Road trip to Canada to pick up new family member.
Saying goodbye to Sky was no fun of course but I knew the time would come at some point. Having two dogs is a great thing and I have not wanted Zulu to be on his own for too long. Last year during one of our road trips we had encountered a breed I had never heard of, the English Shepherd. Zulu seems to bond with the herding breeds quickly and had made a quick and fun playmate with an English Shepherd during that trip. I decided then, that after Sky and I said our good-byes I would see if I could find an English Shepherd. I found one close by in a rescue group but there were a number of applicants and the process and questions lead me to believe I would not be a worthy candidate. (No yard, living on a boat and RV etc) It was suggested to me that I join a facebook English Shepherd Re-homing group and that’s where I found the new addition to our family.
Jazzie was located in Outram, Saskatchewan Canada which is barely over the border from North Dakota. On Facebook there were a number of people interested in adopting Jazzie but most of the comments were based on her distance or not having a passport etc. I private messaged the owner and told her I have a passport and will drive up and pick her up. I sent her money for the Rabies and health certificate which finalised the deal. Based on my work schedule and weather prospects we planned on me coming to pick her up in mid-April.
Things all changed with the Coronavirus issues sweeping the world. Border shutdowns were immanent and I thought I would have to delay the trip severely by a couple of months. One of my friends at work said to me, ‘you need to go now’! I was just finishing up my stretch of work shifts. I work 5 days on and 9 days off and I realised he was absolutely right. I could not delay I needed to go NOW!
Tuesday the 17th was my last day of work so I was on the road by Wed afternoon. Weds night I was in Truckee putting on snow chains and by Friday night I was at the North Dakota / Canada Border.
Here’s an idea of the weather @ the Donner pass
This was the worst weather I experienced in the trip though certainly not the coldest.
I spent Wednesday night just outside of Reno https://goo.gl/maps/3KXxo6s3KB3pVccn6 and then headed on my way the next day making it to Rexberg Idaho by Thursday night. Found a spot amongst 18 wheelers here https://goo.gl/maps/T8M1SoN479uxBiqB9.
I heard the Canadian Border was going to close as of Friday night at midnight to all non-essential travel I had conflicting reports as I had first heard it was closing Saturday night. I really wanted to make it across the border before it closed because I was sure I could make it back in to the USA after it had closed just doubted I would be allowed into Canada for a dog. How essential is that travel in Border Control eyes??
I did make it to the Border Friday night -but I did not go to the right border. I needed to be at the Northern Portal which is closer to Estevan. You can see from my map above just how far away I was. The whole time I was communicating with Kendra the owner and the reason I managed to get to the wrong border is because at this point I was plugging in her address and had just presumed there was only one border crossing in the area. I was exhausted and it was already too lake to make the midnight deadline for crossing the border so we postponed till Saturday. Finding a place to park for the night was very challenging here I was exhausted. I eventually made it to bed by about 5 in the morning!!
I’ll write more in a bit about the actual Border experience that took place the next day!!