Well, I immediately imagined that Jochen was running around the tarmac because he had somehow gotten out of the crate! You have to bear with me as this is the first time I have relinquished him to the care of people I know nothing about, and that has been a huge leap of faith and trust in others that Jochen will be treated well and will be ok.
Of course he was ok. Peter meant that there he was, in his crate, on the trolley waiting to be loaded into the Thai Airways plane. You can just make out his crate in the picture. I gulped.
JOCHEN IS SO COOL
Not only did I have to hand him over to other people, I also flew with a different airline, exactly what I did not want to do. But as I had waited to almost the last minute in the hope of some more sponsorship money to help with Jochen's horrendous freight costs (close enough to $12,000.00), I was not able to get a Thai Airways seat on that flight. So he flew via Bangkok and I flew KLM via Kuala Lumpur and Amsterdam. We left within 35 minutes of each other and also arrived in Zurich within 35 minutes of each other.
Elias found me at the arrival centre and told me that he had already seen Jochen, that he was fine and was being taken for a walk by that most competent and friendly Marianne Imhof from ACE Pet Movers in Zurich.
We caught up with both of them, I did not say anything until I was with them and as soon as he realised I was there, he did his usual yodelling, singing, yipping and leaping as as if he had spring in each leg. However, he really did not go over the top and I did not add to his emotions and so he settled down very quickly. We went upstairs to the office to sort out the rest of the paperwork (there is a mountain of it) and Marianne let him off-lead to roam in the office. He checked it out and then lay down near the door and slept!!
He was so relaxed and so calm as if flying to the other side of the world and being stuck in a crate for at least 26 hours is something he did every other week. I gave thanks for a well-bred dog with excellent manners and a calm disposition. Elias was impressed with him and said that he has very strong nerves.
Elias had met him when Jochen was about 2 1/2 years old and still very much in training. Even then he said that he was several levels above his predecessor, Achim. Elias had worked with both Achim and Jochen in the two trips he made to Australia.
We took him to the car and he had to get into a crate in the car again for the 108 km drive to Chur. You would think that he had had enough of crates by now but, in he hopped and settled himself down. It was not long and he was snoozing. Was I a proud 'mum?' You bet.
We finally arrived in a typical Swiss village, picturesque with oh so high alps all around. We have our own room, he met Hyra, a black Labrador bitch who is a USAR dog in-training and his demeanour was, 'I see, now we live here. Whatever', and settled in. I took him for a an hour-walk and that was our first day in Switzerland.