Canine visas (Drive Day 1 minus 14 years, 26 days)

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I smuggled puppy Wipeout into California across the Tijuana border: an undocumented alien canine. Eighty pounds later she’s a little too obvious and getting her back into Mexico requires something called a canine visa. It’s more expensive and complicated than it sounds: almost as many vaccines as I’m required to get, plus an official certificate of health signed by our vet. Who kindly doesn’t mention her cancerous lumps, leaky bladder, worsening arthritis and intense separation anxiety.

Washington DC: photo by Gary Geboy

It’s the same maddening, bureaucratic drill at the consulate for every country further south along our projected route: Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Brazil. I’ll never get them all signed off in time. This is insane. And now Guatemala wants to know our exact dates of entry and exit. It’s a road trip, comprende? I have no earthly idea…

Follow this bonus-material blog and ride along on a one-year road trip that inspired the memoir The Drive: Searching for Lost Memories on the Pan American Highway. On sale June 13th. Pre order through the buy-the-book links at the bottom of the landing page on my website or here or here. Like The Drive’s Facebook page and tweet back at me @writerteresa.


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