Step two was figure out a shipping method. We thought about trying to ship the dogs ourselves, but that was looking like a nightmare, and not the safest way for the animals. We decided on a pet transport service. Since we were traveling in the hot summer months this was especially good for the pets because they were in climate controlled areas the entire time. I had visions of them sitting on the tarmac for hours and than just made me ill. Because we were flying out of SLC, it made transporting them especially difficult as their crates are huge and only really big airplanes take that type of crate. These big planes don't come into SLC very often due to the size of our airport. Starwood Pet Service was great about working with all of these issues. They also gave us lots of options to cut the price down as far as we could.
Step Three: Crates. The British have higher standards than the U.S. on pet transport crates, therefore we had to acquire ginormous traveling hotels for the animals. The animals must be able to turn around fully without touching the sides of the crate and the ceiling must be 3-4 inches above their head. We bought the biggest crate that PetSmart carries, usually meant for St. Bernards. Me, Puck and my brother could fit inside one of these babies. Now, could we have gotten a smaller crate? Maybe, but if the British customs people don't think the crate meets requirements it's a $10,000 fine, plus the dog may not clear customs. So, with 3 animals coming through, we decided not to take any chances.
The day before we left we dropped the dogs off at a boarding facility in Salt Lake near the airport. Our flight was on Sunday, but the dogs didn't fly till Tuesday, because they had to wait for a big plane to fly them and their mobile hotels. It was so hard to leave them at the facility, knowing that I wouldn't see my babies until we were all on the other side of the world. And when we left Puck started barking. It broke my heart. (Yes, I am one of those people who are completely attached to their animals.) At least the lady who was in charge of them on the SLC end was great. She seemed to really know her stuff.
Before the animals caught their flight on Saturday, we were sent pics. They all look so happy. I'm pretty sure they had no idea what was about to happen.
"Oh, are we going on Holiday?" Daisy's last words.
Not a care in the world.....
Merlin is never happy in a carrier. He sounds like he is headed toward his death every time we put him in one.
We received word that they had landed safely in New York (JFK). They boarded there and then flew to London. The next pictures paint a much different picture. When we got them we laughed and felt bad all at the same time. They look like their whole world got turned upside down.
Daisy is so sad in this picture.
They are like: "What is happening to us?!"
But, this all has a very happy ending. The Animals arrived, and they cleared customs!!!!! All the work, and worry paid off. Now we have our little furbies (fur-babies, thanks Nicki) safe and sound in London. It's still weird to see them running in the park. I never thought I would see my poodles frolicking in England, and yet, here they are.