One of the challenges we expect to face during this 1700-mile move, is transporting and re-acclimating our eight year old Doberman. Elvis, aka “the Bear” or “the Beastie”, is king of his domain here on Huntingdon Street. He knows and surveys every nook and cranny of his yard and his neighborhood. Every day of his life is a routine:

Morning: wake up, stretch, shake, eat, go for a walk, and catch the Frisbees

Afternoon: sleep, patrol the yard for squirrels, bark at anyone and everyone that walks by, sleep

Evenings: Come inside, eat, and sleep

Deviations from the routine are not acceptable and will be retaliated against by all available means, including whining, waking everyone in the middle of the night, eating random items that can only be surgically removed, and pouting and refusing food. Again, deviations from the routine will not be tolerated.

So you can imagine, Dave and I are both plotting the easiest way to transition the Beastie to his new digs without having to face the repercussions of his inability to adjust to new situations. We plan to do this trip in three days. Elvis will suck it up and ride in the car for one day, but two days of travel will likely be too much.   Cue the tranquilizers. At the end of day two, we hope to be in Council Bluffs and spend some time with Jenny’s parents. Ideally, Elvis can run around a bit and detach his pea-brain from the old routine. Finally, we will make the final 8-hour journey to Hoten Holler, hopefully sans tranquilizers.

We hope he will be delighted to see how much his playground has expanded, but there are new dangers in the Black Hills. Apparently, we are not only right in the center of the Elk Capitol of South Dakota, but also prime mountain lion hunting ground. Additionally, new wildlife not to be chased includes porcupine, coyote, and rattlesnakes. In a perfect world, Elvis will never have to be leashed again, but likely, a long lead will be needed until he figures out the lay of the land.