Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pongo Makes It Through Customs!!

Well, it is Day 19 and we're still here.  First a word about our Blog's name.  Kirt's sixth (maybe seventh) cousin, Paul Henning was THE producer of the Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction and Green Acres.  It just seemed right since we were thrust from our 21 acres in Vermont into Basel city life in a matter of seven hours and fifteen minutes on Swiss Air that we somehow incorporate the two.  So there you have it.

Since everyone seems more concerned about Pongo than us, I'll update you on him first.  After three vet appointments, one chip installation, one feces sample, two notarized forms, one rabies shot and a $400 plane ticket, Pongo was ready to go.  The vet did not recommend any sort of a sedative for him so instead we used what our dear friend (thanks Jackie Hilton) had sent us, some natural DAP, Dog Appeasing Pheromone.  This we sprayed in his kennel prior to the trip. Kirt took him on one nice long last run in the open fields of Hampshire Hollow prior to our drive to Boston and was able to walk him at Boston's Logan Airport as well.  Then we checked him in with our baggage which was great (for us).  When we arrived at baggage claim in Zurich, he was already there along with, hallelujah! all of our luggage.
Kirt convincing Pongo to "Get In"

Ready to Check In at Logan
Next we had to clear customs which involved an inspection of Pongo and his paperwork by a Swiss Veterinarian.  I probably spent a total of fifteen hours on phone calls,  paperwork and vet appointments to ensure that we had everything in order. In the paperwork they clearly tell you that if you don't have everything needed, they will quarantine your dog and put it "down" in ten days if you aren't able to sort things out.  Needless to say, I was motivated to have everything in order.  Much to my amazement, the Vet never looked at Pongo but his assistant did read his chip. He "glanced" at the paperwork, swiftly collected our 88 Swiss Francs (US$104.32), officially stamped (this theme will repeat itself) the paperwork and sent us out the door.  Great, all we wanted was to get him in.

Our relocation agent Hanna Biedermann was there to collect us and Kirt gave Pongo a quick walk in the parking structure before the hour or so drive from Zurich to Basel. So we landed at Lehenmattstrasse 332, 4052 Basel, Switzerland (that's the mailing address) right on schedule.
Kirt's Birthday came and went on June 13, impressive that he can still blow 39 candles out in one breath!

Kirt is pleasantly challenged with his new position designing versus optimizing.  He has traveled to France twice and leaves for Spain on Monday for three days.  Russia to follow in July. We've registered ourselves, gotten a bank account and made an attempt at our personal liability insurance, however, the offer and terms came in German. . .such is life as we know it today.

I have been busy grant writing, walking Pongo, grocery shopping and recycling (both take on a new meaning on foot) and walking Pongo.  And then there is walking Pongo and the apartment hunting.  We're eager to see one on Friday in the most rural area we've found :)   Details in the next post!

1 comment:

  1. Aunt KelLe and Uncle Kirt,
    This is a great way to follow your story. I like the picture of Uncle Kirt attempting to convince Pongo to get into the crate. I think Pongo was saying to himself "dude, there is no way I am getting into that thing". Love, Max