Corgis worth a queen’s ransom
They’re the dogs doted on by the Queen – and a Lower Hutt couple have paid a royal ransom to have their corgis by their side.
Jack and Joyce Luo have spent more than $20,000 to bring their beloved welsh corgis, Lucky and Amy, from Beijing to New Zealand.
They paid a pet transport agency more than $10,000 per dog for all the necessary paperwork, and to look after the corgis while they were in quarantine in Hong Kong for six months.
Despite the expense, and the time apart from their dogs, Jack Luo said it was worth every cent.
He kept in constant contact with the agency during the six months, sending texts each week to check up on Lucky and Amy.
He even arranged two stopoffs in Hong Kong to visit them while travelling to and from Beijing for Chinese new year.
‘‘They were quite excited to see me in Hong Kong. They thought I was going to bring them home.’’
Even after the dogs arrived in New Zealand on May 19, they had to spend 10 more days in quarantine before being cleared to go home.
Luo, who has moved to Lower Hutt for a job in IT in central Wellington, is a fairly new recruit to the dog-lover ranks, having bought Lucky only five years ago.
When they first took him home from the pet shop, they didn’t even know what kind of dog he was. They just knew he was cute.
‘‘We didn’t know what breed he was. We had to search on the internet.’’
They soon fell in love with the goodnatured pup, and later got Amy as a companion for him.
In Beijing, the pair lived mostly inside an apartment.
Life in Lower Hutt was much better for them, he said, with three walks a day, and a big house and yard to run around in.
‘‘They quite enjoy their life here. They like the grass and they can run freely.’’
Wellington Welsh Corgi Walking Club founder Michael Romanos said the Luos’ case was ‘‘rather unique’’.
‘‘You don’t see many pets coming into New Zealand from mainland China, because the restrictions are so strict.
‘‘Not many Kiwis would take their dog to other countries if they had to pay $10,000 to do it.’’
The high cost was because the animals had to remain in quarantine for six months if the countries they came from did not meet New Zealand health standards, he said.
‘‘It’s not good for a dog, it’s a bit like a prison. A corgi needs exercising, and [they] need a lot of love and attention.
‘‘It’s different if it’s coming from the US, Europe, or Canada. It’s only 10 days then.’’