OUR SINGAPOREAN BOY XAVI!

A travel report from the other side:)!

Dear Helene,

It’s hard to believe that it’s already six months since we moved to Singapore. Never in my life has time passed by as fast as now…

Yet; it feels like yesterday I called to tell you that we were planning to move from Belgium to Singapore—with Xavi!

As you already know, everything went well with the trip and the whole move. But this time I can honestly say that I’ve spent hours and hours researching about dogs in SIngapore…”move with dog to Singapore” … “dogs in Singapore”…”leaving in Singapore with dogs” … “things to do for dogs in Singapore”… I goggled on dogs way more than both schools and housing ;)

We soon found out that Singapore was very strict about rules and regulations for pet import —but not impossible!!

The rabies and vaccination program is very important to follow, monitor and document in order to qualify for the 10 days of quarantine (which is the shortest period of time when coming from Belgium). A lot of paper work is required as well as examinations and check-ups before the long trip.

Furthermore, certain breeds are not even allowed in Singapore and others have to be muzzled at all times. Our relief was big when we found out that RR did not belong to any of these groups.

We made the decision to hire a pet relocation company to help out with all the documents, veterinary appointments and deadlines along the process.

One of the first decisions and choices we had to make was about the flight. Fly out with Xavi on the same flights; a 16h flight (with a 4h stopover to ensure enough time for the change), or a 12h direct flight only for Xavi in a cargo plane… (there are no direct passenger flights from Brussels to Singapore)

Considering the pressure and stress a trip like this means, we decided to book Xavi on the direct cargo flight, to “shorten” his time in the air. We were told he was going to travel together with horses and other pets and also assured that traveling in cargo planes is much better for animals, as the staff on board don’t have any passengers (humans) to care for and can therefore have a better back-up for their four-legged passengers J

We were still scheduled to leave on the same day, but different time. Xavi early in the morning and we at lunchtime. On the “D” day, Xavi was picked up in the morning by the pet agent in a huge crate where we put lots of blankets, favorite toys and used t-shirts… It was a hard moment to see him leave in that van, knowing that he was going to spend the next 12h somewhere between Europe and Asia… without us.

Xavi arrived sound and safe to Singapore before us and was taken care of, by the local pet agent- who did his customs clearance and transported him to the quarantine place.

Visiting Xavi for the first time in the quarantine was a very emotional meeting. I cannot in words explain how happy he was to see us!! Jumping both feet and mashing us against the small room’s walls… and pretty much the same procedure every day for the rest of his stay there… and then the good byes and leaving him again after the two visiting hours…. hart breaking and the most trying time we’ve experienced  so far.

The room was 2x3m, air conditioned with an elevated plastic bed. Food and water bowl, toys and blankets were the things we could bring to him. We could also bring his favorite food but were not allowed to feed him. All in all very basic but clean and friendly staff.

These long 10 days came eventually to an end and it was time for Xavi to join the family again in our new home; an apartment on the 30:th floor J  

The first few weeks were a bit difficult, as not knowing where to go for the long walks and always attracting attention to us (big dogs are not very common). We’ve met people who didn’t dare to share elevator with us and others who literary jumped away screaming or taking long detours…

Things are totally different today; we’ve found a lot of great places for our walks and Xavi has made a lot of friends; (both two and four legged). We often go to the beach, we have a few really nice dog runs and most of the dogs leaving in our condo meet up every night for a good play- of leash! Xavi is socializing with other dogs way more than he did before… and he’s become a really great apartment dog.   

Looking back to this adventure, I have to say that everything went beyond expectation. The long flight was certainly terrifying to think about and the 10 days of quarantine unthinkable to put up with but we’re so happy we did it and it feels that our bond with Xavi is even tighter and more trustful. We can’t see any changes of insecurity, nervousness or other negative signs on Xavi. He is as confident and cool as always and has developed in a very positive way during this past year.

I guess it’s an age thing too as he’s become more calm when interacting with other dogs, even more patient and confident, but I’m sure this experience has added a new dimension to his already great personality.

Helene; I can imagine how difficult it must be for you having your “babies” moving around the world… but you know that Xavi is a tough and hard-nosed baby ;) Thank you for your positive attitude and your continued support throughout our adventure.


All the best,

Anne & Xavi

Xavi - The beach boy:)

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