“You’re taking your dog? No, really?” was pretty much the standard reaction we got when we told people the whole family was travelling to Italy. For these of you who don’t know, our family consists of Daisy and Poppie – Bichon Frise dogs which can best be described as small, white, fluffy with attitude.
Thanks to the team at VenturePet in New Zealand, Jean’s diligent research on moving dogs around the world and around $5,000 they made the trip to the UK.
Heathrow's Animal Reception Centre
After we arrived at Heathrow, collected our bags and collected our new Peugeot lease car we drove to the aptly named “Animal Reception Centre” to collect the girls.
This was where all the paperwork, vaccinations and research came together. The wait seemed eternal as other people received their dogs or cats but there was no sign of our girls. There was nothing we could do, we just waited.
Waiting, waiting, waiting ...
The process was complicated by a computer failure at the centre, but eventually we signed everything we needed to and two noisy happy dogs emerged from the bowels of the building.
In true Bichon style we heard them before we saw them but when they arrived the reception centre lobby turned into a sea of swirling white Bichons much to our relief and the amusement of everyone else.
A week later they are displaying no ill effects from the trip apart from a little jet-lag. In fact as I write this, they are both spread eagled on the bed beside me snoring happily.
Jean was so organised before we left that we had an appointment with a vet in our local village. They have now had check ups and we are going through the process of ensuring they are safe from all the bugs that we don’t have in New Zealand, but they do have here – and in Italy.
They also have been issued with genuine EU Pet Passports – so roll on Italy.