Moving to Australia: Baggy’s Story

Last week I concluded my story about how we moved to Australia. If you read the whole series you will know from part six, taking the dog, that we brought our dog, Baggy, out to Australia with us.

This is Baggy……

Baggy went to Australia almost a month before we did. But what that meant was we could pick him up just four days after we had arrived. This is the e-mail that I sent to family and friends back in England after we had picked him up. It is a true story, this really did happen. The title to my email was…..

Sad news about Baggy

Sorry we haven’t emailed any of you yet, but we have only just got a connection and we have had to try to deal with what happened when we got Baggy. We had only been here about 4 days when we went to pick him up. He had been flown in from Sydney into Brisbane, so we went to the cargo pick up point to get him. We handed over the paperwork and proofs and the bloke said we should go round to the gates outside and he would fetch Baggy and bring him to us.

So we did and we found ourselves one side of a wire fence staring at a warehouse door, waiting for Baggy to appear. Then, after a couple of minutes, out he came, being pushed in a crate by the bloke who dealt with us.

Karen and Elizabeth were so excited to see him, they were shouting out stuff, so that he knew we had come to get him. But he really wasn’t responding. As he got closer we noticed he was shaking. His coat looked dirty and he was not responding to us at all. He actually looked to be in a terrible state. He had gone from being a cool laid back dog to a physical wreck in just one month of quarantine.

Beth was confused and Karen pretty much broke down. Now, as Baggy was delivered to us, Karen was shaking too and she kneeled down at the cage and tried to touch him through the holes. “Oh my God what have they done to you!” she cried, she was a broken woman at this stage, I saw a broken woman.

Until I said – “Karen, it’s not our dog. Just stay calm, it’s not our dog”.

Then I looked at the bloke, he looked at the ticket attached to the crate and said – oh, sorry. Then he went back and got Baggy. He was fine when he came out.

What are the chances of that eh? They had a Labrador the same build, size and weight as our dog, but about three years older. He looked a bit past it, but looking back, I can understand why he wasn’t getting too excited about meeting us or being called Baggy.

So they brought the wrong dog out by mistake. But I’m glad they did, it was priceless! I wish I’d videoed it.

For a full chronological list and brief description of all the posts in this series about how I moved to Australia, please visit my page How to Move to Australia.

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{ 32 comments… add one }
  • Lisa July 21, 2018, 10:09 pm |

    This made me cry the whole day. We‘ll move to Australia next year ( from Germany) and will take our Australian Cattle Dog with us. This will be hard times but luckily quarantine is 10 days now.
    Regards from Germany!

    • BobinOz July 23, 2018, 6:39 pm |

      Yes, it’s only 10 days now, so much better for both the pets and their owners. I’m sure your dog will be just fine.

      Yes, I cried too, but they were tears of laughter when I realised it wasn’t our dog 🙂

  • Tina February 27, 2015, 8:06 pm |

    You made me cry! But it’s great it worked well in the end!

    • BobinOz March 1, 2015, 8:59 pm |

      Sorry about that 🙂 All worked out in the end though. Thanks Tina!

  • Hayley August 10, 2014, 10:33 am |

    This has literally made me cry with laughter! You have a great way with words 🙂 I am currently still studying, so figured I will need at least years experience and time to save… The plan is to be at the Gold Coast in 5 years time. Your site and blog and have been such a huge help for me, I know its a while off but I like planning and organising things, things like taking my belongings or buying new had never crossed my mind! Just wanted to say thank you for the information you have put together!

    • BobinOz August 11, 2014, 5:56 pm |

      Hi Hayley

      I think I cried with laughter myself at the time, I’m still smiling now just thinking about it.

      Glad to hear my website is helping you, I hope your five-year plan goes well and you make it to the Gold Coast. Thanks for saying thanks 🙂

      Cheers, Bob

  • Andrea March 22, 2014, 1:56 am |

    Fab news! I was abit worried about a month for my dog as she’s quite nervous! Cheers Bob, how are you enjoying it out there? My hubby is in the army so we are applying for him to transfer over, so fingers crossed! Xx

    • BobinOz March 23, 2014, 9:21 pm |

      Oh, I’m loving it here Andrea, it’s hard not to. Yes, it is good news, 10 days is much more manageable. Good luck with your move, Bob

  • Nancy October 14, 2013, 11:09 pm |

    I am planning to migrate to Sydney Australia and I would love to bring my 2 dogs with me . I am from Malaysia Kuala Lumpur ..any one has gone through this and experience enough to walk me through the process please.

