Dogs on Hold

Sella’s practice visit to IAH

As many of you know, Tim, Stella, Stewie and I are planning to move to Norway this month.  It has been my job to prepare the dogs for the transatlantic journey.  I’ve also been making the necessary arrangements for their immigration (our human immigration is already settled).

I was discussing the details with a colleague today and mentioned the interesting time constraints related to the last week before the move.  The dogs need an exam from our vet, and a signature from her on a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) document.  Norway requires the USDA to approve this document before the dogs can leave the United States and legally enter Norway.  That USDA document is time sensitive, so I’d have to travel to Austin to get it signed and then back to Houston to get on a plane to Norway within a matter of days.  It was an interesting conversation until my colleague reminded me of a stark truth that’s been right under my nose the whole time

The USDA is closed indefinitely.  Remember?  The government is shut down; out of business; sorry for your luck.  The result: Tim has to go to Norway anyway for work.  The dogs and I are stuck here.  Waiting.

I can’t help but chuckle.  Less than an hour ago I was listening to the radio and the announcer said “we want to know how the government shutdown is affecting you.”  I had the arrogance to think, it’s pretty much not affecting me at all.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  This is the story of how the privileged and the power-hungry disrupt and damage American lives.  In my case, it’s the story of how they split up a family.  I can only hope it’s not for too long.

I have calls out to see if there is a work-around and will post updates on this site as I learn more.