Tika, My World Class Traveller
‘What are you going to do when you leave Macau? Are you going to take Tika?’ - these are the words that I so often heard when getting into conversation about our plans to move back home to the UK after 5 years of living in Macau SAR.
I used to volunteer at a local animal rescue centre in Macau in 2016 when I met this little blonde puppy that stole my heart. I couldn’t stop thinking about him and would come back to visit him every week for a few months. As soon as I’d moved into my own apartment, I signed the adoption papers and brought him home.
Tika was born on the streets of Macau and at 4 months old, was hit by a car and left for dead. Lucky for him, a wonderful woman who we now call a dear friend took him to an animal rescue centre to seek help. Tika had a life saving operation with the only vet that would take the risk and do the operation. 3 years later, Tika is a happy and healthy dog with a zest for life!
It was easy integrating this ‘street dog’ into domesticated life. He never had any accidents in the house, never chewed anything and was always loyal to us. He made lots of canine friends around the neighbourhood and would regularly go on group dog walks and play dates. He became very popular!
The decision to leave Macau was a tough one. Most of all for Tika because we knew it would be a long and tough journey. There was no doubt on whether we would take him or not – we promised him a life with us and we would honour that no matter where we go. To others though, the thought of taking a dog halfway across the world seemed impossible. People would even ask me ‘so, when you leave you’ll just give him back to the rescue centre right?’ No! Never! Tika is my family. Where we go, he goes.
We knew the process wouldn’t be easy. Lucky for us, a couple of our friends had taken dogs from Macau to Europe just a few months before us so we had some guidance.
The paperwork and timing had to be right. Tika had to undergo a Rabies Antibody Test which we had to apply for, pay for, then draw the blood at a government vet (3 months and 1 day before travel at the least!), send the blood via FedEx to the UK for testing and await the results. It was a waiting game… if the results were not what we needed, Tika may not be able to fly or he would need to endure quarantine on the other side…
The results came in around 2 weeks after the blood draw and...everything was fine! Tika had a sufficient level of antibodies and was deemed acceptable to fly and avoid horrible quarantine. Hallelujah!
There were other pieces of paperwork to apply for but nothing was too stressful. I think the Rabies test was the worst part!
Now, looking at a company to fly with was the next part… we’d heard great things about EVA air and that they were very accommodating flying animals. My friends who had flown a few months before us both used EVA air and praised them. It seemed like a clear choice.
Due to some personal needs, Tika was able to fly with me in the cabin as an emotional support animal with a letter from a health professional. It wasn’t an easy journey for him but he was an absolute champion! The staff at EVA air on board and in Taipei airport (where we had our layover) loved Tika and were eager to meet him! Tika slept most of the journey with his blanket and one of his favourite toys. He was a star. I’m so very proud of him!
Anyone that is thinking to adopt a dog from overseas or to bring their own dog with them on their new adventure, I would highly encourage you! Pet travel is not such a complicated thing anymore. Long quarantines are a thing of the past. As long as everything is done correctly prior to the journey in terms of paperwork and tests then there is absolutely no need to hold your pet in quarantine.
There are plenty of flight options and there are even agents to help you if you really think you cannot organise everything by yourself. There’s always a way!
Tika is now a very happy dog and he’s a world class traveller! If you’d like to keep updated on his adventures, he has his very own Instagram account (@TikaMacao) and he’s also the face of our small business ‘Inspawration’ - find us on Facebook (@Inspaw) and Instagram (@Inspaw). Inspawration was inspired by Tika and he’s the face of our brand and products. We create and sell our brand merchandise to raise money for animal organisations taking care of stray dogs worldwide.
I hope this blog will help others thinking about making a trip or seeking a new adventure with their pet – it really is not as difficult as people will tell you! Times are changing and pets are fast becoming important members of the family. Therefore, they should be treated with the same rights.
Thanks for reading and I hope to see you over at Tika’s page and also Inspawration’s page! :)