Oct 27 2010

International puppy and the Swiss bureaucracy

by at 7:11 am

It’s 7:47am and I’m on the train to Geneva. The sun isn’t up yet, but this Sunday is heure d’hiver—daylights’ savings time—so next week it’ll be light at this time, I think. Also, for a little while, we’ll be one hour closer to the States, so give us a call!

This isn’t my normal train. Usually, I wake Ruben up at 7am, take him for a walk on which he quickly transforms from cute and sleepy to hyper and leaf-chasing. Today he was up at 6:25am, and although he wasn’t crying, he clearly needed to pee. I didn’t want him to start crying, so I decided I’d wake up and take him outside. Jackie kept sleeping, or at least tried to, but she just called to tell me that she was awake during:

  • training with him—he really doesn’t want to do the lie down command
  • my shower—he cried the whole time I was in it, with him in his pen, apparently
  • after I left, he had a bone/treat thing he really likes, which he was enthusiastically and noisily devouring

Ah, well…earplugs? Sorry Jackie!

But this isn’t a post about our new puppy, as cute as he is!

(See more photos on Jackie’s Flickr stream, always available by clicking the Photos” link on the very top right.)

No, this is a post about Swiss bureaucracy. The breeder warned us that if we travel with Ruben, we’re going to need a dog passport for him so that we can re-enter Switzerland. Rationally, we knew that this probably just meant we needed a vaccination booklet, signed by our vet, but this being Switzerland, and Jackie still waiting for her new residence permit, which expired a month ago, we were worried we’d have to register Ruben with the city, get a form saying he was registered, bring it to our vet, and then bring it back to some central dog canton office to apply. Incidentally, this is the procedure for getting a driver’s license if you already have a valid foreign one, with an optometrist in the role of vet, and fees at every step of the process.

Meanwhile, I already received my residence permit—actually a “carte de legitimation”—and quite quickly at that, because it’s handled by the World Health Organization and the Swiss authorities, rather than the Canton of Vaud. I went ahead and registered with the city of Lausanne as well, since I thought I had to, but they very graciously explained that actually, I don’t need to register because of my immigration status. But they were happy to take my money anyway. I’m also pretty sure I’m exempt from the random tourist tax Jackie blogged about.

So, back to Ruben. We found a form online from the city of Lausanne that allowed us to register him. We dutifully filled it out, and although the breeder took down Jackie’s last name—i.e. he’s officially part of her family, sorry mom!—I decided it’d be better to fill it out in my name, in the off chance that my immigration status would mean that I don’t have to pay a tax on him. Belive it or not, I received an e-mail yesterday telling me that this is in fact the case, and that we’re exempt, conditional on me sending a document to prove my status. I sent them a copy of my carte de legitimation, which expires at the end of the year, and they replied that it’ll do for now, and when I get a new one, I’ll have to send it along. And I’ll have to keep them apprised of any changes in my status or the status of my dog.

Forget about out-of-control sheriffs in Arizona enforcing federal immigration law—the dog catcher in Lausanne is involved here!

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “International puppy and the Swiss bureaucracy”

  1. Judy H.on 28 Oct 2010 at 5:35 am

    SO. FREAKING. CUTE. (Also, my captcha has an e with an accent. That can’t be ok.)

  2. Jackieon 01 Nov 2010 at 10:24 am

    Thanks, Judy. He is SO cute. This captcha thing is tricky…it always gives Hannah Sarah strange messages.

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