Well, we have officially arrived in Lusaka. Our flight landed about 6:45 this morning. I will have a lot to post over the next several days regarding our initial experiences, but today I want to share about our sad, unexpected goodbye.
We have been blessed to own the most amazing dog, Mia, for twelve years. In fact, Mark got Mia before we ever even met, so Mia has been a part of our relationship since the beginning. When we decided to make this move, we immediately started researching how to get Mia into Zambia. We were thrilled to find out that no quarantine period is required before entering the country. We were also so lucky to get connected with a Lusaka vet who helps expats get their pets into the country. She guided us through the process so that we could ensure Mia's admittance into Zambia.
We thought that everything was ready for Mia to move to Lusaka with us. The final thing that we needed to do was take her to a vet appointment within 10 days of our arrival to ensure that she was healthy. She had an appointment in January and the vet said that she was fine. So, when we made her final vet appointment, we expected it to be uneventful. However, the vet heard a heart murmur and recommended that Mia see a heart specialist. An EKG confirmed that she is in the beginning stages of congestive heart failure (which is not uncommon for older dogs). However, the vet felt that she would be healthy enough for the move.
On the day of our flight, we took Mia to the British Airways cargo area to drop her off. After a little while, we were told that they would not let her fly. The letter from the vet stated that she would "most likely" be fine on the flights. British Airways was uncomfortable with that wording and due to that phrase, refused to let Mia board the plane. We were told that if we could get the vet to change the words to "will definitely", they would let her fly. Since we only had a few hours before our flight, there was no time to call the vet clinic (in another state) and have the letter rewritten.
Thankfully, my in-laws agreed to take Mia and let her live with them. We are all four very sad about moving without Mia. She is a part of our family and we already miss her. I know that it sounds strange, but saying goodbye to Mia was probably the hardest goodbye and just thinking about it as I write this post is making me cry.