Move to England

As most of you know, Mike started his new job in September and for various reasons Gabi stayed in Germany until January. Our lease expired at the end of the year and the dogs couldn't enter the UK until mid-January. It worked out for the best as it took 3 months for our house to close!

Mike had a wonderful experience renting a room from a lovely couple in Darlington. In fact, he was totally spoiled. A home-cooked meal on the table every night at 5:30, clothes washed AND ironed (including his t-shirts and underwear!), and no household responsibilities. What a life...and then reality set in. We bought a house that needed quite a bit of work, but Mike will discuss this on another link.

The actual packing, etc. for the move was pretty uneventful, but an affair as big as moving to another country couldn't be without its stressful moments. Gabi's moment came when finalizing the official paperwork required to move the dogs to the UK. It was much more difficult bringing pets to the UK than it was to Germany. The UK is rabies free so there are lots of rules and regulations you must follow, and everything must be done by a timeline. First and foremost, you must have your pet microchipped, which we had done in Tennessee so we just went on to the next step. Well, this came back to haunt us. As we were completing the last steps the week before the move, none of the local vets could read the microchips implanted in our dogs. Hence, they wouldn't sign off on the paperwork. Gabi was in a state of panic. We finally had to contact the microchip manufacturer and have the proper reader mailed to us so the vet could verify the chip numbers as well as sign and stamp our paperwork. The reader arrived the day before we were supposed to vacate the house and drive to England. As it turns out, the vets' readers were either too weak or weren't being used properly. Luckily, it all worked out and Gabi and the dogs made it safely to Calais, France where Mike met them for the English Channel Tunnel (Chunnel) crossing the next morning.

We chose to live in Hartlepool because of the location - both of us love being near the ocean. The Brits think we're crazy because it's so much colder here than we're used to. And believe me, we've second-guessed the choice quite a few times! When the wind comes off the North Sea it is so unbelievably cold no matter what season it is. However, on a sunny day you can't beat it. Hartlepool loosely translated means "island of the deer". Click here for info on Hartlepool.

It's time to load the truck!:

Lady & Shep packed in the back of Gabi's car on their way to Calais, France:

Gabi & the dogs on the Chunnel train before the crossing:

First snow in the neighborhood:

Settling in before the furniture arrives:

The movers have arrived - more chaos:

Our first walk to the moor:

And it's low tide:

History of Hartlepool:

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