We’re SO glad to say that Penny is finally home and and our family is, once again, complete! It’s been a long few weeks without her but we couldn’t be more thankful to have her here with us! Her trip went off without a hitch but we worried about her and missed her like crazy. I even made a video of our sweet reunion that’s at the end of this post. 🙂
To prep, I added a few extra things to Penny’s (massive) crate. First, I wrote a letter about her (basic likes and dislikes) and taped it to the top of her crate. Since she can’t talk, I introduced her to each of her handlers that way. 😉 We also taped a bag full of food and a bag with her harness, leash and health certificates to the top of her crate. Inside of the crate, I lined the bottom with newspaper, added her bed and 2 blankets (I get cold when I fly, maybe she would too?!). All of these linens were familiar to her and had her/our smell on them. We also gave her 2 frozen water bowls so they wouldn’t spill all over her and she’d have water throughout her travel day.
Jon took her to the airport bright and early. His Dad was so sweet to go along to help and snap these pictures for me!
She was SO good when it was time to get in the crate and say goodbye- our sweet, brave girl!
Her entire trip over was about 2 1/2 weeks, between flights, boarding and quarantine time. She left early in the morning to dodge the hot mid-day temps in DC. She then flew through Minneapolis and onto LA. We were thankful there were no issues with this specific leg of her trip because of the heat. Most of the country was experiencing temperatures in the 90’s-100’s and airlines will not fly pets if the temperature exceeds 85 degrees. She barely made it out of DC and through Minneapolis- both cities had a local temperature of 83 degrees when she was taking off! Phew!
Once in LA, she boarded at the wonderful Kennel Club LAX for a long weekend before heading down under. During her time at the Kennel Club, they sent us daily pictures and let us know that she was enjoying snuggles and giving kisses. She was in great hands and seemed to be in good spirits! We can’t say how much we appreciated the friendly staff at The Kennel Club LAX and can’t recommend them enough! We will definitely use them again on Penny’s trip home!
After getting these pictures, we joked that Penny thought this was her casting call in LA…she’s totally posing for these!! While in LA and waiting for her departure to Melbourne, Penny was seen by a vet to be officially approved for export. ✅
Penny had a late departure from LA and flew to Melbourne through the night (and day) to arrive in the early morning to the quarantine facility. Once checked in and approved (initial checks took around 2 days to complete), she spent the standard 10 days in the quarantine kennel.
We did not hear much during this part of her trip but were assured she was doing well. Thankfully we were traveling, moving in and settling during this time, so we were busy (otherwise we would have been a wreck worrying about her every second)! Every night after we would put Emmylou down, Jon and I would say to each other how much we missed Penny. Since Emmylou’s arrival, our evenings spent with Penny have been pretty sacred. We usually spend that time as a couple and snuggle our first baby (enjoying the peace). 😊
Once she was released from quarantine, Penny was boarded at a kennel in Melbourne for one more night before catching an early flight to Alice Springs the next morning. They sent us this picture and we all couldn’t wait to go pick her up!
When her plane landed, we anxiously waited for the airport employees to bring her to the cargo pick-up. When we first saw her she was stuck inside the crate (they seriously zip-tie those things shut!) and we began talking to her. She started softly whining and wagging her tail right away. 😍 They got her out of the crate and she came right to us, very anxious to go outside! Honestly, the reunion was sweet but pretty anticlimactic…she was happy to ride in the car and gave Emmylou tons of kisses in her car seat (which we missed getting on video, sadly). ☺
We quickly stopped at the Alice Springs sign to snap some pictures and headed home! When we arrived, she sniffed the house and whined at the door to be let out into her backyard- she was so excited about the yard! She sniffed around and promptly passed out in the warm, Outback sun.
I brushed her and I’m pretty sure she lost a few pounds of fur…she must have been doing a lot of nervous shedding (poor baby). Other than that, she seemed a bit dehydrated and tired, but no worse for the wear! We couldn’t be more thankful that she made it down here safely and she seems super happy to be here with us!
Shipping a dog internationally is no small feat but we feel it was SO worth it! Now that her trip down has ended, the real adventures can begin…
K, J, EL, & P