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Schanuzer in transit

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hobie conveyor belt .jpg

That's Hobie there emerging from the belly of the plane in Frankfurt to connect to our flight back home. When we finally met up again in San Francisco, he was understandably crying and whining, which drew such sympathetic looks from other passengers as we waited for our bags. Hobie emerged before my bags, a first for us. Kudos to the ground crew at United!

This miniature schnauzer has had his share of flying. Too bad Hobie can't earn frequent flier miles too.

Introducing Philip

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This little guy is Hobie's new cousin! Philip is the new schnauzer puppy that belongs to Kris' sister. He's three months old and weighs a hefty 4kg. He's super sweet but super difficult to walk with on a leash. He stops frequently and Hobie tries to pull him along.

Hobie isn't a fan of Philip's boundless energy and Hobie quickly established that he's top dog around here with a few snarls. Philip learned pretty fast to not try and play with Hobie's beard. Though he complains, I think Hobie will miss him when we go back to Helsinki.

Hobie takes the bus

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Since we got him, Hobie has been eating some Solid Gold. However, when he got to Norway, we had to import the food from Germany. The first shipment got lost (this was the fault of the delivery company, and not necessarily the distributor), and the second one got stuck in customs for a while. It was a major pain, so we decided to move him to Hill's Science Diet after he ate his two bags.

However, now that we're in Finland, there is a nearby store that sells Solid Gold nearby, and we decided to go there.

Since we don't have a car yet (we hope to avoid getting one), we hopped on the bus. Each way was about 35 minutes by bus.

Pets travel for free with the bus in Helsinki, nor is a muzzle required.

Hobie hopped on the bus without any problems, and fortunately it was not very full, and we sat in the very back.


Hobie sat on the floor, and wasn't very happy. Every once in a while he'd whine, but I think it was mostly to get attention, because he stopped when we didn't look at him, and kept going if we looked at him. When we got off the bus, he practically jumped out of it without bothering with the steps.

One the way back we figured out part of the reason he wasn't that happy.


He wanted a better view. As soon as we got in the bus for the return trip, Hobie jumped up in my lap (without an invivation, mind you). Although it was a little shaky, he was quiet and content.

We had to make sure he didn't get used to sitting in our laps, so after a while we put him back down on the floor, and he was already much calmer. He figured out a way to look out the door, and would sit and just look out the window.

However, when we got to our stop, it wasn't exactly difficult to get him out of the bus.

Hobie goes to Helsinki

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Hobie has had a relaxing year in Norway. My sister and mom have spoiled him, and he's had a wonderful time. Throughout the summer, he even occupied his own chair on my mom's balcony.

He would sometimes pace around the balcony until the chair was vacated and he could sit in it. In the below photo he's so comfy that he can barely keep his eyes open.


This morning, however, Hobie was rudely awoken at 4am. He has gotten used to sleeping in until 10am, and was too sleepy to take care of business on a quick walk. He figured something was up, and spun around more than usual (even more so considering the early hour!)

He has been sleeping more and more in his crate over the last few days, and would go there voluntarily to relax every once in a while.

The car was filled to be brim with suitcases, and Hobie in his crate. He wasn't too excited to be sitting in his crate during the drive (he much prefers to see out of the window).

When we got to the airport, the spinning turbo kicked into high gear, but there wasn't much whining. We didn't put him in his crate until the very last moment, and let him spin around the airport. He was a little stressed, but not too bad.

After checking in our suitcases, we had to go to the service counter to pay for Hobie. 30 euros - much cheaper than what we had to pay for excess luggage from Paris to Trondheim.

Hobie sat patiently for a few seconds and waited while I paid. The text at the bottom of the image means "wait here."


After paying, we had to go down to the arrivals level and hand him over by the special luggage drop-off.

Right after getting the crate scanned at a security check point, I opened the door and told him to get in.


After a second of hesitation, Hobie got in, but it seemed like he would be happy to leave the crate right away. Up until now, he hadn't whined at all. We had expected him to be barking a little bit at the airport (like he did in San Francisco), but he did very well.


