Pet Move of the Month: Chiefa’s Journey to Switzerland
Incredible Experiences: Transporting an English Bulldog
Meet Chiefa "The Beef" -- our featured Pet Move of the Month! This sweet pup is an important part of her family, and they knew they couldn't move from the United States to Switzerland without her.
Here's a little more about this special client: Chiefa is CGC (Canine Good Citizenship) Certified and graduated in the top of her two basic obedience classes. S
he is an English Bulldog and also deaf (two things that made her journey a little more challenging but certainly not impossible). Finally, she enjoys traveling in a stroller from time to time and has her own Facebook page. Quite a personality!
To shed some light on the process, Chiefa's owner was kind enough to answer a few questions about their recent move. Read on to find out more about Chiefa's relocation and her transition to Switzerland.
What brought about your move?
My husband, Tony, moved to Switzerland about five years ago for two years and worked for an engineering company. He loved living in Switzerland and stayed in contact with the company he worked for, and they wanted to bring him back on staff at the same time we were looking to relocate from Washington, D.C.
We moved to have a better work/life balance and to have the ability to travel more. We both LOVE to travel and traveling is difficult in the US because everything is so spread out and because you don’t get as many vacation days.
Have you ever moved a pet by air before this?
No, Chiefa is our first pet. My family had moved dogs from South Carolina to Florida, but not really a long distance move.
What were some of your initial concerns?
I had a lot of concerns about moving Chiefa. Before Tony accepted his position, we confirmed that Chiefa would be able to relocate with us. If she wasn’t allowed to live in Switzerland, we would not have moved.
My initial concerns with relocating Chiefa were that she is a deaf English bulldog. English bulldogs have smushed faces and have respiratory issues, which is a major concern with air transportation. Also, Cheifa would be flying out of Atlanta, GA. English bulldogs do not do well with heat, nor will airlines allow dogs to travel when it is over 80 degrees.
My husband moved to Switzerland in July to start his position. Cheifa and I did not join him until mid-October because of the weather. We took every precaution we could and PetRelocation helped point out some of the other precautions, which I appreciated.
What surprised you about the pet travel process? Can you discuss any particular challenges or interesting details?
I was surprised by the knowledge, support, and systems in place for relocating pets. Before we moved Chiefa, I didn't even know this type of service existed. I thought it would be a do-it-yourself process with Chiefa in quarantine for up to three months. I was so unaware and uneducated about the process. Once I was in contact with PetRelocation, everything just fell into place for us.
How has Chiefa handled the transition so far?
On the day of Chiefa’s flight, I was a mess. I was nervous and worried about the process. When we arrived in Atlanta, however, Cheifa hopped into the handlers car and never looked back.
She was in a great mood when she arrived in Switzerland. She is in love! She has so much more energy. She really enjoys the cooler weather. I am not sure she knows that she isn’t in the US anymore. She has been on the bus once since she arrived, and wasn’t happy that she could not socialize with everyone on the bus nor sit in the seats.
Is Switzerland a pet-friendly place to be?
Switzerland is SUPER pet-friendly! Chiefa is allowed on the buses and trains. She is allowed in most stores and shopping centers. For us, one difference is that Switzerland does not have fenced in dog parks. Chiefa is deaf so we can’t let her off leash, and most dog owners in our town do not use leashes for walks.
What advice do you have for people who might be planning a pet move?
If they are moving internationally, I would recommend that they contact PetRelocation and let PetRelocation handle the rest! Contacting PetRelocation was the best decision we made this year! All my worries and concerns decreased by 50% when I started working with PetRelocation.
What made you decide to hire PetRelocation to assist you?
The reason I decided to work with PetRelocation was because as soon as I called them, I could feel the energy and passion of the staff and the services they provide. They KNEW what they were talking about and made me feel comfortable and at ease. Also, they followed up with me and prepared for the move.
Throughout the process, I was reassured many times that this was the RIGHT company to work with. The staff is FREAKING awesome, so organized, and professional (something that I really value).