Sunday, July 31, 2011

Chloe, from aeropuerto to El Puerto

We've had a few questions about Chloe, and how she is adjusting to life in Espana. So, we will give the people what they want - a post dedicated to our (almost always) sweet perrita and her international travels.

(Chloe riding shotgun during our minimoon, enjoying the views from Skyline Drive.)

When negotiating Graham's overseas orders, being able to bring Chloe with us was a must. After (finally) getting our official orders, we were very happy to find out that there is no quarantine period in Spain, and all Chloe had to do before her big move was get microchipped and pass a physical - which she did with (pun alert) flying colors. We made sure her records were complete, got the necessary USDA forms, and bought her a travel bag. And by travel bag, we mean a bag for her to travel in. She already has her own monogrammed boat tote, obviously. Like a runner training for a marathon, Chloe spent increasing amounts of time in the bag on car trips in preparation for the lengthy overseas flight. Here is Chloe enjoying her under-the-seat accommodations at the beginning of the flight:

Chloe barked during take-off and landing of both flights, so we did what any parents who have a noisy child on a plane would do - bribed her with food. She snacked on some delicious Lufthansa pretzels and a flight attendant brought her a tiny cup of water (Chloe would have preferred a cerveza, but you know how she gets when she drinks). Despite some riveting movie choices (Tangled, anyone?) she decided to sleep during most of the flight to Frankfurt and again on the flight to Madrid.

After we collected our other (non-dog) luggage in Madrid, we prepared to make our way through customs, ready to produce the stack of documentation that proved Chloe was a healthy, vaccinated canine. Instead of the interrogation we had anticipated, we simply walked out of the exit, without a word from the lone customs agent, who was hanging out in a corner, looking bored. We could easily have had a rabid raccoon with us (or a honey badger, perhaps?).

After 15 hours in her travel bag and a 6 hour car trip from Madrid to Puerto, Chloe was ready to stretch her legs at the playa.

Chloe quickly made herself at home, enjoying the perks of a fenced yard and working on her tan in the Spanish sunshine.

(Where did we get this stunning piece of furniture, you ask? Why it's a lovely couch from our loaner collection, kindly delivered to our new house, courtesy of the U.S. Navy. Try not to be jealous. And yes, we did drag it out onto the patio. Please hurry, household goods!)

But with the freedom of a new yard also comes great responsibility. The responsibility to resist the urge to roll on dead birds, that is. On Friday, it became clear that Chloe was not up to the task. Meghann's solution to the (incredibly smelly and disgusting) situation was simple: keep the dog outside until Graham came back to the casa after work.

This foolproof plan was foiled when the gardener showed up and asked Meghann to take Chloe inside. So, it was on to Plan Dos:

Don't worry, Chloe had plenty of time to dry off during her siesta.

So, besides the dead bird debacle, Chloe has adapted well to the Spanish lifestyle, especially sunning and siestas.

Do you treat your dog like a member of the family? A really disgusting member of the family with a strange penchant for rolling on dead things?

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