Having family around for the holidays is important for many people, but it’s even more essential when you haven’t seen your loved ones in months. Natasha Corbin and her fiancé David Daynes have spent years trying to figure out how to keep their rescue dog with them. Bringing the pup named Munchkin into Australia was hard enough in the past, but now, the COVID-19 pandemic has added additional obstacles.
Natasha was separated from David and Munchkin for the months leading up to Christmas. She hoped the three of them could be together for the holidays. She was willing to do whatever it took to make it happen, even if that meant spending tens of thousands of dollars on flights.
Street Dog Steals Hearts
Natasha and David are from Australia, but they temporarily lived in Bali a few years ago. David set a strict rule for Natasha to follow: don’t interact with the street dogs. He knew she was a huge dog lover and would want to take in every dog she met. It was a hard rule for her, but she stuck with it for as long as she could.
But when the couple met Munchkin, they couldn’t help themselves. She was only a tiny puppy at the time, and she kept following them around. So, when a neighbor asked them to take the puppy in, Natasha couldn’t refuse.
“One day, our neighbors asked us if we could take her in just for a week until they found a home for her,” Natasha said. “And so I, of course, went and immediately bought $150 worth of dog accessories and gave her a beautiful bath and fed her up.”
Needless to say, Munchkin ended up staying with them for much longer than a week. After rehoming her didn’t work out, the couple decided to add her to the family.
Million Dollar Munchkin
When the couple moved back to Australia, they ran into lots of complications with Munchkin. It ended up being a 5-year journey to get the dog to their home country. Australia has strict rules for animals entering the country, and Munchkin kept failing the necessary medical tests. So, she had to stay in Singapore with foster families for three years.
In 2019, Natasha and David moved to New Zealand so they could finally live with their dog again. The plan was always to move back to Australia, but they couldn’t until Munchkin was cleared for travel. They started calling the dog “Million Dollar Munchkin” because of how much they had to spend on her.
“We stopped counting about three years ago when it got to Aus$40,000. We didn’t ever at the start of this process expect that it would cost this much or take this long. We expected it to be Aus$10,000 and six weeks,” said Natasha.
The family recognizes that they’re privileged to be able to spend so much money to bring their dog with them. But they refused to stop trying. Yet, the COVID-19 pandemic made travel restrictions even more strict. So, when Natasha returned to Australia for medical reasons this year, David and Munchkin stayed behind.
Munchkin Finally Arrives in Australia!
For five months, Natasha had to be in Australia without her family. Munchkin got approved to travel to Australia during that time, but with COVID-19 rules and Christmas approaching, Natasha couldn’t find a flight for David and Munchkin. But she knew she could get them home for the holidays if she tried hard enough.
Finally, the family found flights for David and Munchkin, thanks to the community’s help. David flew in on Monday, December 13th, while Munchkin hopped on a flight the following day. Now, both of them have arrived in Australia, so they can all spend the holidays together!
“She’s our family now and so I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love her so much and she’s such an amazing little creature,” Natasha said.
The end of 2021 is the first time Natasha, David, and Munchkin will live together in Australia. All their hard work paid off, and now, they can give their beloved rescue dog the best life possible!