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! :)