Goin’ to Carolina

While you are reading this, my husband and I are in the process of driving cross-country with our animals in tow. We’ve decided to follow our hearts on a new adventure and are leaving the warm slopes of northern California for the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina. The decision to move 3,000 miles certainly wasn’t made on the fly. My husband and I are big thinkers and planners, carefully weighing in on all the pros and cons over and over again. But, boy oh boy, this is a biggee and I vacillate between feeling super excited and scared to death!

Our friends, relatives, and colleagues (particularly those who have never been to western North Carolina) have all asked, “Why are you doing this?” The answer is really quite simple- our response is “Because we can.” Our three little chicks have left the nest and are doing their thing out in the world (Wyoming, Ohio and Germany). My hubby and I like to think of this major life change as our attempt to make our “third trimester” all that we want it to be. We are both avid horseback riders and we’ve longed to live on property abutting an extensive trail system. This means saddling and up and riding out with no horse trailering involved! Our new property abuts Dupont State Forest, a veritable mecca for horseback riding.

After figuring out where we wanted to live I checked out job prospects. The closest specialty hospital is Upstate Veterinary Specialists.  Now this part is too good to be true- not only did this hospital win the 2011 American Animal Hospital Association Specialty Hospital of the Year Award, the hospital owners want me to work with them! I will begin my new job in early December.

You won’t hear from me for another week or two. Not to worry, once settled I will resume my regular blogging habits, although you may begin to detect a bit of a southern accent!

Best wishes for good health,

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of  Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.

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49 Comments on “Goin’ to Carolina

  1. Having just moved 1200 miles from Texas back home to Indiana last week I totally get your thirst for a new adventure. Congrats on the move! And what a beautiful part of the country to move to. Enjoy your adventure, I hope it’s better than you could ever imagine.

  2. Welcome to NC. I’m sure you’ll find us an interesting if not diverse group, the geography. My wife and her friends ride, we don’t have the topography at the coast that you have in the Mts but a ride on the beach gets quite a bit of attention. No poop bags required.

    Chris Mercer/Swansboro NC

    State dog/Plott

  3. Interesting move! You’ll meet a lot of Northerners there who moved to FL, didn’t like it and moved half way back to the N. They’re called half-backs!

    Sounds really beautiful.
    But ticks, ticks ticks!

  4. HOW WONDERFUL! You will be on our side of the U.S. I am in Georgia so won’t be too far! Wish you and family all the best in your move!

  5. I am sure you will be happy in North Carolina. You will be missed in Northern California, however, your new patients are the winner. Godspeed.

  6. Dearest Nancy – Mazal Tov! to you and Oy Vey! to us. NC’s gain is California’s loss. Wishing you all the best, happiness, success, peace, safety and good health. Do NOT forget us, your California lovers and admirers. Know that you will be missed and always thought of with love, respect and pride of being one of your admiring entourage.
    I will be looking forward to hearing from you as soon as you settled and hear about this exciting and courageous endeavour. Remember: we need you! Love – Miriam

  7. Dear Dr. Nancy:

    My sister and her husband and kids made the move from northern California to Sylva, NC several years ago. It sure works for me, since I am now just 5 hours across the Smokies in Tennessee. It has been a good move for them, and I know it will be for you. Be prepared for some major culture shock but know that your west coast influence will help broaden minds, and also know that you will find many like-minded people already there.

    Looking forward to hearing about your adventure as your blogs resume.

  8. Woo Hoo!!!!
    Now the word “yall” will be standard in your vocabulary. Welcome to the south! I have a serious case of horse fever and have two palomino geldings that I love to trail ride with and to infect other folks with my “fever”. Maybe our trails will cross somewhere as I branch out on my trail riding adventures. I am still discovering the wonderful places to ride in my great state of Texas! Happy trails to you and your husband!!!!

  9. Well, well, well. This is indeed surprising news. I hope NC suits you, and you survive the bugs and humidity. The countryside is breathtaking. Wonderful you found a property with trail access. How many horses do you have? Good luck with your adventure.

  10. How exciting for you!! New adventures always get your blood flowing!
    The very best to you and your husband in your third trimester and wonderful new place to have adventures with a southern drawl. Our
    granddaughter and husband are currently living in Hampstead, NC
    and our travels will undoubtedly take us there to see our upcoming first great grandchild. We’ll wave in your direction as we pass by in our motorhome. Have wonderful adventures and a happy holiday season!
    Be safe!
    Sallie, Ron and Keeba (7 yo TT – puppy mill rescue)

  11. Good luck as you and your husband embark on this new chapter in your lives.

  12. Lucky you! What a fantastic new hospital you look forward to joining.
    What a fantastic phase three.

  13. We also moved across country to NC, but to the ocean. People have also asked us why? and we have said that we want an adventure in our lives, or at least I’ve said that. My hubby just goes along for the flow. We got a new rescue dog after moving into our house and now we are complete.

