Monday, November 19, 2012

Our Italian Greyhounds: Taiwan Update & the Polo Pet Store in Taipei


Well, I have been very busy on my Asia trip.  In one of my early blogs, I told you about our plans to bring our two greyhounds to Taiwan.  We had a lot of planning to do this and it had to start 6 months before our departure.  We arrived in Taiwan safely on Oct. 2, 2012, but had microchip problems at the airport.

Our dogs arrived safely in the NTU Animal Hospital and were taken to the 6th floor Quarantine area. 

Main entrance on 6th floor.  ring the Bell on the far right for intercom.

Without a problem, the animal quarantine staff found and easily read the microchips in KoKo and MayMay.  Apparently there was a problem with the scanner at the airport.  The Taiwan government policy is to quarantine every pet for a minimum of three (3) weeks prior to releasing them to their owners.   

We were allowed to only visit them three times per week (Monday through Friday) for a maximum of 1 ½  hours per visit.   The visitors entrance is a stainless steel door, and at first looks like a prison.....but of course it is not!

The ominous looking entrance for visiting pet owners

We were escorted to a private room with our dogs, and these "fun" rooms are large enough to play with our dogs, and enjoy our visits.   When we are not visiting, all the dogs get some exercise in one of these rooms.  We requested a medium size kennel where both the dogs could be together and still have plenty of room.  We were told they were very happy staying together.  The quarantine area also has separate kennel rooms for cats, and one for very large dogs.

They are going to be so happy to see us!

A perfect size kennel for our two Italian Greyhounds

It was indeed difficult saying good-by each time we had to leave, but we gave them a lot of treats, a lot of love, and plenty of attention to make them happy.  Here are just a few photos (well maybe more than a few because we love our dogs!) from our visit to the NTU Animal Hospital.

KoKo Says, "I want to go outside and play!"

KoKo Says, Tell me again why I have to stay in here?

MayMay says, "Come on KoKo lets play together!"

KoKo Says, "I love my treats after I play with my favorite orange ring toy"

Both enjoying one more treat near the end of our visit

"Please don't leave!  We want you to take us with you"

"Ok, we will be good dogs and have fun here.  come back soon!"
MayMay says, "Mommy & Daddy are back, lets show them we learned to dance together!"
"We are hungry, how about some treats!"

MayMay says, "I will sit for my treat.....I'm a good dog!"

"Yummy treats, one of our favorites wrapped in chicken"

KoKo says, "that was delicious, now lets play"

KoKo says, "Now I'm tired, where is my water because I am thirsty?"

MayMay says, "Oh no, time for you to leave again?

MayMay says, "I'll be a good dog, but please take us home soon!"

Our “nurse” for our dogs was Peggy, and she took great care of our dogs.  You could tell each time she came into the room that KoKo and MayMay both bonded with her very quickly and was happy to see her.   

KoKo says, 'I love to Kiss nurse Peggy!"

MayMay says, "Can I take nurse Peggy home with us?????"
On one visit, Dr.  told me that our dogs were so well behaved and friendly, that the staff brought them to the work office sometimes to spend time with the staff.  The staff took great care of our dogs and showed them a lot of love and affection.  Dr. Shi and Peggy will miss them!  Three weeks passed quickly.  And October 21 was the day to pick up our Italian Greyhounds and take them home with us.  YES!!!! that night, both slept under the covers with us and were happy to be in our Taipei home with us!

Dr. Shi saying goodbye to KoKo and MayMay

Last kisses for nurse Peggy before we leave!

For a quarantine kennel  environment, I was actually pleased with how well the staff kept the place clean and smelling quite fresh considering all the dogs and cats that cared for on a regular basis.    During KoKo and MayMay’s staff, I counted about 6 cats and almost 20 dogs in the quarantine area kennels. 


Just a few days later, we had a birthday party for an IGGY friend we had met on the Italian Greyhounds of Taiwan Facebook.  Their IGGY, BeBe was one year old and they had yet to introduce their dog to another Italian Greyhound.  So, we met on Friday night at Wendels Bakery. (Yes, the same bakery we went to for the New Zealand wine tasting party.)   Wendel’s has a small outdoor seating area in the front, and it was perfect for us to order food and let our dogs interact.  The staff at Wendels brought our water for our dogs and took great care of us all, I give them an A+++ rating on being pet friendly!

Wendel's Bakery Front outdoor Patio

Wendel's Taking orders or the party

MayMay is happy to be here

One year old Italian Greyhound BeBe

KoKo and BeBe wants a treat.

KoKo will shake hands for a treat.

We take them on walks a couple times a day unless it is raining too heavily.  They love the long walks, because they are used to them in the US, and they also have a fenced in backyard to run and play.  Living in a much smaller but very comfortable and nice apartment on the 14th floor is great for us, but our IGGYS need more exercise.  So, we take them out to various places.  We can’t take them on the MRT, unless we buy expensive “dog carriages”.  Hand carriers are too big and heavy for our long legged Italian Greyhounds.  So, My wife made some “dog sling” carriers that we use to take them on Taxi cab rides.  

MayMay getting her Taxi ride comfortable inside her "sling" carrier
KoKo is very curious about her Taxi ride in Taipei


We found a great Pet store near the main campus of National Taiwan University called Polo Pet Store. By the way in y next blog I will talk about my Eye Glass store just two blocks away from Polo.  We were able to find a wide variety of pet food, including one of our favorite brands we use in the US. A super selection of dog treats and toys are available too!  Downstairs, they have a vet clinic next door, and we bought our "Revolution" brand heart worm, flea and tick medicine for them here.   Upstairs, they have a grooming service and kennels that you can board your pets overnight at a very reasonable price. 

Entrance to Polo Pet Store

Outside Polo Store - Everyone loves KoKo & MayMay

Second Floor Cafe - next Door to Polo Pet Store
 Everyone seems to think KoKo and MayMay are beautiful dogs.  Italian Greyhounds are rare in Taiwan, and most Taiwanese have never seen this breed of dog before.  Just next door to Polo is the Second Floor Cafe.  It is pet friendly and you can take your pets inside while you are eating or enjoying your coffee.  Be warned, for lunch on weekends, make reservations, because they are packed.  We had to wait about 1 1/2 hours to be seated without a reservation.


By the way, since our dogs live in Taipei city,  the Taipei City Animal Protection Office has a policy that all import dogs must get monthly checkups at a local veterinarian during their stay in Taipei.  This is a no charge service to the pet owner for this service, and we found a veterinarian, Lin-An Animal Hospital, only 3 blocks away from our apartment.    

Lobby of Lin-An Animal Hospital

KoKo & MayMay likes Dr. Jiang's dog, "Cash".  Cash welcomes all guests to Lin-An animal Hospital

Dr. Jiang is a polite, efficient and very knowledgeable veterinarian.  We plan to go to him for any problems with our pets during our stay here in Taiwan.  For more information, you can contact this veterinarian as follows:
Jia Yuan Jiang
Lin-An Animal Hospital
Phone: 02-27383008

Keep watching this blog for more travels for KoKo and MayMay.  We have visited several fun places with our dogs, and in a few weeks, you will find out more about these fun trips in Taipei and in Yi-Lan as well!

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