A Kiwi couple's cruising adventures on America's Great Loop and around the coast of New Zealand

Sunday, 15 May 2011

W.O.W (What of Woody)?

So, “what about Woody then” I hear some more of you say. “Are you going to take him with you?”.

At first we thought that this was the thing to do. We checked out the rules to take him into USA and found that it was pretty easy as New Zealand is considered a Rabies-free country. However bringing him home is an entirely different story. He would have to be checked and certified by a Vet before departure as being free from Rabies and other exotic dog diseases, then he would have to be transported in a brand new purpose built cage which does not allow anyone to come in contact with him and from which he cannot be released until arrival. On arrival he must be re-inspected by a Vet before entry to NZ is allowed and then he would be quarantined for 30 days, which could be extended to 180 days if MAF sees fit. If there is any concern over his health or even if the required paperwork is not in order, MAF have the right to destroy him without consultation.

Then there is the travel itself. Woody would not like being cooped up for upwards of 24 hours will travelling alone in the strange environment of an airplane hold. And, although he loves boating with us (except when it's very rough), we would not like to think of him becoming alligator tucker, or being bitten by a snake, while having his morning ablutions on the landing board.

Looking at the list of “fors” and “againsts”, the againsts far outweighed the only “for” which was to have our good mate and faithful companion with us, which would be pretty selfish.

So "what of Woody"? He’s going to stay with Aunty Lyn on the family farm at Wharehine on the Kaipara Harbour. She looked after him when we went on a North Pacific cruise last year and he had a ball. There are lots of animals to play with and plenty of relo’s with kids to keep him company. Last time he became great mates with a family of piglets who were all about his size.

There are some other people who have offered to look after him as well, and Lyn can use them if she wants to go away for a while, particularly when she and her friend Lois come to the USA to do part of the Loop with us. They’re considering the New York Canal segment which we should be doing around June-July 2013.

Just a bit about Woody now: He is a Swedish Vallhund (Val for short), and will be 3 years old in August. His full name is Vallarity Norwegian Wood and was one of a litter of 9 to Vallarity Kennels in Tirau NZ. Vals are an ancient Viking breed – go to www.svclub.org.nz to read more about them – and are very much the “pocket sized wolf” that they look like. Very intelligent, obedient and loyal.

                                                                8 weeks old
Woody's first dinghy ride

Puppy Woody with Aunty Lyn,  Lois and Mummy 

We’re going to miss him to bits while we are away, but he is better off with Aunty Lyn than being put through the stress of travel and the risks involved in taking him with us and bringing him home again.

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