The life has kept me busy, literally after I arrived back to Finland from USA. It’s been running around with my two babbies almost 2 months now without any breaks, BenBen is still doing his therapy in Helsinki, and now vets are also testing his viscera in our home town: he is having some serious symptoms and his strong medication for chronic pain doesn’t ease his kidneys and liver at all. And as most of my and BenBen’s followers know Antonio Vito de Picasso, my new rescued miracle, had an eye removing surgery few weeks ago. I am going to make own post about it so stay tuned if you are interested in to know more and get some tips for healing. Picasso’s eye is doing very well today, it’s perfectly healed and looking beautiful, the problem we have now is his ear. We met the vet on Tuesday and he is now on ear meds again, we will meet the specialist 19th February.

But now it’s time to tell you about the rescue trip. So many have came to me for thanking me for adopting him, yes, we need my kind of people who adopt animals instead buy them. We still need to remember as important are those organizations with their amazing workers, many volunteers and foster parents who all the time work for free for saving those babies. We all need to work together for helping organizations to keep helping up.

DO NOT BUY – adopt.
IF YOU CAN’T ADOPT – donate.
IF YOU DON’T HAVE MONEY – donate some stuff.
IF YOU DON’T HAVE STUFF TO GIVE – donate your time.
ALL KIND OF HELP YOU GIVE MATTERS. YOU MATTER ♥

For donating to Naked Kisses Dog Rescue, for organization that saved my Antonio Vito de Picasso hit here >> or go to their Facebook >> or websites >> to read more. You can also send them money by PayPal: nakidrescue@gmail.com. I have also created a donation link on BenBen’s Facebook page >>

Every dollar helps them to save more babies! ♥

This picture above is the very first picture I saw of my baby. He was just rescued and not available yet. At first sight I just knew it, I felt it very strong way so I let Marlene know. You remember my friend Marlene helped me a lot to handle the pain when I lost my dear babies CJ and Bean in 2017. The same way she was the biggest support when BenBen’s health got worse last year. Once again Marlene was here for me when I let her know I am going to adopt again, once again this woman showed what real friends really are for ♥

I felt I was ready to rescue a brother for BenBen in last summer. We started to do research and even if there were many sweet babies none of them touched my heart the way Picasso did. It was meant to go that way, I knew it right away in that horrible day when BenBen started to scream and I took him to the emergency to hear those horrible words from vet: BenBen’s chronic pain was worse now and his prognosis wasn’t good anymore. He started the therapy and maximum amount of painkillers; nerve painkillers + inflammatory drugs + opioids. It didn’t look good at all, as all BenBen’s followers can remember. I made sure he got all he needed meaning his drugs and nerve painkillers in every 12 hours, I took him to laser therapy every second day and to acupuncture once in a week. I took him to physiotherapy to Helsinki every second week and did his exercises for him twice in a day everyday, and I am still doing this. He started to feel better, thank God he started to recover again.

It was late fall when vet said little brother would be a good idea, seriously. Today I know the vet thought about BenBen and I, both of us when said that. And I can understand it, and I appreciate it. Only because I had BenBen I had a reason to get up from bed after CJ and Bean passed away. After what vet recommended, I started to look for a rescue brother for BenBen again. Few days later I saw the picture of my baby, and I knew he was the one.


FIRST STEPS TOWARDS ADOPTION

Was it easy? No, it wasn’t. If you think the most stressful part was to fly to USA and get myself to connecting flight, you are so wrong. The most stressful part of this adoption for me was actually before I was approved. It was not easy to convince the organization all the way from Finland, online only. We kept in touch a lot already before Picasso was available to adopt. Marlene was with me all the time which made me feel very comfortable. She also wanted to make sure I will get to know everything I need to, especially of Picasso’s health. And I got. The organization Naked Kisses Dog Rescue was very overt of everything, they were already mentioned on their website Picasso has angular chest (pigeon chest), luxating patella and dry eye, and that he needs a permanent eye medication and glucosamine supplements for his joints the rest of his life. It same with BenBen so I was totally ok with that, I was also familiar with dry eye but not so much with luxating patella or pigeon chest. All I knew about luxating patella was actually by my friend Cynthia and her dog ChaCha. Yes, that little princess that after all passed away. I talked to Cynthia about this adoption, she gave me great advise and after that I talked to the orthopedic specialist and for BenBen’s therapist as well. After all I needed to think about this adoption again, the costs would be horrible during next years for sure and BenBen was already doing the rehabilitation for the rest of his life. But same time I was over worried about this little baby, what if the organization wouldn’t find as good and loving home I could offer him? What if the new owner won’t take him to eye removing surgery or to leg surgery if needed.. what if, what if..? I talked to Marlene again and she convinced me they will find the best one for that baby, no matter what.

