Clover – she’s here!

Well. Wow. The Turkish Consulate in Houston made it sound SO easy to get a dog to Turkey. And in the grand scheme of things, because there is no quarantine, it is. However…

They say, “You only need two forms. Then follow instructions of the cargo carrier.” Sounds simple, right?

My brave international doggie

Well, first is the hassle at the vet’s office. You need a Form 7001, dated within 10 days of the pet’s arrival in the foreign country. And a signed letter stating that you dog has had the rabies vaccination. This is harder than it sounds. That Form 7001? It basically has to list all of your pets vaccinations, so you just go ahead and get them all. And you re-do the rabies shot, so you can say – even though your pet has had rabies shots – that it was done within 10 days of arrival. Total: $250 and about 3 hours of time.

Then, you call around trying to find the best and cheapest option for the flight. And the cost is based on the size of the crate, not the weight. So interesting. And you don’t pay for the flight until they accept the shipment. So, you spend alo

t of time on the phone and then when you drop the pet off, your cross your fingers that everything works. My mom, bless her, too

k Clover to the Houston airport, since I was already in Turkey. Total: $940 for flight, $60 for crate, 4 hours time.

Last, I go to pick her up. I wanted a man who speaks Turkish to go with me. Turns out, this was not just a good idea, but completely essential. The cargo world? All men. Everywhere. And no English. Anywhere. I knew we’d probably wait 1 or 2 hours. I did not expect a 7-hour wait. Um. Yes. I was amazed at the amount of paper they still use – and carbon sheets – remember those? everyone had them! We went from building to building- mind you, you have to drive to them.

At least 20 people looked at the paperwork. Most of them looked at it no less than three times. And the fees! First, 114 Turkish lira for an “import fee”. Then, I finally got to see Clover. At which point they told me that I had two choices – take my paperwork for signature to this one vet on the Asian side (ensuring that Clover would be left in the warehouse overnight, stuck in her

crate), or – surprise! – I could pay 400 lira to bypass this step. We made the round of buildings again, they told me everything was DONE, but it wasn’t. This was about hour six. We got the blessing of the final customs guy, then they politely asked me for 240 turkish lira. Which is the moment that Jessica threw a fit.

I typed furiously into Google translate, telling them that I had already paid 515 lira, and had been there six hours, and had NO DOG. They didn’t seem to be so concerned. I finally typed that if I paid the money, I had better get Clover NOW. No

more signatures. No more people. No more buildings, driving around, no more money. So, I paid. Total: 755 lira, 7 hours.

So, after $1,660 and 15 hours, I have my girl. She is safe, healthy and happy. We took a walk around the Sultanahmet last night, and by the banks of the Marmara Sea today. She’s extremely popular, already. I should not be surprised by this. She’s loving all the new smells, and oh, my – all the street cats, which are everywhere here.

I’m happy (albeit poor), she’s happy, and now all she and I need is a cute little apartment to make our little life here complete. Updates on that to come very soon…


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Akila
    Jun 04, 2011 @ 12:55:20

    Love reading this! She did so well — our dogs would have been so freaked out in the crate by this point. I’m so glad you got her. 🙂 We’re taking our pets to Europe, too, and it’s a hassle trying to figure it all out (though I think it’s more of a hassle taking dogs into England than into Turkey).


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