One of the “barriers to entry” for potential enthusiasts of Kooikerhondjes is that we as Americans aren’t quite used to a structure where all of the information is “held” by a foreign organization. Most Americans also are unfamiliar with how to transfer money within the European system of bank accounts. It can be intimidating and confusing, but the secret is that it’s really not – here’s how to do it (and why).
The VHNK (Vereniging Het Nederlandse Kooikerhondje) is the breed’s parent club in the country of origin and thus controls and disseminates more information about Kooikers than any other body – so if you’re interested in Kooikers, you should JOIN!
The VHNK offers not only merchandise but access to two very important pieces of information for breed/genetic research – the PDF Clubregister and its digital cousin, Zooeasy. You must pay for initial access to each of these via the VHNK’s shop page. Follow the instructions at the top of the page regarding emailing the treasurer (penningmeester) and the form if you are purchasing Zooeasy access.
The biggest stumbling block: how do you send Euros to those weird bank account numbers?!
It’s actually super easy. There are two companies I recommend that offer online ease and low fees on these amounts, Transferwise and OFX. You can use an ACH transfer from your bank account (you’ll need your account number and routing number – this option is cheapest) your debit card (almost as cheap) or credit card or wire transfer (definitely not as cheap). You’ll just enter the VHNK’s bank account numbers and address provided on their website (in case it changes, I’m not copying it here) and add any notes about what you are paying for. The website will calculate the exchange rate and take a cut on top of that, but it won’t be more than a few dollars – for example, I just sent my membership renewal from my debit card and it was $1.60 in fees, took me 30 seconds, and the money will arrive tomorrow. The site will walk you through entering each piece of information and how to determine how much to pay so that the recipient receives the appropriate amount. It’s almost exactly like Paypal except you can’t pay an email address.
And that’s it! Once paid, check your email for access to what you’ve paid for. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!