Operation Dog Lift

It was a bit chilly last night so we had our dinner and went to bed early. Even before dark. I thought it would be nice for them and also for me. Heidi and Millie were on short rations as I did not want them to be throwing-up all over me and Antonis’ car in the morning. Millie gobbled hers down before the bowl actually touched the ground: Heidi was more circumspect.

Dave, Obi and I went up to the office on our evening wander and had a quick chat with Maria and New Guy. New Guy, whose name I don’t recall, was interested in Dave and petted Obi. I told him about the other dogs and the fact that two would be going to England the following day. Maria didn’t seem to realise that I had twelve dogs and would then be down to ‘only ten’. New Guy came later with a bunch of keys to ask me if they were mine. They were very nice, but not mine.

The wind blew hard in the night so it was lucky I had taken the precaution of striking the awning. At 05:30 the alarm sounded as usual to alert us to Millie and Heidi’s final walk on the Promontory. We set off at speed and there were no cars in the car park. The Promontory was clear of fishermen, salt collectors and FreeLoaders so Millie was allowed off to terrorise the shadows. For a change she was quite restrained.

The walk was short as I wanted to leave at 07:00 having fed and watered them all. Feeding the others, without feeding the Departees required leaving Heidi and Millie in the main compound, feeding those in the SDC before tying Heidi and Millie to the fence and feeding the rest. At this point we made good our escape and Antonis was waiting at the barrier. They were unceremoniously bundled into the front footwell of the car although Heidi decided my lap was a better place. Past experience has shown that it is vital to wear the most disgusting clothes available as you are bound to experience all manner of unpleasant excretions in transit. I was not wrong and the ‘no food before travel’ policy paid off. Antonis drove nicely and we arrived at the airport after a coffee stop in Paleochora for Freddo Espresso. What a buzz!

Assembling the crates. Oops, no cable ties! Antonis with his trusty tool

Ursula arrived around the time we did and so did the man with the travel crates. We were set to go. Just a matter of filling in the Pet Passport final details and assembling the crates. Apparently Crate Man only found out about the crates the day before. A nice French lady from Pluto kennels arrived with a lovely, cute little lady called Doris. She was small and light enough to travel in the cabin so counted only as carry-on luggage as the Americans would say.  Pluto Lady asked me if I too was working with Lorraine. When I replied in the affirmative the Pluto Lady said it was a nightmare. Poor Doris was a little overwhelmed by the entire proceedings. Her first encounter with Millie and Heidi who were now beginning to find their feet. Crate Man left, Antonis and I assembled the crates and Ursula looked after the dogs. If we had not been there to help her, it might have been more complicated. One of the crates required cable ties to keep it together so Antonis went off to attempt to secure some from within the airport. Ursula went off with Heidi and Millie for a wander around the airport car park and Doris and I exchanged pleasantries.

Antonis came back empty-handed but Ursula scavenged some discarded wire on her walk. Antonis’ trusty tool made short work of securing the crates and the dogs were packed inside. Off to check-in, to weigh the dogs and for their paperwork to be examined. One of the crates was smaller than expected so Millie was put in the larger of the two. The nice, but humourless lady at check-in said that the dog should be able to stand up comfortably at which point Antonis made a comment about shortening her legs. It was then we discovered Mrs Check-in lacked humour. All finally barcoded and ready to roll. Next to x-ray and then Ursula and Doris went to ‘person’ check-in. Antonis and I left having paid a mere 3€ for our two+ hour stay left. There were a number of stops in Chania and a visit to the nice shop where we could both spend a fortune on tools. How the company justifies the number of sales staff I have no idea.

We stopped to see Polychronis at Kantanos as Antonis needed stuff and I wanted a valve from my kitchen tap project. The back to Paleochora for a visit to the chemist to order needles for Dave, a loaf of bread from Vakakis and a quick visit to Heike.

The other dogs were quiet when we drove back into the camping and remained so as I got something to eat and changed from my drooled-over shorts and hairy shirt.

Ursula has landed at Orly and is en route for a channel port and Gatwick to reclaim her car before driving herself, Heidi and Millie home.

Heidi and Millie enjoying the sights of Paris
Heidi, Millie and Doris in the back of the car at Orly waiting for their Paris tour

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