The Adventures of Adopted Heinzi and his journey to Germany
During a visit to Swakopmund, Namibia, Conny frequented our SPCA and fell in love with Heinzi, almost 10 years of age. Heinzi was an owner surrender and came to us in 2017. For 2 years he patiently waited to be noticed and then it was love at first sight. The senior residents are ever so often overlooked and we have become used to having them retire and spend their last years as one of our own at SPCA Swakopmund. After much loved consideration the ball was set in motion for Heinzi to become a German citizen. Numerous vet visits for health checks, loads of paperwork and planning lay ahead. Meanwhile Lisa, Conny's daughter residing in Swakopmund often came to fetch the old man for sleepovers and walks.
Then finally the big day arrived on July 5th, 2019. His toothbrush, comb, biltong & Hello Kitty pajamas packed with Heinzi safely tugged into his travel crate, we set off for Walvis Bay airport. Upon arrival all paperwork was checked, the old man was weighed one final time, his water and food bowls filled up and with tearful eyes we watched him go through customs to be loaded onto the airbus.
A long flight to Frankfurt with one stop over in Windhoek was lying ahead for the little guy. The rescue drops did its task and he was calm and content, though so much must have gone through his mind. As we watched his travel crate being loaded into the cooled, cargo compartment it once again came to mind that this is such an amazing adoption. So many people move and use that as an excuse to surrender they pawed kids, simply because it is too much trouble and effort to take them with.
We were both excited and sad when the Air Namibia Airbus started to taxi its way down the runway for take-off. Like one we burst into tears, the emotions at that stage were running high. It was good, it was sad, they were happy tears, yet we still remained both concerned and excited about his journey ahead.
Around 5pm we received much welcomed news that Heinzi has landed at Hosea Kutako International airport for his stop over. Pre-arranged, he was let out of his crate and took his final steps in Namibia before setting off for Germany.
Now we waited for morning...safe journey Heinzi
News in shortly after 8am Saturday, 06 July. Heinzi has arrived in Frankfurt. Now more paperwork and a final check up by the state vet before he could be scooped up into Conny's waiting arms. This would be the longest 5 hours of our lives. Meanwhile he was treated as a VIP in the Animal Lounge and taken out of his crate. We waited and waited not really able to focus on anything, constantly checking our phones for an update. Around 10am Conny sent news that she had the paperwork in hand and only the last state vet check up was needed. Almost there Heinzi!
FINALLY short before 1pm - Hold the tears...hold them, oh what the heck, let them run down your cheeks...this is IT! Welcome to your new family Heinzi!
Finally they can go home to Dresden...but then due to their car experiencing some engine trouble they had to call a breakdown. We were sitting on the edge of our chairs feeling nervous, they were still at least 400km away from home. Luckily it was only an electrical problem and they could continue the journey home not exceeding 120km/h. Lucky break and we all sighed with relief.
Meeting his new sis Nele, our little old man was a bit cautious and she was also not too chuffed either. But with love, patience, the best dog parents, Conny & Kai, soon had it sorted. We are sure Heinzi has told Nele many stories about Namibia and his previous home already. Perhaps, even some scandals about our cats and the mice that got away.
What a heartwarming experience. Happy forever Heinzi, you are a vision of hope thanks to wonderful people like your new family.