Cor­gis worth a queen’s ran­som

Kapiti Observer - - CONVERSATIONS - MATTHEWTSO

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.’’

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