    • BobinOz October 15, 2013, 3:18 pm |

      Well I haven’t Nancy, but hopefully someone else who has might read this and help you out.

      • Andrea March 20, 2014, 11:44 pm |

        Hi Bob, I’m wondering if you could help. Do you know if the rules have changed for shipping your pets over from the Uk? I’m sure I read it was only two weeks quarantine now?thanks xx

        • BobinOz March 21, 2014, 11:24 pm |
        • melanie williams March 4, 2017, 10:37 am |

          How much is the total cost as I have 4 dogs & what is the quarantine time to date please? For Australia Many Thanks

          • Mark March 4, 2017, 4:28 pm |

            The quarantine period is currently 10 days from many countries but there are a whole heap of hoops to jump through before travelling… Now STOP reading there and go and grab something strong to drink……..STOPPED ………………………………… Good OK to continue you may be able to cut a deal on four you should but I imagine your looking at around 13500 US $ or maybe 11000 UK £ even if you do manage a serious deal that flights and quarantine …Shop around on this one it may prove very worthwhile on the cost versus your time…Id even ask the airline for a better price..

  • genna October 19, 2012, 7:16 pm |

    Hey Bob,

    Love the site! Me and my partner are hopefully coming to oz next year, we are just waiting on job conformation. I have a lab cross and Adam has a german shep, we are calculating prices to get them from the UK to Perth. To be honest like most people have said this is a very expensive nightmare however not bringing them is not an option. They are too big to travel together which has put a spanner in already, The german shep gets very anxious and worked up at the best of times!
    In your and your wifes experiance which is the best travel company?: Im holding out on starting this process till we get conformation as i dont want the rabies jabs to expire before they come accross and have to pay again. do the dogs get checked on in flight? thanks 🙂

    • BobinOz October 22, 2012, 7:18 pm |

      Hi Genna

      This is a question best answered by my wife, but she’s on holiday in the UK at the moment. She’ll be back at the end of this week, but I know she knows lots of transport companies and it really depends where you live in the UK as to which one she would recommend.

      Can I suggest you email her directly through her website dogwalks and wait till she gets back so she can answer you? You are right though, expensive but leaving them behind just isn’t an option. Good luck!

  • Lia May 15, 2012, 2:50 am |

    I am moving my dog and cat, and was wondering on the import permit, there is a place for the address in Australia…which we will not know until we are much closer to leaving. What did you or what could we do in order to get this permit without a permanent address downunder?

    • BobinOz May 15, 2012, 8:52 pm |

      You would need a care of address, that’s what we used. You can have a c/o work, c/o relative or friend, or your pet exporters may be able to give you an Australian address to use.

      So if you don’t have any work, relatives or friends address you can use, have a word with your pet exporters, they should be able to help you out.

  • coops February 28, 2012, 4:15 am |

    im on the start of my journey to take my beagle named manis from bali to the netherlands where he can live with me and not in a cage for 6 months quarantine(aqis country) to bring him back to my homeland of australia, is so scarey. i want to be with him all the way and i know the 1 month quarantine will be hard on my snoop dog in australia . the paper work scares me. is it that bad the documetation ?? or just look scarey.

    • BobinOz February 28, 2012, 9:21 pm |

      You are not the first person I’ve heard of who is taking their dog back to Europe first to spare him the six months in quarantine. Six months is a lot. But dogs do seem to cope with one month just fine.

      As for the paperwork, just take it one piece of paper at a time. It’s not so scary.

  • BobinOz March 31, 2011, 1:44 am |

    Hi Teresa

    Sorry for giving you such a scare. Glad you didn’t have a heart attack.

    Funnily enough, I think we did notice a difference in him. He sulked for about two days and then he seemed to take on a new lease of life. A fresh spring in his step. Almost as though he’d been in prison for a month and been released, and was happy to be free again.

    But then again, I suppose you or I would feel great after spending a month locked up, just to be able to walk free in the garden again….

    Check out the banner, top right on this page and every page for Dog Walks. It’s my wife’s business, she looks after dogs in quarantine here in Australia, she will help your Lab through it all.



