dodo comments: About Responsibility

A beloved pet goes on a journey. Living in Europe , he does not need to miss a single moment of care while prepared for the journey. He feels familiar with the flight box, which is standing since weeks at home where he can overview family life. Daddy is serving his meals in it and Mummy gives him titbits there before he starts to sleep.
His friend the veterinarian has checked him carefully and vaccinated against all illnesses. His health is stable and he is fit for such a big journey from continent to continent.
Three hours before departure he has to be checked in at the cargo freight of the airport. Because parting from his family has been trained so often earlier,being in his closed flight box it is now no stress factor anymore. All around his cage Mummy has plastered big sheet of papers, saying: “Please, fill water in” and “This is upside”. A new soft toy is not always allowed by different airlines. This needs to be asked for.
Now it is up to the owner, if he wants to stay near to his pet outside of the custom area. Not only poets are talking about “the power of love”, pet owners are convinced the beloved friend on four paws feels that his owner is near to him, somewhere around he is protecting him in case anything frightening will happen.
Everyone who had his pet once in a boarding kennel, can’t believe that the owner knew the exact time when he entered the plane to home in far Asia, because his pet told him. A beloved dog knows, when his people are coming nearer and nearer. He starts to howl, scratch, waving his tail, screaming, barking, making all kinds of signs to show his joy.He shows very precisely, that he knows his owner is on his way to meet him again..
But what, if the dog’s home is situated for example in Australia and he shall accompany his owner for traveling abroad? It will be a flight to far Europe.
In this case every pet has to be collected by a so called travel agency.
Unknown, strange people are bringing him to a strange vet. At least two days before departure he has to spend most of the time in this strange smelling flight box
The pain of separation cannot be avoided. Many dogs get a lifelong shock.
I know several dogs, who from that experience on carried their tail between the legs and where stiff with fear when they approached the airport or if the owner wanted to close the cage to go to a show.
Anyhow the law is requiring it.
What is to do, to be sure that the chosen air traveling company is the most confident of all competitors in the business?. All homepages contain equal superlatives of caring for pets. The owners keep asking for recommendations by other pet lovers, by their breed club, animal protection organisations are asked. Finally they decided for a company, which proves to have experience with his pet’s breed.
He is building up confidence and handles over his precious pet to the owner in charge. From now on everything is very professionally going its way.The procedure is obligatory and is done with routine.

Three hours before departure the dog in the flight box is handed over to the custom employees. They bring him to a trolley , where the dog has to wait completely alone for three hours. Around him strange noises, unknown smells. No one is looking after him, no one is explaining with a loving voice what is all that about. A sensitive dog feels sold down the river, does not understand the world anymore.
Within three lonely hours much might happen. That happened to the french bulldog “Kransky”, who posthumously gained sadly famous.
His owner has written down, how his dog died on the airport of Sydney How I lived and died
The lady owner of the animal traveling company stressed in several mails to me, that this dog belonged to the very high risk dogs because of the brachy breed he belonged to. She even sent me an information sheet about the French Bulldog breed, in which I could read about their resperatory difficulties. Over and above she claimed the Frenchie was already 7 years of age, which is already quite old for this breed and another risk.
Two solutions would have been possible to probably safe the dog’s life.
Either the animal traveling company refuses to accept him because of the “high risk”. In detail: outside temperature was over 40 degree Celsius; his age and breed did not warrant , that the dog will survive the journey. Then the company owner has to care intensively during these three hours waiting time, as they have not only taking the money, but also the responsibility for his welfare. In contrary to private owners, the agent is allowed to be in custom area, said the company owner to me.
Saving the honour of so many other companies in this business, I want to stress, that all six Australian Cattle Dog puppies, which we have imported from Australia to Finland, were bouncing happily out of their box. They arrived safely in very good health. They came by three different companies from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, who obviously took this job because they love and care for dogs..
Puppies have this basic trust, which renders it possible for them to keep up with sudden changings in their life without being damaged.Older pups or adults are more impressed and frightened by all the new and strange things around them.This should be taken into consideration before sending the dog. English breeders say, “never send a puppy after 14 weeks, wait till it is 1 year old”.
The Australian system is fixed by law and cannot be changed in near future.
But the more important it is, that breeders or/and owner find a profit orientated company, which is equally beware of their huge responsibility
towards the dog and is acting accordingly.

Doris Duewel
Komi in May, 2011

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