The dog ate my passport! Man's rush for replacement thanks to pooch Hattie
- Credit: Danielle Booden
The dog ate my homework excuse may have worked at school - but probably not at passport control.
But for Dereham man Steve Hunt the reasoning is true, and he now faces a race against time in order to see his passport replaced after it was chewed by his one-year-old dog.
Mr Hunt will travel to Belfast and back on September 28 after Hattie took a bite out of his passport, just over a week before he and his wife Louise were due to fly to Cyprus on holiday.
When he woke up on September 26, one of the 54-year-old's sons said: "Dad, I think the dog had your passport."
Going into the study, he discovered the Cockapoo had climbed up onto the desk and taken a good chunk out of the document.
He said: “There are a million other things to chew in the house, cardboard, packing tape, but she got my passport.
“She has taken a big chunk out of the corner - when you open it up, it doubles up and it’s gone through an entire corner.
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“She doesn't normally chew things but took a liking to it. I was holding it and she was jumping up trying to eat it again."
Needing the passport for October 6, when he was due to jet off on a rearranged holiday, the retired police officer jumped on the computer looking to see what he could do next.
After searching online, it seemed the only fast-track appointment he could get at the passport office was 521 miles away, in Belfast, on September 28.
Having no other option, he booked the non-refundable £147 appointment and made plans for the 1,042-mile round trip for a 30-minute appointment to process the application.
He said there are no guarantees he will have his passport back in time.
"I have to make that appointment and hope there is no delay," he said. "You couldn't make it up.
“Louise works at the Norfolk and Norwich hospital and deserves a break, but it seems to all be falling around us.
“Once the appointment in Belfast is done, it's going to be a tense wait. If it hasn't arrived by last post next Tuesday, then will be a mad scramble."