A dog's tail

Guest writer: Humphrey the dog
Insights Newsletter
28 August, 2020

Hey there, humans! 

It’s no wonder you’re dog's best friend. You always have tasty treats on hand, know the best places for walkies and you’re pretty smart too. It doesn’t take long to teach you to play fetch or give a great belly rub. 

However, as your friend, I must say there are still a few things you could learn from us. No need to get your hackles up, though. My bark is worse than my bite. I’m just a little worried the world may be going to the dogs.

My pack and I have been on top of this quarantine and border business for a while now – when was the last time you heard of a case of rabies in New Zealand, for example – but I’m not so sure you humans are. 

I heard things at the border aren’t exactly up to scratch and maybe that’s why Covid-19 is back. You aren’t even tested before leaving for New Zealand, and new arrivals get up to all sorts of shenanigans. Road trips from Auckland to Wellington when you’re sick, escaping managed isolation for a bag of chips or a bottle of Pinot Gris and sharing cigarettes with security guards (when they’re awake, that is).

Perhaps I should let sleeping dogs lie, but until recently nearly two thirds of border workers weren’t even tested for Covid-19 despite numerous assurances from your pack leaders to the contrary.

It’s not that way for us. 

I recently returned home to New Zealand after exploring my French roots (my mother was a poodle). I had to plan my trip with military precision to make sure the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) would give the go ahead. 

I had multiple blood tests, vaccinations, treatments and health checks. All up I counted six precisely timed visits to my vet in Paris and two additional visits to the official government vet to check all requirements were met and that my paperwork was in order. I read MPI’s import guidelines to ensure my expectations aligned with reality which had even the French bureaucrats exclaiming “sacré bleu.”

And when I did my time in quarantine, I assure you there were no trips to Animates to pick up essentials. That’s despite arriving with nothing but the collar on my neck since all my toys were destroyed in case of surface contamination.

Far be it from me to try and teach an old dog new tricks but throw a dog a bone and get the folks at the Ministry of Health to give MPI a call. They may have a few tips, or perhaps I’m just howling at the moon.

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