Preparation is Key…

So the plan to move to Spain for up to 6 months and live out lockdown in the sunshiine was on. Work seemed cool with it, first major box ticked. But then how were we going to fund it. As soon as my wife’s redundancy was announced, I panicked and immediately requested a mortgage break with the bank. This decision was made reassuringly straight forward during these times, and got approved on the same day. Suddenly with this, ideas blossomed around the real possibilities of moving away without the need to rent out our existing home. My anxiety induced excuses list was wearing thin, why the heck not. The budget whilst away would be the same as home, we rent short term with bills included based on our monthly mortgage, job done.

But what to do with the dog? Our brown cockapoo, named Bernard. Pretty much the best dog a chap could ask for. Do we take him with? The Spanish heat. The wild cats and dogs roaming the local bins at night. Whatever. We just couldn’t leave him behind, we set about applying for an EU dog passport. Realising at the same time my own passport had expired. Best get that renewed at the same time… Timeline for move set for when both would be ready – 20 days!

Quickly reservations were made for a rustic place found on air bnb, pet friendly with a pool just north of Malaga, a stones throw from Ronda. Perfect. With the schools going back and covid knocking the travel industry to it’s knees, there were deals to be had. But how to get there? Preparation is key…

When making the prep for the dog passport, we were reminded about Brexit. Bloody Brexit was still happening. I’d forgotten about that. Our 6 month trip would crossover, so taking the dog would mean so many potential unknowns upon coming back, and also we had in parallel realised we would most likely need to drive to our destination in Spain too. I relished the idea. Picking out the European hot spots on route I wanted to pit stop at. However, these are not normal times, these are covid times; with a dog, wife and 2 year old… what to do?

By this stage I’d told plans to a few select groups and amazingly without any suggestion a friend asked, what are you doing with the dog?? They were already keen on getting a dog but not sure on committing to the crazy prices during lockdown. The potential of Bernard offered the perfect opportunity ‘to try before you buy’.. a few exchanges to ensure all were on board, it was settled, the dog would stay. A hard decision but looking back it was definitely the right thing. They picked him up the weekend before we were due to leave. Very weird having no dog in the house the last few days. I would try not to speak too much about it, so as not to upset the family, but really, myself.

This post is dedicated to Bernard.

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