A lot has happened since my last post. Then, we were a few days away from departing Florida, Now, we are happily settled in Spain and the whirlwind of activity is beginning to slow down. And after a couple of weeks with no internet connection, I can bring readers up to date on our travels.
Perhaps the thing we were most anxious about was how our two Scottish Terriers, Duffy and Sammie, would handle sixteen hours in a crate in the cargo hold of a large airplane. Duffy, 11 years old, had never been crated and never traveled outside of Florida. Sammie, our 8 year-old rescue, had not been crated in years.
We were scheduled to fly from Miami to Madrid, with a connection to Malaga, leaving Florida on May 3, and arriving in Malaga on May 4. We decided to leave Tampa a day early and spend the night in Naples, Florida. That would give Duffy and Sammie a chance to get accustomed to the crates and give us plenty of time to get to the busy Miami airport with time to spare on our departure day. As it turned out, Duffy didn’t mind the crate at all, but Sammie hated it. Both enjoyed “people watching” in the airport before time to go in the boxes and the Iberia Airlines staff were helpful in keeping the boys calm.
The flight to Madrid was uneventful (all good flights are uneventful) and we arrived at 8:20 AM. Celia and I cleared customs in less than five minutes. The dogs and our stowed luggage would clear in Malaga so Duffy and Sammie didn’t get out of their crates for the three-hour connection time. We’d both slept some on the plane and felt good. A café-con-leche and pastry made us feel even better. At the gate waiting to board our short flight to Malaga, we saw the dog crates being loaded on the smaller jet.
After a nine-hour leg from Miami to Madrid, the short flight to Malaga was a breeze. We deplaned and headed to luggage claim where we would retrieve our luggage and dogs and clear them through customs. The dogs seemed none-the-worse-for-wear and most happy to be out those boxes. We had paid all the fees and prepared the paperwork, so getting Duffy and Sammie legally into Spain should be a breeze. It was easier than a breeze. No one paid the slightest interest in looking at the documents we had been so careful about preparing.
Finally, it was off to the car rental counter (we used EuropCar and they were excellent) to pick up the Volkswagen Tiguan we’d reserved. It was large enough to hold all of our luggage and dog paraphernalia.