Travelling with pet – Day of Travel

All formalities completed, all legal papers ready. Now for the big day, the day of travel. Shadow gets excited, curious, stressed, apprehensive of what is happening in the house with all movement of packing and stuff. He has lost his sleep the entire day, he does not want to leave our legs, he follows us where ever we walk inside the house.
Finally the time has come to say bye to the house. We make a booking for airport drop via Ola. Normally cabs do not transport pets. We make a request with the driver and he agrees, surprisingly! We book a bigger vehicle to include in the transport also our luggage and shadow crate.
We reach the airport and we have a problem. One of the strays at airport spots shadow and wants to come in! After the first level security, part of their rules we assemble the crate and make Shadow go inside. The security were very cooperative. They helped my wife in assembling the crate and tried to keep us cool by chatting with us while I was holding shadow. Then we moved to check-in counter of Lufthansa. Once our boarding passes were taken, few other staff of Lufthansa got the other formalities completed. Fixing his food and water to crate, getting a declaration form signed by us, getting a sheet to be put inside the crate.
Then they took me to their ticketing service counter where I paid 400$+tax for the shipment. After payment they did a confirmation internally. Then the Lufthansa staff kept the crate on to a trolley and we went to the security area where the crate is scanned and say bye to Shadow. The crate is to be scanned without him inside.
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The staff helped in putting the sheet inside the crate and also we had kept a blanket and pillow for his familiar smell and something which he can (and eventually did) tear up when stressed during the travel. He did his usual sounds of “dont leave me”.
Then we got through our formalities and the flight left Bengaluru. Yes we had some tension, fear about how he would be doing in the cargo section. Once we landed at Frankfurt, he was moved to animal section for feeding, walking and test. Frankfurt was our transit point. We checked with cabin crew, ground staff and others but it is part of the process and we are not allowed to see him or be with him till the final destination.
Few hours later when we landed at Prague airport we got out of flight immediately. Then we stood watching through the glass window as Shadow crate was brought out and the ground staff communicating with him! What a sight of relief.
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We picked him up at the excess baggage counter and his whining did not stop till we took him out of the crate. We stopped at the customs for completed the next set of formalities. This took us two minutes. They checked the papers, scanned the micro chip. While we were told it would take 30mins at customs, all it took was just 2mins! Thanks again to Global Cargo Services for getting the paperwork in order.
We spent quite a long time outside the airport for his walk and to get him out of the stress before we travelled by road to Brno.

Thank you Lufthansa!
Finally we are at our new home together! 🙂

Travelling with pet – Formalities

In 2016 when I got the confirmation to move out of Bangalore to Czech Republic, the biggest decision we made was not to abandon our boy Shadow. By that time he was with from late-mid 2012 and it did not seem ethical nor moral to leave him out. Abandoning him at any kennel or on the road or leaving him with some other people was not in discussion at any point of time. Which meant we would take up any obstacles that come on the way to ensure that he is in new place with us.

Who is Shadow? We did not buy him from any breeder nor from any other person. We actually do not know his exact breed. October 2012, late in the night when we returned from one of our long trips and parked the vehicle, he came as a small puppy and stood in front of the vehicle. We took him inside the house and next day enquired all around close to where we lived. Nobody had a clue where he came from. The security of hostel of reputed institute were taking care of him for last 15days. They had their own difficulties to keep him beyond certain period. They were happy if we were to keep him and they could see him everyday. It was first big decision we made when we decided to bring him and be a part of our journey.

First I travelled out of India late-mid 2017. Am not sure if any other person moved out with their pet to Czech Republic. We read through lot of material on websites like pettravel, understood government rules and based on that made a list of things to do and complete.
Firstly, a microchip (international standards) needs to be implanted into his body behind the neck. Secondly, for his dimensions a crate is to be bought. We got the micro chipping and a Petmate crate grade 4 from Cessna, Domlur.
Then we had to get the blood test done. There is 90 day wait period post extraction of blood for rabies testing. This is required because we come from “high rabies countries”. Before this he had to be given a rabies vaccination. Post vaccination the blood test can be performed after minimum waiting period of 21days. During the blood test while we were contemplating where to send the blood sample (whether to Dubai or London) is when we contacted Global Cargo Services via our doctor Nanjundappa. The representative from Global Cargo took the blood sample from Nanjundappa and sent it to London lab. Thankfully Shadow cleared the test. After which we were to wait for 90 days. This was a big delay for us. We had planned a New Year 2018 re-union and had to shift it to end of March 2018.

In the meantime my wife got him through training like making him first get used to the crate, then locking the crate and doing work inside the house and later locking him inside the crate and going out for few hours. To this she added additional training and also to go out for walk with muzzle aka mouth cap, because over here one can travel in tram, bus and train with pets.
Beginning 2018, his blood test result arrived and he was declared fit to travel by end of March. When you decide to travel you would have to mark special services during booking of ticket. Whether emirates or lufthansa, we zeroed in on Lufthansa due to less travel time from Frankfurt. After booking my ticket I called up their customer care and gave complete details, they confirmed the services and added to my ticket “Transporting Animals”.
The next and last important part was to get the paperwork completed. The representatives at Global Cargo assured us of getting it done. April 2018 when I was there in Bangalore there is one formality to be completed. This is to take Shadow to Animal Quarantine Center at Bengaluru Airport. Along with representative from Global Cargo we went for inspection. The inspection also includes scanning the microchip. He cleared the inspection. And finally his papers were ready along with clearance certificate.
Lastly 4 days before travel he had to be given deworing tablet. Recommended, Slayworm Merial.
Shadow was ready to travel with us! 🙂
Thanks to all those who had been part of his life during the last approximately 6yrs in Bengaluru
1. His doctor Nanjundappa from the time he came to us.
2. Cartman, Koramangala where we used to drop him for boarding some times.
3. Global Cargo Services for getting the paperwork completed on time and to perfection.
4. Cessna, Domlur

Prague International Half Marathon

7 months after moving to Brno on 7th April I ran my first international marathon outside my country (India), the 20th edition of Prague International Half Marathon.

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I liked their tag line!
Run

And on the bib “Today we Run”.
The weather was a mix with wind freezing me up mixed with hot sun and humid conditions. Except for chillness, heat and humidity is not to be scared of having run in Mumbai Marathon and Chennai Marathon!
During the run when I looked up front or behind there like hundreds of people. It was exciting and also I was amazed by the numbers. All the public cheering all through the route, musicians playing instruments, support stations (contains water, aerated water, gatorade, bananas, oranges, salt, sugar and sponge in water).
The run started on time and my goal was to just run. 2 weeks of training after a month of illness I was not in good shape. Few days prior to falling sick I was getting in shape with training and was looking for sub 1hr45mins finish.
A week before the run at a realistic estimate I knew I could finish at 2hrs +/- few minutes. I kept a steady pace through the run, hydrated myself sufficiently and enjoyed the route. The route was mix of up, down, up, down, flat and along the river just reminded me of running along Marine Drive in Mumbai! I followed few tips from Gladson Johnson:
1. Swing arm
2. Breathe from nose
3. Stay hydrated
In the end I had a comfortable finish.
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The run was important and special since it was to welcome my family who would be moving in with me this month!
Thanks to my employer SAP.
Personally irrespective of time, the excitement was similar to after I finished my first marathon in 2005!

PS: I don’t know who, there was a girl in bride’s dress with her man who finished the run! That’s a nice moment.