@Buddys-Pal said in Cosette Bámidélé:
Just checked in with the forum and found 'accidententially got a Basenji.' Cosette in a native background is amazing. Did you have trouble 'importing' her through to the US? You didn't mention any behavior problems so I assume she is an awesome dog!(Basenji!) love to see more and hear of her adventures and new culture experiences!
Importing her was actually quite a trial (but worth it). We weren't allowed to take her into the cabin with us, so we had to ship her cargo. If we could have taken the same carrier all the way to the U.S., that would have been fine, but the problem is that most airlines that go to Bénin only fly as far as Europe; then you have to switch to an American carrier. And of these, only American will accept live-animal cargo. So, we booked her on Brussels Airlines, transferring to American in Brussels, while my wife and I would have to continue on United Airlines, since they're partnered with Brussels Airlines. Such a hassle!
But... Everything got thrown into disarray with the Brussels bombings. We were actually scheduled to fly out that very same day! We looked for other options to bring Cosette home, and Brussels Airlines kept telling us to hang tight, the airport would reopen soon. Eventually, though, we were just out of money and had no place to stay, so we convinced Brussels to rebook us on Turkish Airlines. They fly all the way to Washington, D.C., so we were able to stay on the same flight as the dog the whole way, even if the trip was much longer with a layover in Istanbul...
Finally, we had a lot of trouble clearing customs in the U.S., but only because our flight arrived late, and the customs agents who handle live animals were all off work. We bounced back and forth from the cargo area to the customs area a couple of times (all the while, poor Cosette still trapped in her crate) and finally tracked down a customs supervisor to stamp her through. The other option would have been to leave her in the crate with no food or water for the night, and we weren't going to do that!
In the end, it was a huge hassle, but this was mostly due to the unforeseen terrorist attacks. It's totally possible to get a dog from Bénin back to the U.S., and I'd guess the situation would be similar in nearby countries, like Togo or Niger.
Cosette's a great little dog, behaving as far as I can tell like a typical basenji. We're having fun introducing her to the U.S., and I'm sure I'll have lots of questions as we continue to socialize her to a different dog culture here.