When considering our move overseas, a big concern was our 4 yr old lab mix, Lea.  We got Lea from the Animal Defense League in San Antonio, a "no-kill" shelter for cats & dogs. She is a great dog, and my wife and I love her.  She's more than just our pet, she's part of our family and we wouldn't consider leaving her behind, although there are lots of concerns about taking her as well.
We want to take every precaution possible with bringing Lea to the Philippines, and also to ensure there are no hiccups going through customs when we arrive.

The Website for the Philippine Embassy explains in detail what steps are needed.  Unfortunately, it said to please refer to the local consulate which covers your state.  Well, Texas is covered by the Philippine consulate in Los Angeles (ya'll know where I'm going with this, right). What a bunch of stupid *%&^$&^()_(&%#&((= idiots!!!  I never spoke to more illiterate bunch of #**(&^%$#heads in my whole (*A^x#$*$^(^ life!!

I learned rule #1:  Ignore the LA Consulate.  My first step was to acquire my import permit from the Bureau of Agriculture in Manila.  I sent them an email with the required info and the next day, they emailed my permit.  Great, uh-oh, the permit expires 20 days before i arrive in Manila.  Back to square one.  So after two weeks of going back & forth, I finally got someone who could comprehend Engrish and stamped a one month extension on my permit.

My next step was to get a health certificate for Lea, this is where Lea gets pissed!  I scheduled an appointment with the USDA certified Veterinarian at Fort Sam Houston.  They were great, very helpful. Lea already had a microchip which was implanted by the Animal Defense League for free when we got her in 2009.  One problem, she is required an "International Microchip".

So the technician got out her 10 gauge needle and implanted a second chip in Lea's neck. Lessons learned, save the painful part for last, Lea fought us for every shot, test, injection, probing and even nail clipping for the last hour!  We both had to laugh at the way she kicked at us with all four feet when the technician came close to her with another needle.  She's fine now, but I don't feel that trusting relationship is where it was before yesterday’s events.  I will bring her back to Fort Sam on April 3rd and she will get her APHIS 7001 Health Certificate, which I then have to take to the USDA in Austin for them to sign, then I have to send everything to the Philippine Consulate for approval.  It was a "Dog Day Afternoon"
37 days to go!


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