I'm one of those people who's obsessed with their dog. I snuggle with Patsy every morning, I spoil her with nice scraps of bacon; in return, she pre-washes all my dishes (ok, that's just me spoiling her again). One time, my vet told me I had to put Patsy on a "bland diet" for a few days. She said I could buy bland food from the vet clinic unless I "really wanted to cook her meals of rice and lean ground turkey." I really wanted to.
We adopted Patsy from a local rescue organization, Pet Project Rescue. These guys help find homes for dogs and cats in the area. They also do spay & neuter clinics in Mexico ('cause boy, are there a lot of stray dogs there). Often, they arrange for some doggies to head up to Minnesota for adoption. Our Patsy was one of these dogs.
Here's a photo of her a few days after we brought her home. I know.
I'll bet you're wondering how one brings a puppy from Mexico to the USA. Great question. It's actually not the complicated thing you'd expect. You need a health certificate, proof of rabies & other vaccinations. The good folks at Delta Airlines are buds with PPR and waive the fee for flying with an animal. It's all fairly straight forward. The final step is finding people who are already flying from Mexico to Minneapolis... and willing to do it with a puppy under the seat in from of them. Since we love our Patsy, returning the favor for some other lucky Minnesotans would be a pleasure. We volunteered.
On the day Josh and I were departing Cancun, Jeff from Isla Animal Rescue (I dare you to click that link) met us at the airport with a teeny, tiny bag. I could not believe a puppy could hang in a bag that small, but sure enough, Caja fit comfortably. We took her outside and played/snuggled her. She was a hit. Can you even handle these photos?
Once we let Caja do her biz, we zipped her back into the bag (when I say bag, I really mean a soft-sided kennel that's intended to transport a dog) and got in the security line. I had to take her out and carry her through the metal detector; Awwwwwws immediately ensued.
We worried she'd bark or whine or--worst case scenario-- get sick and stink up the plane. And speaking of bathroom, Caja did have a piddle pad, just in case. The rescue org told us the dogs are typically exhausted from all of the day's excitement, and tend to get lulled to sleep by the plane's constant white noise hum. Puppies: they're just like us! Thankfully, it worked on Caja, too. She slept from the moment we boarded (expect when I fed her a little turkey from my sammy) until we lined up for customs. Caja was the perfect travel companion.
When we stepped up to the US Customs Officer, she asked all the regular stuff (What were you doing in Mexico? Escaping Minnesota, duh.), then noticed we'd actually checked the box stating that we were "traveling with a live animal." She needed to peek into the bag and ensure the puppy looked okay. Personally, I think she needed a short burst of cuteness in an otherwise boring day. We were then free to find our bags & breeze through the rest of customs. It was really that easy, and thank god because Caja's carrier was lined with Cuban cigars (just kidding, maybe).
Lindsay from PPR met us right outside the gate, where we gave Caja a nice snuggle and slowly... painfully... tearfully... handed her over. I know she's going to find a Minnesota-nice home (though Caja, on behalf of all Minnesotans, I do apologize for this terrible weather. Really, you get used to it). Caja spent 1 month in quarantine at a foster home to ensure she's in good health and now...
CAJA IS UP FOR ADOPTION! CLICK HERE IF YOU'D LIKE TO BRING HER OR ONE OF HER PALS HOME!
You know you want to.