Doug is lounging in his executive suite, watching television and killing a few hours until it’s time to depart for the airport.
He is travelling from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur the long way via Taipei because being brachiocephalic there are only a couple of airlines who will take the risk of allowing him on board.
It’s all to do with potential medical problems caused by his very short nose.
You see Doug is a pug.
He is one of a surprising number of companion animals that can be found on any give day at the Hanrob Pet Hotel awaiting international flights organised by JetPets Animal Transport.
As people have become more mobile so, too, have their pets.
One in three people will at some time in their lives consider uprooting and moving abroad, be it for love, work or adventure.
Many will elect to jet-set with their pet or, in the case of Helen and Kory Nelson, all four of them.
Between airfreight, boarding and quarantine it will wind up costing the retired physiotherapist in excess of $6000 to export Siamese chocolate points Lilly and Zac along with golden retrievers Chevy and Harley to their new home in Denver, Colorado.
The Nelsons wouldn’t have it any other way. “They go wherever we go. They are part of the family,” Kory says.
The Nelsons are far from alone.
In 2011-12 financial year 6998 dogs and 3139 cats were exported from Australia and 7279 dogs and 3915 cats came into country according to Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry figures.
That’s a lot of fur flying, but it just goes to show cats and dogs reign.