Testimonial : What to expect when travelling with a dog
Christine delivered one of our dogs to Canada on November 14, 2016 and wrote back to let us know what her experience was like. If you would like to help us get dogs rehomed abroad, read Christine's account.
Thank you for sharing Christine.
I was visiting family and friends in Antigua and there, through a cat over, I learned that there was an agency that rescues dogs from Antigua and that there was a dog that needed a person to take him to Canada. I agreed to be this person not knowing much about the procedure. I was assured that it would be easy to do.
My Departure From Antigua
Through emails, I agreed to meet a lady, Joy, at the airport. I arrived at the airport at 2 PM for my scheduled departure to Canada at 4:07PM. There I met Joy, the only person with a large dog kennel. I had already checked-in online so I just needed to check my baggage. Joy, the dog Peggy and myself ventured in to the lineup. My bag was checked and then Peggy was weighed. I showed Peggy’s papers to the ticket agent and the agent kept one piece of paper. Peggy’s crate was given a flight sticker on her crate and then we transported her to oversized baggage. There, an official matched Peggy’s ticket against mine. It was time for me to go through security and then board my flight. All went smoothly so far.
Arrival In Toronto
I was very nervous upon arrival at Toronto Airport because I had a connecting flight and I had never traveled with a dog before.
Things progressed quite quickly in Toronto. With only your carry-on luggage, Canadian citizens are ushered one way and others another way. Have your customs claim form and your passport ready. They are electronically scanned, there are many agents on hand to help and this goes quickly. The scanned form is viewed by and agent where I got asked what I was bringing in and I said –“ a dog” – and they said “ok”.
Then it was off to baggage. There are free baggage carts for you to use at this airport and there are also porters with carts you can hire for $10.00. I took a free baggage cart. Along the wall there are airline professionals from different airlines to assist you if you can’t find your baggage. Also along this wall is a conveyor belt for oversized luggage. I kept an eye on this area for Peggy. Well, there she was sitting on the floor by a security guy. To the security guy I said, “This is mine”. He said, “Take it.” That was easy. I hoisted her and her crate on my baggage cart. I then found my luggage. I followed the crowd to the exit. For the amount of people they had to put through, I thought the line went fast. Have your declaration form ready again. Most people went left. The dog and I had to go right. We needed to see a special customs agent. The customs man was very kind. I showed him all my papers that I was given in Antigua, my Passport and my Declaration form. He asked me what the dog’s name was, if the dog was male or female, what breed it was and how old it was. I told him that I did not know how old the dog was; I said she was quite young. I was able to answer all of the other questions. The agent produced a form and then I had to pay a cashier $33.90. The agent let me leave all of my luggage and dog with him as I took a little jog to the cashier. I tapped my MasterCard and came back to gather my things. To the right was the exit; forward was the way to my connecting flight. So I went forward, past the first exit I dropped my luggage off so it could be on its way. I asked questions and the lovely employees at the airport helped me know where to go. I told them that I had a connecting flight but my friend was going to take the dog. The staff at the airport was very helpful. So I exited into the meet and greet area. Somewhere between customs and the exit, my phone decided it didn’t want to work. I panicked, I get nervous at airports. Luckily, Len had given a good description of himself. So I took a chance and walked up to a random guy that fit the description and said, “Are you looking for a dog?” I found the right person. I hardly said hello. He gave me $40.00 to cover my cost at customs and I dashed away to catch my connecting flight. In my rush I neglected to hand over the dogs paperwork. (In the end, I need not have rushed as my flight was slightly delayed.) No worries though, we communicated the next day and I took photo’s of the papers and sent them and I will mail the forms so that the originals are in the right hands.
Peggy, the dog, quietly endured the whole ordeal. I thought she behaved quite ideally. It was a pleasure to work with this organization that made the whole process go seamlessly. Now Peggy will have a new home and continue to be well cared for.