The land of sheep and chocolate

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

D Day

Our Furry Children Arrive

There can be few sights more pathetic than a small dog that's been shut inside a wooden box for 36 hours. Dishevelled, bedraggled and smelling like week old laundry, Molly and Jake were presented to us in their crates in a large warehouse building at Wellington airport at the end of their long hard slog to get over here from Margate.

They are quite different and behaved in character. Molly was the most excited King Charles spaniel you could imagine and she squeaked furiously in her crate the moment she saw us. When her door was opened, she leapt frantically into and out of our arms, running between myself and Jo, yapping manically. Poor Lily, ignored by everyone in the excitement, burst out crying with jealousy.

Jake, on the other hand, didn't want to come out of his box and showed few signs of recognising anyone, let alone being pleased to see us. He limped grudgingly across the floor like an old man, glaring at us with a long suffering expression. He'd quite clearly had enough. We were a bit worried about his limp, but the reason soon became clear. On the long grass outside, he did a huge five-minute wee as if he'd been holding it in for the whole time. Poor thing,he's such a good boy he probably had. It was all a bit much for him.

Importing a dog into New Zealand is not something to be undertaken lightly. It costs a fortune and involves several trips to the vet for blood tests and microchipping (for which they use a needle almost as wide as the nozzle on a petrol pump). But the good news is that they don't have to be quarentined, as long as they get the all clear.

Which means that our dogs are now with us and we are glad to have them here. We have been taking them to some of the few places where they are allowed, the rules about dogs being quite strict here. They are not allowed off the lead in public except in a few designated areas and the nearest walk is a car ride away.

It also seems that it is quite easy to have them designated as a problem dog. If a member of the public was to complain about a dog barking at them, the council convenes a hearing and the dog can be labelled as dangerous, meaning they have to be muzzled in public. Molly has already worked out what the postman looks like and our delinquant lap-dog throws herself at the window in a frenzy when he glides past on his bike. I can see trouble ahead and a course of dog-training is on the cards.


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