A Happy Reunion

While we had a great time exploring Dublin last week, the real reason for our trip up north was to be reunited with our precious dog. Bota has been part of our family for 7 years, longer than our human children, so we’ve been feeling incomplete without our fur-baby. Turns out, it is quite the process to import an animal over international lines–even if the animal in question happens to be the sweetest, happiest Border Collie you’ve ever met.

Besides the mountains of paperwork that needed to be completed, there were several vet appointments and certifications that had to happen within a few days of her arrival in Ireland. And, since we happen to already be in Ireland, my *dear* family that remained state-side got to sort through the logistical nightmare that is “moving a dog internationally”. I think I nearly gave my poor mom a panic attack (and added about 10,000 miles to her car) with all of the last-minute “glitches” that came up. In the end, though, a lot of prayer and fast driving got Bota to the airport just in time for her flight to Ireland, with all of the correct paperwork signed by all of the correct personnel.

From Seattle she flew via air-cargo to Atlanta, where she was kenneled and spent the night. The next morning she boarded her next flight into Dublin.  To our great horror, though, when the handler from the veterinarian in Dublin went to meet Bota’s flight, they had no record of her being on board–so the handler returned to the veterinary hospital to inform us to “not be alarmed, but your dog can’t be found.”

Ummm…don’t be alarmed? How can you lose a DOG? She’s in a kennel the size of a small house, she barks, and I’m assuming she may have even smelled a bit at this point in her journey. My first thought was of my husband’s luggage that could not be located on his last trip out to Ireland. It took the airline an entire month to find it (it was in Chicago, a city he had never gone to. Go figure). If it takes them a month to find our dog, that could be bad news. Needless to say, we were not-so-mildly freaking out at this point. And, to make matters worse, it was early enough in the morning that nobody was in their offices either here in Ireland nor in the United States so we couldn’t find a single human being to help us.

Luckily (for the people working at the airline), it took less than a month to find our missing dog. Apparently she had been “reassigned” (whatever that means) on her flight into Dublin. As a result of her being reassigned, she was not on the flight manifest so nobody knew where to look for her on the aircraft. Seems like a pretty major oversight to me, to lose a living being. I think the airline may need a better system going forward. Just sayin’. After the airline located our dog, we had to hang out for awhile longer so the courier could drive back to the airport and do her entry vet exam. Now that we could all breathe again, we decided to wait outside the veterinary hospital and have some snacks in the grass.

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As they say, though, “all’s well that ends well”. After what seemed like an eternity, the van holding our precious cargo pulled up to the vet hospital and we got our first glimpse of our (not-too-distressed) dog.

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I think the vet could tell that Jon was about ready to kill somebody if he didn’t get his dog soon, so the vet made quick work of the entry exam and then released her into our custody. I don’t know who was happier–us or Bota–but there was definitely a lot of excitement in the air as we were finally reunited.

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Shortly after we got Bota it was time to drive 3 hours back to Cork so we could show Bota her new home. Since we only have 1 small car here, we rented an extra car just for the drive back home. Bota got to ride shotgun with Jon since her kennel took up the whole back seat of the car–I think she preferred this arrangement to the cold, hard cage in the belly of a jet plane. Especially since Jon stopped at Burger King to get her a hamburger. Spoiled little thing.

The boys had a great time showing Bota around their new house and throwing balls for her in our yard (we’ve already lost half of our balls over the neighbor’s fence, so I guess we’re going to get to know them pretty well now).

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Welcome to Ireland, Bota! We’re so glad you’re here!

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