However, when I closed the door to his crate he whined a little bit. Since it went pretty fast, he only did it for a few seconds, and then we were out of sight, and we didn't hear anything more.


Our flight included a stopover in Oslo, and this shows the plane. Hobie was actually on the tarmac, but obstructed by the catering truck.

We asked the cabin crews of both SAS and Blue1 to check if Hobie was onboard, but only the Blue1 crew actually checked (something to keep in mind if flying with a dog later).


The flight went well, with little turbulence.

Hobie was very happy to see us. The water I had left in his crate had spilled. I had probably left him too much water (frozen overnight, so it wouldn't spill until after he'd gotten on the plane). He was very happy to see us, but he whined a little bit, because we didn't take him out of the crate immediately, because we weren't sure if dogs were allowed to roam outside their crates in the airport.

The customs check went very well. We walked in through the red gates, and a guy popped out of nowhere (apparently there's a one-way mirror somewhere). I gave him the pet passport, and he asked if there was a dog inside there. I said yes, and then he asked if all the paperwork was in order. I said it was, and he handed the pet passport back to me and wished us a good day.

When we entered Norway with Hobie, a vet scanned his microchip and everything. I guess it's a little more lax when traveling within the Nordic countries. However, all that's required is a valid rabies vaccination and a notice in the pet passport from the vet.

We had to get a large taxi (it could hold 8 people) because of our luggage and Hobie's crate. He was whimpering a little bit, and we thought it was because there was nowhere for him to go bathroom. However, he just wanted to look out the window. As soon as he was up on a seat and could look out, he got quiet and just sat there and looked.

We have a nice, dog-friendly hotel until we find an apartment. After a good walk, Hobie could finally relax after his 3-hour flight experience.


So far, the Finnish bushes and lightpoles are very interesting, and warrant much pulling and sniffing. It seems like Hobie will adjust well to Helsinki.

Traveling with a dog

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We're in Singapore! But first, a quick update about Hobie:

We were stressed about traveling with a dog, but Hobie did well on the 17 hour journey to Norway, and it went relatively smooth. I say relatively because as soon as he was put onto a luggage cart to wheel him out of the car and into the SFO international terminal, the yelping began. I suppose it was the bumpiness of the ride that caused the
yelping but it didn't subside once we reached the check-in line. We received a lot of sympathetic smiles as we waited our turn at the counter and I couldn't help but feel a little guilty for subjecting him to such a long flight. Hobie subsided but the worst was yet to come.


The United counter was great. They provided additional 'live animal' stickers and included a perforated name ticket for the crate. These tickets are provided to help reassure owners that their pet did indeed make it - a portion is torn off by the ground crew, who then passes off to the cabin crew, and they make the final drop to the owner waiting anxiously in their seat. With boarding passes in hand, the last thing was to have Hobie's crate inspected for explosives.

It was the longest 100 yards we've ever walked. Hobie began this top-of-the-lungs yelping that we had never heard before. People stopped and pointed toward us, shop keepers stepped out of their stores to stare, all the while we tried to comfort Hobie to quiet down. But he didn't. He repeated this again following the inspection, and until the wheeled him away in a side corridor near security. After reading about pets that had the misfortune of being placed on different flights from their owners, I was pretty stressed.

When we boarded the plane, we informed the flight attendants about Hobie. They were friendly, reassuring and offered several times to check on his status. It was until I looked out the window that I noticed we were able to see baggage being loaded onto the plane. After all bags were in, a cart drove up carrying Hobie and another crate. We watched in relief as was loaded on. A few minutes after, a flight attendant handed us the perforated name card that we had filled out earlier. All was well.


We had a one hour plane change in Germany, and as we were bussed to the plane, again we saw Hobie sitting on the tarmac. We were reunited in Oslo and though whimpering profusely, he was ok. He only peed a little in his crate, and the towel care took of that. Nothing else was in his crate, thank goodness. We had quite a happy pup on our hands once we got outside of the terminal, and he was back to himself within five minutes, busting circles as we walked to find some bushes. He was even happier playing fetch again in Oslo. Hobie will be staying in Norway, as the quarantine period in Singapore is 4 months.

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