that time ariana grande's dogs were almost murdered.
Ariana just finished two amazing nights performing in Amsterdam.... The two “Honeymoon Tour” buses left for the UK right after the show.... Ariana's team decided to cross to the UK on the P&O Ferries (@POferries) Calais to Dover Ferry... we were scheduled on the 4:30AM... all was perfect, we got through Border Control fairly well, they screamed at us for walking in with the dogs, (but that was my mistake, as I thought that was where I had to clear them through to board the Ferry) and it definitely took a while, but we were all cleared to move forward and get our Ferry Line numbers... Ariana's bus, proceeded through to get in line for the Ferry once she and her team and Frankie were cleared and my bus had to go to another stop and declare the dogs, so I went through last... ..
I was very happy to declare Toulouse and Sirius and proudly presented the documentation to prove that their vaccinations were all in order.
We were, however, immediately stopped by the Boothman telling me that dogs are not allowed to transfer onto the Ferry in a bus. In shock, I explained that I am sure that is the policy, but the policy could not be referring to a private bus, that I have been living on and driving in for three weeks, but meant a public transport bus... He responded in a dismissive and condescending manner, "I don't care, it says bus and this is a bus"... so, trying not to panic, I explained again, that there is no one from the general public on the bus and it is private transportation... but nevertheless, he refused us access, visibly finding pleasure in my misfortune. He said the dogs must cross in a car, and a car ONLY and I must leave immediately and not board the Ferry. Upset because Ariana and Frankie had already left and were in line,... I grew frustrated, and asked if a manager could please speak to me about this. I knew if I explained that a TOUR bus which is our home is transporting the dogs, it would not be the same as a BUS referred to in their policy.
The manager approached and was already angry.. it was almost 4am and I guess he wanted to go home. This man would not listen to reason, kept shrugging his shoulders and sneered, repeating: "I don't care, this is the policy." Feeling helpless at his lack of consideration and understanding, I then tried to come up with a solution. I asked him if I could please ask someone crossing in a car, if they could take me and the two dogs onto the Ferry... He said “yes”... SO... my bus driver, one of Ariana's security guards (who was traveling with me) and I started approaching people asking if I could ride in with them... Finally 4 men (angels) in a blue Audi driving back to London from Amsterdam agreed... it just wasn't quite that simple.. the car was full, so I asked two of the men if they wouldn't mind riding on the Ferry in my Bus, while the dogs and I took up their seats... they kindly agreed...
You can’t imagine how quickly my heart was beating and skipping… My family being so distant and unreachable and me being held captive…So, as we approached to get our Number for the Ferry line, The French Border people said the dogs are NOT ALLOWED to transfer IN A CAR if not contained in a travel crate...WOW, they never mentioned that before...... SO, still trying to earn the clearance to travel, I quickly went to the bus, pulled the travel crates I have for them, put the dogs in them and ran back to the car ..
We got back in the car....... ALL was great... UNTIL a different Boothman said I now have to pay to get the dogs to pass... OK, this is now becoming unbelievable!!! and torturous!!! With every turn, another obstacle. I left my wallet on the bus and had only taken some cash with me, my phone, my passport and the dogs’ paperwork... so I told Boothman, I only have American dollars, which he quickly refused and said payment must be on a credit card. I didn’t have one with me.... Seeing me in great despair, one of the men in the car said he would pay on his credit card if I could give him the American money...The fee was 50EUROS for each dog, I gave the man in the car $200; handed Boothman the binder of paperwork with ALL approvals and vaccinations for the dogs, which he quickly handed off to Angry Manager who took it and walked to the next booth while we waited for our lane number for the Ferry... we got it.. #162!!!!!... It was very clear to me that Angry Manager already set his mind to deny us access......
We then drove up to the next booth, where Angry Manager stopped us and said NO ACCESS. The dogs were denied yet again, making this now the very purposeful 5th attempt to stop me from boarding the Ferry with our dogs...
To recap: Attempt #1: the dogs were on a bus, I got in a car;
#2 the dogs weren't in crates, I got their crates and put them in;
#3 the dogs didn't have their own tickets, needed to buy
#4 Having to buy the tickets, I attempted to pay with cash and was told they would only accept credit cards, which I did not have with me.. (person in car was nice enough to buy the dog’s tickets for which I paid him CASH)..... and now
#5....the dogs were accused of not having a vaccine called anti-echinococcus..
The same very Angry Manager told me to get out of the car and come into the office... He told me the dogs would not be allowed to board the Ferry because they were accusedly not fully vaccinated. (there was a blank page in the original paperwork where the anti-echinococcus vaccine reference should be) I carefully, and STILL CALMLY explained that the reason it was not filled in on that page was because this particular vaccine has to be given to the dogs within 5 days of entering the UK, and since we left the USA on May 12th and weren't entering the UK until May 29th, the US doctors couldn't give the dogs the vaccines, but directed us to get it done in Italy...
Makes sense, right?? SO….WE DID THAT in Italy... we took the dogs 3 days prior to UK entry to a vet in Milan, the dogs received their vaccinations...the vet signed all papers, and gave us separate documents for each dog that CLEARLY stated the dogs received their anti-echinococcus vaccinations.
The day after the vet visit in Milan, we went to the government agency in Milan, in order to certify the documents. ALL GOOD RIGHT?????? .. NOT FOR THIS TYRANT, as I repeatedly showed the man the Italian paperwork, he repeatedly said NO, it has to be on the original! At this point, helpless, desperate, panicked and alone, I began losing my mind….I went through the dates again, and he said NO again.. I showed him one more time, and he responded that he couldn't read Italian. I showed him where it was written in English.. BUT he still said NO again....
THAT WAS IT! I lost my composure... I am embarrassed to say that I became VERY VERY VERY angry.. and told him that HE WAS WRONG, he was holding me and the dogs hostage from my family and he was taking GREAT PLEASURE in doing so.. He single handedly was detaining me in France for NO REASON and AGAINST MY WILL! I begged him to let me go through, he laughed at me and said NO again... I kept telling him and showing him again that the dogs were fully vaccinated and were 100% vaccinated in order to enter the UK.. AND THEN, I screamed!!!
I had done EVERY RIDICULOUS TASK he demanded of me.... and at this point he said he would call the POLICE and have me arrested if I tried to go through.. I told him to call them and to arrest me, because that was the only way I was not getting on the Ferry......
I ran back into the car and we drove with the dogs to lane #162.. That is where I saw Ariana's bus, two lanes over... I grabbed the dogs and ran like hell onto the bus, to tell them that I was safe. It was now 4:25AM, the Ferry was still not boarding cars or buses, I was distraught beyond recognition and defeated like I had never been before. As I recounted the story, suddenly, the bus driver appeared and said that there were men outside the bus to arrest me…
I collected myself, took a deep breath and ran out yelling: “take me away with the dogs and I will sue you for abuse and harassment, but go ahead, I will go with you”… I told them that they were wrong, they were targeting Americans, they were abusing their authority… THEY LAUGHED....
At this point, one man in a yellow jacket said to me, “If you take the dogs, when you arrive in Dover, they will be KILLED!” Due to his French accent, I wasn’t 100% certain of what he said, so I asked him to repeat it… he said the DOGS WOULD BE KILLED!.. I actually thought I disengaged from my body as tears started streaming down my face, and I felt as if I were losing my mind!!! I told him that they would have to KILL ME FIRST and we would see what the US EMBASSY would say about that…
Ariana and Frankie now heard what was going on outside of their bus.. when Ariana heard what they said about Killing the Dogs, she almost got herself arrested. Frankie stepped in, calmed us down and spoke to them … Frankie offered himself in place of me and said he would go with the Police and see us when he could, he said goodbye, took the dogs and got in a car with the Police not knowing what to do, but knowing he would figure it out…. And thankfully he speaks French.
WHAT KIND OF WORLD IS THIS???
WHAT JUST HAPPENED TO ME??
HOW CAN VERBAL ABUSE, HARRASSMENT AND ANIMAL CRUELTY THREATS BE CONSIDERED ACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR BY GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, FERRY PERSONNEL OR ANY OTHER HUMAN BEING??
HOW CAN YOU WORK IN AN INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT AND BE SO AGGRESSIVELY AGAINST THE PEOPLE THAT PASS THROUGH YOUR BORDERS??
I understand rules and regulations and I have always respected them.. BUT when it is clear that all is in order and all is good… no one should have the authority to behave as they did.. and do what they did to me or ANYONE..
Frankie has his own 14 hour saga that only he can tell, but what I will tell you is that he did get help from a lovely Calais Taxi driver who stayed with them and helped them throughout the sojourn back to his family in London… he went to the vet in Calais, who opened that morning at 8am (three hours later). The dogs were seen and when the vet reviewed the paperwork he was confused as to why they were STOPPED!! The doctor said that the dogs needed NO ADDITIONAL VACCINATIONS, the paperwork was completely up to date and again repeated that he didn’t’ understand why the dogs were refused entry to the FERRY.
The doctor then suggested providing Frankie with European DOG PASSPORTS, which he thought might make it easier since the people at the FERRY couldn’t read…
That’s my story… Frankie and Toulouse and Sirius got to London approximately 6pm that evening… HAD THE DOGS NOT BEEN PROPERLY VACCINATED ORIGINALLY, FRANKIE AND DOGS WOULD HAVE HAD TO BE DETAINED FOR A MINIMUM OF 24 HOURS IN FRANCE..
AND TO FURTHER PROVE THAT THE DOGS ALWAYS POSSESSED THE PROPER VACCINATIONS, THEY WENT THROUGH THE EXACT SAME PROCESS AT THE SAME P&O FERRY (@POFERRIES) ENTRANCE POINT, A MERE 6 HOURS LATER AND WERE GRANTED ACCESS BECAUSE ALL VACCINATIONS WERE IN ORDER..…..
BUT THE WHOLE DEBACLE WAS A DISASTER AND TOTALLY UNNECESSARY….. IT SHOULDN’T BE THIS WAY!!
WE WILL NEVER TAKE THIS ROUTE AGAIN AND YOU SHOULD NOT EITHER... and I hope that all people involved will learn a lesson.
Being cruel and mean and abusive in this world is NOT ACCEPTABLE.
The world can be so hurtful. When given the opportunity, please show kindness.
BE KIND! AND IF YOU CAN’T, just remember you never know who you are attacking… and that person may just want to STOP you from doing it again and stop you from hurting other people… and that person may just have a very engaged social media following…
Lots of love,