10 Minutes

that is all it was.

We left Germany early this morning. Driving through various rain, snit and snow flurries, I made only two quick stops on the way to Dunkirk. We did have one detour of less than five minutes when I wasn’t paying attention. 625 km or so – in six hours is not that bad, even taking the long way around to the port.

After waiting in line to check-in, we rolled up to the window.

Sorry, he said. It is now 10 minutes after ten.

I didn’t have a clue at first, then realized that he was looking at the Vet certification on the Golden Retriever.


It is ten minutes after ten, he repeated. Your certifcate on the dog expired after ten. You can’t take the ferry.

Ten flipping minutes.

We finally figured out how to turn around and get out of the entry (dodging 18 wheelers who were not happy at seeing a car coming toward them in their lane) I finally found the office.

They take the “entry allowed between 24 and 48 hours after vet certification” extremely literally.

I suppose I should accept part of the responsibility. Intellectually I knew about the rule and had not looked at the certificate, much less noted a time. I just had assumed that they had taken the dog in late morning/early afternoon. To be honest, even knowing now the result I am not sure that the time implications would have sunk through.

We were given the information on the regions emergency vet service which we found after 20 minutes of driving around lost. We waited. She was seen and retreated. 79€ later I was back at the office to get rebooked for the following day. Time on the vet signature was 1245 which meant we could take the 1400 ferry.

Directed to a local hotel where a three person room was 42€, I checked in via automatic machine and took the dog up to the room.

We were exhausted. The four of us slept, including the dog, glad to be out of the car.

And tomorrow we get to leave France…..

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3 Responses to 10 Minutes

  1. Melinda says:

    Wow. If I ever need to take the dogs to England, I’ll be asking you about it before I go. I bet that vet is making a killing off of people in the same situation as you were in.

  2. Angeluna says:

    Unbelievable! You sound much more fatalistic than I would have been.

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