Into the final stages…

I had a question from a friend on Facebook about the pet passports, and I have to say she was horrified by the expense. If I were of a less sentimental nature, I’d go with the ‘drown them…’ approach! Although it’s not a concern if you’re just taking pets out and staying out in France, it’s a dear do if you want to bring them back.

First, your dearest animal needs to be chipped. For the Molly, this is a good thing. She likes to escape from time to time and take herself for a walk. But she’s not particularly bright and forgets to come home. For the Basil, this is a bad thing. It’s hard to be incognito and ‘ownerless’ if you have a chip. In true net-geek speak, he is pwned good and proper. I own him. It says so in his passport. He has an address. He’s no longer the cat equivalent of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher. He has a home and family. The chip can be anywhere from £10 upwards.

Then, your dear animal needs to have a rabies vaccination. This isn’t that dear compared to the blood test. Our jab cost about £35 if I recall rightly. There’s some info out there on the net that says they need a booster 2 weeks later. Not as far as I know. The booster for our animals will be in three years time. I guess the second shot is just to check it’s worked… but given the expense of the initial shot, a second one seems a bit of a waste of £35 unless you really need it!

Then, 2 weeks after, you need a blood test to see if it’s worked. I guess, otherwise, you have a rabid pet?! This was the dear do… cost £70 each blood test. You can only get back into England 6 months after a clear rabies test, and they can be pretty funny about whether that’s 6 calendar months or some other calculation they’ve worked out. I’d play it safe and ensure it’s done 7 months before you’ll be bringing your pet back. You don’t want the poor little fella sitting in quarantine for a week just because some narky official has decided that it should be 6 months of 31 days or something bizarre.

Dogs also need to have their usual annual booster shots too (ours are £28. I don’t know if that’s dear or cheap, but I love our vet and I’d pay him twice as much as anyone else!)

Then, the passport itself is £40.

So… from start to finish, you’re looking at about £150 minimum. Per pet.

If you take them out to France on Eurotunnel, you don’t pay for the animal. The lovely Eurotunnel lady said we only had to keep the pets comfortable and happy – it’s their only requirement on the way out.

It’s on the way back in where it starts to get stringent! Then you need all sorts of treatments to get back in, in order to ensure there are no parasites, blood-suckers, pests and so on. I wonder why they let Mariah Carey’s entourage in with her? Maybe she should be de-loused before arrival? This goes for any number of foreign (American!) singers/actors with an accompanying cast of thousands, needless to say.

I must say, I like the little passports. They are lovely. I’m going to put pictures of Basil and Molly in the front of them (There’s a space – it’d be rude not to!) and then they are as good as people.

Given that their passport is more expensive than ours and that the most I ever paid for a jab was £33 for my yellow fever jab (LJ – Yellow Fever free since 2003) they are actually better than people. Or, more expensive anyway. Thank God Jake’s jabs are free, or else we’d be leaving him at home.

I jest. His passport is also up for renewal. This is a good thing. His previous passport picture, taken aged 5, makes him look a little …. hmmm…. simple. He’s staring at the camera with his mouth open and his dad has unfortunately given him a very nasty bowl haircut. Unfortunate. Steve looks like a criminal in his. I had a Mona Lisa smile in mine until it was renewed this year (and I have huge hair on this one, and a double chin!) so…. I need to make Molly and Basil look suitably ‘prison line-up’ ish.

To the left
To the right
and to the front

I did enter this picture on my Icanhascheezburger page. My favourite caption for it was:

“You is dismissed. I has finished with you. I has bizness to attend to.”

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