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Monday, 16 July 2012

Cara is in Colorado! At last!

I can't believe that it's been over a month since I last posted!  Good grief!  Lots of things are (and have been) happening here.  The most exciting is that Cara, aka Zara, is in Colorado living the good life!  What a ridiculous amount of work to get her there though! 

The worst problem was that US customs in Denver would not accept her after 3:30PM.  And there were no flights from Calgary to Denver that got in before 3:30!  They wanted me to ship her to Toronto, have her stay the night in a kennel there, then catch a flight from Toronto to Denver.  It would mean she would be in transport for 24 hours!!  NOT!!  It's just over 3 hours from Calgary to Denver! 

So, my loving husband came up with a wonderful plan.  He said, why don't we drive her across the border and send her from Montana!  Good idea!  I started making arrangements and trying to figure out where we could send her from, and what time she'd arrive at.  I finally had it all figured out when I realized our passports had expired!!  So!  Off to the passport office to apply for express passports!  It cost extra money but at least we could keep everything on schedule.

 I still had to get Cara to the vet for her rabies shot and a health certificate before we could take her across the border.  I had that scheduled for Thursday and we were leaving Friday morning early.  Then comes the bad news.  We can't ship her to Denver due to the heat wave.  There was an embargo on pets.  AND... the US airlines won't accept a health certificate from a Canadian vet, it has to be a US vet!!!  Are you kidding me!!  We are leaving Friday.  It takes 11 hours to get to the destination and she has to be at the airport at 4:30 in the morning!  How on earth are we going to get her to a US vet? and where can we ship her to if not Denver??  Since I had so many things on my plate, I asked Cara's new owner to figure out the flight plan.  She figured out we could fly her to Salt Lake City which was a 7 hour drive for her to pick her up.  I figured out we could call vets along the route once we crossed the border and see if we could get an appointment as we drove!  Cara's new owner was also able to find us a vet 35 miles south of the border that was willing to write a health certificate and quickly send us on our way.  I couldn't believe how many things could possibly go wrong with trying to get this dog to Colorado.  I have shipped many dogs to the States before.  I took the dog/puppy to the vet... took the puppy to the airport and said a tearful goodbye.  All this rigamaroll was ridiculous!  It seemed that absolutely everything was not working out.  It was one of those things where you wonder whether you're supposed to be doing it or not?  Was someone trying to tell me something??  It ended up being one of those challenges for me.  The kind that you said "I don't care how long or how hard this is, I'm going to do it anyway!" 

On our way!

When we got to the border, I was so worried that I might have forgotten papers, or didn't know I was supposed to do something that I didn't do, that I couldn't even talk properly to the border control officer.  He asked where I was going and why.  I said something like "We're on our way to  Great Falls, no Billings, no Great Falls to put this dog on a plane to Denver, no Salt Lake City."  And why are you doing that?  "Because that's where her owner is"  Well why do you have her dog?  "Well she's, actually my dog but she's going to be her dog"  So you sell dogs?  Yes.  When did you sell this dog?  "In May".  So she isn't your dog then?  "Well, she is, well I guess she isn't now, but she was my dog"  So you're taking somebody else's dog over the border?  No, well, yes, but she used to be, oh never mind!  I'm nervous and can't talk!!  You're nervous?  Why are you nervous?  "Because you're making me nervous!!"  He smiled and waved us on.  Oh good grief!!!  As we entered Montana, I breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Stopping for a lunch and pee break

We found the vet after about 3 phone calls.  Turns out they were in the industrial section of the town.  (Who puts a vet in an industrial section?)  Cara received a clean bill of health from the vet and we were on the road again.  She was a trooper the whole way down and she behaved herself admirably at the hotel and everywhere else we went.  I'm often grabbed in a parking lot because of all the advertising on my Jeep.  This happened many time while I had Cara with me.  Often times the conversations would last up to a half hour in length.  She was such a good puppy.  Instead of getting antsy and becoming a pest, she would first sit, then eventually lie down and go to sleep!

Up at 3:30AM to get her to the airport!  We arrived in lots of time but do you think she'd go pee?  Of course not.  It didn't matter how I explained it to her, she just wasn't having anything to do with it.  So, off she went.  In the crate that had to have metal screws instead of plastic, absorbent bedding but not shavings, a water dish with water in it, a food dish that wasn't allowed to have food in it and toys that were not bones, or edible in any way.  (And that's a whole other story!)  I cried like a baby most of the day.  I was expecting to hear that she arrived safe and sound around 9:00AM.  By 11:00AM I still hadn't heard anything.  I was going crazy.  I finally called and found out she had made it safe and sound and the owner had left a message on both my home and cell phones.  I think I probably turned off roaming and one too many other things on my phone so Telus wouldn't charge me absorbatent amounts of money while I was in the US.  The call and message never did come through on my cell phone but there was a happy message on my home phone when I got back.
I've had many updates since she's been gone and Susan is extremely happy with her. I've asked for a picture or two so I can update this blog.

After we dropped Cara at the airport, we went back to the hotel for a nap!  It had been a very hectic week getting everything ready to go.  After that well deserved nap, we spent the next day and a half visiting the sites.  Including the First People's Buffalo Jump where Mark was almost bitten by a rattle snake!  And that's another story...

JUST before the rattle!