The story as I know it.
Atia has had to leave Enzo behind in the Czech Republic, where she has been living for five years, and return with her seriously-ill six-year-old daughter to Australia. The little girl has to have an operation which will confine her to a wheelchair for nine months. Atia's personal circumstances are deeply tragic but we won't go into that. She has little or no income and is presently without a job. Any money she may have to find for Enzo will be via her credit card, i.e., 'borrowed'.
She adores Enzo with every cell in her body, and we all know what that means. It doesn't take much imagination to picture the grief and awfulness of leaving him behind, in what has turned out to be a series of very insecure, risky moves from one caretaker to another, with no friends over there to take full responsibility for Enzo's welfare. As I listened to her halting, grief-choked voice tonight, my own heart and mind was frantically sifting through possible ways of helping. I promised that I would do whatever I could, and we began with making a plan.
There are no people in the Czech Republic who will, it seems, take a senior Airedale into their homes and give him the love and care and security he has been accustomed to having with Atia. The various people who - so far - have had the care of Enzo are all terribly poor, and without resources to keep him. Right now, he is with someone until Friday, then he goes to another 'someone' who can only keep him until the end of July. After that ......
Geographically, Enzo is in a small town called Sbrno. It is 150 kilometres from Vienna and 250 kilometres from Prague. I haven't had time tonight to look in an atlas, but it sounds like it's a million miles from anywhere. I do know it's a thousand kilometres from Belgrade, in Serbia-Montenegro, where our dear list friend Sandra Popovic lives, but I am hoping Sandra may have some ideas for this boy and his safety.
There are many details to consider, of course, but my basic plan with Atia is this. I am not clear about quarantine requirements and protocol between EU & England, but if it were possible to get Enzo from the Czech Republic, via Vienna or Prague, to England by air, my wish would be that there would be willing & loving Airedale people in UK who would take care of Enzo for five months.
After five months in England, and provided the necessary blood tests, etc. for quarantine requirements are all cleared, he could (I think) then come to Australia and only have to be quarantined for one further month in Sydney. Atia's finances are such that affording Enzo's airfare, plus the requisite six-months quarantine (if served full time in Australia) would total somewhere in the vicinity of $6000, a sum that is way beyond her. She indicated she may be able to 'borrow' (i.e., credit card) around half that amount, which would cover his airfare and a one-month quarantine fee here.
If Enzo were to stay in England, his feeding costs would need to be met by the fostering family if at all possible.
As I say, my knowledge of quarantine protocol is skimpy, both in relation to the EU and England, and Australia. Atia is going to look into both situations as a first step.
Enzo's health is good, and there is, according to opinion in Czech Republic, no reason why he would not travel safely and well. He does not have any heart condition. His only medical issue is a severe allergy to all red meat, which causes him to suffer dreadful diarrhea. Chicken is all he can tolerate in the way of meat.
Atia's first preference, of course, is to have Enzo safely back into her own heart and home here in Australia. However, if that is impossible, due to either quarantine or financial restrictions, I have also suggested we could find Enzo a loving forever home in England, among the many wonderful Airedale people there. Enzo is not very settled at the moment, which is hardly surprising. He would need gentle, kindly handling, lots of security-building, and would need time to learn to trust again. His world has been tipped totally upside down, and my heart breaks for him and for Atia.
So . . . there you have it, dear friends. Can you somehow put on those thinking caps and help us get Enzo to safety, whether or not the ultimate can be achieved of getting him to Australia, or whether the best we can do is to find (and arrange to get him there) a safe & loving home in England?
I think I will be thinking long & hard into the night.
Sue in Oz, knowing that if there is any way of helping Enzo & Atia, the Airedale World will find it.
Photograph courtesy of Simona Mikulikova
Have just read about the Airedale and will ask about quarantine rules here. He could come over without quarantine but would need a dog passport. Could I send your e mail to Planet Airedale, then we could all get together and put our thinking caps on.
JEANNE COMBO & LILLY'DALE & SAM-I-AM, of the AIREZONA 19:
Dear Sue . . . your heart is so big and your love for people & animals is so evident; keep us updated and of course we'll all do what we can to help.
LIBBY KARIER& MOLLY:
Sending Zen for Enzo & his family; I can't imagine how difficult this is for them.