After being separated from her adopted family for almost five months due to the pandemic, Pipsqueak the dachshund has finally arrived home in Australia.
Zoe and Guy Eilbeck adopted Pip in Sicily, where the couple lived on a sailboat with their two sons, Max and Cam. The adorable dachshund joined them on multiple trips through 17 countries.
When the pandemic paralyzed the world and borders were closed in March, the Eilbeck family were immediately forced to return to Sydney, Australia, sadly leaving behind their dog in an animal shelter in North Carolina.
To make matters worse, the shelter had to close due to COVID-19 restrictions. Luckily, local woman, Ellen Steinberg, stepped up to provide a home for Pip.
“Ellen gave Pip unconditional love for three months and taught her how to live in a house, not an easy feat for a sailing dog who is used to very different conditions! Her kindness was incredible. Daily updates on Pip and help getting her ready to export to Australia as it quickly became clear we could not return to the USA easily,” Zoe told Lonely Planet.
As restrictions eased and after multiple vaccinations, blood tests, and paperwork, Pip was finally ready to leave the US — which proved to be a no easy feat.
Back in Australia, Pip’s family put a plea on social media asking the public for help in transporting her back to Sydney. Their post garnered over 200,000 views. After generating a lot of conversation on social media, a kind volunteer helped the dachshund get to Los Angeles where she was put up in a hotel with her very own king-size bed. From there, Pip was flown to Auckland, New Zealand where she immediately went into a routine 10-day quarantine under the care of vets.
Yet the family had another obstacle before being reunited. Just before Pip was due to leave Auckland for Sydney, Australia, the southern city of Melbourne went into lockdown, which left the dachshund stranded once again.
Due to the national media coverage the story received in Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald and Virgin Airlines stepped in to help. After a total of 136 days of travel, Pip was happily reunited with her family.