In late November Jenga the Rhodesian Ridgeback was booked to fly from Toronto, Canada to Gatwick on the same flight as his owner, Heather. All the paperwork and procedures were in place, travel box prepared and everything was looking good.

Unfortunately, however, when Heather went to check him in at Toronto airport, the Canadian cargo handlers said they had no record of the booking, so Jenga could not travel. Disaster!

The airline at the UK end knew all about it, Gatwick Animal Reception Centre knew all about it and Animalcouriers knew all about it, but an administrative oversight in Canada meant Jenga simply could not travel. So Jenga went home with Heather’s Mum while Heather tearfully boarded her flight.

Animalcouriers booked a new flight for Jenga that would arrive in Gatwick on 20 December, and Heather began to get excited about seeing her beloved dog again. A few days beforehand, however, the snow arrived and created chaos at Gatwick and across the rest of the UK.

Delays and cancellations made it impossible to predict if Jenga would ever get airborne. To cap it all, Jenga’s paperwork went missing en route to Canada. Meanwhile, Heather was at risk of being stuck in Ireland (where she was on holiday) because of the snow.

With Heather and Animalcouriers tearing their hair out in frustration, Heather’s Mum, who was organising the Canadian end, stayed cool and calm throughout. She probably looked at the news reports of the UK failing to cope with a little bit of the white stuff and wondered what all the fuss was about.

Luckily Jenga’s flight did take off, and even though it arrived eight hours late, Jenga finally made it to England. Heather was over the moon and there was a big welcome for Jenga…and a sigh of relief all round.

Heather wrote to say: “Just wanted to let you know that we got Jenga with no trouble and made it home safely. Thank you so much for all your help and guidance, I can’t imagine trying to do this all on my own.”

Heather and Jenga reunion — view the video.