HAVE DOG – WILL TRAVEL !

Cooper, our black labrador, was born and raised for two years in Cronulla, which is a suburb of Sydney.  Our son in law named him after the Ozzie beer and we were first introduced to him when Ben and Gemma got married up in Port Douglas, Queensland. Shortly thereafter they moved up North to Port Douglas, dogs and all.  On our various visits there we loved it but observed that Cooper wasn’t coping well with the tropical heat. He wasn’t allowed to swim in the pool and the various lakes and streams surrounding the area had their fare share of resident crocodiles – so no joy there.  He loved the beach and splashed and swam to his heart’s content, but then had to be hosed down to get the salt off his skin – all of which he relished in a way only labradors can !  But the heat was a definite problem.
Eventually we managed to persuade Gemma to let us adopt him and she would get another Multipoo (a tiny white ball of fluff with an enormous personality !) in his place.  So we took Cooper down to Cairns and got his rabies shot ready for his long haul to the other side of the world.  The vet told us that he couldn’t travel for six months after the shot so as we would not be in Australia then, we arranged for a dog travelling company to pick him up from Gemma after six months and do all the necessary travel arrangements to bring him door-to-door to us in SW Ireland.
A WARNING here. Doggie travel is extremely expensive —- think First Class Return to Australia- air- ticket -type expensive!  There is lots of paperwork and as Ireland and Australia are both rabies free, the plane touches down at Singapore and that is not !
Things started to go wrong when the Doggie Company picked him up a month too early. No worries they said and flew him down from Cairns to Sydney.  International flights at Sydney said no way could he travel, so poor Cooper was sitting in a crate in Sydney airport waiting to be rescued !  Ben’s brilliant parents who lived in Sydney rushed to the airport and took him home to their house for a month and completely fell in love with him !  As they couldn’t keep him, after he was collected for the second time and flown to Singapore, they got a black lab puppy of their own !
So Cooper was put back in the crate, flown to Singapore and from there to London and four days later he arrived at our house looking very fed up and with only water to drink as they don’t feed them en route, despite the fortune you are being charged !  He came into our large garden, spotted the stream, looked in either direction for passing crocodiles, (of which there were none), and launched himself in with wild abandon.  He even just stood there whilst we hosed him down with extremely cold water and he has loved it ever since.
Five years have passed since that arrival day and him and Spottie ( our lurcher ) are the best of friends. Cooper is seven now and has a touch of arthritis in his back knee so he and me console each other. As we both feel less sore in the mornings, he goes for his crocodile free walk every day with us and his favourite thing is to roll in cold, wet grass – though I pass on this !!  His arthritis has improved a bit with a change of diet to expensive food containing Chrondoitin & Glucosamine, which I take as well (the supplements, not the dog biscuits !) and when evening comes and we are both feeling a bit sore, he lies in front of the radiator in my bedroom and watches TV with me.
It was definitely the best thing we ever did bringing Cooper over from Australia. He has found a best friend in Spottie and we have found a friend for life !

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Cooper !

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