It is well known that all good dogs eventually find their way back to their homes. But some or some, like Pip, a little Australian dachshund, have to take a long detour to get there. Zoe and Guy Eilbeck, a 40-year-old couple from kangaroo country, changed their lives in 2018, sold their home, bought a yacht and set sail for a family trip around the world. In March 2020, accompanied by their sons, Cam and Max, 8 and 13 years old, they are halfway through their journey.
They are sailing the waters of Key West, Florida, when the Covid-19 pandemic triggers border closures around the world. In the wake of battle: the family has less than 48 hours to moor their yacht and return to Sydney. Unfortunately, because of the very strict health rules that Australia imposes on any animal entering its territory, it is impossible for them, within this period, to take their dog. Death in the heart, the family must resolve to leave Pip with a friend in the United States.
The administrative formalities to repatriate their dog are becoming more complicated than ever
“We originally expected to only leave for six weeks and come back to continue the trip,” says Zoe. But the closing of the borders lasts. And with the new Covid-19 regulations, the administrative formalities to repatriate their dog are becoming more complicated than ever.
“To export an animal from America, you must obtain a US declaration indicating that it is in good health and that it has undergone special blood tests because of rabies, explains Zoe. Except that said certificate has been issued since New York, which was then confined … “After weeks of waiting, the Eilbecks finally receive the document. But the galleys are not over: we must now find a means of transport, because Qantas, the Australian airline, no longer accepts dogs.
Thanks to the publicity made on this canine journey, a volunteer volunteers to bring back Pip
The family then finds a trick: they decide to fly Pip from Los Angeles to New Zealand, then hire a pet transport company to transfer him to Australia. There remains one final challenge: to find a flight which is safe – because it is too hot in the cargo hold during the summer months – and which will not be canceled. Fortunately, thanks to the publicity for this incredible canine journey, a volunteer volunteers to bring Pip back.
On August 11, after five months of separation and 15,000 km away, the little dachshund finally returns home. “We were so scared that she wouldn’t recognize us anymore,” Zoe said. The unwavering quality of dogs is loyalty!
Pip the dachshund ©