• The canine lived in North Carolina for five months
  • It traveled to New Zealand via cargo
  • The canine finally reached Sydney on Aug.11

A dog traveled over 10,000 miles to reunite with her owners in Australia after she was left behind in the United States due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Eilbecks, who were living on a boat, were forced to abandon their worldwide sailing adventure and return home to Australia due to the pandemic. However, due to the country’s tough pet import rules, the family couldn’t take their dachshund Pip along. After docking their yacht in South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island, the family drove to North Carolina and handed over the canine to her friend Lynn Williams. The family then flew back to Australia, CNN reported.

Since Williams already had two dogs, she was unable to look after Pip for very long and advertised for someone to be the canine’s temporary guardian. Ellen Steinberg, from North Carolina, responded to the ad and took Pip home. In the meantime, the canine’s owners woke up around 4 a.m. every day to do the paperwork to import Pip.

The family soon realized that they couldn’t return to the United States anytime soon, which meant their dog would have to travel miles together to reach Australia.

"To export a dog from America, you need to get a U.S. declaration to say the dog is in good health and has had particular blood tests to do with rabies. This was being done in New York, which was now closed. So trying to get anything like that done was extremely difficult," Pip’s owner, Zoe, told CNN.

The family ran into many hiccups after Qantas Airline refused to fly dogs to the country. The owners soon found the canine could be imported from Los Angeles to New Zealand via Jetpets, a pet transportation company. On July 21, the canine took a 13-hour flight in cargo from L.A. to Auckland and went into quarantine overnight. Pip then flew to Melbourne, where she spent the next 10 days in quarantine. However, on the day the canine was scheduled to fly to Sydney, a strict lockdown was imposed in Victoria.

Luckily, Zoe's brother who lives in Melbourne, agreed to look after the canine for a few days. Finally on Aug. 11, Pip arrived at Sydney Airport, five months after the owners had last seen her.

"Our greatest fear was that she wouldn't remember us after all that time. My kids were so worried that they got a hotdog and rubbed it on their hands. And then this tiny dog walks out through the hangar, strutting along. When she heard our voices, she came barreling into our arms. It was absolutely amazing to have her back after all that time," Zoe told CNN.

Representational image Pixabay