Our wild African hound is at last here with us in the UK. As I type, his furry head rests on my feet, tired out after an intensive ball throwing and pond dipping session (those poor tadpoles!). It’s the best feeling to be together again.
Up until just over a month ago, Bow Wow was temporarily being cared for by a lovely K9 foster mum while Lachlan and I returned to work in Blighty. It was hard to leave him behind, but we couldn’t bear to think of such an active dog unnecessarily being put into quarantine just as the laws were about to be relaxed. When my family arrived in Cape Town for Easter, they were able to take over his care and were delighted to discover that Bow Wow hadn’t forgotten them or any of his tricks!
Here’s an extract taken from my mother’s journal before Bow Wow’s flight:
‘Thursday 19 April 2012: I’m leavin’ on a jet plane…woof!
A couple of days ago, Jaco from Animal Travel Services (who recently transported a lion and several baboons!) came to the house to introduce himself and deliver the crate that Bow Wow is to travel in on his long journey to Scotland. He suggested ways to prepare for the flight, including administering Rescue Remedy, personalising the crate, and encouraging the dog to familiarise himself with it.
Effort has been required to get Bow Wow to take the Rescue Remedy – some bread, two pairs of hands and lots of determination! I carpeted the bottom of the crate with his sandy beach towel and threw in my well worn pyjama top as a ‘security blanket’. The crate has rarely been empty since, so this has certainly worked.
When Jaco appeared with the van, it was carrying a cat, and another Africanis dog called Jamieson who were to board the same flight. It was a relief that Bow Wow was happy to meet his travelling companions and readily jumped into his crate before being waved off.
We later met Russ at Royale and were amused to think of Bow Wow relaxing in the ‘Pet Lounge’ before his departure.’
Meanwhile, in Scotland, Lachlan and I were very much looking forward to seeing Bow Wow. At the cargo part of Edinburgh airport, we could hear Bow Wow’s yelps before we saw him. It was almost as though he had recognised our voices and was saying ‘I’m in here! Come and get me!’. He had finally arrived after almost 24 hours since my family had said goodbye to him in Cape Town.
The airport handlers were giving Bow Wow’s crate a wide berth, unaware of his gentle nature and afraid he might bite. Someone gingerly wheeled the box out and, as Lachlan and I approached, Bow Wow’s tail started to beat against its sides with great excitement. Lachlan unbolted the crate and Bow Wow bounded out, clearly thrilled to see us and be free to stretch his legs. He greeted us wildly before doing the longest wee we’d ever seen. His crate, complete with first class British Airways blanket, was bone dry – what incredible bladder control!
We’ve now had Bow Wow for a whole blissful week and he has not complained once about the weather! He’s been far too busy enjoying all the new sights and smells. It feels as though we’ve never been apart.
We cannot recommend Animal Travel Services highly enough. Their advice, preparation and care were exceptional.