Malacis is a Latvian word meaning good job. Malacis is also our beloved little dog, who truly has done a good job moving from one country to another with us. When Malacis joined us back in 2005, we were aware that we would have extra work, but I never expected so much work to get him to be physically with us in each country we have moved to. Qatar has definitely been the most challenging.

Moving abroad with a pet triggers some basic actions to meet import requirements. Malacis had to have all of his vaccines up to date and an identification microchip implanted. Prior to leaving the United States in 2007, we had taken care of this all. While living in Norway, his microchip was scanned various times that it never crossed my mind that we would encounter any problems. Well, of course change in technology caught up with us in Denmark, causing a new headache. (If you have been following along, I have not had the best of luck in Denmark).

It was a Monday morning when I had taken Malacis to the vet in Denmark. Our flight was scheduled on Saturday. I initiate obtaining a certificate of health for Malacis allowing him to fly and be imported to Qatar, which is required within no more than 7 days of travel.

For our move to Qatar, vaccination evidence was a must to ensure Malacis could be imported. In Denmark, they were using new scanning devices that simply would not read Malacis’ microchip and this was vital to enter Qatar as the microchip is linked to Malacis’ vaccination history. The Danish vet and I decided that we may as well put in a new microchip that the updated technology could scan. Problem solved, I thought.

Upon learning that Malacis had a new microchip, the vet in Qatar said that the problem now was that the new microchip would negate his records and his old vaccines would not be accepted by the authorities. This required that I find a scanner that would read his old microchip otherwise I would have to begin anew giving Malacis his vaccines. This would then require us to wait at least 30 days before entering Qatar. To add to my stress, as mentioned above, this all came to my attention on a Monday and our flight was the upcoming Saturday. I didn’t have 30 days.

So, as suggested, I went from one vet to another trying to find the old scanner. I eventually ended up at the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, where I had to go get Malacis’ health certificate stamped to export him. Luckily, they had one in storage and I insisted that they scan Malacis. Current technology saved me as to ensure evidence I video taped with my phone Malacis getting scanned to prove to the vet in Qatar that his old microchip is still valid. Have to say, what kept me going through this day was a saying that a friend has said numerous times, “Labas lietas notiek labiem cilvekiem” or “Good things happen to good people”.  I really needed that, so thanks to you! You know who you are!

Afterwards, it was pure paper work. Along with the health certificate, we had to fill out the animal registration form, a government registration form, request an import permit and finally purchase Malacis a flight ticket. Yes, flying with a dog is expensive, and moving with one is even more expensive, but we wouldn’t leave behind a member of our family. Especially when we saw the joy in our son’s face when he was finally reunited with Malacis after being in a kennel for six weeks. (Malacis had to be in a kennel because our temporary accommodations wouldn’t accommodate him). Malacis came home to his new home the day before Christmas eve. A perfect gift for everyone!IMG_9675 IMG_9676

With the help of the Qatar Veterinary Center, I am already preparing for Malacis’ export out of Qatar, and registering him with his new microchip. The irony of technology. It is great as long as you are constantly upgrading. Poor Malacis probably has no idea what a file he has, but he should know he has had a fantastic life! A start in Cleveland, then Los Angeles, Chicago, Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen and now Doha! Malacis!

Now back to our routine – walking Malacis ! Enjoy the little video!




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A wife, a mother, an expat...

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