  14. Best wishes on your adventure! I’m assuming you are moving to the Asheville area based on the address of the hospital you named.
    Beautiful area !! We visited there several years ago and are eager to go back. Not a bad drive from southeast Ohio.

  15. I love this!! You will essentially be my neighbor! My husband & I own a home in Brevard (very near to DuPont) & I can’t tell you how very much I love this area . . . I always feel cradled by these mountains & the area is so very rich & will fill all of your senses in so many ways. I would be over-the-moon if you could become my dogs’ vet . . .good luck in getting settled & please let me know if ever I can assist as you settle into your new home. You are going to love it here!!!!

  16. Wishing you what you’ve always given to us, dear Kay: nothing but the best! Hooray for you and your husband as you begin this third trimester!

  17. Good for you! I can only say that No. Carolina will be richer now that you will be there. Have a great trip, look forward to reading your next column, your book is too good, I bought it when it came out and I’m so glad. God speed.

  18. Welcome to North Carolina! You’ll love it. We transplanted here (Chapel Hill) from Southern CA 22 years ago.


  19. Oh how wonderful!!! How lovely to be able and fit to do this. I hope you enjoy yourselves as much as you are hoping to.

    Safe trip and happy landing.

  20. Welcome to the East! I live in Northeast TN and own 6 horses. This country is beautiful here. Wishing you the best on your new adventure!

  21. So great to read you two are following your hearts! Godspeed, Good Luck and above all … no matter what, don’t look back.
    Don’t understand the comment on politics, those living in North Carolina are Americans and want the best for this country, same as any others should. It’s a beautiful part of the country and even tho there may be some tugs of heart for what you left behind you will love it! So will your critters!!
    ConDogulations on your new gig ;-))

  22. Congratulations on following your heart and your dreams. Too many people will not take the risk and are forever wishing they had. I have moved many times, mostly out of necessity, and have always loved the new place and not looked back. I am thinking again about a change and I am older than you, I know that for sure!
    Your life of being able to get on the horses and head out from your own place is just too good to be true.
    The best to the two of you. Enjoy.

  23. How exciting! Best of luck to you and your husband in your new life on the east coast!

  24. California’s loss, North Carolina’s gain… a win-win for you and your husband, a new life adventure – it doesn’t get much better than that! A “Good Life” crisis I call it…

    We will indeed miss you from the ‘hood. You and your colleagues gave us years of amazing professional care AND personal attention that was just beyond.

    Keep on Truckin’!…


  25. Congratulations! I, too, live in the Carolinas, but on the coast instead of the mountains. I, too, am a transplant. It took some adjusting, but I love it now! And the Carolina mountains! Georgeous! Great choice! I think it will be even better than you imagine! And congratulations on the new job!

  26. I am so envious of your bravery!!! Your new home sounds stunning and perfect. Have a wonderful life.

  27. That’s the best. I am there all summer with my crew. No place better to get away. Enjoy your new life and new job!

  28. Congratulations to both of you, and here’s to happy trails! Looking forward to hearing about your journey with your new specialty clinic.

  29. Good for you, Dr. Kay! I hope it is very fulfilling for you! Travel safe, and know your community will be waiting to hear from you when you are ready. Thanks for all you do for the animals, and to help we humans understand them better, too. :)

  30. We retired early, bought a RV and set out to see the country. Believe me, I should have blogged, but this was before such pleasures.
    By doing this I found my real passion, Dog Rescue. I went on to purchase a large piece of property in Ga., and started Rotten Russell’s Rescue Ranch.
    My point? When you follow your passion, you are happiest.

  31. Good luck, Dr. Kay and Godspeed! Sounds like good times ahead. You will be working with one of our recent residents from Purdue – please tell Dr. VonHendy-Willson I say hello!

  32. Let us be the first to welcome you to North Carolina! Chris, “Rosie” and I look forward to seeing you and we know you will love living here. Best wishes and much love for a smooth journey and a happy, adventurous start to your new life here. Much love, Sandy & Chris

  33. Gotta love when things too good to be true became true! All the best wishes for your new place and new job.

  34. I checked out the links — looks gorgeous and perfect for horseback riding. And a wonderful new job. Fabulous! Will look forward to hearing more about your big adventure. Safe travels!

  35. You’re an inspiration to all of us empty-nesters : – ). Good-on-you for being so bold & courageous to take the leap! Happy trails to you both!

  36. Congratulations! Looking forward to reading more from you after you get settled in. Love that country, and can totally understand what drew you there. Getting the position at such a wonderful place is fantastic, too! Here’s to adventures in life.

  37. How wonderful! Enjoy your newest adventure! Godspeed! Barb

  38. WOW! way to follow your heart! You will love the beauty (politics-questionable) of the mountains, and what timing! That area is one of our fav’s for camping!
    I also have “Speaking for Spot” sitting beside my computer!
    Happy trails, Happy tails!