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Tuesday, 31 October 2006

I used to have a dog

I miss my dog. A lot. I want to get her in December and bring her here, but that requires some logistical work. For starters, if I bring the dog, that's a commitment on my part to stay (at least) another year. How will I do that? Can I get a residency someplace? Should I do the MA program at the conservatory? Would they let me in?

Does The Netherlands quarantine pets? If so, can I just take her via France? (France does not quarantine.) Would it be easier on her to rent a car, drive to NYC and fly from there rather than flying from Los Angeles or San Francisco? (If I drive to the East Coast, can I get some gigs on the way?) How much would such a car trip cost?

Can I give her drugs that will make the flight less terrifying? What are the chances the drugs would harm her? What are the chances the trip would harm her? How loud is it in the cargo hold? How often do they forget to heat it? How often do dogs die in transit? Is there a way I can mess with her walking schedule (for example) to make the trip less traumatic? How many hours will she have to spend in a little box?

Will The Netherlands require her health certificate to be diplomatically certified? Can I use the same one that I will use to get her on the plane? (France needs a specific form which must be translated, and the airline needs to have one that's 3 days old or less, so if I take her via NYC to France I need to first get a certificate from a west coast vet, get that translated, then go to NYC and get another certificate to fly.)

Do dogs need visas?

I didn't take her last time because I thought the trip would be too traumatic and anyway, I was only going to be gone for a year. Having a dog in a big city can be something of a hassle. She needs to run and there's not a good place in Paris (except the park where the Eifel Tower is has a lot of running dogs in the evening). On the other hand, there's places here and I can take her just about everywhere with me: cafés, bookstores, etc, although maybe not to class. Maybe I can get a biiiiiig basket for the front of my bike and take her around with me on the bike, even though she's a bit too large for the tram.

I think of her alone and terrified in the dark, loud cargo hold of the plane and it makes me sad. So I think about getting another dog here, maybe a small one that would fit in a duffel bag that I really could bring everywhere (even to class if s/he could stay quiet in a bag). A dog small enough to carry on a plane if I need to fly home at the end of the year. But I have a dog! (sorta) The best dog! I just don't want her to get hurt or too scared. And I don't want to go to all that trouble of cross country driving plus vet certificates, shipping case and blah blah blah just to have her here until June and then go back to the US.

I wish I could just buy a seat for her.

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1 comment:

Polly Moller said...

I hear what you're saying. When I was ten, my family moved to the Philippines for 6 months and took our dog Samson with us. It was on the way back that it became awful for him. In Hawaii they said he couldn't come into the US and he would have to be quarantined. I saw his carrier sitting on the tarmac and he was barking as loud as he could. I was freaking out and sobbing uncontrollably, and so was Will. Finally something was worked out and he was allowed back on the plane and flew back to SF with us. But it was harrowing for the humans, so Goddess knows what it was like for him.