Dog days?

Have just been to get the dog clipped, (Ozzie – in pic) and I asked the guy if he could show me how to clip him (Ozzie, the clippee – not the guy, the clipper), since it looks like we’re going to have to do this ourselves when we get to Brazil. He (the clipper – oh dear, English is such a difficult language, isn’t it?) didn’t seem too concerned, and helpfully suggested I could come in one afternoon and see how it’s done (that’s “…come in, one afternoon”, as opposed to “…come, in one afternoon” – oh never mind). Anyway, poor Ozzie doesn’t know what he’s in for.

He really is a worry, I must admit. Firstly, this is a one-way trip for him, realistically. There’s no quarantine on entry to Brazil, but the usual 6 months applies on returning to the UK. I know we aren’t proposing to come back either, but at least we could if we had to. Secondly, there’s the logistics of it all. Putting the paperwork together at the right time in the right place and getting him on a flight with us is not easy. And he has to cope with 10 hours cooped up in a tiny cage, in the dark (plus the waiting time at either end – not pleasant). Then there’s another 5 hour internal flight from Rio or Sao Paulo to Manaus.

We’ve decided not to attempt to combine the two flights – it would be too much for Oz. So we’re going to get him out of the cage and find somewhere to stay for a couple of nights in Rio/SP before moving on. We’re also going to investigate buying a seat for him on the internal flight (yes, I know, madness – but it is a one off).

Once we get there, he’ll have to get used to the high temperatures, the humidity, and the bugs. And the fact that people don’t generally have pets as we know them – most dogs are kept as working animals and are left outside 24/7.

One of the things I’ll be doing is building a floating house near the jungle. I’ve already been advised that if you go into the jungle “don’t take your dog, as it will be a magnet for birds of prey and other predators…” Oh joy. What is he in for? If he swims in the river presumably he’ll be easy pickings for any passing caiman or piranha (I have a croc’s-eye vision of Oz’s little legs paddling through the water just before something launches itself at him. I wish I’d never watched Jaws.) And even if he keeps himself to himself, he’s bound to be attacked by all the usual nits, jiggers, ticks, leeches, ants, fleas, bees, mosquitoes (there’s a thought – can dogs catch malaria?). As for wandering into the jungle, well that obviously just doesn’t bear thinking about. But of course, we can’t leave him here, so we’ll just have to look after him!

Anyway, after the grooming parlor, I also collected my bike from being serviced. I now have a functional back brake, which is nice. Of course while I was in the bicycle shop I got to thinking that I really ought to get myself a new bike for Brazil. After all, mine’s 20 years old and built for fast, tarmac roads – not for potholed tracks. Hmm. I wonder if the budget would accomodate this? Some sort of budget hybrid thing, a cross between an off-roader and a racer like mine. Watch this space.

I think I need to stop thinking about Brazil for the moment, and go and do something routine and normal instead.
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