Autumn’s First Week

autumnNo one tells you how hard making aliyah with you dog is. I’m not talking about the expense of getting vaccines and health certificates nor am I talking about the plane ride which is a challenge in and of itself. I’m talking about when your settled in your apartment/relative/friends house and your dog is confused and in distress. With this confusion and distress comes separation anxiety. My Autumn was all ready a little prone to this but it has seemed to multiple with our arrival to our new home. 

Those first 12 hours: We arrived late on Wednesday to the new temporary home. I unpacked all my stuff in the room and let Autumn wander around the home. I went to bed around midnight and then woke up around 2 because I could not sleep. Around 3:30 I walked her and then got ready for my interview in Tel Aviv. When I left her at 10 minutes to 5 am she barked and whined so loud I could hear her from the street. I later learned that she barked for about half an hour and then she was quiet and calm. As I spent the following day home, exhausted, she followed me from room to room. When the home owners returned she had to learn the rules. No bedroom and no kitchen (this one is more lax). The other we discovered was she needed to be put away while guests were over for dinner. Very good choice since she is a food thief but extremely hard for both her and I. 

I looked online about how to stop the barking and crying when I leave. I have been implementing them during the day, practicing leaving for short periods of time and not giving her any excited emotional attention when I leave nor when I return. So far it has not fazed her. She continues to cry and whine when I leave, although during dinner she made it about 20 minutes without making any noice (she had a large tree to attend too). Unfortunately this has not stuck and I am at a loss as to what to do.

I became incredibly tearful with the stress and pressure of trying to pacify my dog, who I love and I know she’s afraid and confused, while also being a good house guest and trying to make keep the home quiet and peaceful. To add insult to injury so far Autumn is not a fan of the family dog. She seemed scared by him even though he only wanted to play with her. So he has been confined to the bedroom of one of the kids which he does not like. I felt that Autumn should be confined as well and I thought it would be easier if she remained in the room we have been staying in while we ate dinner and my hope would be for when I leave for work Monday. 

So due to my anxiety and feeling like I needed to do something I started watching Cesar Milan videos. I watched one on Separation anxiety. He talked about exuding confidence when giving command to your dog as well as making sure your dog is nice and tired as well as in a calm state when you leave. So later in the day when the house was relatively quiet I practice with Autumn. I took her for a walk and then I waited for her to be laying quietly on the bed. I got my jacket and my purse and I sat on the bed. Just like in the video as I move Autumn watched me with her ears back looking confused. But she then laid back down.This is when I left. I stepped out, telling her in a calm confident voice to stay and that I would be back. I left the room and walked a little bit down the stairs to hear if she made noise. She made a little noise but then she was quiet.I repeated this a couple of times before stopping. 

So the following day was the true test when I left the house for work. I walked her for an hour and then left at 5:30 am for work. She stayed in the bed calmly when I left and I didn’t hear a peep as I left the house. When I spoke to the family that evening (12 hours later) I learned she did not make a noise at all. The second day of work was the same thing and I felt that we had mastered the Separation Anxiety. 

 Other things that I noticed in Autumn which let me know she was in distress:

+Throwing up blood (once and could be because she found something on the ground to eat)

+Bloody poop (same as above)

+Lack of Appetite-eating once a day

+Refusing treats

+Increased Thirst

+Very quiet-she’s a vocal dog usually

+Trouble sleeping during the night and wanting to go to the bathroom all night

A full week after our arrival Autumn was back to her normal self. She was back to eating twice a day and she would make noise when it was time to eat. Her bathroom habits were good and she was sleeping through the night. 

So that has been Autumn’s first week. Unfortunately due to my host family having their children back in town Autumn and I are staying the weekend at the downstairs neighbors house.I’ll create a separate blog about this experience.

Autumn makes Aliyah Part 4

The pick up from the airport was rough. I accidentally walked past Autumn as she lay in in her crate and she started barking like a mad dog. She had been in there for about 18 hours and she had to pee and she was hungry-poor thing.I got my luggage, and needed to carts to take care of it. She barked as I tried to get all my bags. She barked as we walked through the airport to the taxi area. She barked up until I let her out of the kennel and she could use the bathroom. 

