Our international travel with our pet quickly turned into a disaster. You see, my wife and I had just returned from Bahia Ecuador where we bought a beach front condo. We were excited to finalize our business, in the states, so we could move to Bahia Ecuador and begin a new chapter in our lives.
The problem is we have a dog. A pit-bull if you will. While we knew that international travel with a pit-bull to Ecuador would be a concern we never imagined what was really in store.
My wife and I took care of our business such as placing all of our monthly bills on automatic pay from our bank and then we began to deal with our wonderful dog “Goober”.
We knew, going in, that international travel with a full breed pit-bull to Bahia Ecuador was not allowed. We also knew that we needed to pay a visit to our veterinarian in order to properly vaccinate our dog for the international trip to Bahia Ecuador. We further knew that we would need a letter from our veterinarian stating that Goober was not a 100% pit-bull and that he was 90% pit-bull and 10% boxer.
With all of our business taken care of, Goober properly vaccinated and documented we packed our bags, rented a car and made out way to the airport for our international travel to Bahia Ecuador.
The airport was a nightmare for us since we had to cage our dog and say goodbye to him for the next five hours or so. We could only imagine what the flight would be like for him in the belly of the aircraft.
After all of our work and worry, of preparing Goober for this international travel to Ecuador, our plane finally touched down at about 10 PM. We took a deep breath realizing that the most difficult part of our journey was now behind us, or so we thought.
We disembarked and headed for our luggage then we made our way to customs in order to not only clear ourselves but to also clear Goober and take custody of him.
The problem was, customs would not allow us see Goober and they told us that customs for animals was closed and we would have to come back in the morning. While we were sad for Goober, my wife and I were okay with that since we would not have to deal with finding a hotel which would accept a dog.
The next morning we were feeling great, knowing that our long and difficult trip would come to an end on this day. Now, all we had to do was go to customs, pick up Goober, take a short thirty minute flight to Manta and then an hour and a half taxi ride to Bahia Ecuador where our new condo was waiting for us.
Once we had our breakfast we made our way back to the airport and to the customs area for Goober. At the customs area it was as though no one knew about Goober or where he might be. It seemed, to us, that Goober was lost and my wife was in a panic. We were asked if we had hired a mediator, which we knew nothing of, and they told us we would need one in order to complete the process.
At 10 AM in the morning, all of the mediators were busy with other clients and we were told that we would have to wait until the next morning in order to hire one. We were determined not to wait until the next morning. We wanted Goober today and we wanted to go to our new life in Bahia Ecuador and end our international travel.
Luckily for us, we found a person outside of the Customs office who knew the ropes of the Ecuador customs office. His name is Pablo and instead of the normal $500 fee of a mediator this man would only charge us $150 and his lunch. In our panic, we agreed and began the process of getting Goober released.
While I waited in the hot sun with our five bags, my wife and Pablo began their experience. They went from office to office where she was required to have copies of our passports, the paper work from our veterinarian and our airline tickets.
They spent most of the day paying fees and being sent to the next office until finally at 2 PM they returned to me and we had a quick sandwich and bought lunch for Pablo and then they were gone again.
By this time, we were forced to cancel our flight to Manta. My wife and Pablo were working hard to free Goober so that we could at least make the last flight of the day, to Manta, which was at 8:30 PM.
The sun was hot and the clock seemed to crawl by for me, but my wife and Pablo were on a specific mission to free Goober.
Finally at 4 PM, my wife and Pablo returned and my wife told me to follow them. Pablo helped me with the five heavy bags and we made our way to the customs warehouse where we were reunited with Goober.
The warehouse was for anything customs related and not necessarily for animals, in fact, Goober was the only animal there. Once we arrived at the warehouse they took us to Goober. He was in the very back of the large and dark area where any and everything you can imagine was awaiting approval before being released. We found Goober, still in his cage, behind some boxes.
After we were reunited and all the hugs and kisses were given we began the wait for Goobers release. We waited another two hours and a half when finally at 7 PM he was released.
It’s needless to say; we made a beeline for the airport ticket counter where we purchased our tickets for the final leg of our international travel to Bahia Ecuador. This trip was a nightmare that we will not soon forget because traveling overseas with an animal is an eye opening experience which any traveler should be aware of.
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