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He's an American Bird, Part Two

Aug 13 2011

So, after leaving our dove, Salt, in Canada on the front porch of a church, Naomi and I returned without incident to our summer camp in Mapleton, Maine.  We were given two pieces of information that we thought would be helpful: 1)  the border vet would be in again on Tuesday, and 2)  We now had his home office number in Houlton, Maine.

On Monday morning, I called his home office, hoping at least to get some direction in how to proceed, and an estimate of how much it would cost to get our bird back.  However, the receptionist at the vet's office said she neither she nor the doctor could discuss international pet issues from the Maine office.  I would have to call him at the border the next day.  The one thing I was able to do was to call the church and see if Salt had been found.  Sure enough, the neighbor's girl saw him on the steps and brought him in for the night, then hbrought him to the church when the offices opened in the morning.  I explained that they would need to get some bird seed for him, as this was going to take longer than we expected.

On Tuseday I called the  vet at his border office.  He was expecting my call.  He said that our best bet was to have Salt declared 'poultry', defined as a 'necked bird'.  If he was a pet bird, it would cost a lot more, take a lot longer, and may require Feds from Boston to come up before we could get him back!  The doctor said he would check with his Canadian counterpart to see what could be done for us.

Later that day, I got the return call from the border.  The vet told me that the Canadians were very embarressed by thew whole situation, since Salt never should have entered their country to begin with.  They wanted to make the whole thing 'go away.'  So, as far as Canada was concerned, Salt never entered their country to begin with!  The vet would not be at the border again until Thursday, but I could come up then and get my dove back.  In a word, my bird was being deported!  I got him back later that week, and he worked for us for another two years. 

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