A Collie without Borders: How to Bring a Dog to Canada

I’m a collie without borders! Yesterday, Andrew and Kayla learned that it’s super easy to bring a dog to Canada. We took a ferry from Washington to Victoria, British Colombia. They showed the agent my vaccination records, and that was it. Turns out it’s super easy to bring a dog to Canada.

But let’s back up. It’s been a while since I told you about my life as a traveling border collie.

An Update on My Health

Not playing fetch is not so bad.

That might come as a shocker to you, but hear me out. Since I hurt myself earlier this summer, I have been living life a bit slower. Kayla and Andrew hid all of the toys except during training, which stressed me out at first. I love having a toy in my mouth.

But after about ten days, things started to change. I started not thinking about playing fetch quite so much. Andrew and his brother Aaron started to cuddle with me, and I realized that I actually like that a lot. Now I flop with people a lot more readily. I guess being touched is pretty nice. Just a few weeks ago, I couldn’t enjoy petting — I just thought about sticks and balls and squeakies.

Then something really crazy happened. Kayla kept acting really weird, bouncing around and whapping me in the side, then running away again. At first, I just looked at her. Then I realized I was supposed to chase her. So I did!

I played with a human without a toy for the first time in at least a year. Kayla lets me chase her around the yard, and then she chases me back. She doesn’t yell at me if I bark, so I really let loose. It’s so fun!

On July 3rd, I play bowed at Kayla for the first time ever. I’ve lived with this family for over a year, and I’ve never done that. She almost cried.

We went back to the vet on July 10. Leslie Eide at Sound Veterinary Hospital visited with us and talked to Kayla for ages. I rolled on the floor and played the digging game with a squeaky toy. That’s the first time I’ve played the digging game around a stranger. Normally, I would just try to make them play fetch with me.

Anyway, Dr. Eide said that she doesn’t think my iliopsoas strain is a stand-alone thing. She said I probably have some underlying joint or spine issues that are likely genetic. They’ll get worse as I get older, but right now I’m probably fine. She told Kayla that her goal of getting me back to backpacking, swimming, 20-mile trail runs, and canicross competition is probably possible.

So that’s a huge relief. Kayla has been stretching me and working on my core strength with me every day. I can feel myself getting stronger and better-balanced. Kayla taught me back up and weave between her legs and stretch my hind end by myself (by holding bows or putting my paws up). I can do doggie pushups for days. Kayla got the green light to start jogging with me and building up my strength again.

I’m stoked!

But enough about me. Let’s talk about the trip.

Since We Last Spoke…

We’ve spent about three weeks in Issaquah, Washington. Andrew’s little brother Aaron loves dogs and has been taking me for really long walks. There are two lakes within walking distance of the house. It’s great!

Kayla is trying hard to save money, so she’s been working from home with me. I love that! We just hang out in the backyard. She writes and I sleep. Andrew’s family is super nice — they feed me lots of table scraps and play tug with me whenever the doorbell rings. I’m slowly learning not to bark at their door.

I went on some good trail runs with Kayla as she works to build up my strength again. We ran up Cougar Mountain and a few other trails in Issaquah. It was great!

They left me for a weekend while they went to Olympic National Park. That bummed me out, but I guess dogs aren’t really allowed on the trails in national parks. Aaron hung out with me while they went camping. Hopefully, they’ll bring me next time.

Kayla has been doing lots of training with me, too. We’re working on lots of skills for our TEAM Obedience class and for my Advanced Trick Dog title. Both of those tasks are keeping me busy!

Yesterday, Andrew came home a bit early and they started to pack. They loaded all of the stuff up into the car and started driving towards the ocean. We stopped to get ice cream. It was so hot!

How to Bring a Dog to Canada

Around 9:30pm, we drove onto the biggest boat I’ve ever seen. I watched the waves go by in the dark, sniffing all sorts of smells that came in off the ocean air.

When we drove off the boat again, we were in Canada. Kayla handed the border agent my vaccination history and her passport, and we drove into the country.

I guess it’s that easy to bring a dog to Canada.

So far, Canada is great. We’re staying in a little studio apartment with big windows and a tiny kitchen. Kayla and I jogged less than a half mile to get to a huge park that has amazing running trails. All of the dogs are allowed off leash and there were lakes everywhere.

I went swimming with all the other border collies and labs. It was like heaven.

Now Kayla and Andrew are writing away on their silly laptops while I sleep in the shade. They just shared some poke with me and we’re sitting near the ocean in Victoria. Life is good.

Author: Barley The Dog

Barley is a four year old border collie who absolutely loves fetch. His zest for life keeps Kayla and Andrew on their toes. He’s also really, really, ridiculously good looking.

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