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26
JANUARY 2013
|
THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
Traveling with animals overseas
can present unique challenges.
But with careful preparation,
it can also be very rewarding.
BY HEATHER P I SHKO
FOCUS
TRANSFER TIPS
I
started training my two cats, Chloe and Cordelia,
to be world travelers when I frst adopted them at
seven weeks old, and they are absolute profession-
als now. As soon as I brought them home, I placed
their carriers in the living room with comfy bedding
inside. Te girls naturally took to sprawling and
napping in them. Although the bright orange “Live
Animals” stickers don’t go very well with my décor,
I consider it a fair trade for the ease of installing the cats in their
carriers.
Te next step in my brainwashing scheme was to put them
into their carriers, then take quick drives around the neighbor-
hood so that they wouldn’t associate car trips solely with vet vis-
its or airplane rides. Whenever they would meow, I’d reach back
and pet them until they calmed down. To this day (eight years
later), they are completely silent whenever we travel, whether by
car or by plane.
Finally, I started putting a harness and leash on each of them
whenever we travel. It’s a lot easier to grab onto a harness than a
squirming kitty while her carrier goes through the X-ray machine
at the airport! My worst nightmare is one of them launching
frommy arms and zooming of through security. From time to
time, I’ll put the harnesses on the cats when we’re hanging out at
home, just to keep them acclimatized.
I also observe them throughout the trip to ensure they’re not
Heather M. Pishko, an Ofce Management Specialist, joined the
Foreign Service in 2006. Currently assigned to the Ofce of South-
ern European Afairs, she previous served in Lima, Helsinki and Ft.
Lauderdale, Fla.
SINGLE,
WITH PETS