Thursday, May 1, 2008

It's Official - Not Going to Turkey

Well, and this is sad, we're not going to be going to Turkey to do their television show even though we really wanted to go. We tried and tried to make the adequate arrangements to be able to make it earlier in the month of April but the station on the other end was unable to book flights allowing Faith to be in the cabin. They were adamant about her flying in the cargo, and my agent (because he's a really cool man with the best intentions for Faith and myself) allowed Faith to be booked in cargo so we could (a) meet our contract, (b) satisfy the fans in Turkey, and (c) be the bigger person and not make a mountain out of a semi-higher-than-technically considered a mole-hill, after all Faith flies First Class with American, not in the cargo of another carrier.

We tried. We pushed the deadlines back for the crew to come up with the arrangements. We pushed the deadlines back to allow them to sign contracts. We pushed the deadlines back because they suddenly realized they were able to put Faith in the cabin after all - meaning after we told them NO MORE DEADLINES. After pulling in our fantastic American Airlines expert and representative Lisa to help us finally get the bookings we needed - the station still wanted more from us. They wanted a certificate proving Faith was a celebrity. OK - NO. They said it was a customs issue, but when we called Customs in America and in Turkey they didn't say a word about it.

They booked us through France so that Faith could take a pee-potty break, and we thanked them. This isn't as simple as you may think. When you take a dog overseas you have to run rabies titer tests, blood work, all vacs have to be up to date, they have to have USDA certificates for EACH country, bilingual statements saying that she is in good health - and that an American vet is on the line for the tests being conclusive. We did our part. I obtained the letter from the vet to take to the USDA, and each certificate is $24.00 JUST so she can take a pee-potty break at the airport in France! That's a bit excessive, but we were willing to accommodate since we were asking them to place Faith in the cabin. We obliged. (with smiles on our faces I might add. Thank you to Dr. Logan at the Neel Veterinarian Hospital in OKC)

Once we were able to get all the letters we needed, the tests ran, the blood work completed, and every other hoop we needed to jump through - the station bringing us out were then unable to secure a hotel for us that took dogs. You may or may not be aware of this fact, but dogs aren't exactly welcome in some places of the world - Turkey has never been a place where dogs were revered or respected as they are in America, but you'd think the station could find us a hotel that would be willing to take our puppy since .... I don't know, that was the reason we were coming out! She is the reason we were invited to the country! (I'm just sayin')

We waited several times, and we pushed the deadlines back over and over, but it became apparent as the summer schedule was approaching that we would have one last shot at this. I even had to allow my daughter Laura to go in my place since they had moved us from First Class seating to economy, and I can't sit that long in a smaller seat due to my legs being funky - sorry, I'm like that. It's not RLS, but its related. I would have been a mess - but I got Laura her passport, and she had all of her rabies shots too - just in case. She's more apt to bite than Faith anyway. In the end they were simply unable to get the flights, the hotel, and/or the contracts signed so that it could be sealed and professionally delivered.

At one point - and I just found this out today - they wrote my agent to say I was being difficult to work with. I ask you - really? You think someone whose been bending over backwards to help over and over and over again can become difficult if you can't get your act together? OK, I'll give them that, but it's not true. A difficult trainer, handler, performer, act, or celebrity would have said no the first time they breached, but we went over and over the limits, we smiled, we rescheduled our lives...but finally I had to put my foot down. If that makes me difficult than OK...I'm difficult, but I won't subject my daughter or my dog to be placed in a situation overseas where Customs may or may not allow them access back onto the plane if Faith exits to pee without a certificate stating she's a celebrity and has the right to be in the cabin. AMERICA has no problem with it.

No, I'm not difficult - I'm more flexible than the average Joe or Josephine. I'm actually very giving, very calm, very accommodating, but I do have my limits. I'm sorry we can't make it to Turkey, but that's not to say they can't come here to do the filming and then take it back to their studio for a video - maybe even a live feed. This is 2008! I'm satisfied knowing we tried. I'm satisfied knowing we worked on it over and over again trying to make it work.

Enough is enough. I look forward to doing the shoot here in the U.S. (OKC preferred so I can show off the great vet hospital and staff that helped us so much!)

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