Are pets part of your family? Can you leave them behind when you immigrate?
Our choice was to bring them once we had settled. This was three months after our departure. Where do you leave your pets whilst they wait for you? Do they feel abandoned?
Our situation was almost perfect, the tenants at our home offered to take care of the pets, so there was consistency in their home/enviroment after we left. They were also loved and cared for by the tenants daughter. The animals quickly endeared themselves to their foster parents, and letting them go was hard for them, even though the dogs were not always well behaved!!!
This is their statement saying, why have we been left behind!
The DOGS trip involved hopping on a plane travelling from Cape Town to Amsterdam, staying overnight in a doggie hotel and then boarding KLM airline to Lisbon. Thats 14 hours of flight time, in their little cages, not business class or economy, but they arrived. Imagine what went through their minds?
KLM were outstanding, they called several times , talked me through the arrival and collection process, and were totally available to assist.
On the day of their arrival one must report to GROUNDFORCE at the Cargo, one hour after the planes arrival.
There it seems one is at the mercy of whomever assists you, you are charged a LANDING FEE (ours was 65 euro’s), then you take a clearance form to Customs.
Unpredictable what you pay here, but its 3% of the fee paid to fly plus a value of the animal. The lady who assisted me was superb, she helped me structure a fair payment and she was highly efficient and tolerant of our language barrier. The dogs value’s were set at 20 EURO’s. The eventual payment was 1,83 Euros’s, a whopping 500,00 EUROS’ less than I was quoted. Miracle?
Sadly our car was not big enough, otherwise we would have kept the cage that Rex (our Ridgeback) was in. It was paid for but would not fit in our car sadly. So if you want to keep the cage, bring a bigger car to collect your pets.
On their arrival I thought our welcome would have been more memorable and emotional, but the dogs were lethargic and exhausted. Rex (the Ridgeback) came out first, and seemed greatly concerned where Daisy (the boxer ) was. Once she came out and he knew they had not been separated, his mood changed and become animated and loving. Interesting ? They clearly love each other and after their ordeal together they probably grew even closer.
And on the way home, Daisy smiled for the first time, telling us she was happy to be reunited with her humans.
To celebrate their arrival, the skies clapped, and we felt re-united as a family again.
Bruce Mac from Porto the City of Angels