Friday, January 23, 2009

The Fate of Jasper

Many people have been curious about what will become of Jasper when I leave Korea. He's coming with me, of course! I have checked thoroughly into the matter, and even emailed the American consulate in Seoul just to make sure, and it is perfectly all right to bring Jasper home with me. According to the consulate and the vet, Jasper will not need to be quarantined, and the only big requirement is that he have his rabies vaccine at least 30 days prior to our departure (he had his a few days ago, so we're fine there).

Here are the answers to a few more of the FAQs about Jasper:

How will Jasper travel? Will they let him ride under the seat?
Although Jasper is probably small enough that he could, under normal circumstances, ride under the seat (I've flown with a dog this way before, and it was fine), I don't think it is a good idea for such a long journey. I am concerned that he would cry too much and be too cramped, plus trying to handle him and my carry-on at the airports would be quite a strain on me. So, for the sake of both of us, I will be sending Jasper to the cargo hold. That way he can have a larger carrier, and if he makes any noise, he won't disturb anyone.

How will Jasper get water and exercise?
Poor Jasper will spend an entire day cooped up in a carrier with no exercise, but this will be made up to him when he get to the USA. There, he will have a large yard to play in all spring and summer, and he'll have two canine friends of similar breeds to play with. As for water, I will be teaching him to drink from a water bottle, and will also put a note (written in two languages) on the outside of his carrier, requesting that he be given water. Jasper will have one new toy, an old favorite, and a few new bones to occupy him on the journey.

Where did you get your information about traveling to the USA with pets? How can you be sure that your information is accurate?
I checked with the TSA website, emailed the American consulate in Seoul (and checked their website), checked the website, and checked with my vet. I have also visited the websites of every possible airline that I may fly on, to ensure that they allow pets on international flights.

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"