Monday, March 29, 2010

March 29, 2010 – The Countdown Begins

7 days, we leave in 7 days. I had a little chat with the dogs today explain that we were going on a trip. They listened so intently, the boy with his head cocked to one side, ears perked up like he had a clue. I’m sure I’ll have to explain it to them a few more times before D-day.
Oh I should give a quick federal Vet update from last week. It would seem that not only had I gotten more sleep the night before but it appears the vet did too. He was much nicer and it was a productive and pleasant experience. I know, shocking, but I believe I have all of the paperwork for the dogs and then some.

Now to make it through the next few days.

Friday, March 26, 2010

March 26, 2010 - Do Over

Guess where I am heading this morning... yessiree Bob.  I'm hoping into the car and going to see the Federal Vet again.  I think I am completely prepaired this morning.
  • Extra Sleep - check
  • Diet Dr. Pepper - check
  • Break in case of Emergancy Chocolate - check
  • Jack Daniels in Case of Bigger Emergancy - check
I also have what I believe is all of the correct paper work and a couple of extras.  However, if something is missing or wrong I still have next Tuesday to get it corrected.  So a deep breath, exhale... its going to be a good day!

On to other news:
L was in Zurich this week and did the walk through of the apartment and picked up the keys. 
The internet is turned on I apparently just have to set up the wifi modem.  (Let's hope the instructions are in english - lol). 
She also registered herself with the community we are going to be living in.  I really don't completely understand what the registration process is except I think its how they keep track of who lives where for tax purposes.  I also know that I have to register when I get there. 
Opened a bank account (it's always a good thing to have access to money).
Leased a car, and got insurance for the car and the apartment.
Arranged for transport from the airport to the hotel, and hotel reservations for the night we come in.

I think that pretty much covers the mundane activities.  I'm starting to get excited and nervous about the actual trip over.  I'm a little worried about the logistics of managing the dogs from home to the airport, getting them settled at the airport, retrieving them at our destination, managing them from the airport to the hotel, getting them settled for a night at the hotel, getting them from the hotel to the apartment.  Having a game plan when we get to the apartment for when our stuff arrives (what to do with the dogs to keep them out of the way).  I suspect the answer to all of those questions will be "walking the dogs".  Hey I can start my fat loss regime the day we travel.

Wish me luck with the Federal Vet

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

March 23, 2010 - The Federal Vet meets 200

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest my stress levels have hit 200, although they have leveled off this afternoon to a steady 8. You might be asking yourselves:
“Why CAB? Why are your stress levels so high?”

Well children, I had to take a trip to Hartford to see the big bad Federal Veterinary this morning. I went today because he is there Tuesday’s and Friday’s and I anticipated that there might be an issue with the dogs’ paperwork.  In the event of a second trip, left myself a cushion. What I did not anticipate was that the vet would be a flaming $%#&. Pardon my language please. The 1st thing he says when he looks at the paperwork is that it won’t get me into the European Union – and then he continues to ramble on about how Switzerland isn’t in the EU but this paperwork won’t get me in the EU. To which I say “but I’m going to SWITZERLAND and these are the forms the Swiss Government gave me.” Which he concedes is fine but continues to tell me they are wrong. At this point my blood pressure has spiked and I’m starting to fantasize about grabbing him by the back of the head and smashing his face into the desk… repeatedly. Then he starts in on me that Ernie’s Rabies Vaccine was done 2 years BEFORE he was chipped and that’s not acceptable. He has to be chipped and THEN they have to vaccinate him. Yeah well I didn’t know 2 years ago when his rabies vaccine was due that I would be moving to SWITZERLAND and that he would need a chip. Really who chips a mutt? Then I proceed to explain that was one of the reasons we got the rabies serology test. Which send this guy off on how I didn’t need the test and the test is useless because the test has to be done AFTER the dog is chipped and 30 days AFTER he has his rabies shot. Which I then had to point out was the freaking order. We chipped the boy, and then drew blood. Did I mention that the Swiss rules say I NEED the test? Yea! Switzerland requires it for proof that the dogs are immune to rabies regardless of when the rabies vaccine was given but it can’t be drawn unless the vaccine was given at least 30 days prior.

