When I finally got through passport control in Washington Dulles airport, I found my bags sitting on the floor in front of the belt. I sought the help of a bored-looking Skycap (baggage helper) named Duane about finding the pets. I told him I needed his help getting all my luggage and pets out of the airport (it's normal to tip these guys well, so he was motivated to help). So he threw my bags on his big cart, then went looking for Toby (dog) and Janet (cat). The KLM lady pointed to the other end of the luggage hall, and there they were, Janet's crate sitting on top of Toby's. As we got closer I couldn't see either pet, but when I said "Toby" his head popped up and he looked right at me. A quick look in Janet's cage confirmed she was okay.
We got in a Customs line and I got the pet travel documents ready; Duane and I were both sure we would be funneled into the longer-inspection line. None of it: the customs agent gave a cursory glance at the pets' health certificates and rabies vaccination records. I'm not sure he even looked in the crates. I might have had a Gelada Baboon in the big one and I don't think he would have noticed. I bribed Duane with a promise of a big tip and asked him to keep the pets while I went to get the rental car. A quick ride in the Thrifty shuttle and I was livin' large in my Dodge Magnum station wagon. I found my way back to the arrivals doors and we slid the crates right in the back of the car. I overtipped the Duane and after a brief stop to let Toby relieve himself we headed down the parkway towards the beltway and Friday rush hour traffic.
I stopped at a Safeway store neat Woodbridge Va and got the pets some food, water, and got Janet a temporary litter pan. I let them loose in the car, and kept heading south. Somewhere south of Richmond my eyes started to droop, and I had to stop at a rest area for a quick nap. So, at about 1:30 a.m. we arrived and M&M's house, promptly woke up the neighborhood with their dogs and Toby's barking, and by 2:00 we were all back sound asleep, safe, for our first night back in this strange country.