I have to give a tip of my hat to my dog, Abby, who has survived a coast-to-coast move and is seemingly adjusted to her new life. Poor Abby started out as a neglected and abandoned hunting dog in South Carolina, then moved to Florida where she rocked suburbia, was introduced to the ocean, neighborhood litter and lizards invading her space.
Then, as still a young pup, she was packed into a huge dog crate and flown across the country to the big city. She was introduced to eating dead crabs from the Bay, sniffing the sleeping homeless guys in the park, and peeing on the sidewalk.
And last night she visited a movie set around the corner from our house.
My husband was taking her on the fourth-shift walk when they stumbled on a scene from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. One of the security guys took a shine to Abby and even walked her around a little bit.
The movie comes out in 2014 and stars Kerri Russell and Gary Oldman. It’s about a “group of scientists in San Francisco who are struggling to stay alive in the aftermath of a plague that is wiping out humanity, while Caesar tries to maintain dominance over his community of intelligent apes.” The guy in charge of foliage, who I talked to this morning when I strolled down there with my coffee, told me that most of it was filmed in New Orleans, where they could block off whole neighborhoods willy nilly without city officials getting on their case. But to make it look San Francisco-y, they had to shoot some scenes here.
Abby is jazzed about this and has put the original Planet of the Apes on our Netflix queue so she can get some background.
Living on the same block as the filming of a movie about an animal species that takes over the world is just one of the things that make Abby’s move here worthwhile.
Getting her here was a feat. We had to join an alliance with Pet Relocation, a company that specializes in moving your animals. They did a great job, as far as I know. Like all dog-related services, you can’t rely on your dog to tattle-tale. Who’s going to tell if they just pushed her on the plane without eye contact or a Milk Bone?
We’ve moved other pets - dogs, aquatic frogs who celebrated the move by eating each other, and Lipstick, our goldfish who was immortalized in Home Sweet Homes. But their moves were always by car. Putting a dog on a plane is concerning.
My husband was slightly distressed when we were saying our goodbyes to her in Florida.
“Be a good girl and we’ll see you soon,” he said, giving her a full-body hug.
“We’ll see you on the other side!” I said, cheerfully. “I mean - um - ...”
Tim looked at me with horror. “Don’t say that!” he hissed, covering Abby’s ears. “You may as well have mentioned the rainbow bridge!”
All of his worrying was for naught - we think. Our only clue was that when she got out of the van her tail was wagging, which means it was still attached and her heart was still beating, so I labeled the whole operation a success.
For what it cost us to move her, my husband and I both could have flown first class to China and back. With Go-Go Inflight and cocktails. But it was totally worth it, because we have quite possibly the only Treeing Walker Coonhound South Carolina hunting dog in Nob Hill.
If you like Diane's humorous take on moving, you'll love her book Home Sweet Homes: How Bundt Cakes, Bubble Wrap, and My Accent Helped Me Survive Nine Moves.