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Pudge's Excellent Adventure!

Published on: January 20, 2017  |  Author: Starwood Animal Transport

Pudge is here. Pudge, as you can see, is a most winsome guy, even if he is somewhat, well, pudgy. He has quite a story to tell.

Here at Starwood Animal Transport, we love to post pictures of our four-legged clients, and that means we’re often asked to give updates on some of these well-traveled cuties. Pudge was happy to oblige (with a little help from his FurMom, Beth). If you’re planning a long distance move, we hope reading about Pudge’s experience will encourage you to include your four-legged family members, even if your travels take you half-way around the world. Read our articles about what you should know about pet travel and the benefits of using a pet transport company

After all, for dog and cat owners everywhere, home is where your pets are.

pudge enjoying his patio before his pet transportationPudge’s Excellent Adventure

Pudge was living the life of a happy English bulldog at his home in Des Moines, Iowa. Then his FurDad learned he and Beth had an opportunity to move to Melbourne, Australia for his work. His company needed him right away, so there wasn’t much time to move. Unfortunately, that meant leaving their beloved Pudge behind, in the care of relatives for four months.

Why the wait?

Pudge had to complete required testing before he could fly to join his family. That’s because Australia is a rabies-free country. To protect their enormous island, they have strict pet import rules that ensure incoming dogs and cats are also rabies-free. Pets must undergo a blood titer test, which confirms their rabies vaccination is indeed working properly within their body. Unfortunately, as Pudge’s humans learned, this lab test takes quite some time.  

So many details to pull together . . .

Arranging pet travel to a foreign country can feel daunting, to say the least. It can be both confusing and frustrating, especially since every country has different rules. And every airline has different rules. It’s easy to make a mistake or overlook an important detail.

“We were immediately impressed with Starwood,” recalls Beth. “They provided us with a complete checklist of each step of the process for Pudge’s move as well as estimated dates from the first appointment to the day we could take Pudge home.”  

When you can’t see your pet, you want to know that someone is looking out for him just as attentively and lovingly as you would. Starwood has your back, so you can focus on the human side of your move. Our representative Kirsty served as liaison with Pudge’s family. She maintained consistent communication with them, their family back home, and Pudge's veterinarian to guide the treatment process.

Pudge after his pet transportationKirsty also helped troubleshoot a few problems that cropped up along the way -- including a flea outbreak and an ear infection shortly before flying! She even arranged cross-country transportation to get Pudge from Des Moines to Los Angeles, California for his flight to the Land Down Under. Beth says, “Kirsty was attentive to our multiple questions and concerns. She was invaluable in helping facilitate all the moving parts and coordinate all the individuals involved with getting Pudge to Australia.”

What a relief, knowing Pudge was in the best of hands and would soon be joining his pet parents.

But first, quarantine

Even with his blood titer test behind him, Pudge still had to spend some time in quarantine once he reached Australia. Not his fault, just following his new country’s careful rules.

Beth admits that waiting through Pudge's flight and his entry into quarantine was the hardest part of the trip. She knew that airlines and customs personnel provide minimal updates. Thankfully, Kirsty had prepared Pudge’s family for what to expect and reassured them that, at this point, no news was good news.

Like all pet parents whose dogs and cats face quarantine, Pudge’s family worried about what conditions would be like. What kind of treatment Pudge would receive? They were happily surprised to learn that the workers were more than willing to communicate with them over the phone, providing detailed updates about how Pudge was doing.

In fact, when the day finally arrived to bring Pudge home, the quarantine worker was friendly and understanding. She allowed Pudge and his parents plenty of time to play before loading the dog into their car, and she even videotaped their reunion and took family photos for them.

Big smiles all around

Pudge arrived happy, healthy and safe. It’s easy to see from the pictures that he is adjusting well to life in Melbourne, especially the outdoor cafés and his own private patio. “I'm sure that parts of the process were stressful and confusing for Pudge,” Beth acknowledges, “just like they were for us at times. But he does not seem to be phased by all the changes and is happy to be back with us. And we're happy too!”

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