But no.. I couldn’t stop thinking of him. I was already renamed him in my mind. I already imagined him living him with us and go to therapy with BenBen. In my mind he already was my little baby. I sent an application. And next few days I was most stressed, I couldn’t sleep at all, all the time I was thinking of this little puppy in Florida and from all my heart I wished I was good enough to adopt him.

My application looked good, so the next thing they asked was a reference letter from my vet. BenBen’s vet was happy to write it and send it to the rescue organization, in this point thanks a million for her! They also called to my two other references, for Cynthia and Marlene both living in USA.

After the reference letter they asked ‘A Video Walk Through’. At this point I wished it would have been a summer so I could have shown them how beautiful country we are living in. It was late fall instead, super cold, windy and grey so I was panic people living in Florida would get terrified after seeing it. So I did my best to show them all 4 seasons we have in this beautiful country. I showed them everything, literally everything from environment to BenBen’s wardrobe and our fridge.

And then it happened! At night I woke up to check my phone and there it was, the email that let me know I was approved. I cried, jumped up from bed, made my happy dance and woke BenBen up to tell him he is having a little brother called Antonio Vito de Picasso

RESCUE TRIP TO USA STARTS

I booked flights and started to plan the trip to Florida. During those weeks we kept in touch with Picasso’s foster mom and rescue organization owner Whitney, and we became friends. Whitney asked me to stay at her and her family home instead hotel, and also offered to pick me up from the airport. How kind was that! Her kindness made my trip to be most stressless and most comfy. I flew to Florida 13th of December 2018.

♥ Wanted to spent some special time with BenBen before flew to USA for a week to rescue a brother for him, so stayed in a hotel and spent some lovely family time at 12th of December. BenBen sitting in Santa’s chair at lobby.
♥ Hotel had a little surprise for BenBen, he was so excited about it!
♥ He also loved the bath before dinner.
♥ The dinner we order to our hotel room for relaxing the most comfy way before my flight next day.

The flying time from Helsinki to Miami was 11 hours 35 minutes, the 7 hours time difference made it a bit nasty because I couldn’t sleep in a plane at all. I spent my time in a plane well by knitting some wool socks and dog sweaters to give as a gift in USA, I also brought some other gifts with me from Finland.

I arrived to Miami in time and had plenty of time to get myself to connecting flight to Tampa. Miami Airport was crazy with all modern passport and ESTA machines, and for somehow I got my machine to went bananas. After a nasty fight with it, it printed me a failed ticket. I looked at it and was totally exhausted. I found an officer, showed the ticket for her and she put me to stand on US CITIZEN line. I let her know I am from Finland and she looked at me like I was a half-witted. She proofed I was standing on the right line. But of course I wasn’t. When it was my turn and I showed my passport, the officer asked me to show my ‘mobile passport’ instead. I had none, we have regular ones in Finland. Not so kindly he let me know I shouldn’t be where I was and just asked me to ‘go away’. When I asked ‘where?’, he replied loudly ‘just GO AWAY’. I went to the same person who advised me before. Once again she showed me the same line. I was tired and I didn’t have so much time to play with this silly game, I said: “did you know Finland is not in USA? Finland is a country in Europe.”. What happened next was like from comedy movie, she was like Melissa McCarthy in her best movies when moved her hands and tried to say something but had no idea what to say. After all she asked me to follow her and took me very far from the US CITIZEN line. The line of this passport check was luckily super short, the officer wished me a nice flight to Finland and too late I realized I ‘facepalmed’ in a real. Damn, what a blonde I am!

