Cross country PCS and pets
Living in the rumored “black hole” of Ft. Bragg, I figured after 7
years, reenlistment orders to pcs that got revoked, 2 deployments and another
one approaching, we were not going anywhere. So at year five we decided we
might as well set some roots, and bought a house. These deployments were a year
on and year off, with the unit never getting unfenced, so we were not expecting
to be told that we were leaving. With no idea that unaccompanied Korea orders
would come our way, we had no way of knowing where we would be when the Korea
tour was over.
My biggest fear, but biggest excitement came to light when we received
orders to Fort Wainwright. To give some perspective on how much we have to
travel, we are looking at about 4800 miles, give or take. We are super excited
at the chance to explore some of the United States! But I am super nervous at
the enormous to do list that has come my way. The to do list goes on and on
from how we will get there, keeping my three kids under the age of 10 occupied
in the car, and all of the paperwork needed.
My biggest concerns are our newly purchased house, and our family dog.
We have a great dane and you know they are not a small dog. She is a part of my
family and to even have to put her on the table of what to do is heartbreaking.
First thing we hashed out is that we will ship one car and drive the other.
Driving 4800 miles we have to go according to what the Army allows. After doing
some research, as I cannot attend a levy brief until I have a hold of printed
orders, the Army says we are allotted 350 miles a day. This puts us at roughly
14 days of driving.
I have a Subaru Forester. I love
my car, its AWD and have plenty of room for my kids. Unfortunately with
luggage, gas cans, and anything else needed for the trip and the temporary stay
until we get a permanent home in Alaska, there is little to no room for our
100+ lb, tall dog. Another thing on the back of my mind is the extreme cold of
the winter. It would be much different if we had a husky, or a shepherd, or any
other dog with a layer of fur, but our dane has a thin layer and she gets cold
very easily. As much as we didn’t want to admit it, between travel and
location, it is not a good idea for her to come with us. We tried to
rationalize and figure it out so that she could come, but it became more of
negotiating her health and comfort. We do not want to find her a permanent home
because she is a part of our family, so we looked into the next option, foster.
Luckily we know of a loving family who has offered to foster her for the three
years we will be away. We will cover food, toys, and any vet bills. She gets to
be spoiled and not subjected to drastic weather changes. The BEST part is that
we get to come back home to her when we return.
Every PCS is different, and I’m sure things would be different if it was
a different post, but moving from NC to AK, this was the best solution, so that
Luna could still be in our lives and remain a part of our family.