Saturday, 17 November 2007


At long last, here is the next instalment.

After Hector fell out with Mr Chips, and it became apparent that I would have to take Hector to Singapore with us, there was a fairly hectic period while I found out what was required. As far as I can remember, he did not need any injections that we had not already given him. What was required was a cage for him to travel in. Mr Petty gave me a tranquiliser to keep him happy.

The last day or so was spent with C's Godmother near Heathrow and while there we found the cage. She took us (me and A aged 6, C aged 5 and Hector) to the airport. No 1 was already out there getting a home organised. We boarded and had seats near the back on the left hand side. Funny the things we remember! Hector was in the cabin with us and at the back, where our coats were hung up. (Please remember that we are talking about 1969). Off we went to our first stop at Zurich.
By the time we got there, Hector had bitten his way through the wire on the front of the cage!. Everyone got off while we refuelled, Not the P.....'s. Because Hector was now free, we had to stay on board. The only wire they could find was fuse wire. Quite useless. We darned it across the hole but we knew it was not going to keep Hector in. He had had a tranquiliser before take-off. It had had the opposite effect. (Later A proved that it could happen to a boy too!!) Anyway, the plane took off and went to, I think, Bahrain. There were soldiers in all directions with guns. No one was used to that in those days. We could not go to the transit lounge because of Hector.
On to Delhi, so far as I can remember. Same thing - couldn't land. It was pretty horrific. I had C aged 5 in the window seat, then me then Hector in his cage. I had to keep calming him whenever he tried to bite his way out, so I couldn't sleep. By the grace of God, there were 2 off duty air hostesses, on their way to Singapore to bring a school party home, sitting behind us. They took A. Dealt with his almost hyperactivity and air sickness!! So I only had to cope with C and the dog!
After Delhi we went on to Jakarta, I think. There was a change of crew and a lovely pilate came aft asking who was the lady with the dog. Having identified me, he said he would look around when we got there and make sure there were no dogs about and if all clear, we could go for a walk! He was the man who was going to have to sign a piece of paper that said that Hector had not met a dog on his way from London to Singapore (rabies) Once there, he gave us the all clear and we went down into the great heat and walked on the spiky grass. Hector said it was not his idea of a place for peeing and so didn't! I bet if he had got lose in the cabin he would have! Still, it was the first time we had been able to stretch our legs. Hadn't since leaving the UK! That was the last stop.
The next stop was Singapore. 23 hours and only the one exit. No 1 was there to meet us. Our entry was simple but it took at least an hour to get Hector passed through. No 1 had decided that we should stay in a hotel as we arrived fairly late. The Singaporeans do not much love dogs. We managed to secrete him somehow until we were in the lift! He then had to spend the night in our room, still not peeing. I really cannot remember if he peed while walking round about the airport! The next day, we smuggled him out and went to our house in the Naval Base.
There another story awaits.