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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

And We're Back on European Soil

The trip was reasonably smooth once we got checked in and on our way. Upon arrival at the airport, we were told that Tanner's crate was not correct and that he would not be allowed to fly in it. WHAT?! I was freaking out. Doug told me to calm down and we finally got it worked out. We kept saying that he traveled on KLM in January with this crate! It was not a good moment. Finally, we got the OK and then the next battle was getting Tanner inside of it! He revolted but ultimately yielded to the reality. It was not fun to hear him crying as they wheeled him away.
We were quite anxious to find him once we landed in Amsterdam. It was easy as could be to go pick him up at the odd-sized baggage belt! Once cleared, we opened the gate and out he ran! So good to see him. He drank his body weight in water and did his business and we were on our way. Always so good to be with him after being separated. We both said that we wish we could go see him during the flight. We may have to try to rig a camera sometime!

It was a joy to see our dear friends upon our arrival. Herman and Hanneke and their children were an integral part of our ministry in Stockholm when we first started. Great church leaders and wonderful friends, their hospitality was unbeatable then and now! It was so wonderful to be met by them at the airport and welcomed to their lovely home in Alphen aan den Rijn. After showers to clean up and a little snack to get our blood pumping again, we took a long and lovely walk beside a lake. It is so refreshing to be in a cooler climate! Tanner was happy to be out with us and at one point was able to jump into the lake. First time in swimming for him in many, many months so he was one happy (and tired) dog. We returned home to a beautiful dinner on the deck where we savored delicious food and wine and great conversation. We have this rare ability to talk about anything and everything, and while it has been 17 years since we first met and 3 years since we last saw one another, it felt as though no time at all had passed between visits. This is the mark of true friendship.
The evening temperature continued to cool and at one point we even had to put on a sweater and wrap Tanner up in a little blanket!  Our little burrito was oh so content. We had forgotten that it stays light well into the evening here so that combined with the nine hour time difference caused us to lose track of time! It was still light when we finally, at 9.30, had to yield to our sleepiness. We slept great. It was so nice to just have a leisurely morning, with delicious strong coffee and gouda cheese!
Tanner had to visit the vet to be de-wormed before we entered England so we took a 10 minute walk to the village vet and got it all done. The
vet was very nice. Tanner weighed in at 42 kilos, a strapping 92 pounds! The vet gave him his pills and we were on our way.
Today we will enjoy some time with friends and then board a ferry in Hook of Holland. We will sleep on the ferry and arrive in Harwich, England early tomorrow morning. We'll pick up a car and drive to our new home. We are very much looking forward to starting our new life in England.
Many thanks to those of you who prayed for us and Tanner on the crossing! There are so many of our friends from Sweden in particular who have sent words of welcome and expressed joy at our being back on this side of the pond! We are happy too and look forward to enjoying all that this adventure has in store for us.