It’s been a while since I posted one of my Australia and New Zealand magazine articles here on this blog. Or, to be more precise, it’s almost 2 months since I reprinted my sixth contribution to the magazine which you can read in my post called How to Completely Change Your Life!
So, about time I printed another one. This article appeared in the magazines “Winter” edition, which came out around Christmas time.
Here’s a photo of the top of the magazine article, clearly you can see me along with a picture of my trusty dog, Baggy, on the right.
The magazine used a Chocolate Labrador from the dog modelling world instead of a picture of my slightly more greying old boy, who is now just a tad over 13 years old.
But using the image of a strange and unknown dog is very suitable in this case, as you’ll see when you read the article.
Article 7 – Taking the Dog
So, you’ve done all of your research and you’ve decided that Australia is the place for you. So you take a deep breath and decide “yes, I’m going to go for it!”
But hold on, what about the dog? What are you going to do with Scooby Doo? Well, of course you’re going to take him. He’s part of the family. He’s a good boy. Good boy Scooby Doo! You’ve got to take him, you love him very much.
Yes, you better had love him very much, because that love is about to be sorely tested. Vets fees, kerching! Microchipping, kerching! Import permit fees, kerching! Quarantine accommodation, kerching! Exportation service fees, kerching! And then there is the cost of the flight!
Booking a flight for Scoobs is, kind of, the last thing on the list. By the time you get to this stage, generally speaking you will already be numb. The sort of numbness you get when sitting in the dentist’s chair after an injection. You know it should hurt, but you just can’t feel anything.
You’d be numb because by now you’ll have spent something like £1200 or £1300. Now you’re booking flights. Here’s what happened when we booked ours.
One way flights for me, my wife, our daughter and double baggage, total weight around 260 kg, £1351.60.
And now the dog. Yes, one Baggy (that’s his name), just 35 kg. No baggage, not even any hand luggage, no in-flight meals, no breakfast at The Savoy before departure. Just one, one-way ticket, £1923.50. Outrageous!
So all in, you could be looking at around £3000 depending on the size of your dog. Do you know how many new dogs you could buy with that kind of money? Apparently it doesn’t work like that. But was it worth it? Of course! Remember, you are leaving everything behind; family, friends, relatives and so much more. Don’t leave the dog behind. You will regret it.
Your dog will have to spend 30 days in Australian quarantine. Dogs get through it just fine. We can say that with some authority because my wife now runs a company called Dogwalks which offers dog walking, dog care and dog treats in Australian quarantine. She has helped hundreds come through.
That said, this is what happened to our dog when he’d finished his stint “inside”. He was flown from Sydney to Brisbane where we went to collect him from the airport.
After handing over the paperwork we were asked to go stand one side of a wire fence opposite the storage warehouse and wait for Baggy to appear. Then, after a couple of minutes, out he came, being pushed in a crate.
My wife and daughter were so excited to see him, they were shouting out to let him know we had come to get him. “Baggy! Baggy!” But he really wasn’t responding. As he got closer we noticed he was shaking and his coat looked dirty. 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. And he didn’t even recognise us!
By the time Baggy was in front of us, my wife was shaking too as 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.
Until I said “Karen, it’s not our dog.” Then I looked at the bloke, he looked at the ticket attached to the crate and said “Oh, sorry.” Seems there was another Lab, same age, same size. Who’d have thought it?
He went back and got Baggy, who was just fine. And now, so was the wife.