In Spain, but without the Dogs!

This wasn’t what I’d imagined my first contribution to the Blog would be … ‘The challenges of being a Vegetarian, married to a pork loving carnivore in rural Spain’ was more of what I had in mind.  Instead my first contribution is to showcase how despite my best efforts, I still managed to get our dogs locked up in quarantine when we landed in the UK.


Well that didn’t quite go to plan, did it …

In Spain, but without the Dogs

Yep. Despite over a year of research, conversations, study, preparation and effort I managed to miss something apparently so crucial that DEFRA could not let our dogs into the country.Instead they were pretty much confiscated (by nice people!) at The Animal Reception Centre at Heathrow (affectionately referred to as the ‘ARC’) and I was reduced to a sobbing mess.

They couldn’t stay at the ARC, but luckily we found a Quarantine Kennels just South of Bristol, 16 miles from my Mum.  I say ‘luckily’ as there are only a handful in the whole of the UK. They’re kept separate from the other dogs, think a prison for animals but with caring affectionate staff and daily visiting rights and you’ll get the idea.

At time of writing they’ll have been there for 4 weeks of  a 4 month sentence.  It used to be 6.  We’ve visited regularly over the past month, but not so often as to create a routine.  Sounds harsh but it would be impossible both logistically and financially to stay in the UK the whole time.  And now that Easyjet fly Malaga to Bristol I can visit every 3-4 weeks.

In Spain, but without the Dogs

They’re tropical island dogs, but they are doing just fine, they’ve adjusted to the routine and environment. have outdoor space, shelter, warmth, fresh water & food and MOST importantly, each other.  They LOVE their carer, Hannah and so far are not displaying any signs of stress.

I however, didn’t adjust quite so well, not having planned nor considered even for one second that this could happen and I was not mentally prepared in any way shape or form for this rather awesome plot twist!

I think in hindsight that seeing my boys safely through this transition equalled getting myself through the transition too.

We’d planned the move for so long, and whilst I was embracing our future plan of being in Spain, I really didn’t know exactly how to go.  I was looking forward to going, but not looking forward to leaving.

Now, although I don’t like it, I have at least (last?) accepted it.  It got all rather melodramatic for a while.

So I won’t go into any great detail on how it went wrong, but essentially it’s a paperwork issue.  They were already up to date with their rabies vaccinations so got them microchipped before then having blood taken for the titer test (rabies antibody levels).  Results came back, all was well.  Thought nothing more of it.  Boxes ticked, so to speak.

However even though already immune, the dogs should have been re-vaccinated after microchipping, even if it wasn’t due (which it wasn’t for the boys).  Simple as that, though not clear on any of the literature, and not picked up by anyone during the process, just (rather unfortunately) by DEFRA upon arrival!

a year in review at one foot in the , In Spain, but without the Dogs

So we’re in Spain, arrived yesterday, I know they’re safe, and whilst I absolutely would prefer the boys were with us they can’t be, not until the end of March.  So until then we’ll focus on fixing up our home and getting the biggest, deepest, fluffiest and warmest rug in front of the fire ready for when the furkids come home.

Josie xx


6 thoughts on “In Spain, but without the Dogs!

  1. Kelly

    I cannot even imagine the emotional rollercoaster you both have been riding since leaving your home of 10 years; but what I do know is that your boys are two of the luckiest furkids on the planet to have you and Danny as “parents”. They are resilient and will be just fine until their release from said “doggy prison”! This island (Provo) now has a void that will never be filled by anyone else and has, for lack of better terminology, a permanent scar reminding us that two of the most wonderful, amazing, and unique human beings once called it home. Looking forward to all future blog entries and reading the continued story of your journey; it inspires others! xxx

  2. Niki

    Aw love – I hadn’t dare ask what you would do, would you stay or would you go with the kids in Bristol.. A brave and brilliant decision to go. Stay busy, stick to the plan and look forwards to March. Being in the UK won’t change anything, only set you back. Welcome to Spain, where for right now you have even more time than usual to dedicate to you, your new home and your surroundings. xoxoxo

  3. Caterina B

    I probably would have to read lots and lots of your blog entries to answer my question for myself, so….I will ask you directly instead. I know that there is dog (and maybe cat) quarantine for bringing those animals into Britain, but is there also the same for bringing one’s pets into Spain? Was the quarantine because you brought them to the UK and/or also because you were eventually taking them to Spain, in other words, does Spain also have the quarantine law? Yes, that is confusing. Hope all is going well now, I have read that you are living in your cave WITH your doggies.
    I sometimes dream of retiring to the South of Spain, to Andalucia and would definitely have to bring my dogs along. You have almost completed a very long process to live in Spain. Congratulations! I look forward to reading your blog and perusing your Facebook page, too.

    1. Danny

      Hi there,

      Sorry for the delay in responding to your question … renovations are taking up alot of our time at the moment 🙂

      The UK has very strict quarantine laws (especially regarding rabies)and this is why we encountered the problems we did. We had no problems bringing the dogs in the USA and would also have been able to bring them striaght from the USA to Spain without encountering any problems (if only we had known). The only restrictions Spain has is on the types of dogs that can be brought into the country – there are some breed exclusions.

      Hope this answers your question 🙂



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