I’ve always been a cat man. I used to rescue and adopt every stray kitty that wandered up to my house. After he started hanging around my back door, I once spent months taming a really mean, really ugly feral cat. As soon as we lopped his nuts off Bob turned out to be the sweetest house cat ever.
I never wanted a dog. I didn’t even particularly like dogs. I still wouldn’t have one if Jamie hadn’t demanded that we get one.
Now I realize and admit to the error of my ways.
When Jamie saw little Tinker’s photo on a dog rescue website she said, “Look at that face. There’s something special about this one. She looks spunky.”
I know you love your dog and think it is special. But no matter what you may think, he or she does not compare to our little Tinker. Tinker’s never met a person she doesn’t love. Instead of barking at our mailman, she takes him a toy every day when he arrives at our front door. She’s never bitten anyone. Never dug a hole in the yard. Never chewed on anything she wasn’t supposed to chew. Never peed in the house. Never growled at anyone. In fact, she doesn’t even know how to growl and it’s kind of funny on those very rare occasions when she tries. She even tries to groom our cat.
Despite this lengthy list of attributes, and despite our love for little Tinker, she will not be accompanying us to Australia.
Well, how much do you think it might cost to ship a 9-pound dog to Australia? Let’s pretend this is The Price Is Right. Closest guess without going over the actual price wins. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go wash the dishes while you think it over. Ready? Begin cogitating.
OK, I’m back. The dishes have all been washed and dried and put away and you’ve had plenty of time to think about the question I asked.
What was your guess?
A thousand dollars?
Because we thought it would be fun to take her with us, I contacted two companies that specialize in shipping dogs overseas.
We didn’t have a clue as to the actual cost and we initially guessed that it might cost a couple thousand dollars. Although that seemed expensive, it was a cost we were willing to bear just for the pleasure of having little Tinker with us.
Oh, how wrong we were.
The company that had received the highest recommendations sent me a detailed estimate for one-way shipping. (One way because they ship pets only to Australia. We would then need to find an Aussie company to ship her back to Texas.)
Are you sitting down? If not, please do because the cost I’m about to give you is so outrageously high that it caused blood to rush from my head, nearly causing me to faint. Please take reasonable precautions prior to reading the next paragraph.
The cost to ship little 9-pound Tinker was $9,500. One way.
The detailed cost breakdown included items such as “Take dog out of shipping cage to pee at LAX. $175.” Putting her back in her cage after she peed was another $75 line item.
But $9,500 was not the final cost. The fine print in the contract specified that it did not include a number of additional required items.
I’m going to to take a wild-assed guess that the total cost of shipping her from Dallas to Sydney would probably end up somewhere around $12,000. And as I said, that’s a one-way cost. Although the return trip is far simpler, an Aussie company estimated that the return trip would cost an additional $5,000. And I’m pretty damn sure that was merely the base price and that a number of those pesky unspecified extras would eventually be added to the bill.
Do the math: $12,000 plus $5,000 plus a list of unspecified additional costs equals somewhere in the neighborhood of $20,000.
In case I have not made myself clear, we love little Tinker. She is the sweetest, most lovable dog in the world.
But we don’t love her $20,000 worth.
So Tinker will be spending the next six months with Bob and Jan, good friends who live a couple blocks down the street from us. They are the nicest people in the world and he’s a retired veterinarian, so we know she’ll be in very good hands.
Bon voyage, little Tinker. We’ll miss you.