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It's a Team's Life

Pets in the Truck

By Linda Caffee
Posted Mar 21st 2019 3:51AM

Living with pets in 64 sq. Ft of space can be stressful not only on but also on the pet.  Things to consider is space available, food and water requirements, and getting the pet enough exercise. Next is pet hair and there will be a lot of pet hair, and it gets on and into everything.

Over the past twenty years, we have not had a pet in our truck for about four years.  These were four lonely years, but we had a clean truck and no pet hair.  During this time, we were also able to leave the truck for a day and go on side trips and not have to worry about getting back.  We also had to worry about someone breaking into our truck. 

When we first got into a truck we had our family Cocker Spaniel, Molly and to begin with she was terrified.  It was odd to see her afraid as that dog traveled everywhere with us and loved to go for rides in our pickup.  It took her about a week before she got used to the noise of the truck and in the end, we would have to put a leash on her to take her inside the house as she did not want to leave her truck.  Then my mom passed away, and we acquired her beloved Cocker Spaniel, Boots and the truck got even more interesting.  Both were older dogs so playing and going for long walks was not on their agenda.  At that time, I kept their water dish inside another pan to control the sloshing, and they always had free food available to them. Then Boots passed away, and within a few years Molly passed away.  It was heartbreaking as we had lived together in such a tiny space with these two for many years and neither one of us could handle the thought of going through the emotions again.

Then along came this darn kitten that just would not leave us alone.  An outdoor cat born to a wild mama and who knew who the dad was.  We kept telling him we are NOT cat people and you are a cat.  As with all cats he had the last word and several hundred dollars later he was a healthy neutered male truck cat. Squeaky has taught us many lessons over the past four years, and we have learned that before we go to bed his food bowl and water must be filled or about two in the morning he will let you know he can see silver in the bottom of his dish.  He also does not take to being told to go away for an answer. Squeaky rules the truck on his terms, he does not like to be held, but he wants to sit on you.  His one rule that he abides by is that he is not allowed on the dash when the truck is running.  The litter box is kept very clean, and we were able to put in under the bench seating in the truck, and he uses the vent to get into the area.  The food and water dish cannot be near his litter box, his rules, and I lost the area where my shoes would go so he could have an enclosed dining area. 

After about two years of having a cat, we decided we needed a dog to walk with and enjoy outside of the truck.  The first rule was we needed a dog that got along with cats.  First, we tried calling breed rescues but had no luck.  Some places wanted nothing to do with truck drivers and were under the impression the dog would have a miserable life.  Then if we did find one as soon as it was reported the dog got along with cats the dog was adopted.  Finally, we found a home that had German Shepherd puppies, and we found our Texas.  German Shepherds are a breed that generally gets along well with cats, and Squeaky immediately told her who the boss was.  Adding a puppy to a truck that is going to get very big is a challenge. Luckily Texas came truck broke and has never had an accident in the truck.  For the first year, the floor of our truck looked like a doggie daycare as she had every toy and chew stick available.  In that time, she chewed on one thing, and that cable was quickly replaced. 

Now two years later we do not have as many toys on the floor of the truck except for her beloved dragon who is still in pretty good shape.  The struggle with Texas is her water as she is a slob when she drinks.  I finally have found a dish that controls her drinking, will not slosh, and the cat can drink out of it.  I made a video about the water dish here;  Dog/Cat Water Dish Video  The other problem is German Shepherds are also known and as German Shedders, and that is so true.  She creates a new dog in hair daily.  There is hair everywhere, and it is a daily battle to vacuum her hair off of the floor. 

To be perfectly honest if I had known that in such a small area how bad the hair was going to be I am not so sure we would have got a German Shepherd.  On the other hand, though she is by far the smartest dog that has ever lived with us.  She loves to play ball, catch a frisbee, and basically will retrieve anything you throw.  Texas knows many commands and is continuously learning more words.  What we also appreciate it that Texas is always happy and seems to have a smile on her face.  She loves to meet new people and then gets so excited she gets in trouble and has to go sit until she can calm back down. Usually, with just us, she is very calm and laid back but get her in public and she is overstimulated. 

Our truck is a much happier truck with our two beautiful goofballs, and they keep us entertained.  We spend lots of time looking for areas for Texas to play and both of us love to watch her run to retrieve her ball.  We do a lot of military bases, and she is always greeted with respect and kind comments.

Bob & Linda Caffee

TeamCaffee

Saint Louis MO

Expediters since January 2005

linda.caffee8@gmail.com

 

Expediting isn't just trucking, it's a lifestyle;

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