1. Peter was arriving back this morning and -
2. From the airport we were going to visit Jochen in quarantine.
I could hardly wait. I might add that the anxiety to see Jochen in quarantine was greater than the joy in seeing Peter again! The difference is of course that Jochen is confined to his pen and Peter is a free agent. I had brought Liesel with me and her joy in seeing Peter again was lovely to witness.
Jochen again leapt and yipped and barked when we arrived at his pen. He dragged me out of his block no doubt thinking that he was going home. We played with him and it was obvious that he was glad to be out on grass and have something to do.
Having placed that hammock bed with mat into the main part of the pen, he did not have that urine smell on him at all. The staff later told me that he seems to like it and spends most of his time on it.
Given that we spent three months on daily long walks and many of those high up into the mountains, this enforced confinement must be very hard for him. One thing that concerns me is that he sounds slightly hoarse. Again, I was assured that he is very quiet and Vicky, who is looking after him, said that he is a 'gentleman'.
VISITING OR NOT VISITING
I have been told by some people that it might be better for Jochen if I did not come to visit him as the coming and going could be distressing. I have thought of that of course but if I did not visit him then I would not know that he needed proper bedding in his bedroom as well as bedding in his run. He would smell of urine, he would probably develop calluses on his elbows and he would not be fed twice a day to get his weight up (which now no longer seems necessary) and no-one would know that he is a bit hoarse at the moment.
Quarantine is not like a dog being in a boarding kennel as there they get out of their pens every day and see other dogs and all the goings-on. In quarantine the dogs never get out of their pen unless there is a reason such as weighing the dog etc. So they are really in a type of isolation which is not good.
Jochen certainly barks when I leave him and is not happy about being left behind but he gets over that. As he is such a mature, experienced and balanced dog mentally and emotionally, he can deal with my coming and leaving again. Even though the quarantine staff have the daily care of him, I need to have an overview and make whatever adjustments I can within the restrictions of quarantine.
REDUCING QUARANTINE TIME
Whilst I am reconciled to the quarantine time and understand its reasons, what frustrates me is that New Zealand has already reduced the quarantine time to 10 days only. Australia is considering doing the same thing and asked for input from stake holders on this subject. Unfortunately for Jochen, if Australia follows suit, and it is to be fervently hoped that it does, then it is too late for him and he has to sit there for those extra 20 days.
However, I knew this before I embarked on this project and now both Jochen and I have to live with the reality. We are not alone. Them's the breaks.