Friday, April 3, 2009

Well hallo Jemma!

Jemma was gorgeous. I knew that she was going to be fearless the moment I saw her sitting on a skate board. My niece gave it a push and it rolled for 4 metres with Jemma serenely balanced on top. This was going to be a puppy that wasn't fazed by much. She has her mother's crinkly face and her father's sleek body.

The breeder gave me her pedigree certificate, vaccination papers and a DVD of photos( a nice gesture as it's great to have baby pictures of the first two months).

We returned early on the day of the flight. Timing had to be spot on as the pups were put into their crates at the last moment. They could wear nothing that might hook on something, so no collars and no toys in case they chewed off an eye or swallowed material that could choke them. Just some dried meat strips and an absorbent towel and blanket.

But as we drove away, they howled so much that we stopped and let them sit on my lap while I gave them Tellington TTouch strokes to calm them. Then it was finding parking at the airport (headache!), giving them a quick drink of water and back into the crates.

As usual, the queue at departures was long and when you're carrying two crates with screaming pups, it's the last thing you need. My brother commented ironically "Now you know what it's like to travel with kids".

Obviously experienced at this kind of thing, clever brother suggested we ask the business check-in counter to help us. They kindly agreed (many thanks to the helpful and friendly SAA staff in Cape Town).

A cheerful baggage handler was assigned to accompany me and the pups through security and from there he would take them to the baggage section. When we went through the X-ray machines, the pups had to be taken out again so that the crates could be X-rayed separately. When we finally put them back in the crates, we put cable ties at each corner of the doors to prevent them accidentally opening or someone else opening them. My breeder was concerned that since the pups had only one set of vaccinations, they should not be handled by too many people. (It was a measure that paid off as one of the doors had become loose at the end of the flight.)

As they disappeared into the baggage section (no longer howling), I sat down with a sigh of relief and a quick cappuccino before boarding for the long trip back to Johannesburg!

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