The Pets Arrive in Malta!!!
I work with an animal rescue back home named Angels Among Us Pet Rescue. I’ve leaned on them for advice, support and comfort through this process. Two of my four pets come from their rescue; Sophie the cat and Charlie the dog. Kaiya came from an ad on Craigslist that my friend caught. She was such a treasure to find. Heidi came from the pet store.
The deal with animals as family pets:
You are either an animal person, or you aren’t. Either you totally get my emotions with all of this, or you think I’m crazy for going to such lengths for them. They are our babies. They are our family. We couldn’t do this move without them. It was never a discussion for any of us on this matter. I am so thankful to have a husband who sees our pets the way I do. Even more, I am tremendously thankful that my husbands company values our pets as family the way we do as well. You don’t find that very often.
It takes time and effort to find exactly the right pets for your family. We have been incredibly lucky to have four animals who all love each other, love our children, love us and are happy, well adjusted loving pets. We could never have left any of them behind just because we were moving outside of the country. Every bit of this process will be worth it when those babies come through the front door.
Thankfully, I have so many people in my life that really grasp the stress and anxiety this has caused me trying to get all four animals halfway across the world. It has been months and months of paper work, vetting, appointments, excitement, disappointment, turning the cat into a therapy cat which has to be done through a doctor, and finally the arrival of all of them.
As you know, the cat came with me in cabin and arrived with us on the 6th when we did. The original plan was for the dogs to be shipped before our flight left on the same day. They were supposed to arrive not too long after we did. We were supposed to get all their finalized paper work and vetting done that had to be completed within a 48 hour time period. Instead, the dogs were not able to catch a flight for an additional 8 days after us. My mom kept them with her at her house. The pet courier had to go over and pick them up and take them to their final vet appointments and finish all the paperwork without us. When I say paperwork, I mean that the final pet health certificate had to be sent off to the USDA office and it had to be overnighted with an envelope inside already paid to overnight back to you. If any of that slipped up, the dogs would have to start over and the flight would have to be cancelled. Everything was on timing for this to work. Sleeping in our new house without dogs has felt so empty and way too quiet. Though, I doubt or new neighbors would agree!
The dogs arrived extremely stressed and all had wet their pads beneath so they smelled like they came out of a barn. I will never know what their process was like. I do know that I was incredibly lucky to have pet people waiting at each and every gate for the pups. When they arrived in Malta our guy had fresh water waiting for them. At the Atlanta airport she had ice cubes she put in their bowls and walked them before they had to go back. What I also know is that they had to be there hours ahead for check in and the layover was incredibly long. It was a daunting task and the pets definitely took it hard. They are decompressing now. Charlie has not left my side. He slept right next to me tight all night long. They were happy to see the cat last night and she seemed totally fine with seeing them. They have all gotten along well over the years. She was the first in the house, so each dog came in knowing she was the boss. It’s been a pretty traumatic set of days for sure, but I am so relieved to finally have everyone here together under one roof!
Here is a funny little outside twist!
This is totally off subject, but it all ties in. I love little kizmit twists of fate and I thought I would share it here. When we were looking at this house, we had it down to the one we got and another one in a whole different part of town. When we decided it was this house we wanted, we asked to have the weekend to sit with it and then make it all final on a Monday a few months back. Suddenly, to all of our surprise and to our realtors surprise and dismay, someone in her same firm showed it to another family and they made a bid on this house the same day we did! We ended up having to have a bidding war on this house and we ended up getting it. Now…here is where the crazy twist comes in. As you all know, I have not left my house, so making new friends has not been really something I have been able to do yet except for our landlord (who I absolutely love) and the boss/wife (also love) that are here. I am a part of a facebook group for expats and ended up talking to a woman who’s cat had suffered an injury. About a week or so back, she put out on the page to see if anyone had a kennel big enough that her cat would not feel cramped in where she could recover her injury. I said that my dogs would be coming in a week and if she hadn’t found anyone by then to let me know. Well, signal into last night and she tags me and asks if she can borrow the crate. I tell her of course (we animal people must stick together!) and that she would have to come and pick up the crate because we are not allowed to leave our house. She was so kind, she offered to pick up food for us or anything we need! Well, as it turns out through messaging my address…they were the ones we outbid for this house!! If that isn’t crazy enough…they are renting the house next door to us!! Say what?!?!? People that know me likely will not be surprised by this, I tend to have really magnetizing energy and attract really interesting story lines into my life. But here we are, have not left our house and because I’m trying to help someone’s cat, we make friends and neighbors! What a delightful twist of fate!
Ok….here are the videos of the arrival of our pets. The first two videos were sent to me from our pet shipper at the Malta airport. The bottom video is their long awaited arrival. Unfortunately, I did not know that my daughters new video camera requires a microphone button to be turned on and so the video is basically useless with no sound. That bums me out so badly. It was a video I wanted to treasure. Here it is anyway. Next time I know to use my phone instead of bigger technology.