The Vet points out a legitimate issue where there is a discrepancy between the rabies certificate for Ernie and the form the Vet signed. Oh and btw he also says the Health Certificate that I need to get the dogs on the freaking plane. That’s not right either. He doesn’t know why I need it anyway but he won’t sign it. Now I have to admit I am losing my cool, and I say I need the form because I have to get the dogs ON AN AIRPLANE and the Airline REQUIRES IT. Right around now he starts to tell me he can sign the forms despite the discrepancies but that I can’t correct the discrepancies once he signs them. So I say “Ok but then what happens when I get to customs in Switzerland if they notice the same discrepancy?” Well Vet says he can’t say what they might do, but yes I am correct that if they are feeling particular on that day they could deny the dog entry. Yah, I think your with me. Why would I try that? Why would I fly 9 freaking hours and put the dogs through that to get stuck in Customs in Switzerland? Do we really want to experience a completely avoidable international incident? Do I have any desire at all to change this blog from “CAB’s European Adventures” to “CAB’s International Prison Exploits”? Not really. No.

So on my way home I stopped at my nice wonderful vet’s office, explained my issue (They said they had heard that the Federal Vet was “not so nice” I think they were being polite) and they are trying to straighten out the errors. I also came home, ate a bowl of ice cream and downloaded whatever other forms I could find that would get the dogs past the damn Federal Vet, onto the plane and ideally through to Switzerland. I go back to the Federal Vet on Friday. I’m thinking I should have a stiff drink before I go.

Friday, March 19, 2010

March 19, 2010 – I’m Going To Make this A Good Day For Myself

I’m saying that fairly frequently these days (although my Dad would say I need to say that EVERY day). For those of you who are unaware, when I was a child I hated school. I was also very grumpy. To combat this, my father would come into my room in the mornings and make me say I’m going to make this a good day for myself.” Of course being the grumpy ornery child that I was I couldn’t just say it. So if you put on your best grumpy face and through gritted teeth mumble “I’m going to make this a good day for myself” . That’s what I would sound like. Inevitably this would be met with “Say it like you mean it” and I would have to say it until I sounded like I meant it. Then at the end of the day my Dad would ask if I had a good day and regardless of if I had or not I would respond “No!” We all laugh at it now and I think back to those times with very fond memories and more than a little bit of gratitude that my Dad taught me that I control my reaction to the day.

So lately I am finding myself more than a little stressed with the move coming up fast and furious. L is feeling the stress too. There are lots of little details that need to be completed:

Take dogs to the Vet for final health exam (today)
Get Health certificate from Federal Vet (if all goes according to plan – Tuesday)
Buy travel crate for Jesse (this weekend)
Officially resign from my current employer
Sign Consulting Agreement
Get put on L’s health plan
Sell car
Return plates to DMV
Renew Carry Permit
Get the little red car emission tested
Call Daniel The Painter – so he can take care of the lawn (I know that seems odd)

Open bank account in Zurich
Do walk through for transfer of apartment
Lease Car
Get Insurance for the Car and the apartment
Make transportation arrangements from airport to…..????? when we arrive
Finish moving our stuff into storage so my sister has space when she moves in.
Pack up any items we need to carry with us when we move

I am sure there are lots of other things that we need to get done but this is the list that I am aware of thus far. “I’m going to make this a good day for myself.”

I really am trying to be good and trying to maintain the attitude of “we can only get done what we can get done.” Frankly the important things are making sure the dogs paper work is done so they can get through customs and everything else we can resolve one way or another. Darn it all I just realized that the movers packed the camera. I wanted to document the big move. I’ll have to look for the little camera. One way or another you will get pictures… even if they are stick figures.

So lately we are busy with work, moving arrangements and making the rounds trying to see as many people as we can before we venture off and all through this I say “I’m going to make this a good day for myself.” (with an occasional “OMG my pants are too tight” – let’s hope that resolves itself once my stress levels and chocolate decrease)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

March 7, 2010 - Can-O-Cake

We’ve been trying to get together with friends before we head out on our adventure. So last night L and I went to dinner with another wonderful couple… L and M.

We went to the restaurant “Prime” and let me tell you, when we go back we’re having the pop-overs that they give you as “bread” skipping everything else and going right to dessert. “The Can-O-Cake” They say it’s made to share. What they don’t say is that it’s large enough to share with 5 of your friends (unless you are having PMS then maybe it’s only sharable with 1).

As you can see M is really enjoying the cake: