As Peter had left Liesel with Fran Tantaro in her boarding kennels, it was just a short trip from the airport to pick her up. In fact, Fran very kindly collected me from the airport. Fran had of course done an excellent job looking after Liesel for us.
From the boarding kennels I had to drive to the Vic Market pet shop to get more dry food to take to Jochen in the quarantine station. By the time I had driven round in circles and finally managed to find my way to the quarantine station, it was their lunchtime and I could not see Jochen until the official time of 1.30 pm. As I had come off a long-haul flight, my stress levels started to rise but I think Kelly, the quarantine officer, is somewhat used to people in that state because she was very patient and kind.
He then almost threw himself at the water and drank and drank. As if he could not have drunk water before my arrival. Really. It just goes to show that even such a sound dog as Jochen can get very stressed.
As the vet had not yet seen him, I was not allowed to take Jochen out of the pen onto the grassy area. This was a pity because going by his behaviour, he had not yet relieved himself. This added to my stress but I was assured that if dogs have difficulty relieving themselves in their pens, they take them to a grassy area.
I had brought some toys with me and so did some motivational obedience with him which he always enjoys. By the time we had heeled, recalled, retrieved, chased the toy, he was a much happier and more relaxed dog.
I then examined his bedding which I was not happy with. Having said that, I want to be quite clear that I do not see it as the responsibility of the quarantine station to provide fancy bedding.
In any case, I upended Liesel and took out the big bed that I have in the back of the station wagon and took that plus a towel. The bed went into the bedroom section and I placed their little blanket on top. The towel went onto the concrete just outside his bedroom but still under cover so that he would have something to lie on when he wanted to watch the world go by.
When I see him next I will bring a hammock bed with a cushion so that he is off the concrete but can still be outside when he wants to be.
Once we had calmed down I sat in his bedroom with him and he lay on his bed, sighed and closed his eyes. After a while he rolled over on his side and stretched out his legs. I then knew that he would be fine.
I deliberately left him a few times,each time to go the car to get something, so that he would get used to me coming and going and be ok with that.
The quarantine staff weighed him on arrival and he had lost 2 kg since the last weigh-in on Monday. So he will be fed twice a day to ensure that he puts on some weight.
Visiting hours are restricted to twice a week, not on weekends, Mondays or public holidays. So I had it in my mind to visit him on Tuesday completely forgetting that Tuesday is Cup Day. After all, I have been away for three months and things like Cup Day were completely off the radar. So then I was going to visit him tomorrow, Wednesday but on coming home discovered that my now very elderly mother has a geriatric assessment on Wednesday. So that was out. Now it will be Thursday.
I rang the staff on Monday and was assured that he is fine, eating well, (which I certainly expected) relieving himself in the pen and... there was a note on his file that he is a very nice dog. So his laid-back, friendly personality has already won him some hearts. He knows how to get attention, cuddles and tummy rubs.
Whilst I would of course much prefer that he not be in quarantine, I know he will be fine and that the staff will look after him well.
As an aside, Jochen was given a beautiful, pure wool, very thick blanket when we arrived in Switzerland. We placed this in his crate and hoped that for whatever reason it would not be confiscated. The staff have told me that not only will it NOT be confiscated, they will wash it to ensure that it is not carrying any oobly gooblies (understandable) and then we can have it back. So that is great. As soon as it is washed it will go into his quarantine bedroom.