As or time in Tirana drew to a close we became increasingly focused on what to do about our little pack. In a later post I will talk about Dougal and Sampras but in this post I will tell you about Bella.
Despite the time she has spent with us Bella could easily have reverted to life as a street dog but we wanted something better for her. We had never planned to have a dog so our first thought was to try to find someone else to look out for her or even to adopt her.
Yet despite the willingness of many expats to adopt street dogs most were looking for pups rather than a mature dog like Bella. So as it became clear that we would not be able to find a home for Bella in Tirana we decided that she would join us on our travels.
That decision led to a very rapid education in all aspects of animal transportation. Our biggest problem was that the aircraft we were booked to fly out on did not have a live animal hold big enough for the extra large size crate that Bella required.
Thankfully, we were flying with Lufthansa, who quickly became our carrier of choice when travelling with Bella because of their superb service. We got information from them on the precise size of the door into the hold and after much research discovered a company near Heathrow Airport in London that specialised in making crates for animal transportation.
We sent them the dimensions we needed and arranged a trip to London to pick up Bella's handmade wooden crate. Once back in Tirana we only had a short period to get her used to the idea of being inside so we stuffed it with big soft cushions. That was all the incentive she needed. The picture - poor quality from a cheap mobile phone - shows her curled up sleeping in her new crate in our hallway with Dougal's tail curving through the bottom right. Taken on 20 October 2007.