Friday, October 5, 2012
On my way to the U.S. for a visit with the fam-and-friends, I had the honor of escorting this little fella to his new and forever home. Miller, a Cavalier King Charles (CKC), was down in the Ozato pound on the gas line in Okinawa when Doggies Inc. uploaded his pic to their site. A CKC lover noticed him and alerted a CKC fan club, which quickly mobilized to raise money to get him pulled from the center, vetted, fostered, and transported to the west coast for rehoming. All the fine details on the Japan side were carried out by Doggies. When they posted that they were looking for transport, I immediately vounteered as I was planning to visit the States in a few weeks. Since his final destination was Seattle and mine was Portland, it was a fairly convenient arrangement and I called the airline (Delta) to book his passage. Upon arrival at the airport, I met the lovely Lisa who had been fostering Miller until his departure. She helped me get him checked in and paid his transport fee. Unfortunately, there was a snafu after I got to the boarding gate. Despite making my reservation for Miller weeks in advance, confirming it a few days in advance, and breezing through the check in process, it was discovered when trying to load Miller onto the plane that he was not actually allowed on the plane. A gate agent called me shortly before boarding to tell me we would not be allowed on the flight. After some scrambling and confusion, we were rerouted through Minneapolis. The agent who had been dealing with my case gave me the gate number and told me to run, as boarding was in process. Nobody told me why we had been ejected. Upon finally reaching Minneapolis, I encountered another roadblock when I couldn't find Miller in the baggage area. I asked a baggage clerk - he had no idea. Asked a Delta rep hanging around the area - she had no idea. Asked another baggage handler - no clue. Finally one of the immigration agents went to look for him and brought him out to me, then escorted me to the front of the line. I have to say that the immigration person was exceedingly kind. Unfortunately, after all the rigamarole, there was not enough time to take Miller out of the airport, as it would have involved going out of security and then having to go through the whole process again to get back in. I had less than an hour to make my connection at this point. There is nowhere at MSP to take a dog to relieve himself during transit. Poor Miller had to endure another leg of the journey without leaving his crate. We had originally expected that he would be in the crate for 10-12 hours, as the flight from NRT to PDX is 9 hours. By the time we reached PDX, he had been enclosed for more than 20 hours. But reach Portland we finally did, where his new mama was waiting. And his new siblings. Miller's name is now Bowie, and he lives in Seattle. Yay Bowie! Here's a video made by someone in the CKC group that helped raise money and spread the word.