After that everything went perfectly, excluding the flight to Tampa was late because people had too many and too big carry-on luggages with them. I have never seen as huge chaos in a plane, in this point I felt most blessed I had my right size Minnie Mouse stroller luggage with me. I kept myself happy with Cola Zero and arrived to Tampa pretty much in time.

THE FIRST MEETING

Whitney’s husband was waiting for me at the airport around midnight, and we drove to their house by having a nice conversation. I was tired but same time so excited. Whitney had made a beautiful room up for me and Picasso, I arrived late so I didn’t expect to meet my baby until morning. But I did. Whitney brought him in my arms when I was unpacking. I will never forget this moment, it was as strong as when I first time hold BenBen in my arms, and it says it all. Picasso was terrified, he was calm but drooling like crazy. Night by night Picasso started to trust on me more and after that night I have never seen him drooling anymore.

Next morning Whitney made a first picture of me and Antonio Vito de Picasso together. She also borrowed me her zip-hoodie because jetlag made be feel tired but also super cold. It was crazy I felt cold there even if it was +20 celsius degrees more than in Finland, I really wore my padded jacket everywhere!

Later we went for food shopping and I cooked a dinner for Whitney and her family. I made some Wiener Schnitzels with mashed potatoes and steamed veggies, and brownies for a dessert.

Next morning happened something magical. L i t e r a l l y m a g i ca l !
Whitney took me to the D i s n e y W o r l d. Can you believe it? REALLY, she did! ♥ It was totally some kiddo time for me, meaning no kids with us even if their kids were cutest ever, this time there still were just our own inner kids having some fun! Whitney’s husband stayed with dogs and kids and her friend Sarah joined us – it was so nice! Sarah knew the DisneyWorld like her own backyard, really. What ever we wanted to see, she knew where to find it. Sarah showed us the most amazing things in Magic Kingdom, I smiled so hard that my cheeks hurt.

As all my followers and readers know I am such a Disney lover. A huge one. And you also know I am a dreamer, a dreamer who separates them realistic and unrealistic ideas to be as goals and as a dreams. DisneyWorld has always been one of my biggest dream, something I have always dreamed about but something I never believed to experience for real. For sure because of costs, I would never travel that far from Finland only for shaking the hand of Mickey Mouse when there are so much to do and help with all that money. I would feel guilty to do that. And now this just happened to me, now when I flew to adopt a new family member. Whitney is not even living close to DisneyWorld, we drove a long way to get me there. Awwww! I still can’t believe this happened to me! ♥ DisneyWorld is something that deserves its own post as well, so stay tuned if you are interested to see more!

Next day my two friends, both Kathy, drove to Whitney’s place to meet me and Picasso. They brought some gifts for me and my babies which melt my heart. Cynthia was already sent there tens of shirts for Picasso. How sweet friends we have! ♥ Kathys took me relax on the beach and Whitney took care of my baby meanwhile. It made good to me, it was good to relax and do nothing else but just enjoy of company of my dear friends. We cried and laughed, and let the love pamper our souls. Instead snowmen I hugged sandmen in Florida. A thousand thanks Kathy+Kathy for having me! ♥

When I rescued BenBen 6 years ago it was kinda nothing else but 4 days of flying; everyday I flew somewhere to get BenBen, get closer to Finland and finally back there. Now, only because of kindness of Whitney and her family I experienced such a vacation. A vacation I have never experienced before. All these years when I have traveled I have traveled for a work, now I was going to travel for an adoption and I was ready for all stress just like with BenBen. But it didn’t happen. Instead I felt good all the time, they really treated me like a family member. They took me to meet their friends and to get their kid from school. I loved it all. I have no words for how much I enjoyed ♥

Picasso and I were both very relaxed when was time to fly to Finland, he was started to trust on me which was very good because he really wasn’t the easiest little man when got rescued; he had lots of fears and bit easily. I felt good to get back home for Christmas, but same time I felt sad I needed to leave this most lovely family in Florida.

Naked Kisses Dog Rescue did such amazing job with this adoption, this was their very first international adoption so they also learned a lot how to do it. I did my best to advise them and sent them lots of information and papers in advance for easing the progress. Their vet also had some experience how to do it which made it easier and more comfy for all of us.

