The Scottish Saltire

The Scottish Saltire

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Calgon, Take Me Away!!

This has been a very frustrating day. Let me back up a little. The paperwork that I had gotten done for Lucy before I left Tucson doesn't apply for Germany so I took her to the vet 10 days ago to get the proper paperwork completed. It should have been easy enough. After all she already had her rabies shot and her microchip implanted by the vet in Tucson. Just have the vet here in Pittsburgh fill out the right forms, make a flight reservation and go.
Famous last words! Turns out we need an actual rabies certificate for her to enter Germany, not just the info recorded on the health certificate by the vet. The other glitch was that the microchip scanner that the Pittsburgh vet had wouldn't read Lucy's chip. Dr. Muliken said I should call Dr. Stern in Tucson, have him send a rabies certificate and find out the brand name of the chip so I could rent the proper scanner to send with her when she flies. That should be easy enough. Yeah, right. Dr. Stern said he thought we had already left and had purged the file. He had nothing to give me. Said it would probably be easiest to just get her another rabies shot. He was able to tell me the chip manufacturer, though. So I took Lucy back to Dr. Muliken for another rabies shot with certificate and ordered a scanner for the chip through an online company. I then had to FedEx all of Lucy's paperwork to the USDA in Harrisburg for authorization. The vet there stamped it A-OK and FedExed it back to me.

Thinking all was fine, I left on Friday for Virginia (I had a great time, by the way). When I got home on Monday afternoon the scanner had arrived so I tried it out. Nothing. Tried again and again and again. Nothing. Called the company and was assured that it should work. Perhaps I should take the scanner and my cat to the vet (for the third time in a week) and let them do it. So back we go to Dr. Muliken. She can't get it to read, either! By this time I'm starting to panic a bit. It's Tuesday and Lucy is supposed to fly on Thursday. The only option is to implant another microchip that this scanner will be able to read. It won't read the ones that Dr. Muliken has so she called another vet clinic here in town and explained our dilema. After getting past the idiot at the front desk the vet there said I could bring the scanner over and see if it would read their chips. If it did he agreed to see us that evening and put in the new chip. So Lucy and I hop back in the car and drive over. I scanned one of their chips and Viola! It worked. So now we just had to wait for the vet to squeeze us in. He was very understanding. Problem solved, right? Not so fast. Now the chip number didn't jive with the paperwork. And there wasn't enough time to resubmit it to Harrisburg. Thank goodness Dr. Muliken has a good working relationship with the USDA vet. He said yes, we could just add the new chip number to our paperwork along with the number of the unreadable chip. As long as the scanner could pick up one of them, we were OK. So yesterday I had to take the paperwork back to Dr. Muliken so she could ammend it in her hand writing. Talk about cutting it close. I needed to have Lucy to Delta Cargo by 5am this morning and I finally got all the paperwork square at 3pm yesterday. Whew! OK, close but OK.
We're not done with this saga yet, but let's start on the other.....

When I got in my car yesterday morning the power steering made a god awful noise. I know enough to know that it needed power steering fluid so I added to the full line and all was fine except that then I heard a strange tapping coming from the engine. I texted Paul and he said to first check the oil. That was fine so he told me it might just be a sticky lifter and to "take it out and run the piss out of it for a few minutes and it might clear up". It did. Thank goodness. I'm selling the car in a week. It's always run great and I sure didn't need any problems now. I went about my business for the day but later in the afternoon I noticed smoke or steam or some kind of vapor coming from under the hood. Shit, that can't be good. I needed to leave for the airport at 4:30am so I had no choice but to get the car to a mechanic right then. Yep, power steering fluid leaking onto the exhaust. They couldn't do anything right then but if I wanted to bring it back in the morning.....But, but, I have to go to the airport at 4:30am! Fortunately, Sherry let me use her car to take Lucy to the airport this morning and said she would follow me down to drop the car off when the mechanic opened at 8am.

So I got up at 3:45 and Lucy and I were out the door by 4:15 along with all of our hard fought paperwork. I'm worrying about my car all the way there but I tell myself I'll get Lucy on her way and deal with the car when I get home. When we walk in the door I pull out the golden paperwork, hand it to the guy, and lift Lucy (in her kennel) onto the counter. He then tells me that I am missing the "acclimation statement" from the vet AND that her kennel is not big enough for international travel. Fine for domestic travel but not for international. The acclimation statement just says what tempurature limits the animal can handle (DUH! It has to be written out?). The bottom line was that Lucy wasn't going anywhere today. (this is getting pathetic, isn't it?) So I haul her back out to Sherry's car and we drive home feeling VERY frustrated. I crawl back into bed at about 5:30am to try for a couple more hours of sleep before I have to take the car in. Sherry followed me to the auto shop and, of course, they said they would call me when they got to it. I was so hoping that it was just a loose hose or something similarly simple and maybe, just maybe, they could get it done before my Dr. appt at 1:30 this afternoon. Yeah right....Sherry let me use her car again and they called while I was on my way to the V.A. There is a hole in the steering line and they don't really want to tackle it so I should have it towed to the dealer. Oh great! What else? Is a moose going to jump out in front me? Is a meteor going to hit me? Just shoot me now, please! There's nothing I can do until I get back from my appt so all I can do is grit my teeth and say, "Thanks, I'll have AAA come get it this afternoon". So that's my shitty day. Tomorrow I have to go get the stupid acclimation statement from the vet, go buy a bigger kennel (in Sherry's car again) and rebook Lucy's flight for Monday. The car is at the Mercury dealer now and, of course, it got there too late for them to look at it today. So they'll call me tomorrow. Please, please, please, let tomorrow be a better day than today!


Sarah said...

"Some days are diamonds, some days are....."
The travel gods are just trying to make you really grateful to get to Europe -- tomorrow will be better -- hang in there! :-)

Amy said...

Awww! Remember those famous words: "This too shall pass."