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Moving to Sydney, Australia with my Dog

Moving to Sydney, Australia with my Dog

moving-to-sydney-australia-with-my-dogI am a British graphic designer living with my husband John in Sydney, Australia. We have a dog, Rico, and we love our new life Down Under because Sydney is such a positive, young and energetic city.

You never know what adventures await when open to possibilities.  For several months, I’ve felt that my career had turned down a road with no outlet.  Yes, I was a British expat working and living in the fabulous city of Paris, France and was making a reasonable amount of money but felt that my husband and I needed something different.

After a discussion with him, we found that we were both feeling a little stagnant and were longing for a bit of adventure while remaining a solid married couple and parents to one spoiled English Bulldog.

Sydney, Australia has always been a dream location for both my husband and myself.  Why not, we thought, we’re still young and now is the time to go for it.  A few months later, after supplying information to numerous job application sites, we both landed jobs, his on a Monday and mine the following Wednesday.  I would be working as a marketing coordinator for a pets products company. Now all we had to do was move!

It was at that moment, that we suddenly wondered what to do with our dog, Rico, also sometimes affectionately known as Spit, more on that another time.  It’s not that we hadn’t thought of Rico before that moment but reality is different than the dream.  Of course, there was no question, Rico had to come with us.

PREPARING FOR DEPARTURE

It all seemed so overwhelming at first but it’s really not that difficult.  We had to take our feisty little Rico in for a check-up and make sure all his shots were up-to-date.

We also got him microchipped and chose a dog insurance plan, something we hadn’t bothered with before because he’s either inside with us or on a leash when out.  He never even tries to run away.  Rico knows a good thing when he’s got it, but when you are moving to the other side of the world, insuring your dog is really important.

We bought a slightly larger crate for him than the one he normally uses at home.  After all, he was going to have to travel in this crate and we wanted him to at least be able to turn around and stretch.

Of course, we added the automatic water dispenser gizmo that allows dogs to drink without having a dish of water sloshing about while in transit.  We added his favorite blanket and a couple of toys believing he would travel in relative comfort.

THE TRIP

We booked a straight flight to Sydney from Paris and hoped for the best.  Everything went smoothly following a short delay on the tarmac for some mysterious reason.

One thing you must know before moving a dog to Sydney is that once there, your dog will be in quarantine for as little as 10 days or as long as 6 months depending on the country of origin, type and health of the dog.

Rico, who got nervous and sick in transit, was held for 20 days.  He had lost weight and looked ghastly when we picked him up.

His blanket and toys were gone.  He seemed dazed and disoriented compared to his usual disdainful self but once home with us, he perked up quickly and began exploring.  We replaced his blanket and toys and added a few new ones in an effort to compensate for the misery he suffered.

ADJUSTING TO OUR NEW HOME

After a few weeks of making sure Rico felt extremely comfortable in our dog-friendly Potts Point apartment and nearby green space, we decided some expansion was in order.

We began introducing Rico to more of Sydney by gathering with fellow British ex-pats and their dogs for walks in the park and visits to the beach.  We had such fun learning from each other how to handle the various and often funny cultural situations and misunderstandings.

As much fun as it was to meet fellow countrymen, we didn’t come all the way from Paris to Sydney to hang out only with people from Europe.  We expanded our friendships, both human and canine by taking Rico to the local dog spa, trying new parks and enjoying coffee and desserts in dog-friendly cafés.

We met lots of great, funny, interesting Aussie dog owners, and soon, we started hanging out with them more than with our British friends!

WOULD WE DO IT AGAIN?

People ask us if it was worth uprooting everything we knew and were comfortable with to come to Sydney. The answer is absolutely yes!

Sydney is a wonderful city, full of open friendly people and Aussie culture in general is one that is very animal friendly.

People love their dogs like members of the family so we feel it’s the perfect place to be for the next few years and possibly beyond.

About The Author

Alice Johnson

I am a British expat living the life in Sydney, Australia. I love animals, particularly English Bulldogs, but I think French Bulldogs and pugs are very cute too!

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