We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Living the dream- Sending Sam and Leo ( our dogs) to Italy

The move to Venice is about a month away, and I have been diligently ticking off items on the Extrication plan- well, let's face it, it's a giant To-Do List. One of the most pressing items left on the list is to work out how we will get our dogs Sam and Leopold shipped over. Everyone asks us if we will leave them here. NO WAY! These are our boys, no matter what herculean effort is necessary, they are making this move with us. But- I want the move to be as easy on them as possible. Sam is going on 12 yrs old-- he's the old man of the family. I need them to be handled with care and I need them to arrive safely.

Like almost every other item I've had to tackle, there has been a lot of information to plow through about how to transport animals, and subsequently a lot of decisions to make. Almost overwhelming. I've gotten through what appears to be the information gathering stage. I have one more phone call to Lufthansa to check out their policies. After that, I think we can make the decisions necessary.

First of all, we needed to learn the requirements for bringing the dogs into the country. The necessary documents have to be presented to the Italian consulate before we can take them. The dogs need to be micro chipped by our vet, and also the vet must complete a certification indicating the dogs are in good health and all inoculations are up to date.

Decisions about how to fly them over include a) fly them as excess baggage on the same flight we are on, b)fly them as unaccompanied cargo on a different flight, or c) obtain a transport service who will move the dogs from home to destination for us, and also handle the necessary paper work.

Obviously our preference would be to have them on the same flight with us. There's a huge level of comfort for us knowing that they will be with us the whole way. There's also a huge amount of nervousness about how they will do down in the cargo hold. We are learning that there are pet friendly airlines who will take care of things like walking them during flight layovers and making sure they are fed. Then there are other airlines who just make sure they are loaded onto the plane and that's it. Also, we are flying in January, and many airlines will not fly the dogs if the temperature outside is below 45 degrees. I can totally understand that. And that also creates a dilemma--- what if, on the day we have tickets for the temp drops below that? We can fly but the dogs have to be left behind. In the immortal words of Pietro Paprizzio (from my favorite Casanova movie)--- "Oh, Calamity!!"

When we have this one figured out ( soon !!), I'll post the results. And for sure I will post a picture of Sam and Leopold arriving in Venice. That will be a happy day for all of us!

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