Some of you may be thinking….what about the dog? We are very happy to report that Pi, our English Mastiff, is doing great and living with my sister’s family for the year in Cleveland. Her girls have long been asking for a dog, and they are incredibly excited to be Pi’s surrogate family for the next 12 months! We are too and feel incredibly fortunate for Pi to be in such a loving home while we are away. 

So how do you get an English Mastiff across the country? Slowly. And carefully. In a big car. You bring lots of water and refrigerate the food in a cooler. And you make sure you have his favorite blanket and pillow. Then you hope and pray that everything goes according to plan. 

But there is no way to prepare for a massive heat wave. And there is little you can do when your air conditioning lets go 50 miles outside of Vegas. You certainly need an exceptional co-pilot. I am very lucky I had one in our son Jackson, while Karen and Cassius stayed behind to get our condo ready for renters.

But sneaking a 200lb living, breathing beast into a hotel? That takes ingenuity, courage, reconnaissance, and luck. Think Jason Bourne or James Bond without the technological advances! Here are the basic steps. 

1) Arrive late at night

2) Park in a nearby office park across the street from the hotel

3) Send me in to check in, while Jackson keeps Pi calm in the car and talks him through the steps. 

4) Survey the building. Note all the side doors and any cameras. 

5) Get Pi out of the car, across the street, and sneak him through the cornfield behind the hotel. 

6) Send Jackson to open the side door and wait for an open hallway. 

7) When the signal comes, run down the hallway as fast as Pi can lumber with Jackson sprinting ahead to open the door before anyone comes down the hall. 

8) Breath. Lie down. Give dog water. Repeat the next day.

In the end, it was all worth it and then some. Anyone who loves dogs will tell you they’d do anything for theirs. We are no different and we feel so lucky that Pi is in such great hands. Plus, he will get to see snow for the first time!


Add yours →

  1. Great stuff JoJo – love that you’re living out a dream and learning how to roll with life. Mad props!


  2. Karen Joseph Tien August 31, 2016 — 12:56 am

    Dear Uncle David:

    It is nice that you included our picture in your blog! I am glad that no one saw Pi at the hotels!

    Love, Neko


  3. Dear Uncle David:

    I think that this entry is really cool! I love that you included our picture. It is really fun having Pi!

    Love, Jessie


  4. Thanks for the kind words about Pi’s surrogate family! He is a love, and we are enjoying him immensely! Now that we have had him for a month, I can’t even begin to imagine sneaking him ANYWHERE so hats off to you and Jackson for doing it without a hitch on your cross-country trip! Definitely a rule worth bending for the greater good! 🙂

    Love, your sister/ Auntie K


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