Saturday, May 1, 2010

Let the countdown begin...

...Until Serena, Carly and I are in the Caribbean!!! On May 9th we embark on our week long journey. So far I have had to jump through 50 ka-jillion hoops to get Serena to come with me but it is going to be an awesome training session for her and is so totally worth the hoop jumping.

First I had to call/email the airlines many times to confirm she is allowed on the plane (which she under law but I need to make sure they understand that so I don't have to cause a big scene at the airport). They sent me an email specifically saying Service Dogs are allowed to accompany their person as long as they have some sort of ID confirming they are a Service Dog (her vest is on the list as well as my ID that I have). The airport is going to be a great training session!

Then to get her on the cruise ship I had to find out which international health papers that she needed. Problem with this is no one knows what is needed. I called the cruise ship they said you have to find out specifically what each country needs. So I called the embassies and never ever spoke to a person; I just kept hitting numbers on the phone that took me in one giant loop back to the main menu. Fail. So I finally just started researching online and found out that because she is staying on the ship she really doesn't need any papers but the cruise ship requires some sort of health document so off to the vet we went

The cruise also required me to fax a letter addressing what services Serena provides for me on a daily basis along with her international health papers. All this paper work needed to be sent in 7 days before the cruise. You can't get international health papers until 10 days before you leave the country so I had a 3 day (really 2 because one of those days was a Sunday) window to get this all done. So I made an appointment with the vet and we went in on Friday. He was just as frustrated as I was with no one being able to tell us exactly what we needed to bring. So he just said he would give us an official looking document (international health paper) and put a bunch of information on it to make it look more official. Serena also got microchipped because they said that sometimes places like that like knowing she can be identified at all times. So he signed the papers and put her microchip number on them and also wrote that she was a Service Dog. If the stack of papers I have isn't official enough I have no clue what is!

So after all that we are ready to go on the cruise!! I bought Serena a small folding crate that fits in my suitcase because when we leave her in the room she has to be crated according to cruise rules. They are providing a box filled with something like mulch where she can do her business. I am really really excited to go on this adventure with her! She is going to be exposed to so many things and people which is going to be amazing for her training. As always there will be tons of pictures and videos :-)

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