Bermuda’s privileged pooches don’t travel commercial
Some days I get that ’only in Bermuda’ experience, which is always entertaining and leaves a smile on my face.
Here’s one of those stories.
Several years ago I was seeing patients in clinic. Normally, when the next patient arrives, you get a little header on the computer which tells you what they are coming in for. It allows you to get organised before you see them and be sure you have everything you need.
Well, the little header said ‘health certificate for travel to the US’. Great, thought I, I just needed to make sure the animal was healthy enough to travel and fill out some paperwork, simple.
I called the dog and owner in and started the consult. The dog was very handsome, well-groomed and in the picture of health. There were certainly no problems with travel for this pampered pooch. I asked the lady who brought him if she had any concerns about his health and she replied, “None at all.”
Next, I pulled out the paperwork, filled in my name and the date, and asked the owner if she would be travelling with the dog. “Oh, I’m not the owner,” she said. “I am the personal assistant. I just brought him down today for the appointment.”
No problem, thought I, and asked “Who will be travelling with the dog? Which name shall I fill in on the paperwork?” The personal assistant looked confused at this point and replied, “No one will be travelling with the dog.”
“Oh I see,” I said. “He is travelling in cargo. Do you have the crate ready for him to go in? Do you need me to check the dimensions for you?”
The personal assistant burst out laughing at this point and gave me a gentle shake of the head. “No dear,” she said. “He won’t be going in a crate, he will be going in the jet.”
Light dawned on me as I slowly realised that this rather well-to-do dog would be taking a trip on a private jet, from Bermuda to New York. He would be walked up the aircraft steps, settled into his first-class bed and flown directly to his destination, where he would be met on the tarmac and taken to his other home. Talk about jet-set pets! I asked if he needed a vet to accompany him as I signed the paperwork. It’s a Bermuda dog’s life.
Lucy Richardson graduated from Edinburgh University in 2005. She started CedarTree Vets in August 2012 with her husband Mark. They live at the practice with their two children, Ray and Stella, and their dog, two cats and two guinea pigs. Dr. Lucy is also FEI national head veterinarian for Bermuda