The taxi driver was nice and let Autumn stay outside of her kennel as we road from Ben Gurion Airport to Jerusalem. She was quiet for the most part and she looked really confused as we drove. Overall I think she did very well, and my heart just melted for her knowing she had that long as ride.

Autumn makes Aliyah Part 3

I decided to dedicate this part to the part I found the hardest and that was having all my luggage and Autumn. I arrived at LAX around 10. Initially I wanted to arrive around 9:30 but that didn’t happen. 

So I arrived and walked with Autumn so she could use the bathroom. We then walked into the airport and I asked if I could check her in first but they wanted me to do it with all my luggage. So my cousin had to come back and I found a “bellboy” to get my bags out of the car. He told me that they were too heavy and that I would most likely have to take stuff out. I wish I had listened and my cousin could have taken the stuff back with her in my car. Any way I was able to walk with Autumn on her leash while the cart was pushed ahead. I waited in line and surprisingly Autumn did really well. She was definitely confused and stayed close by me. 

The security guard asks me questions and then I move to the weigh station. My bags were too heavy and so I had to deal with that. This whole process took about two hours and the whole time Autumn was really good. She only cried a little but really people loved her and my fear that people would look at me and judge me was gone. 

After getting the bags situated I then had to take autumn to the oversized baggage area where the separate security would check her Kennel and then Autumn would go with them. OF course she passed and I put her in a long with her treat. I didn’t say goodbye or anything because I didn’t want to make her more upset and anxious. 

I was really anxious about bringing my dog Autumn on the plane because she has a little separation anxiety and I didn’t want her losing her shit aka barking loudly and whining incessantly. Amplfying my nervous was that I didn’t really know what to expect with it all. I had googled stuff but nothing went into the type of detail I needed. So I want to be able to provide that for you-the person wanting to make aliyah with your dog. 

First: You will get to the airport and you will need all of your bags with you. My advice out the kennel on the cart with your bags and then walk with your dog on the leash. before entering the airport let the baby use the bathroom. 

Second: You go through the line like usual and then your stuff gets weighed. If your bags are all good your dog gets weighed and then you will pay for her.

Third: You will walk over, with your dog, carry-ons and the kennel to the oversized bagged section. At Lax it was a smaller area that was walled off with a large conveyor belt which your dog will go on after they are done. The security guard came over and checks the kennel for any residue using those chemical strips (sorry I don’t know the name). They don’t take your kennel apart. After you pass that you put your dog in the kennel and lock it up. 

Fourth: You say goodbye and walk away while the airport folks take your dog and put her on the belt so she can go down to the plane. 

Tips that I found really helped and I think made everything smoother for Autumn. 

#1: walk your dog and make them tired. Autumn did almost 6 miles and combined with the anxiety of not knowing what will happen and lack of sleep she was exhausted. 

#2 Feed your dog well before you leave. I fed Autumn about two hours before and I got to the airport three hours early so I was able to take her to the bathroom twice (the second time she went poo, on her walk she also pooed). 

#3 Walk with your dog in the airport while everything is getting ready. For Autumn it was all overwhelming and confusing so she stayed close to me and was quiet. She also got attention from people who talked to her and petted her. I think this helped her stay calm too because she wasn’t all alone in her kennel. 

#4 Have a really big treat for your baby in their kennel. When you say goodbye you can give them a treat and say goodbye calmly. Because they will be distracted they wont be as upset to see you leaving. 

Now of course these tips worked for me because my dog has horrible separation anxiety which leads to very loud barking and whining. This only happens in a place she’s unfamiliar with (not at home) so I was nervous that Autumn would melt down in the airport. She didn’t and that helped a lot. 

Autumn makes Aliyah: Part 2

Look at all the work I needed to do and that I was able to complete. 

Preparation before the flight: Checking off the pre aliyah checklist. 

NBN gives you a pre aliyah checklist for those making aliyah with their dog from the US. If your from another country your requirements may be different But below are mine. Man was it overwhelming at first. 

Health Certificate-this is done at your vet. they do a check up and fill out the form. At my vet the check up was $86 and for them to fill out the form was over $100. 

