Dear You who solves all of my problems with tender words and soft shoulders,

This is Rick Maltsby P.I. Our very own Privates Investigator. He’s also a jungle gym, a thief and my first dog ever. I have loved him long time. And now that we know for absolute-ness that we are leaving Okinawa, I have to draft an early exit strategy for everyone’s favorite Malt Ball. Since the heat restriction starts in June I’d like to put him on a plane STAT. On the other side of the world, my mother and her Gerry have kindly agreed to take him until we return in July.

(JULY! Gulp. So soon to leave everything that is our life in Okinawa, so soon to get back to family and our new lives with a new house that isn’t destroyed yet. Who in their right minds would rent to a family with two young boys and a dog?!)

I went to the vet last week and asked what all I needed to do to get him ready and what all I could do to get someone else to take him home. I barely remember what she said. Eli was jumping on the animal scale, licking a door knob and announcing his need to go POO-POO NOW, MOMMA! Also, I just forget a lot of stuff.

The kind, kind woman (THANKS, KIND WOMAN!) was not distracted by the jumping, licking, ANNOUNCING Eli and patiently assured me that it was easy to get him home. All I had to do was get a health certificate in some time frame before the dog flies. I’m thinking she said ten days. Not sure. JUMPING, LICKING, ANNOUNCING! She suggested advertising in Japan Update. She suggested I start advertising pronto.

Tonight I got onto Japan Update and started to pen my advertisement but I have no idea what to say because I have new questions.

1. Do I need to give Power of Attorney to the dog trafficker?
2. Pardon my ignorance for a split second. Ahem. Where do the planes that leave this island go when someone has orders to Quantico? Do they land on Quantico? Dulles? National?
3. How much should I offer to pay someone to travel with Maltsby?
4. What category on Japan Update would I submit this ad to? I need a HELP NEEDED section. Or a HELP ME! section or something desperate like that.

So here’s my classified ad thus far…

My dog needs to fly to the Quantico area. You are flying to the Quantico area. I will pay you cash to travel with him. This is a picture of my mother. She will meet you at the airport in D.C. and relieve you of the shrieking, maladjusted dog in your charge. Raise your hand if you’re interested.

Help me.




  1. Hi folks,
    I was stationed in Okinawa back in the 80’s and find it hard to believe that we still have this same issue with moving some of our family members (PETS). We can order cars, and just about any other item known that will be waiting at Kadena. Why can’t the gov. contract with someone for conus to os and os to conus for pet transport services that we could purchase. I think it would work in all locations. Customs and the required paper work would still need to be in place but I think most folks would be more comfortable moving our loved ones base to base. Anyway enough about that I do not know the rules these days I am no longer active I moved to the ANG in 92, But someone may want to check the rules for HOPS if the y still have them. Could a retired member that would like to return to Okinawa or any other location transport a pet with them? They may get bumped along the way but their luggage travels with them, Often they are sitting in the same bay as all other cargo.
    What if I am retired and no spouse…..I would like to “HOP” to Okinawa and stay for 3 months my companion is Beau the trusty mini Snhauzer…can he travel with me? We will go through customs but it will be base to base????? I know that this isn’t a big help for those of you moving soon but it is a good suggestion for the family support groups when you finally get to your location. All of you going to Okinawa enjoy at one point it was the best location you could ask for however looking on the web it looks like it has changed alot.


  2. Hi Angie~

    If your FAVN was clean that long ago, then you’re fine. 🙂 No quarantine for your baby! But they’re still going to want to SEE those results in Osaka. Then they’ll give you a piece of paper to get her through customs–it’ll have your name on it, and your base here in Okinawa. Then you can just re-check her in and you’re set to go to Naha. Upon arrival back here, you have to take her to the Kadena base vet within 72 hours. They’ll look over your stuff and give her back to you. Then you’re done!

    To be honest…we never took our dogs to the base vet. They flew with me, and we just brought them home. That’s not what you’re SUPPOSED to do, but one of mine has stress problems and I didn’t want him to have to deal with his remaining quarantine on top of the overseas fight. Apparently, that’s a pretty common thing to do. Anyway, we just took him to the vet a month later (the time when we could have gotten him from quarantine) to get him registered, and no one said a thing. We live off-base.

    It was so easy overall! I spent MONTHS stressing about it, and I had to fly with them from the States by myself, as my husband was already here. But when we got to Tokyo, they literally glanced at my paperwork, said “Military Kadena?” and looked at my military ID, then handed me my customs form and told me to scoot. If I’d have know how easy it was previously, I wouldn’t have given myself ulcers about it. My dogs weren’t really any worse for wear after the flight, but by the time we arrived in Naha, my male was doing this incessant LOUD whimper that sounded like a monkey…and of COURSE my luggage was last off the carousel, so I had to hear it for a good 15 minutes. People gave me sympathetic looks at first, but eventually started to look annoyed. I felt like that mother with the screaming tantrum kid in the grocery store.

    I know what you mean about the outdoor dogs thing…one of our neighbors has a sweet Oki mix that’s tied up right outside their front door…ALWAYS. She is NEVER brought inside or allowed to run around. It kills me.

