We very nearly didn’t get to see Munson this week. I called the quarantine station yesterday in the hour permitted for bookings, and found that their booking system was down. If it didn’t come back up that day then I would have to wait till next week. Fortunately they called back two hours later and we got our half-hour slot arranged.
The Eastern Creek quarantine station lies on Sydney’s sprawling western outskirts, 40km and a good hour of driving from the central business district. The first check-in takes about fifteen minutes of form-filling, re-supplying details already given when booking the station earlier, and initialling about fifty line items about behaviour within the station grounds. With all their paperwork and procedural problems, I gather that the DAFF agency holds importers to a far higher standard of compliance than it does its own operations.
Munson was naturally very happy to see us – nearly two weeks after I left in London, and five weeks since he saw Gustav in Paris. I brought a brush for him but his coat was already in a good condition, and he’d shed a few pounds that he’d picked up towards the end of winter. A few afternoons running around at Sydney Park should restore him to peak condition.
There was plenty of noise – a real cacophony to be honest – from the inhabitants of adjacent pens. It’s quite distressing to spend even twenty minutes there. The dogs are well looked after but they must be swimming in a soup of stress pheromones. I think Munson preferred to keep his head down below the open wire at the top of the pen, letting the noise pass over the top. He’s only had one day there, with twenty-nine more to go until his May 4 release.
Our day was more relaxed: I showed Gustav around some more of my neighbourhood, introduced him to some friends and then we rounded it off with a BBQ at Sydney Park. Daylight savings ends on Sunday so my cadre of friends from the dog park organised a special get together on top of their regular Friday afternoon cricket game. It was really wonderful seeing so many familiar faces, human and canine, and Gustav was made to quickly feel at home amongst them. Hurry on May for Munson’s return.