We have the unique privilege of working to provide pet owners a sense of relief in an otherwise stressful process (after all, we are a group of animal lovers and can't help but put ourselves in their shoes with each move). It is especially rewarding to hear about these experiences and how well their four-legged loved ones are doing in their new homes! Earlier this year, German Shepherds Tuck and Skye traveled all the way to India from the US, and their mom Holly was kind enough to share the below experience with us.
Our journey to spend a year in India began with a question: “Is it possible to take Tuck and Skye with us?”
Google searches turned up scant results on moving two German shepherds to India, but it did give us one thing: PetRelocation. In January 2017 – 18 months before our planned travel date – I sent an inquiry email to the Austin-based company.
I received a reply from Sarah Rosales, and thus began months of correspondence and two in-person meetings in PetRelocation’s East Austin office which screams: WE LOVE PETS. During our first meeting, my husband and I peppered her with questions we’d written in our shared iPhone note.
Was there a quarantine period in India?
What types of vaccines are required?
Would there be air conditioning?
How would the dogs travel?
At every juncture (and long before we signed our contract), Sarah was available to answer our questions and provide clear directives (as evidenced by the hundreds of emails in my inbox), meet the dogs and connect us with a craftsman to build the custom crates.
Later in the process, Sarah transitioned us to her colleague Kelcey Shafer who orchestrated the dog’s travel and (again) answered a myriad of questions about those 48 hours apart from us, and worked closely with our veterinarian on the health certificate and vaccine details.
My husband, our infant daughter and I left Texas a few days before the dogs as our passport was needed in India to clear them through customs.
Just an hour before our long-haul flight left Newark, we received word from Kelcey that heat embargoes in Houston and Dallas prohibited the dog’s travel on their previously scheduled flight. We quickly put her in touch with my parents and they took over handling the details while we were in the air for 15 hours.
Kelcey worked with Lufthansa Airlines to ensure the dog’s safety on a cargo flight from Dallas, and she kept in close contact with us during the change of plans. We were confident she would do everything possible to get the dogs to us as safely and quickly as possible.
During the dog’s transit, Kelcey updated us on their location and on how they were doing. They had an 11-hour layover in Frankfurt and Kelcey sent us detailed information on the Animal Lounge there. The staff at the animal lounge took pictures of the dogs which Kelcey forwarded to us. It was a relief to see them being their usual selves in their boarding kennels in Frankfurt.
They had another leg from Frankfurt to Bangalore and when they arrived, we received steady updates from PetRelocation’s partners in India who picked the dogs up and transported them to our doorstep at 1:30 a.m.
It was a joyous reunion with the dogs. They were unabashed in their joy at seeing our faces, just as they are when we’re apart for five minutes or five hours.
They settled in quickly into our flat – their first time living in an apartment. Within hours, they had secured their favorite sleeping spots and the places they can lay that provides them with the best vantage point of everyone in the apartment. Within days, they made friends with the young neighborhood children who now visit every day and are content to sit on the floor, petting them to sleep. They enjoy their multiple walks around the apartment complex and are quite happy to sleep on the balcony and bark occasionally at the nearby pigeons.
Thanks to Sarah and Kelcey, the dogs are happy to be home, and for them, home is in the comfort of wherever their humans are.
A special thanks to Tuck and Skye's family for trusting us with their precious pups and sharing this heartwarming story with us!