The View from the Top of the Bookshelf: What You Can Learn from Johnny Depp’s Canine Controversy
Hello, humans of the Internet! You are looking very handsome today. Your hair looks especially nice. This is your friendly neighborhood Patra!
One of my people is a teenager, so I’ve recently been cuddling up on the couch with her while she watches E!. I must say, I’ve learned a lot about human celebrities. A lot of the shows have mentioned a fellow named Johnny Depp—I think he’s some kind of movie star? Apparently, he’s been in some trouble.
Depp went on a trip on his private jet to Australia with his wife and his Yorkshire terriers, Pistol and Boo. Sounds fun, right? Well, being a movie star must be very busy, because he forgot to declare his dogs to customs!
Shortly after arriving Down Under, Depp took his pups to a Queensland dog groomer for a nice bath and haircut. She posted a photo of Pistol and Poo on Facebook with the caption: “”It’s an honour to be grooming Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s two Yorkshire Terriers.” That’s where things start to get worrisome, I’m afraid!
The Minister of Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, found out the dogs were in his country without the proper paperwork and got very, very angry. He threatened to have them euthanized if Depp didn’t send them back home within three days. You see, Australia has some infamously strict laws about biosecurity: dogs are required to be blood tested 180 days before coming to the country and provide proof of vaccines, parasite treatments and a government export certificate upon arrival. Then, when they hit Australian soil, canines have to spend at least 10 days in quarantine to prevent the spread of diseases.
and Depp could face up to 10 years in jail for breaking the law. Joyce seems to have wanted to make an example of the Depp family, having reportedly said, “There is a process, you get the permits, they go into quarantine, then you can have them. If we start letting movie stars, even though they’ve been the sexiest man alive twice, to come into our nation, why don’t we just break the laws for everybody?”
A representative for Australia’s Agriculture Department said Depp’s case was a rarity, with only an average of one dog per year arriving in the country without the appropriate permits. Still, the story gained a lot of news coverage and even started trending on twitter with the hashtag #WaronTerrier, with most people in support of Boo and Pistol. The controversy was also fodder for John Oliver’s jokes on a recent episode of his HBO show Last Week Tonight.
So what can you learn from Johnny, Boo and Pistol? Hotel restrictions, pet motion sickness and travel restrictions all can create problems for you and your pet when you travel together—so it can sometimes be less stressful to travel without your furry friend. Luckily, there are plenty of options for the savvy owner who prefers to leave her pet at home.
If you prefer to travel solo, your pet is sure to enjoy one of the following options:
- If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option for the low-maintenance pet, a veterinary clinic might be the way to go. Some require you to provide your own kibble and bedding, which keeps costs low.
- Send the social butterfly to doggie daycare. This tends to be a more expensive option but is more similarly to a lodge or puppy spa. Most include amenities like swimming pools, play hours, treats and Internet video feeds for you to watch your best friend have a vacation while you do the same.
- When you have a pet with special considerations, it can be great to find a pet-sitter. Because you can find someone your pet knows to come check on them on their home-turf, this is ideal for families with multiple pets, pets of different species, pes with health issues, or pets who are especially aggressive or reserved. We cats do especially well with this option!
No matter who you entrust with your four-legged friend, it’s a good idea to find someone experienced, use recommendations from friends and family and to give your pet extra TLC when you return. There is no wrong decision—each is valid as long as it keeps your pet happy and safe. Talk to your veterinarian while you consider what’s best for yours.
Do you prefer to travel with or without your pet? And what do you think about Johnny Depp’s possible 10-year sentence? Let me know in the comments below, friends!
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