USDA Certified vets/CFIA certified vets-after I drove to Sacramento to my local USDA office. They checked the paperwork the vet submitted, including the rabies vaccine, tither test, microchip, and health ceritifcate. for them to endorse all this they charged me $121. If the rabies wasn’t involved it would’ve been $38. Smh my dog is expensive…but she is all done. 

EL AL-Impt info that I used to dot my i’s and cross my t’s. 

Pre-Aliyah Checklist

  • Health Requirements: 
    • Rabies Vaccination: Admin w/in 1 year but no less than a month prior to arrival 
      • My plan: Aliyah in December 2016—Rabies Vaccine done in June/July I did this due to fear of a reaction of IMHA)
      • Rabies Serological (Titer Test) is done after the Rabbies vaccine. This test measures he levels of rabies antibodies in your fur baby. 
        • Positive results are required prior to the completion of the health certificate. 
        • The results of the test must be obtained from an authorized laboratory. They need to show that your pet is responding to the rabies vaccine and that it is producing a sufficient level of antibodies.
        • Obtaining the results of the rabies serological test may take anywhere from 1-3 months depending on the lab in your area.
        • If your pet fails the test, another rabies vaccine will need to be administered and your pet will need to be retested a month later.
        • Once your pet has passed the Rabies serological test it is good for life if you have the results officially documented.
      • After receiving the vaccine get a copy of International Certificate of Rabies Vaccine issued by your veterinarian. 
      • Confirm how to obtain endorsement with your regional USDA/CFIA Branch ahead.  Make appointment if necessary 
        • David Ewey, Director
        • 916‐854‐3960
        • 10365 Old Placerville Rd, Suite 210 Sacramento, CA 95827
  • MicroChip/Electronic Chip Requirements (I used this site) I bought it on July 21, Wednesday and received it in earl August—-
    • Regulations require that the chip transmits on a frequency of 134.2 Kilohertz and can be read with a chip reader that conforms to the provisions of the ISO standard No. 11784 or of Annex A of ISO Standard 11785.
      • If the chip does not conform to these standards, the importer or the importer’s representative is required to be in possession of another means to read it. This is not the standard chip used in the United States.
      • Before getting your pet chipped, verify that your veterinarian is implanting the correct model. If not, you may be required to have your pet chipped again within five days of arriving in Israel.
      • If your vet does not carry them, ask if he/she can order it, or if he/she would be comfortable implanting the chip if you order it online. The chip is available for purchase on some pet websites.
    • At least a week prior to your pet’s flight (earlier is better)
  • Kennel Restrictions
  • Cost of Flying with Pets
    • The cost of carrying a pet is based on the weight of the animal + carrying container + its food

•Prices apply to animals accompanying a passenger on the same flight

•Payment can be made at the EL AL cash desk at the airport or at any EL AL branch

•The payment for carrying pets is made separately.  In other words, it is not included as part of the permitted baggage allowance

•If there any connection flights with other airlines, payment must be arranged directly with the other airline

For an animal weighing up to 8 kg. – $100 in each direction.

For an animal weighing from 9-50 kg. – $200 in each direction.

For an animal weighing from 51-100 kg. – $400 in each direction.

Animals weighing over 100 kg. will be handled by EL AL Cargo (03-9716679).

Procedure for booking flights for animals

•All requests to carry animals accompanied by passengers in the cabin must be submitted to EL AL’s Reservations office, indicating the pet’s weight including its container and the container’s dimensions

•The Service Call Center will confirm receipt of the booking to the relevant travel agency

Required Documents

•All animals approved for carriage must have vaccination certificates and entry permits from the relevant authorities in transit and final destinations

•Carriage of animals to Israel:  dogs, cats and birds (more than 2 of each kind) and other animals, arriving with or without their owners, must have a veterinary import permit, issued by the head of the Veterinary Service

•Address: Ministry of Agriculture, POB B-12, Beit Dagan 50250, Israel

•Telephone: +972-3-9688986

•Fax: +972-3-9688963

•Ministry of Agriculture website: Veterinary Services Unit or the quarantine station in Ramla, address:  POB 63, Ramla, Israel; Fax:+972-3-9229906

•A written request for these permits, together with a valid check (rates are subject to change), must be sent no later than 10 days before the planned flight date for the animal

