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The furry kids are finally home! It’s been 4 months exactly since we last held them, and it feels SO good!

Bentley is up to his old tricks wowing the neighbors. I talked to more people in Richmond yesterday than I did in the whole month of November. Plus dachshunds are apparently rare here, because people kept asking what kind if dog he is. And, when you explain the breed, they say, “OH a sausage dog!” (which Steve loves…)

Smokey spent the entire day checking out the new digs. She’s found a spot under the bathroom counter and on the cool tile floor that she loves (it was 90 yesterday!) And she slept in bed with us last night, which she pretty much hasn’t done since she was a kitten.

Life is good.

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Bentley and Smokey have arrived safely in Oz! We went to visit them today at the Spotswood quarantine facility, their new home (pet import prison) for the next 30 days whilst the Australian government satisfies itself that they really, really don’t have rabies.

I knew full well it was likely to be a melancholy affair. What I didn’t expect was my cat to hiss at me. Seriously, open mouth elongated hiss. Then I tried to pet her, and she hissed again. With tears in eyes, I left her blanket I had brought her and went to meet Steve, who was already visiting with Bentley. Thankfully for my poor heart, Bentley was much more receptive and snuggled right up to momma. And, on second visit, Smokey smashed herself against my ankles (a true sign of cat affection) while still hissing and growling occasionally (which I convinced myself was more at the other cats in the room than me). Satisfied.

Visiting hours are over, and the 30 day count is on.

So it’s T-minus 1 week til our “furry kids” depart the U.S. and start their journey to Australia. It can’t come soon enough.

Our house is nearly settled, but it doesn’t really feel like home without Bentley and Smokey. We’ve got Bentley’s bed all set up at the end of ours in the bedroom, complete with a new stuffed toy for him to rip apart in excitement and scatter its fluffy innards all over the place as soon as he gets here. I’ve been trying to think of places Smokey will take her afternoon naps (we don’t have a bay window ledge like the old place, her resident spot), and setting up various areas with soft blankets for her.

It doesn’t help (at the moment) that our new ‘hood is extremely dog friendly. Our new fav place for brekky was selected by a combination of winning factors: terrific cappuccino; fresh baked pastries and breads; and a dog under every outdoor table on the sidewalk. It’s gotten so bad that (1) we’ve started fawning over seriously fuggly dogs (like Pomeranians, yorkies and pugs) and (2) we are bordering on stalking other peoples’ pets to get a pat of fur and an adoring appreciative look from a canine. Steve actually pretended to be tying his shoes (for like, 8 to 10 minutes) so that a reddish brown dachshund 2 blocks down the street he had spotted with big ears flapping in the wind and a sweet goofy smile could catch up to us, and get molested.

Only 1 more week to go til we can give them a good hug at least at the quarantine (before they’re locked up for a month in anti-rabies jail). Man, December can’t come soon enough.