  3. Boy am I so glad to have seen this blog…. So heres my deal, we are fortunate enough to have gotten our orders almost a year out, so we are due to transfer no later then July 09 my husband is USMC and going to the 3rd MLG. We have TWO English Bulldogs and we are totally stressing out over how to get them there! Any advice would be fantastic!! We obviously are running into the same “snub nose” restrictions during summer months. What we would like to do is find someone in Japan who would foster the girls for about 1 1/2 months or just transport them for us to Karing Kennels. They will have completed there full 180 day quar. My only concern is.. Ok so they arrive at the layover in say Tokyo for example ..Now what? No one is there to move them to the next flight? Im so worried they will get stuck at the layover!! Anyone ever done this before? It is not an option to leave them behind, they are as corny as this sounds our Kiddos! Please any help would be great!!

  4. Kat would they do the quarantine even if she meets all the requirements for entry?? All of her shots are UTD, and she had a clean FAVN test in January…I guess if I had to meet her there it would not be so bad…this breaks my heart too cause as I drive down the street here in base housing I see an bulldog tied up outside all day, they can barely stand heat as it is, let alone Okinawa heat…grrr

  5. You’ll have to meet her in Osaka and travel with her. Pets are quarantined at their port of entry in Japan. You can of course bypass quarantine until you reach Kadena if you’re military, but they need to see that paperwork at the entry port. They will not allow your dog to fly from Osaka or Tokyo to Okinawa without seeing your documentation. If you refuse to meet your dog up there, they will quarantine her at the facility in Osaka for the duration.

  6. We too are having trouble getting our dog here, she is an English Bulldog which brings added headache because of the short snot….we left her with friends in Germany and the German pet shippers kind of have the monopoly on pet shipping it is them or nothing…they quoted us 750 Euro (approx. $1100) to get her to Osaka, and then it is up to me to get her to Naha from Osaka, and I am trying to figure out if I can contact the airline to send her the rest of the way or if I have to physically meet her in Osaka and travel with her to Naha….Oh boy what a process this is…

  7. I think they contract with the airlines, however, they take care of transporting the dogs and making sure they get on the plane. For example, our dogs were going from Jax, Fl to CA before heading to Tokyo. In California, they were met by a pet transport agency that Barbara works with. When the flight that the dogs were supposed to go on was full, the lady from the pet transport agency, took care of the dogs until the next flight (the next day). I was so thankful for this. They were well taken care of until their next flight. Good luck!

  8. Do you know if they fly them there, or do they simply contract with the airlines? We received a quote from Portland to Okinawa, and it was close to $7000! They did offer a $100 discount for military folks. (Isn’t that a bit like giving a thirsty man a thimble full of water?)

  9. Hi everyone-
    I know that this entry is old, but I just wanted to let everyone know about an organization that I used to get our pets (2 dogs) TO Okinawa. We live off base and didn’t want to quarantine our pets here (we didn’t get our orders in time to go through the rigorous process before dogs can come here), so our pups waited it out in the states with some friends and then flew here. Anyway, Barbara from was awesome! Our dogs made it to Okinawa from Florida. She was wonderful to work with. It is not a cheap option, but was the best option for us. I’d highly recommend her.

    Good luck!

  10. I am freaking out about goign to Oki with my pets, We were suppose to go in March then the orders got changed….can any one tell me if they can fly from San Diego to Oki. WIllit be too hot? What can I do as a back up plan to get them to oki if it is too hot. We have no one in the U.S that will take then in for us. I ask the TMO people and the people doing our travel arrangments but no one has an answer for me…yes this is me freaking out!!!! HELP

  11. Meredith, why don’t you try sticking the ad under a couple of diff. spots (like the misc. wanted section and the pet services section). You may get lucky and find someone going that way. Also, if you absolutely can’t get Maltsby on a flight with you guys there is a woman on the island who flys animals back to the states for families. I’m not sure what it entails but it’s def. worth looking into if you need the service. Here’s her website… and her email… She’s really nice. I met her at the vet when I first arrived to the island. I think she even has her card hanging on a wall up there. Good luck!

  12. The 49th?! Funny. I read that first thing in the morning and had to ponder it. You are sweet to offer that, Daniela. Maybe my hopes are too high but I’d like to get him to the DC area.

    I don’t want to travel with Maltsby if I can help it. We have a birth and a wedding and all the hub-bub of moving to deal with so I’d prefer to send him back to a more stable life if it’s possible.

    I cannot for the life of me figure out where to advertise for this kind of service on Japan Update AND I have no idea exactly how to ask for what I want. BUT tonight I shall try.

    Thanks for all your thoughts. We’re just now reserving our ticket and I have no idea how to be sure to get on an airline, like Continental, that will take Maltsby. And who knows what airlines will still exist in two months?!


  13. Meredith,
    I have been throught the hell of my pet being stopped in the airport on the way over here and had to get him here with a fellow soldier. However, I think you should call Continental Airlines and you will see that they are one of the airlines that will fly animals year round. You just have to let them know WELL ahead of time so they have space for your pet. They are allowed only so much “live” weight in the baggage hold. Yes it is pressurized as well as climate controlled. That is not the problem it is on the tarmac where they have to be kept in AC vehicles to and from the plane. I hope this helps. If you need more info let Aviva know and she can tell you where to find me.

  14. I have friends that are leaving the island during the first week in July and they are taking their dog with them on the flights. They are flying from here to NC and the ATCO just booked them on carriers that still fly animals in the summer. Were you not able to do that? There are a few that have their cabin areas pressurize and cooled…just a thought, anyway.

  15. Meredith, you have such a way with words. I love your ad as is but I have a feeling that the words “shrieking” and “maladjusted” might give any prospective takers pause. Besides, I think Maltsby is getting a bad rap here. He’s so sweet and lovable!