•The request must include:  the type of animal, sex, species, age, information about arrival in Israel, country of origin, other details

•Dogs, cats and birds (up to 2 of each type), accompanied by their owners in whose possession they have been overseas for at least 90 days, will be exempt from the need for an Israeli veterinary permit, but they must have a vaccination certificate and a health passport issued by a government veterinary official in the country of origin, declaring that the animal is healthy and free of infections or infectious diseases.  In addition, the certificate must indicate that the dog/ cat has been vaccinated against rabies, no more than one year and no less than one month before the date of arrival in Israel.  Dogs and cats under the vaccination age (three months) are not permitted to enter Israel

•When flying with animals from Israel, it is the passenger’s responsibility to ascertain the relevant documents and certificates required in transit and final destinations

Acceptance and hand ling

•The animal (pet) must be carried in a strong, closed container, purchased by its owners and approved by an EL AL representative

•The animal must not emit any bad odors

Flight Kennel preparations:

•Make sure your Flight kennel is marked according to instructions. The kennel must be recognizable for the airline staff as well as ground handlers and/or any other operator at the airports. The pet’s name, flight number, your name and phone numbers should be attached to the kennel throughout the journey.

•Remember to bring security seals in order to secure the kennel once entering the airport.

•Make sure that the kennel is clean and contains all the items your pet will need or want during the flight: Diaper, a bottle of water, a blanket or a toy etc.

•Make sure that the kennel does not contain food remainders, sharp objects or the leash.

•In case your traveling with a cat, make sure that the kennel wheels are not attached to the Flight kennel (if so, make sure you detach them before you reach the airport).

Pet Flight Documentations:

Make sure you bring all the forms necessary and that they are accessible:

•Imports/exports certifications (Import Permit, USDA etc.) and health certificates.

•Pet Passport (when traveling to/from or domestically in Europe)

•Vaccination booklet / records.

Preparing your pet for the flight:

•Do not feed your pet prior to the flight (feed him/her maximum 4 hours before the flight)

•Try to encourage your pet to drink as much as possible during the date of the flight.

•Dog owners, it is highly advised to take the dog for a very long relaxing walk before leaving towards the airport.

•Refrain from tranquilizers and all sorts of drugs that might calm your pet or put it to sleep unless a flight veterinarian advises otherwise.

Autumn makes Aliyah: Part 1 is a website that handles everything for you. No headache or worry. I did not use terminal for pets because they are expensive and I need to save my money. I instead did it all by myself. Here is my journey. 

The minute I decided to make aliyah I knew I was bringing my fur baby, Autumn (Insert picture). I first bonded with my Autumn when I saw a photo of her on pet finder back in 2008. I emailed the man saying I was interested and he wrote right back. After work I drove almost two hours from Orange County CA to San Bernardino, CA. When I arrived at 3pm there was only two dogs left, my Autumn and her brother. I picked my Autumn and then left to get the cash. When I arrived her brother was gone. The man told me that someone came by wanting Autumn but he was saving her for me. Autumn and I stopped off at Petsmart (or Petco I don’t remember) and I bought her a bed, a leash, food, toys and treats. 

Fast forward past August 2015 where she was diagnosed with IMHA and almost died to when I set my mind to apply in January 2016, I began my research. I instantly became overwhelmed by the amount of information and put it off. Until today April 25, 2016. I decided to keep a chronicle of things to support other folks who want to make aliyah with their fur babies. 

Making the choice to bring your pet with you to make aliyah is tough. If your bonded to your baby then the thought of leaving them behind can be excruciating. At the same time the amount of preparation and money can make you question whether this is right. If you have a small dog or cat your baby can ride in their carrier under the seat. If your dog is more than 8kg or 18 pounds then you baby wont fit under the seat and has to ride in cargo. 

Now El Al has a separate space under the plane for dogs where they keep the light on and the temperature is controlled. That is nice and makes me feel less worried. But I feel bad leaving my baby under the plane by herself (unless there are other dogs riding in their kennels with her) for 14 hours non-stop. So they give recommendations such as walking your dog so they are tired and   not feeding them four hours before the flight and limiting water intake, yet your feeling as an owner that you are abandoning your baby are present and normal. Now for the preparation before the flight: