MANFRED & POE, two Whippets puppies stuck in Montreal due to a severe winter storm

Manfred & Poe, two Whippet puppies

Today, we share a very special message. We received it from the new owner of MANFRED & POE, two Whippet puppies we imported from Italy. The original plan was to relocate them Italy-Montreal-Halifax. This plan had to be modified many times. MANFRED & POE, were stuck in Montreal due to a severe winter storm which closed the Halifax International Airport. Our client in Halifax, was very nervous and so sad because the puppies were stuck in Montreal. With many telephone conversations and pictures, we succeeded to reduce her stress level and relocate her puppies in a secure and comfortable manner.


From: M.  Cristina
Sent: 13 février 2017 09:07
To: MACDUFF NICOLE/Manoir Kanisha
Subject: Our story – Cristina, Manfred & Poe

Dear Nicole,

Here is the story of why I decided to import Manfred & Poe, two Whippet puppies from ITALY.

It was September 13, 2016, a few hours after an important surgery.  I was still in the recovery, in my hospital bed as I checked my Facebook page and I saw that a very good friend of mine in Italy, owner of two adult Whippets, sent me pictures of puppies.   I remembered her two Adult Whippets in Italy and the beautiful walk we took with them in the forest.  Just delightful.  For the past few years, I have done dog sitting for many different breeds of dog.   None stole my heart like these two Whippets.

My surgery meant I could never have my own human babies.  On impulse or better under morphine, I went to my friend’s Facebook page and immediately wrote: “I want one of the puppies”.  She discouraged me as I live in Canada and the puppies were in Italy.  Then, she told me that the puppies did not belong to her, but to a breeder-friend.  Shut-down!

At first, I felt a little annoyed with my friend but then, I agreed to think it over…  I was under morphine and clearly, I was not thinking straight.  Right?

The next morning, I got a message on my phone.  It was her breeder friend Cinzia Cassinelli calling from Italy.  She was the breeder and owner of the puppies!  These puppies were grandsons of my friend’s adult whippets.  I was so happy, they were from the same bloodline as those lovely adult Whippets who stole my heart in the forest.  Cinzia called.  We chatted as if we knew each other from forever.   I told her I was in the hospital and that I would like a puppy but, I was not sure if it was the right thing to do, considering the geographical distance.  She told me not to rush any decisions.  She wanted a good home for her puppies and only the right thing for them would be done.

Cinzia and I clicked straight away, this amazing lady kept calling me every day asking how I was, being a mom to me when I needed one.  I had lost mine two years ago because of cancer.  Cinzia kept sending me pictures of all her puppies, and one in particular called MANFRED (the larger puppy), explaining also the amazing character and warm personality of a smaller puppy called POE.  Every day, to make me feel better she would show pictures, videos of the litter.  How delightful!

Manfred & Poe, two Whippet puppies

I spent days talking to Cinzia, learning about the Whippets and their special loving magic, learning and seeing the progress of MANFRED.  The pictures of this fellow kept showing him with his brother, POE.  More and more, they looked inseparable.  As I had never raised a puppy, I was not contemplating getting two.  But Cinzia asked me not to separate them, and when I told my husband, we decided to bring back home both of them to HALIFAX, in NOVA SCOTIA.  Great choice! They are adorable to watch and snuggle.  Double the joy 🙂

So, now was time to set things in motion and relocate them from ITALY to HALIFAX.  Because of the surgery, I could not travel on a plane and the only way to get the puppies was to rely on the professional help of an international pet relocator.  I am so glad I did! Stefano from RELOCAT was the Italian Pet Relocator.  He introduced me to Tim Harris from Manoir Kanisha located in Montreal, Québec, Canada.

That same evening, I called Manoir Kanisha to talk to Tim.  Nicole answered the phone.  Tim was at the airport looking after the relocation of two puppies whose relocation had been very convoluted and complex, thus unavailable to speak to me at that moment.   Nicole offered to answer any questions I might have had.  I could tell from that moment that my doggies would be looked after by the best.  Nicole is a wealth of knowledge.  She spent a good 30 minutes on the phone telling me what to expect from an international pet relocation.  Hurdles and positives.  That’s what I needed, caring service and professionalism.  The right combo!

Manfred & Poe, two Whippet puppies

Tim Harris, the Manager of the Pet Relocation Services at Manoir Kanisha, was the leader of the pack in organizing and instructing the logistics of the move, providing pivotal information on the very strict CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) requirements and how they would look at live animals, especially the requirements for importing puppies under the age of 8 months to Canada.  Some of the information on the CFIA site, as well as what was available online were very confusing to me.

The expertise of Tim, demeanor, assertiveness and British sense of humor, ensured me I could rely on his judgment and that I should follow him, despite the advice I was receiving from other parties.

For example, Tim advised that my puppies would need an import permit.  CFIA themselves told me in an Email that I did not need an import permit.  However, Tim’s insistence that I should have one, made me question the CFIA response.  I kept thinking, it’s not possible that Tim, with all his experience, stresses me about a permit that is not required.   Surprise, Surprise (not really), Tim was right and even the CFIA confirmed I did require an import permit to import puppies under 8 months of age! Not having this important piece of paper, which cost only Ca$35 each, could have meant my puppies to be deported back to origin in Italy.  I was not having that!

The coordination of the required papers was successfully implemented with the amazing help of Cinzia in Italy.  She ensured that all the correct requirements were followed.  Even once again, when we stumbled in red tape, her flexibility and ability to get things done made the difference.  For example, I was told in Italy that the international health certificate was valid for 10 days.   Tim insisted that we had a 24 hours health certificate.  Without Cinzia’s help and great flexibility, this modification would have never been possible.  We had to change flight dates to ensure the Italian Official Vet was available and that we could get the proper health certificate.


If Tim tells you something, you go for his advice.  That I knew!  And thank goodness I did.  This was the first thing the CFIA Vet checked when they inspected MANFRED & POE upon their arrival in Canada.

But the hurdles were not finished.  Once MANFRED & POE reached Montreal on Wednesday, February 8th, a severe weather storm warning was active on all the Maritimes in Eastern Canada.  We live in Nova Scotia and our Halifax International airport was closed, a TOTAL NO GO. Here is the type of message we got for three consecutive days:

 Environment Canada : WINTER STORM WARNING…  Active for next 10 hours: Hazardous winter conditions are expected. A deepening low-pressure system will approach Nova Scotia from the southwest late in the day Thursday and will track just east of the province overnight and into Friday morning. Snow, at times heavy, will develop in the southwest in the afternoon and spread eastward throughout the evening. The snow will become mixed with ice pellets during the evening hours near the Atlantic coast. Total snowfall amounts of 20 to 30 cm are expected. Strong northeasterly winds gusting to between 80 and 100 km/h will give reduced visibilities in blowing snow. Poor weather conditions may contribute to transportation delays. 

My heart nearly broke! I knew that MANFRED & POE would be in safe hands in Montreal.  At Manoir Kanisha, they enjoyed a condo accommodation with 3 walks a day.  I got them daily playtime session together.  They were groomed by Karolina and loved by the member of their staff.

Manfred & Poe, two Whippet puppies  Manfred & Poe, two Whippet puppies

Because of the severe weather, MANFRED & POE did not travel to our home until late night on their 3rd day in Canada.  Tim was in constant contact with Air Canada cargo and advised against traveling because of weather conditions.

So, the boys spent more than three days at Manoir Kanisha.  I had no worries at all.   From the Wednesday night MANFRED & POE arrived in Montreal, Tim and Nicole kept in touch with me.  These two souls never sleep! We are talking sending messages at midnight! They ensured my mind was put at ease.  Nicole sent me pictures of my two babies when they got their spa day and during their playtime sessions.  She felt so bad because I could not hug my puppies.  God bless her big heart!

MANFRED & POE finally landed in Halifax, International Airport three days later, Saturday night, February 11, 2017 at 9.46 pm local time.  At 10.15 pm, they were in our arms safe and sound and VERY CLEAN.  We were so happy they had been looked after so well during their stay in Montreal.  Although their trip from Italy to Halifax was long, my little Italian travelers were in great condition and not stressed at all.  This can only happen if the pet relocator shows attentive care, amazing precision in organizing the relocation.  Even with their unplanned stay in Montreal, things went smoothly because things were monitored, well planned and organized.  Awesome job Tim!

Manfred & Poe, two Whippet puppies

Nicole is very knowledgeable, her passion for animals is evident, tangible even over the phone.  Even now, with the kids at home safe and sound, while there’s a blizzard outside, she sends me emails asking me how they are doing.  She stole my heart with her service with love and kindness.  As an experienced breeder with years of experience relocating dogs internationally, Nicole advised how to feed on their first night at home: nice warm cooked rice with their dry food, to ensure their stools would not become too watery.  It worked great!  The boys enjoyed it very much and mommy was a happy one 🙂

I am very grateful for the services I received from the Manoir Kanisha. Their Pet Relocation, boarding and grooming services were excellent.  The estimate was only for the “product” of relocation. In addition, I received love, care and got to know two beautiful people.  Thank you again to Tim, Nicole and all the staff at Manoir Kanisha.

Your expertise and services given with love make you special in your tailored care of your human and fur-baby clients.  When we will travel to Montreal next, we will surely stop by to say hello in person. MANFRED & POE are a joy, a real testament to the dedication of their breeder Cinzia Cassinelli.

They are loving, they are beautiful, they are my babies.  I now have a family.

God Bless,

Cristina, MANFRED & POE

Manfred & Poe, two Whippet puppies

                          Manfred & Poe, two Whippet puppies

To learn more about the Whippet:

According to The American Whippet Club, this breed is a medium-sized sighthound, a group of dogs that includes the Greyhound, Borzoi, Irish Wolfhound, Pharaoh Hound, Afghan Hound, Saluki and others. These dogs were bred to hunt by sight, coursing game in open areas at high speeds.

The Whippet temperament and personality has been shaped by the historical background of the breed. Whippets, despite their working class roots, were never kenneled in the manner of the great hunting hound packs, nor were they expected to live outside in rough conditions and be guard dogs. The Whippet might have provided rabbits for the pot and sport for a good weekend’s gambling activities to prove its value, but it nonetheless lived under the same roof as its master, sleeping by the stove and eating food and scraps from the family table.

Because of these origins, Whippets are natural family pets and house dogs, with a high prey drive and competitive nature, and are prone to become very attached to their master or mistress. They are also exceptional pot and pan-lickers! To learn more, read at the following link:

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