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When Dogs Fly – A Dachshund Travels to Europe

Part One – What’s the Worst That Can Happen?

Scrappy on the Road. I’m way too relaxed to worry about flying!

Fall 2018 – California

If you live in the States and want to visit Europe for an extended time without leaving your little furry one behind, it is possible just not necessarily easy.

For a long time, Thomas and I had been discussing traveling nomadically around Europe. Why not? We had already been doing it in the US for the previous year or so.

“I’m not going without my Scrappy,” he said, “I miss him so much when we’re away for just a couple weeks. But there’s no way he is flying cargo, he’s small enough to fit under the seat. We’ll buy him a seat if we have to!”

We talked to friends who had taken their dogs to Europe and they said there isn’t a quarantine period like in the past. You just need to be sure you carefully follow all the steps regarding proper paperwork and shots.

I also scoured the online travel forums trying to get additional information. Okay, I was really just looking for the horror stories of pet transport gone terribly wrong. Why is it that I can read a hundred positive stories about the ease of taking a pet abroad but as soon as I read a bad one, that is the one I take to heart?!

Here He Comes To Ruin Your Day – It’s Worst Case Scenario Man.

There was the story about the woman who flew to France and had to search around the airport for anyone official to sign off on her dog’s paperwork. Of course, when she did find someone, he just indifferently looked at it and told her to move along. Easy. With varying details, there were a number of success stories like that, most of them occurring in France or Spain.

My research just happened to be right around the time that a dog died on a United Airlines flight from Houston to New York. The flight attendant insisted that the carrier containing the dog be put up in the overhead compartment instead of its usual place under the seat. What the…?!

When reporting the 2018 incident, CNN noted: According to a US Department of Transportation report issued in February, 24 animals died in the care of US carriers last year. Three-quarters of those, 18, died while being handled by United. Of 15 reported injuries, 13 occurred with United.

Well, great, I knew one thing for sure, we will NOT be taking United.

Part Two – So Many Airlines, So Few Choices

Let me inspire you to get off the couch, switch off the TV, put the dog with a sitter (or better yet, take him with you) and get traveling!