It’s not the easiest thing to adopt from USA to Finland because of our very strict law, this is why you also need to fly there by yourself to adopt one. You need to sign a paper you are not going to sell that dog in Finland, it would be illegal. Vaccinations and other requirements need to be perfectly done when you arrive to Finland, that’s stressful part to be honest. After all it’s worth it: this way you are not supporting puppy mills as you probably do when you ‘order’ “a rescue dog” in Europe. This is why I prefer to fly to USA by myself. Why to USA? Because horrible things are happening there all the time, China is another one I am very worried about. I prefer skip my vacations for next few years to do this, it’s all about choices.

The microchip was very stressful thing in this adoption, Picasso has 9 digit chip and in Finland we today have only 15 digits, ISO chips only. His chip is approved in Finland because he came from USA but the problem was to find out if the customs had the scanner that could read his chip. After all I contacted customs to find out all the scanners they have, then to the microchip company for letting them know all scanners they have at customs, and they let me know which scanner would for sure read Picasso’s chip. Luckily there was one and I didn’t have to buy own. After that we had a problem with EU Model Health Certificate, not all vet were approved to sign it, so the organization needed to send it to the another city to get it signed. It was Christmas time meaning crazy Christmas rush with post delivering. The organization made it all happen the most best way, everything happened in time and was done before I arrived to Florida. Only Echinococcus medicine was left to do before we flew back to Finland together.

Whitney’s husband drove Picasso and I to Miami. I was planned to fly from Tampa to Miami, but it didn’t worked well when I had Picasso with me: any of US airlines didn’t confirm the dog seat until 24 hours before flying, it would have been too risky because we had flight from Miami to Helsinki already booked. Whitney’s hubby helped me so much at airport, after all he also made sure we got through the security check, I didn’t expect that but to be honest this was the thing that made me feel totally stressless. What a wonderful people the life pampered me with in Florida. I am most lucky ♥

After security check we were ready for boarding, we still needed to wait a bit, the flight was one hour late. I bought some soft drinks for myself and some water for Picasso. Whitney had given me a medicine to give for him to calm him down just in case before flight, so I gave it to him and he slept until we went to the plane.

Picasso was calm and happy while flying, the return flight from Miami to Helsinki took only 9,5 hours and Picasso made it so well. After all we landed safely and we were ready to met new big brother. BenBen was already missing me so much as well ♥

HOW TO KNOW IF DOG RESCUE ORGANIZATION IS TRUSTED OR NOT?

They ask you to fill an application – a good organization cares where dogs go, they don’t make money with rescuing dogs and they work hard for finding out who’s the best owner for their dogs. The wider the application is, the better if you ask from me.

They ask your references and call them – good organization call to your references to ask some questions and making sure you are the best match for the baby you want to adopt. Usually they also calls to your vet.

They ask to see your home and how do you live – they ask ‘A Video Walk Though’ or come to visit you, they want to meet/see all family members.

They answer when you ask – what ever you ask and how often, they give you an answer. A good, trusty organization actually loves when you ask. They love to know you are interested in to take the best care of new rescue baby. They NEVER tell you ‘if you have a problem with this, we will find someone who doesn’t’. The trusty organization is overt of everything.

They are looking for the best matches – if you are not approved it doesn’t mean you are not good enough to be a rescue parent, it means they have just found the better match for the dog you were interested in. Keeping looking for!

They are taking good care of rescued dogs – keep focus on stories and pictures they share. What do they do for dogs they have rescued and how they are fostered? For example Picasso was on eye and ear medication when I rescued him, they were also done an x-ray for his chest and they sent me the pictures.

They want you to keep in touch – they want you to keep in touch after adoption and get videos and pictures of adopted dog. They are also always there for you if you need any advise or help, you are not alone with the adoption.

MY CHOICE: NAKED KISSES DOG RESCUE
For donating to Naked Kisses Dog Rescue, for organization that saved my Antonio Vito de Picasso hit here >> or go to their Facebook >> or websites >> to read more. You can also send them money by PayPal: nakidrescue@gmail.com. I have also created a donation link on BenBen’s Facebook page >>

Let’s support them together! ♥