While he was given an exact date, I will share that it is mid December! Before Christmas but after Thanksgiving, so I'm grateful for that.
Let me just say that this whole process is confusing, overwhelming and long but I know it will be worth it. Just to give you an idea of what's happened thus far:
Very first thing we did was apply for Passports. This should have been simple but I didn't have my birth certificate, my parents still did. So they sent that to me. We gathered up everyone's birth certificates, citizenship papers, social security cards and oh wait, B's is missing. We tore this house apart and could not find his SS card. Awesome. So he had to go to the social security office and request a new one. We finally had all of the required paperwork. We chose to take the photos ourselves, have them printed, and then we had to go on post to turn those in. All four kids had to be with us and we took the oath. (Not the kids, we just signed for them.) That was the second week of September.
After the passport fiasco, I started researching what we need to do to get Rascal to Italy with us. Trust me, for a 10lbs dog, it gets complicated. First all pets coming into Italy must be up to date on their rabies shot (which he is) and be microchipped (which he is not) and have had an annual exam no sooner than 21 days before entering the county but no longer than one year. He also has to have a health certificate deeming him healthy and free of any diseases, he has to have an airline approved pet carrier that he can stand up in, turn around in AND that can fit under the seat in front of us.
So I set to work. Started researching carriers, which ones are best for in-cabin and least likely to get refused at the ticket counter/by the flight attendant. Not an easy task because each airline has strict requirements but they vary, as does the carrier sizes. Some are $20 some are $120. I know we'll be using it internationally, for at least one round trip flight but I also know that I'm going to be paying a huge amount at the vet. I want something durable but not over $50 if I can work it. Meanwhile, I get him in to get him micro-chipped at the animal shelter (just $10!). While there, I was looking around and they had used kennels and carriers available for donation. Imagine my surprise when one of the carriers was the EXACT same thing I had been looking at the day before online (http://www.petco.com/product/8232/Sherpa-Roll-Ups.aspx?CoreCat=OnSiteSearch). Only the animal shelter was asking just $10! So I was able to get him microchipped, then get his airline approved bag for a total of $20. The next day, I took him to the regular vet and had his annual exam, vaccines, a new rabies shot (they must be vaccinated for rabies AFTER being microchipped), a heart worm check and talked to him about flying with a pet. Total spent on all of the above mentioned things for Rascal to be ready to fly: almost $200. Plus the airline will be charging us $125 for him to ride in-cabin. Whew! So now that is done.
|Rascal with Tito (who is no longer with us but apparently I have no photos of just Rascal)|
Wait. We can't.
We cannot book flights, schedule movers, send the van, nothing without official PCS orders. Well just this week, the lovely Italian office calls B and says ''Hey I need the kids' birth certificates to cut your orders with the kids on the orders''. Well that's just great because we sent ALL of our birth certificates with the passport stuff to the state department. While I have copies of the older boys', I didn't think to make copies of the younger kids'. Okay, not a big deal, we now have to wait to get our passports back (should be done mid to late October), once we get those we can apply for our Visas and get our PCS orders. Once we have our orders we can do the above mentioned things like book flights (which because we're flying in cabin with a dog, we're suppose to do as early as humanly possible) and schedule the movers. Once we have the movers scheduled, I can call our landlord here and give her the mandatory 30 days required notice that we are not renewing our lease. Once I do that, then I will finally really feel like we are moving.
The passport office called today, there are four steps left until our passports will be done and ready to pick up. I'm not sure how many steps there were to begin with but at least we're processing!
So that's where we're at, a full month in from accepting the job. I'm not sure if it's more or less complicated due to us being DoD Civilians who are PCSing or if it would be the same ups and downs if we were Active Duty.