Elly was serious when she said that, but neither of us would leave the country without Lea. I started the paperwork back in February for Lea, by requesting an "Import Permit" from the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) in Manila. They emailed me one the next day, but it was only good until April 8th. WTF! We don't fly until 1 May!!! It took another week and a half to get someone to stamp an extension on the permit to expire 8 May. Next was getting all the shots and the APHIS 7001 certificate.
I made an appointment with the Veterinary Services at Fort Sam Houston. Most people there were extremely helpful, (except one, a lazy lying admin bitch, which I'll tell you about next).
On March 23rd I took Lea in for all her shots and a second micro-chip. The original wasn't International, so a new micro-chip had to be impanted in her. When there I noticed the paperwork had used an address which was obsolete, the one I had while I was in the Army back in 1997. When I pointed it out to this lazy lying admin bitch at the front desk, she said she would take care of it when I come back for the physical with Lea.
Well, we returned on April 4th and the Veterinarian completed a APHIS 7001 for Lea. When the lazy lying admin bitch presented it to me, it still had the wrong address on it. I again pointed this out and her reply was, "Well, you're moving anyways, so no big deal, you won't be back here any time soon". I thought ok, no big deal, if they didn't think so......
This paperwork was next day'd to the USDA's office in Austin for their seal and stamp, then next day'd to the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles for their authentication process. Well, with under two weeks to go until we travel, I still didn't have the documents. I called the Consulate and they informed me that it was returned to my old address in San Antonio, TX, 5 days ago! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Seriously, if it could go wrong, it did go wrong, even when I enclosed a letter to the Consulate with instructions to send it to my correct address in Cibolo, Texas! Panic mode has now set in, what are my options? Wait for the people at my old address to send the papers back? I actually went there and spoke to them, an elderly Brisitsh couple who confirmed receiving the documents and returning them to the postman the next day after writing "unknown" on the envelope. I couldn't chance waiting for the documents to be returned to LA and resent to me.
Holy crap!! It worked. First, I contacted Fort Sam, (Fort Sam military vet was TDY, civilian vets at Fort Sam cannot sign the APHIS 7001), at least that's what the lazy lying admin bitch told me over the phone. She also told me that I had all the paperwork so they couldn't do it, and that they are only allowed to do it once in a 30 day period. What blatant bullshit! I had Garden Ridge Animal Hospital do the APHIS 7001 based on the shot records from Fort Sam on Tuesday morning. I then called the USDA and explained my situation, they allowed me to bring the forms to them in Austin and they would seal & stamp the form, which they did. Stamped and on my way back to San Antonio by 1PM. I then scheduled a round trip flight to Los Angeles, using my Delta Frequent Flyer Miles, the ticket cost me $10. The taxi ride from the airport to the consulate and back was $55 each way, but in the end, all is well. Our Lea has her paperwork completed, she will be on the airplane to the Philippines on 1 May along with me & Elly. All is good. And yes, all this for a dog.