So at the end of June and beginning of July, Andrew and I had two weddings to attend in Birmingham (Alabama), and since they were two weeks apart, we went home and stayed for 17 days. Because we were going to be home for so long, and because we're going to be travelling so much during our last three and a half months (!!!) in Europe, we decided it would be best to go ahead and take the dogs home with us on this trip and leave them with our parents for the remainder of our stay in Europe. Andrew booked the dogs' and our plane tickets a couple of months ago with Delta. I was in charge of making sure the dogs got all their shots and paperwork needed. I made the necessary veterinarian appointments, got their rabies vaccinations, and spoke with the Assistant Veterinarian of Georgia several times to make sure that their paperwork was okay. The week of the flight I took them to the vet for their final appointment, the one during which the vet looks them over and signs a form saying they're fit to fly. The previous week, our agent with Delta also sent us another form saying the dogs could sustain certain temperatures. The vet wouldn't sign. I cried. She still refused to sign. Andrew started working with the agent to come up with a "Plan B" while I started searching for another vet who would agree to sign the form. We ended up putting the dogs on another flight with Continental (which doesn't require that particular form). They had to fly out the day before we did, TO HOUSTON! They had to spend the night in Houston and then catch another flight the next day to Atlanta. Poor girls. When we dropped them off at the airport, we had to leave them in their crates, and as I was walking away, Hadley let out a terrified, "YELP!" and when I turned around, she put one paw up on the grate of the cage and just looked at me with those big brown eyes, and I totally lost it and cried most of the way back to the flat.
When we picked them up in Atlanta, everything was fine; their paperwork was all good, and the girls were in perfect condition though exhausted and worried. We loaded them in the rental van and drove from Atlanta to Birmingham. Savannah was so jetlagged on the way home! She refused to lay down; she wanted to see where she was going, but she kept falling asleep sitting up. Her head would slowly droop down and down until her nose was touching the seat, and then she'd do the "head bob" and jerk her head up again real fast.
Hadley, on the other hand, just laid out, taking up the entire backseat, and passed out... That is, when she wasn't hanging her head out the window, enjoying the car breeze!
The next day, we took them straight to the vet to get all their unpleasantness overwith in one go. We had them bathed, dipped, shaved and clipped. Hadley looks as though she lost 20 pounds! She now loves the pool. She chased tennis ball after tennis ball into Andrew's parents' pool. She looks positively graceful while she swims - head held so high and not making the slightest splash in the water! Savannah is so happy just laying in the sun, soaking up the rays.
We can't thank our parents enough for keeping our girls while we're away these last few months. Hadley is living it up in Cullman with my parents while Savannah lounges away her days in Birmingham with Andrew's parents...