Thursday, July 08, 2010

Featuring Munson (the dog!)

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It’s nearly 17 hours since I touched down at Heathrow, Munson having landed an hour before me. I had thought we were on the same flight up until the night before we left, but he was on BA16 via Singapore, I on BA10 via Bangkok.

After speeding through immigration, collecting the rental car and then a shower and change of clothes, I returned to Heathrow to  await Munson’s clearance by Customs through the Animal Reception Centre.
Animal Reception Centre Munson cleared  re
Having been primed for a release around 9am,  spending a further four hours at the ARC wasn’t exactly my favourite part of the day. Another couple had been there since 8am, although they weren’t nearly as jet-lagged as me.  From the ARC I stopped in at a vet to book Munson’s pet passport for the next morning, and then on to Pets at Home in Brentford to buy him food, treats and a few useful accessories. We met Chris later in the afternoon at Munson’s Cafe, the venue greatly changed – in new larger premises beside the old – finding the welcoming board outside. Sitting out on the footpath, looking up and down the street it felt like we’d never left, but I was sobered by the thought that it had been in Bondi’s company that I had so regularly paced out the streets between Brentford and Ealing Broadway so often.

It felt like old days as the mantra of “malamute – malamute – 7 – no – malamute” questions resurfaced. Two guys at the table next to us commented that there used to be a newspaper article on the wall of the old Munson’s about a guy who travelled around the world with his dog…

An old Polish lady came along the footpath on her child-sized bicycle, stopping to shake her head at Munson and ask questions before sliding off with head bowed. A young girl, granted permission to say hello to Munson, stood silently stroking his head for 15 minutes as Chris and I chatted, and her mother and siblings looked on.

Ealing Park Tavern Chris pours some Pimm's tired boy
For the evening meal, Chris and I took Munson to Ealing Park Tavern, the dog-friendly gastro-pub up the road. How different to Australia where a dog can’t even enter the outdoor area around a pub. Here, all areas inside and out were accessible. After a few snacks, Munson finally succumbed to his own brand of jetlag and lay with his head beneath my bench, eyes twitching to the rhythm of his dreams.

5 comments:

  1. How cool to see the both of you have made it safely!

    I'll lift a glass in your honour tonight and Khyra will munch a snack for Munson!

    Now, let's get those adventures started ;-)

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  2. I'm so glad to see you both made it there safely!!! I'm sure the memories are really rushing in. Remember them with a smile and know Bondi is most likely watching over you both, hoping you have a wonderful time beginning your new life.

    Holly and Khady

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  3. RacheyCooks2:15 pm

    Munson at Munson's, finally - YAY!! We miss you already Mike, but we'll be thinking of you and Munson lots as you embrak on your new adventures.

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  4. Welcome back to Europe! Now it won't be long before you hop over to the continent! Congrats on making the trip safe and sound.

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  5. Amanda and Scount8:26 pm

    Hi Mike and Munson,

    Glad to see you have been re-united safely in Europe.

    We talk about you everyday at the park and wonder how you are going.

    I think it will take Scout and I a while to remember not to anticipate the Mike Munson arrival at the park.

    Scout continues to progress and is coming to Dave (Leonard), Rose and Cameron (Whilma) and Bobby (Meg) when they call him... very happy making.

    Enjoy your travels.

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