You Want Fleas With That?

We woke this morning to news that Irish police had found and detonated a bomb on a bus headed for Dublin.  With tensions high in anticipation of the first visit from a British monarch (Queen Elizabeth II) since independence, some yahoo decided it would be really neat to strike up the whole Irish bombing thing again.  For any family members or friends struck with a twinge of fear at this news, I remind you that I grew up in Atlanta, which had its own super combustible moment a few years back during the Olympic Games.   

Now, with the bomb disclaimer taken care of we can move onto the really important stuff.

Don’t get me wrong.  Our pets do not have fleas.  It just seemed like a catchy way to get the ball rolling on the subject of moving with pets.

It seems that just about every post begins with a description of somebody else’s reaction.  That’s true.  But people have a lot of questions.  Hell, I’ve got a lot of questions.

One of the most common questions is “Are you taking the pets?”  I often ask myself the same question.  The answer is, “Yes, of course.”  We’d no sooner leave them (a dog and two cats) behind than you’d leave Molly your third-grader with the neighbors in Phoenix when you relocate to Des Moines.  They are family, pure and simple.  It will be a challenge getting them there.   But we are looking forward to having the whole crew, dysfunctional as it may be, (they really are like family) together in Dublin.  Where exactly that will be in Dublin is the big question.

So far renting apartments in Dublin has been much like renting in any other big city, with one exception.  When they tell you “No pets” they’re damn polite and apologetic about it.  “I’m sure they’re very lovely animals, but we had a bit of trouble with other tenants and their pets in the past. I’m sorry.”

The ratio of pet acceptance to refusal is about the same as it was in Los Angeles, which is to say about half are willing to work with you on some level (extra deposit, putting up gates, etc.) A few landlords have even worried on our behalf about the dreaded quarantine restriction.

Fortunately Ireland no longer requires a six-month quarantine for pets emigrating from the United States.  You simply have to prove (by USDA test) an unbroken chain of rabies free status for six months prior to arrival in Dublin.

Way back in December, when we first decided to move, I got the ball rolling on the pet transport and documentation front.  It has been far more work to get them re-microchipped (to a new European standard), properly inoculated (and documented), crates arranged, and airfare booked than it has been to move two forty-something adults.  Fortunately, Aer Lingus insists that you work with their broker, Pet Express, and the result has been a reasonably seamless process.

Where we’ve run into trouble has been the looming morass of bureaucracy that is the Irish Department of Agriculture.  While I understand the needs of a small agricultural island nation to guard its shores from diseases that we so blithely fling antibiotics and steroids at, the precise order and date timing of forms (“form must be signed by the competent authority not more than four months prior to arrival, but no less than seven weeks”, etc.) is a bit tiresome.  And there’s always the notion that you shouldn’t file things too early or they’ll likely get lost to drive you nuts.  It’s been a complicated process, but, for the moment, things appear to be on track

We are narrowing down the pet-friendly housing options and will soon have to choose.  Hopefully the house back home will sell as well.

God willing, and the paperwork clears, the five of us will be in Dublin in a bit under two months.

Things to look forward to in upcoming posts:

  • Apartment hunting and tales of Irish landlords
  • First lessons in driving on the left

Emigration Day: July 12, 2011 (56 Days)

About Glenn Kaufmann

I'm an American freelance writer, photographer, and web publisher. I specialize in writing about travel, food, arts, and culture. I also write dramatic scripts for stage and screen. I'm based in Ireland.
This entry was posted in Before We Go and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to You Want Fleas With That?

  1. Marisol says:

    Hey Glenn, nice post and nice blog! I am looking forward to read when they pets arrive well and sound.

  2. David says:

    clearly you’ve never met Molly

  3. Susan says:

    Hey, Glenn: I’ll be in Dublin June 24-26!

  4. Pingback: But what about the cats? « Kiwi and Kumara

  5. Pingback: How to Plan an International Move | An American in Dublin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *