bear was on his way too. This was an hour before departure. It did settle me so I hope I get one here in Dubai too. My big fear, of course, is that he gets on a plane to some place on the globe that considers animals excess baggage.
How do I feel?
Well, I am exhausted because the last week was hectic and I ended up doing a night with two hours sleep just to get ready by Thursday.
As I predicted, my blase attitude about travelling with a dog has disappeared. As soon as he was picked up by Jetpets Thursday morning I started to worry. And foolishly I worry more about ooh how does he FEEEEEL, than I do about his safety etc. We have travelled quite a bit together and he has always been a calm traveller.
And I am a bit nervous now about my German. It is not good enough. I have not done the homework I should have!
And I am nervous about not looking like a fool with Georg. I admire him so much. He is superb with his dogs. And he is an excellent sheep man. I am not worried about not knowing. There are many things we all do not know. I just do not want to appear to be a clumsy fool who can't learn. And that is an irrational fear I know. I am certain Georg is a good teacher. I have seen his dogs!!!!! And I do not care what Bear thinks. I AM smarter than the average GSD!!!!!
But the biggest feeling is excitement. My plans and dream of the last several years are coming true.
It is the best.