First order of business: make sure the dogs do not need to undergo a quarantine period, and that they can come across easily with us. If that would not have been the case, we most likely would not have made the move. You can argue they're only dogs, but to us they're family, so it was no question: no dogs, no move.
Well, it turns out you need the title to your vehicle(s). Which means you must own the car(s) outright or have it/them financed by a bank that operates in both the United States and Canada. We thought we had the latter part of this figured out until we received a phone call saying we needed to live in one of four states to qualify. You guessed it, Pennsylvania was not one of those four states.
This was one item that was hanging over our heads for quite some time. We were dealing with two SUVs: one 4WD and one FWD, i.e. one fantastic in snow and one pretty crappy all around. (And in moving to a city where they only plow major roadways, a good 'snow car' is key.) We paid off the 4WD SUV and traded in the FWD SUV for an AWD car. I personally hadn't even considered a car as a) I am not smart and didn't realize there are AWD cars and b) I was thinking of the pups in the trunk and extra room for future baby redheads. Once Shaun convinced me that we would be fine with one SUV for the pups, I was sold, and we wrote one of the largest checks we've ever written in order to purchase the AWD car outright. While it was a good chunk of money upfront, not having any car payments (and lower insurance premiums for owning the cars) will be fantastic. Plus, this still looks good.
Some may ask why we didn't just sell the FWD SUV here and wait to buy a second vehicle in Canada. Well, Canada is expensive, and cars on average are $10K+ or more to purchase up there. So really, this made more sense for us.
Shaun and I will be driving the car when we go on vacation, and then we'll have it shipped up to Edmonton. My mom and I will be driving the SUV to Edmonton since we have a) the pups and b) a ton of crap to take with us. We're starting to make a list of everything that needs to come with us since we're tentatively planning to leave for our journey on or around August 17. One more step closer to the move!