    • moire March 5, 2012, 2:41 pm |

      Hi Bob, just read your story. We are about to book our dog Boris on a flight to quarantine in Melbourne. He is nine years old and a rescue dog. I read a story a few years back about a family in the west country where I live who sent their pet dog out to Australia. Sadly he died in transit due to not being given any water to drink. I can’t stop thinking about it and am worrying that the same thing might happen to our dog. Do you know if this has happened to any other dog? Also do you know of any pet shippers who do not give a good service – is there a web site where I can check them out? Many thanks, Moire

      • BobinOz March 6, 2012, 9:23 pm |

        Hi moire

        My wife runs a company called DogWalks, they walk dogs and visit them whilst they are in Australian quarantine. She has never heard of a dog dying in transit due to having no water. So I wouldn’t worry about that.

        She also tells me that you should get in touch with a company called Pet Air UK, they are down your way. Speak to Catherine or Bob, Bob is a vet. They will look after you, or, more importantly, Boris.

        Not sure why you would want a list of bad pet shippers, surely you just need one good one?

        Good luck to you, and Boris.

  • Teresa March 30, 2011, 1:28 am |

    Just wanted to let you know that your article nearly gave me a heart attack! LOL. We are planning a move from the US to Sydney later this year with our 16 week old black lab (he will be 9 months when we move). So, when I got to the part of the article where the dog was a wreck I was really worried about the effect that the move would have on our darling dog. Thank God it had a happy ending!

    Just a question though – did you see any changes in your dog after the quarantine?

    • Sarah Kay July 9, 2012, 7:42 pm |

      Hi Theresa,

      I was wondering how your pup did with the move. We are moving our lab at the end of Oct. I am really worried about her being in quarantine and in the heat without us.

      Anyway, any advice would be great. I hope you are loving Oz!

      • Teresa July 10, 2012, 1:11 am |

        Hi Sarah

        Unfortunately our move fell through and we are still here in the US, so I have nothing to share. I am still hopeful that we will be able to move back at some point as I miss Australia a lot!

        If we do go, we now have two labs to move!

        Good luck with your move

  • BobinOz May 3, 2010, 8:55 pm |

    Yes, there was fear and sadness alright, but coupled with relief and laughter all in one. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way, it was one of those moments that make life so alive.

    And I now have tears of laughter just telling the story, to anyone who’ll listen. Thanks Jen, hope your transplant goes well 🙂

  • Jen Ray May 3, 2010, 5:34 am |

    As a future transplant to Australia, I really enjoyed your posts. However, this one where you finally get to pick up your dog….I almost cried. There were tears welling in my eyes thinking about you and your family, whom I’ve never met, yet can imagine the fear and sadness. So GLAD that your dog was just fine. Hope all continues to be well!

  • BobinOz March 24, 2010, 4:57 pm |


    Hey, that’s really sad. I know how we would have felt had we left our dog behind, I don’t think my wife would have made it. It was very expensive for us, around £3000, but worth every penny.

    I’m not sure what it would cost to bring your dog over from the USA, but as with most things, I would bet it works out cheaper than it did for us bringing our dog from England.

    I guess the first thing you’ll need to do is telephone and find out the cost of flying your dog out to Australia, that is going to be the most expensive item. For us that was £1800 of the bill. Next your dog will need to go through a series of exams and tests with a vet and probably get tagged electronically. He needs a clean bill of health to get in.

    When he gets here, he’ll need to enter quarantine for a period of time. For our dog, it was four weeks but it may be more for you if you come from an area where rabies is a possibility. I’m not sure about the USA, but I know Canada have slightly stricter rules imposed on their dogs coming in because of this.

    My wife knows far more about it than I do, as she arranged our dog’s move. So if I were you I would check with a USA vet about the costs of those tests and check the flight costs (look for dog exporters in the USA) and then if you still want to go ahead and need more help, come back here and ask. But in truth, the vet should be able to guide you through everything.



    • amanda March 11, 2012, 7:30 pm |

      OMG how funny that story was about BAGGY, i was thinking that BAGGY had freaked out in the cargo and had gone downhill all in the space of reading
      i am so glad it had a happy (ending) start to his life in Australia ! xx

      • BobinOz March 13, 2012, 12:56 am |

        That’s what my wife thought too! Luckily, he was fine.

  • lakoda March 24, 2010, 12:28 am |

    Hello i have moved to australia and would love more then anything to havem my dog gunner here with me i miss him very very much it is sd that i can be here with him i know he is sad the friends he is staying with say he is always looking out the window when he heres a bike go by he remembers me coming home on my bike does nyone know how much it would cost to send him here from the U.S i dont even know were to start plaese if you have info HELP thank you so much

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