Sunday, May 5, 2013

My 'Four Legged Posse'......... Back In The U.S.A.

Some ancient Philosopher once said, "Misfortune does not occur twice in the same way to the same person." Well, I am here to tell you that this is a most incorrect thought and observation. Misfortune has struck me twice within a time span of 9 days, and in the same way.

A couple of weeks ago, I had retreated to the beautiful island of Naxos, Greece for a 6 months stay. I was staying at the Nissaki Beach Hotel, while looking for suitable housing for my 4 dogs and myself. One afternoon, I was visited by representatives of the Greek Government, and informed that I had not submitted the proper government forms to allow my dogs to remain on the island (I have many times previously visited Greece, and I have never followed the rules applicable to dogs). I was given official papers that bestowed on me the status of "Persona Non Grata", and I was ordered to leave Greece and to not return (

 As I was going through the customs departure check, I was handed a business card by an American embassy official. On the card was written, only this: "my daughter and I were under fire in Bosnia". Of course I knew from whom this note was sent as I most often, when referring to Hillary Clinton, place this statement between her first name and her last name, as a reminder to anyone about her honesty. So I took my 'four legged posse' and flew to Lamezia Terme International Airport, Lamezia Terme, Italy.

Once we landed at Lamezia Terme, I booked a cab for the 50 mile drive south to Gerace, a small, 2,500 year old, historic town near the larger and more populated city of Reggio Calabria (mafia-plagued), where I had leased a villa. The villa was a 3 story, modern, structure that sits on a high hill in the middle of a small olive grove. The house has a panoramic view, from the top floor, of the nearby mountains, valleys, ancient town, and Sicily.......just across the 'spit' of the Mediterranean that separates the 'toe of the boot' (Italy) with this large island. Gerace is cobblestone roads, ancient churches, and Italian hospitality. What I like about Italy, and this area in particular, is that their way of life is controlled by good food, cheap wine, and laughter. Politics always comes last. But when working in Italy one always must remember that the 'wheels' of government will not begin to turn without some type of 'grease'. And to this cause I paid the  inquiring customs agent $100, and $20 to each of his staff, to bring my dogs into Italy. I did not want a re-occurrence of the 'folly' that had taken place on Naxos.

But one week later, I was answering the ringing of the door bell at my villa........... and what did my wondering eyes behold standing on the doorstep? Several agents from the Italian Government........ a customs agent (the one I had previously given $100 as 'grease' to circumvent a cumbersome and antiquated Italian law having to do with the importation of dogs), and an American representative from the U.S. Consular Agency at Naples, Italy. I was informed that it had come to the attention of law enforcement that I had entered Italy with 4 dogs, and had not provided the required government forms dealing with the importation of these said dogs. I was informed that I could place the dogs, immediately, in quarantine until the required paperwork was completed and approved, or I could pay an immediate fine of $2,500, and within 12 hours leave Italy, with the dogs, for some other destination.

I gave the Italian Government agent my American Express card, and it was then passed through some portable recording device attached to a cell phone. I was given a receipt and an official document declaring me: "Persona Non Grata". I was now banned from legally traveling to Italy. And as they were leaving my villa, the American representative, who had identified himself only as a Consular assistant with the Naples 'office', and no name, handed me a business card. And on this card was written: my daughter and I were under fire in Bosnia.

Well it looks like Hillary "my daughter and I were under fire in Bosnia" Clinton, although 'retired' from the U.S. State Department, has some 'pull' when it comes to enforcing  laws about the importation of dogs in foreign countries. Too bad she did not take as much interest in preventing the attack at Benghazi. But then, as she said in hearings before the Senate, "What difference, at this point, does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again." 

Flight plan filed for stop at Grand Canary for fuel, and on to Ft. Lauderdale. Back in the U.S.A.
Lord Howard Hurts

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