My sister has had care of Thor for the past four years but he has been having “disagreements” with her new pit bull, as in, Thor thought they were playing while the pit bull thought they were fighting to the death, so he was given back to me. While Thor is a great dog, we no longer have any dog accessories, and, also, not insignificantly, live in a completely different country.
Wendy and I approached two different dachshund rescue sites but they suck and couldn’t find a home for him in three months.
By the time we are ready to leave, we have decided to keep him, because, well, he’s the best dog ever. Plus, I thought he would be a good trial baby. How would having this dog affect our lifestyle? Multiply that times ten and you have a baby, so, let’s see how that goes.
Thor needs all kinds of official paperwork to let him travel from the U.S. to the European Union, but I have that all under control. The week before the wedding, I race him down to the vet for the all important rabies shot that has to happen four weeks before we leave. My vet assures me that he has done this before and knows exactly what paperwork needs to be filled out. He tells me to return with Thor two days before leaving for the rabies check-up and for final paperwork.
Two days before we leave, Wendy and I are congratulating ourselves on the fact that we seem incredibly ahead of schedule. Every time we travel from the U.S. to Spain and vice-versa someone throws a major wrench into our schedule at the last moment, causing us to run around like crazy people. But not this time! We are prepared and packed! Excellent!
We take Thor to the vet for his final paperwork and we are not impressed by what they give us. They haven’t even filled half of it out and, when we ask about the Department of Agriculture vet signature that we need, they look at us blankly. ARGH!
As a result, I spend our last two days driving all over two states desperately trying to correct our lack of documentation. I drive to west armpit New York, take a left and drive fifty miles towards the middle of nowhere. I meet with a very tiny, sweet girl vet who looks like a senior in high school. But, in fact, she knows this stuff inside and out, is correctly certified by the Department of Agriculture, and does everything in her power to make sure Thor can come to Spain with us. I get lost on the way home and have to call Wendy to find out how to escape New York since a big lake separates the two states and they have recently blown up the closest bridge home. I can’t make this shit up.
Sadly, even this is not enough. I have to get more paperwork from the local vet in the morning and then drive to the border of Canada to have the Dept of Ag. vet officially sign and stamp it.
This is the beginning of the nightmare I am imagining.
We live on the fifth floor. We have no elevator. Thor has tiny little legs and is five pounds overweight. I am fifteen pounds overweight. I do not relish the idea of going up and down all those stairs, every day, carrying Thor. And he’ll be freaked out by the city, the apartment, the food, new noises. Everything. How are we going to go on weekend trips with Lena and Stefan? Our whole life is going to change.
But we love him like our own child, so, what are we going to do?
FAA Regulations say that they cannot board a dog when the temperature is above 85 degrees. As we drive the three and a half hours to Boston the car’s outside thermometer keeps going up.
“It’s only supposed to be eighty-seven today and it’s already ninety-one.”
“Great. Now it’s ninety-three.”
It is one hundred degrees when we arrive. It is the hottest day of the entire summer. Welcome to your new life with a practice child!
Perhaps my sister-in-law can come pick him up and ship him later? Perhaps they will hold him until a later flight when it is cooler? Perhaps I can stick him in my shirt and just look like a fat guy? Maybe I can bribe someone?
To be continued...