If you are a dog owner and move abroad you have to take responsibility and bring your little darling. I thought so, anyway. However, it has its drawbacks. To find out how to get a dog to Vietnam was not the easiest thing. Embassy of Vietnam in Stockholm did not know anything about the rules for entering their country with a swedish dog. They told us to contact the Swedish Embassy in Hanoi. We had already done that and they had referred to the Vietnamese Embassy in Stockholm. Back to square one. Eventually we found an animal hospital in Hanoi (Asvelis Veterinary Hospital - http://vietnampetservices.com) who knew the rules that apply. They were very helpful. They even have pickup service from the airport and veterinary checkup at arrival.
Our flight went via Paris where we had to check out Bonzan, which was good. She got to be with us a few hours. We took her for walks and gave her food and water before the long journey. Once we arrived at the airport in Hanoi it turned out that our luggage had gone astray. It was a little nervous for a while. We pictured horror scenarios in our minds that Bonzan met the same fate as the suitcases. This was not the case, thankfully. She arrived unscathed and appeared to be calm.
All the hard work before we left with documents and passports for Bonzan, was not that important in the end. Not for the trip here anyway. It's probably worse if you're going from here to Europe. When we were going through custom, we were ready with all papers. The custom staff not even looked at us and when we called for their attention and showed that we would enter with a dog they did not make eye contact with us. They just started to shake their heads and waving their the hands and showed us that we would quickly pass through. It felt a bit disappointing after all Bonzan and we have gone through. I guess it is not in vain. We're going home to Sweden at some point and if we did not have these papers it would have been much more trouble to get them in Hanoi.
I must once and for all tell you that most Vietnamese seem to love dogs. Not on their plate, but as pets. It seems that they are a little inexperienced with pet dogs. That they eat every dog that gets in their way is just nonsense (we heard a lot of stories at home). If you go outside when the sun is going down, it is surprisingly many dog owners out walking their four-legged friend. To all of you back home who are worried that Bonzan will be eaten if she happens to run away - dont worry! The poor dogs they eat here are a special breed that are bred only for that purpose.
If someone out there thinking of bringing a dog to Vietnam and want some advise, dont hesitate to contact us.