When Dave Blosse, webmaster for the Leonberger Club of Great Britain (www.leonbergerclub.org.uk), decided to move to Canada, he had more to worry about than simply packing up his home and family.
In addition to his wife and four children, Dave is also the proud owner of three of the gentle giants - weighing a colossal 345lbs between them! Fortunately, he had an ally in Nigel Bishop, managing director of Bishop's Move, the UKs leading specialist removals company, and fellow Kinghern Leonberger owner.
As the 'parent' of four-year-old Mistral - son of Dave's bitch Sherry - Nigel knows only too well how important it is to get travel arrangements right for dogs on long journeys. "With the ever-increasing rise in the number of people moving abroad, we are getting more and more enquiries about pet relocation," he said.
"Our priority at all times is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the animals and, as a dog owner myself, I know how important it is to be reassured that they are in good hands."
Dave, making sure the nine and a half hour flight to Vancouver
for seven-year-old Sherry, four-year-old Mystie and 11-month-old
puppy Elsa is as smooth and stress-free as possible, has been
top of his priority list. "Obviously we wanted to be
absolutely sure that they would be well looked after during
their travels," said Dave. "When Nigel recommended
their partner Airpets, I knew I could trust them because I
had already done my own research and found them to be one
of the best." In addition, he was also able to take advantage
of the special discount offered by Bishop's Move to members
of the Leonberger Club.
Until recently Sherry was owned by Fred Inwood of Kinghern Leonbergers and the Blosse family became good friends after buying Mystie from Fred four years ago.
Following Sherry's retirement from breeding, she moved to live with the Blosses and Fred, who is President of the Leonberger Club of Great Britain and has done a great deal to establish the breed in the UK, has now transferred ownership so that she can join them in Canada. Leonbergers are an even rarer breed in Canada than in the UK, where they number around 1500, and Dave says that although the threesome are first and foremost family pets, they may potentially consider breeding from the younger ones at some time in the future. After one trip with his wife Sally earlier this year, Dave has just returned from another visit to Canada where he has been busy sorting out accommodation and schooling.
In preparation for the move, daughters Lindsey, 14, and Kerry, eight, plus sons Gavin 12 and Callum, six, have already been avidly using the Internet to look at their new home city and find out more about the Canadian way of life. "We're all really looking forward to the move," said Dave. "It's something we have always wanted to do and we have every confidence that it's going to be a great investment in our family's future. "We are sad to be leaving our family and friends, but are looking forward to going."