Monday, October 5, 2015

Husky On Board

As you know, we brought our 80-lb huskamute Pup with us to the holy land.  It was never a question of whether or not to bring him- he is part of our little family, and we stick together like the codependent nuts we are.

Regarding the logistics, the amount of time, money and sanity that I lost during the process is laughable.  Here are some notes so that others may be spared the ulcers and eye twitches that I had to endure.

Husky Pup Travel Checklist (see here)
1. Proof of Rabies Vaccination, Confirmed via Titer Test
Obviously!  What sort of pet owner doesn't vaccinate for rabies?  And surely it won't be hard to get this confirmed.

2. Electronic Microchip
Well of course if you're dragging your pup halfway around the world you'll want to keep tabs on him, so you've already microchipped him and are good to go here!  Right?

3. Certificate of Heath from your USDA Certified Vet (Endorsed by USDA)
No worries, your pup is healthy, and the certificate has to be signed and filed within 2-10 days of travel so there's no real rush.  Did you even need to start all of this paperwork three months in advance?  Probably not, but geez, better early than late!  You are so on the ball it's sickening.

4. Airline-Appropriate Crate
Done and Done.

Luckily he likes small cozy spaces, so he got used to his crate quickly.

Husky Pup Travel Checklist Reality Check
1. Proof of Rabies Vaccination, Confirmed via Titer Test
Oh, there's only one lab in the US that is USDA certified for titer tests?  In Kansas? And it takes up to 6 weeks to get results?  That's ok, we have plenty of time.

2. Electronic Microchip
Oh crap, the Pup's microchip isn't international?  That's ok, you can just get him re-microchipped.  What do you mean, he'll need to get re-vaccinated for rabies if he gets a new microchip?  Do microchips cancel out rabies vaccines?  Does the vet use old needles from the wild raccoon section of animal control for microchipping? Fine, you'll just re-vaccinate him then... WUT, then you have to wait 30 days before doing the titer test?  And then wait 6 more weeks for Kansas to get back with the results? That's cutting it awfully close.  Ugh, fine, you'll just pay $300 for a scanner and bring it along with you.  This doesn't solve the issue of what happens if your Pup makes a break for it in Israel, but whatevs, you can worry about that later.

3. Certificate of Heath from your USDA Certified Vet (Endorsed by USDA)
LOL there are like 4 USDA certified vets in South Jersey and they are all ignoring your calls!  Great, your old vet in California wrote down the wrong microchip number on the Pup's files and now the new USDA vet is like, how do I even know that these files are for this husky, the microchip number is one digit off so I can't do the health certificate and maybe we need to re-do all of his vaccinations.  Meanwhile the CA vet is like, we refuse to fix the mistake on our paperwork for no good reason!  Ha!  You eat three packages of snack cakes and cry on the couch, then call the microchipping service and both vets in infinite loop until somehow it works out at the last possible minute.

4. Airline-Appropriate Crate
Your Pup chews up all the bedding in the crate and then gets an intestinal blockage requiring surgery.  Just to keep things interesting.

Long story short... hire a pet transport service.  It's gonna be expensive no matter which way you do it, and their experience is worth way more than you're paying.  With all of the above drama, we'd have never been able to get Pups onto the plane on our own, but even if things had gone smoothly there are still so many little steps, such as endorsing the paperwork and filing with the USDA and Israel (remember, Israel has a different work week than the U.S.!), that we didn't have to worry about since we had someone who knew exactly how to fill it out, what the possible hurdles would be, and how to deal with the roadblocks as they arose.  We used Premier Pet Relocation and and I cannot recommend them highly enough.

Such a pain in the ass...

But worth it! :)

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