Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My Moving Adventure

On Sunday, December 27th, we woke to find our great dane, Terk, gone. This isn’t the first time he’s gotten out, but it’s the first time he didn’t come back. By the end of the day, we were starting to get worried. At the suggestion of a friend, I posted ads on Craigslist and Pets911.com hoping to reach whoever had him.

We continued packing, and I checked the websites regularly for any ads that might match Terk’s description, but nothing ever came up. The closer we got to January 1st, the day we were scheduled to leave for Idaho, the more I became convinced he’d been stolen. He’s big and he looks scary, but anyone who knows anything about danes, knows that they’re just big teddy bears. And I can see how an unneutered male of his size would be desirable enough to steal.

January 1st rolled around and we weren’t quite ready to leave, so we decided to wait one more day. At this point, we’d checked both animal control facilities and pretty much given up hope of finding Terk before we left. We were all really sad to leave him.

Somehow, we managed to cram most of our house into a 26 ft. Uhaul and the back of our Tahoe. There was just enough room for two of us in the Tahoe and three in the moving truck. We left that night at around 11:30, hoping to reach Idaho Falls in the daylight. We’d made the drive in 15 hours the last time, so it wasn’t unreasonable to assume our travel time wouldn’t be more than a couple of hours longer with the moving truck.

Not an unreasonable assumption, but apparently unrealistic. We had to stop twice to sleep, because we were both too tired to drive. (You’d think an hour and a half sleep would be enough to get you through a 16-17 hour drive. ;) We really did try to sleep longer before we left, but the floor isn’t very comfortable, and I got tired of tossing and turning. It felt like wasted time.) Between sleeping and stopping to eat and get gas, we added about three hours to our trip.

Then in Ogden, UT (about 2 ½ hours before Idaho Falls), we stopped to get gas, and through a miscommunication about which way to go, we got separated. Jason’s cell phone battery was dead, and the batteries on the walkie-talkies were too low, so I had no way to contact him. Fortunately, he knew the way, and I had the GPS—except the GPS decided to lock up about 50 miles before I reached Idaho Falls.

I made a quick phone call to my cousin and got some basic directions. We pulled up to the house about 8:20pm, January 2nd. Jason pulled up about ten minutes later. It was frustrating being separated for the last few hours of the drive, but worrying about him and the kids kept me wide awake.

The trip took a total of 21 hours—we were SO tired. We had some awesome people from church here to help us unload the Uhaul, and that was done in about an hour. The next morning, we swept out the moving truck and left to return it. On the way, Jason got a phone call. Someone found Terk.

Apparently, they picked him up from the end of our street about an hour after he left our house. He was probably on his way home. They hadn’t been able to get animal control to pick him up, so someone suggested they check Pets911.com, and that’s how they found us. He’ll be staying with our good friends until we can pick him up in a few months.

So, even though this has been the most stressful experience of my life, we’re getting settled here and really enjoying it. The kids love their new school and the snow. (It snowed all day January 1st, so it turned out to be a good thing we didn’t leave that day.) My husband loves his new job. I don’t have to work, so once I’m done unpacking and the house is all set up, I get to write full time. Yea! And this house has so much more space than our old house. I think we’re going to be very happy here.

A few things I’ve learned since moving here:

*-14 degrees F is very, very cold.

*When the sun comes out from behind the clouds here, it gets colder instead of warmer. Logical, I suppose, if I really think about it, but not what I expected.

*Driving on ice is a lot like driving in the mud, so all that mud-bogging experience on our unpaved road in AZ is coming in handy.

*I can go several weeks without blogging and not die. ;)

No internet at the house until the end of the month :(, but Barnes and Noble isn’t too far away. I won’t be posting every day, but I’ll be checking in. I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and a Happy New Year! It’s good to be back! :)


  1. First off, glad to hear you made the trip safely. It's really nice that your dog was found too. I don't know what my wife would do if we lost our german shepherd. And last (but not least), how the heck could you leave the wonderfully warm AZ for cold as heck ID? I say this because I am dying to retire in AZ instead of staying here in CO. I'm so tired of snow and cold, I would love to be down there right about now.

  2. Oh! Is it bad that I was more worried about Terk the whole time than you? ;)

    I knew y'all would make it to Idaho in one piece. Just think of how nice it'll be when it's not negative 14 degrees!

  3. WOW! A crazy adventure but I'm glad you found Terk and that you're getting settled in nice and happy. Take care and glad to see you!

  4. If you are ever over by Idaho Falls High School look at the house on the corner of 9th St. (and I think Tiger- right across from the school) and that is where my Mama grew up. My Grandpa built that house and they lived there for like 50 years :) I loved visiting IF growing up. I hope you guys are so happy there!! PS -- My Uncle Curt and Aunt Nancy live nearby- last name Collard if you ever run into them :)

  5. Wow, that's quite the story! I bet you drove right by my house. I live off the freeway in Utah County, just south of Salt Lake!

    Very glad you "found" your dog. :)

  6. Oh, thank goodness someone found your doggie!!
    Glad you're happy with your move, too!

  7. Oh my gosh, I had to scroll through your post to the end to be sure someone found Trek. WHEW! He's beautiful, and the young man with him is pretty cute too. Good luck with your new home!
    Julie, ADayInTheWife.com

  8. Oh I am SO happy you found Terk! I was worrying about that. Such a sad thing to lose a pet.

    AND congrats on making the move safely!

  9. Whew! Amazing to have Trek safe. He is so beautiful in that photo.
    I'm really glad to hear your husband loves the job and you get to write full-time. It sounds like you've settled in a place that will be good to you.

  10. YAY! I'm glad you all made it safely and that Terk was found :). That would have made me crazy nervous to have lost contact w/ the husband on the drive down, so I'm glad that turned out okay as well.

    CONGRATS on being able to write full time! I'm so happy for you guys!

  11. Oh I am glad that story had a happy ending! Our Chihuahua gets out all the time and I am often seen sprinting up the road after her! naughty little thing that she is.

    all the best with settling in. I have just moved house too :)

  12. Oh my gosh, I wonder if life is still as nutty for you as it was when you made this last post. I hope things are settling down!

  13. 21 hours *is* a long trip. Very crazy long. I think I'd need a vacation after a move like that one!

    Hope you're settling in well now!!

  14. Wow, what an adventure! I'm so glad you found Terk! Even though you can't be with him now, you know he's safe and that you'll get him back. What a relief! And it sounds GREAT there! I'm really happy for you and your family! :)

  15. That sounds insane. I'm so glad someone found your dog. I hope the rest of the move-in goes well for you!