Rudy the Cruising Canine

Meet Rudy the Sailing Wiener Dog!

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Rudy looking around

Rudy is a long haired miniature dachshund who has become an indispensable member of our crew. He has already sailed thousands of miles, including crossing the Atlantic Ocean!

A cruising friend asked us why we chose to cruise with a dog. Suzanne answered without hesitation, “He brings a whole new dimension of love to our lives.” We admit that he’s a bit spoiled. We take him everywhere we go, so he gets to check out all kinds of neat places.  (See each of his photo albums for Rudy in action.)

If you’d like to know what it’s like to cruise with a dog, see “Cruising Dog FAQs.”

For a review of clearing customs with our pup in each country we’ve visited, see below.

Rudy’s Photo Albums

Click here to learn how Rudy liked the Bahamas.

Find out how Rudy fared during his Atlantic Crossing.

Rudy’s visit to the Azores was full of new adventures and different sights.

Check out the pictures! Rudy had fun exploring Portugal and Spain.

and now...Mamma mia! Rudy does Italy!

You can see  Rudy in the Adriatic and check out Rudy Goes to Greece.

Rudy sailed all the way to Turkey. See him there in Rudy Trots to Turkey.

Clearing Customs

Please note that these are our personal experiences. There is no guarantee that others will have the same...The one thing that is consistent in everything we read is a need for a current (within one year) rabies shot and a microchip.

BAHAMAS:  They require that a dog be at least 10 months old. Rudy was not, so we didn’t declare him.  We must admit that we took him swimming off a deserted island (it was his “float test”, and he passed).

Dog in a bag

BERMUDA: The island authorities are VERY strict about importing animals. They’re especially concerned about rabies.  We went to the trouble of getting Rudy examined and giving him a rabies shot within ten days of our expected arrival.  We missed the part that, like in the Bahamas, a dog must be at least 10 months old.  

Rudy kayaks04

Rudy was only 7 months at the time.  Because he’d had all his shots, when we got to Bermuda we made a special request of the authorities to let us take him ashore.  Request denied! We were not even allowed to dock the boat except at the Customs pier.  We had to anchor in the farthest anchorage from town in St. George’s harbor (which wasn’t really that far), and Rudy was not allowed ashore. Since he hadn’t been off the boat in 5 days on the passage from Beaufort, and we stayed in Bermuda five additional days, we did take him for a kayak ride to give him a change of scenery. The hardest part was not being able to tell him why we were going ashore every day without him.  That hurt.  Luckily he was a young pup. He wouldn’t stand for it nowadays!  ;-)

PORTUGAL: After being aboard the boat for 26 days without going ashore, Rudy was READY for a walk when we made landfall on the Portuguese island of Flores in the Azores.  We were nervous about the

Customs authorities giving us a hard time. We need not have worried. We took him ashore with us (easier to ask forgiveness than permission) when we went to clear in. The Customs office was the agent’s CAR. We stood right beside him with Rudy on a leash.  We had all his papers and shot records.  The agent never looked at either the dog or his records. He couldn’t have cared less. Rudy was so happy he ran around in circles for half an hour.

SPAIN: We never even cleared OURSELVES into Spain, let alone Rudy. Because we’d already cleared in to Portugal, another EU (European Union) country, the authorities didn’t care.  We tried to clear in, but people just shrugged their shoulders.

Rudy land

ITALY: Same story as Spain... because it was an EU country, nobody cared if we cleared in or not. However, when we flew back to the United States and took Rudy with us, we took all of his records.  When we went through US Immigration, they never even looked at Rudy or his paperwork. All they cared about was whether we were carrying any dog food. We had enough for the trip and a few treats. They took everything we had!

For the flight back to Italy, we were concerned the officials in the airport would be more stringent than the port authorities had been.  Wrong again!  We went to the trouble and expense of having Rudy examined yet again. Then we drove to the state capitol in South Carolina and got a US Dept of Agriculture certificate stating that he was healthy.  When we arrived in Italy, we walked straight out of the airport with him. Once again, nobody even looked. Incredible.

GREECE: Before leaving Italy, we read up on the regulations for importing dogs into Greece.  They seemed more stringent than the other European countries we’d been to so far.  (“Dogs must have had a rabies shot within the last 30 days, but no less than 10 days”, and must have a microchip).  We would be arriving at the end of April and Rudy’s last rabies shot had been the previous May.  We got him a rabies shot the week before we made the one day passage from Italy to Greece. When we checked in to Customs, we were a bit nervous because Rudy’s shot had only been the week before, not ten days as the regulations stated. So when the Customs agent asked, “Do you have anything to declare,” we held our breath and said, “We have a dog” (which was quite obvious, because he was sitting there beside us).  The very officious agent asked, “Is he a good dog?”  To which we replied, “He’s a very good dog.”  The agent said, “Good,” and stamped our papers.  :)

MONTENEGRO:  Suzanne stood on the Customs pier with Rudy in plain sight while Ty cleared in. No questions were asked.

CROATIA:  Same story as Montenegro. No one seems to care that we have a dog. Luckily, everything’s in order in case they do (paperwork and shots).

TURKEY: We did all the check-in with Rudy at our side and nobody said a word about our having a dog. Too easy!

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