It's a Team's Life
Truck Pets Rule the Roost
Truck pets are special as we live with them in a very small area 24 hours a day. We know their every mood and they know ours. The lengths we go to make them happy probably would astound many people, not in a truck.
We travel with a large dog (Texas) and a small cat (Squeaky) and have for the past six years. There is a lot to think about traveling all over the country with animals as they are exposed to a lot. Squeaky never gets out of the truck unless we are home or having the truck searched due to where we are loading or unloading. We could track something in on our shoes that could potentially kill him so he is always up to date on his shots. Texas is also exposed to a lot all over the country and she is kept up to date on her shots. Our vet is aware that they are truck pets and gives them appropriate shots for all of the country and not just the area where we live.
We buy them food that is readily available everywhere so that if we run out we can replace their food and not change brands and potentially upset their tummies. It is not fun to wake in the middle of the night with a dog or cat getting sick. Both Texas and Squeaky have food and water available at all times. Our water is filtered twice and we have not had any trouble using water from spigots at the fuel stations. They are both at a good weight and if that ever changes their food will be limited so that they stay healthy.
Texas has a good leash for when she is out walking and it is not a retractable leash. One of our family members was walking their small dog and she took off after something at a rest area and hit the end of the retractable leash and it broke. She was immediately killed on the interstate. The leash has a container for poop bags that are always used. No matter the size of the dog do the right thing and clean up after them. Texas also has a lit safety collar that she wears at night so that she is visible. Very inexpensive and rechargeable.
Both pets know they cannot get under our feet when we are driving and that space is off-limits. Squeaky who loves to lay on the dash knows that when the truck starts he must get down. Sometimes we have to remind him to get down and he yowls like a small child as he jumps off of the dash to let us know of his displeasure.
At night when we park Squeaky has a small dog bet that we put on the dash for him as he likes to lay in bed and watch the goings-on in the truck stop. If it is cool enough or warm enough depending on the time of year we open our sleeper windows and place a small pad where he can lay and watch out the window. Did I mention much of our life is spent catering to our pets?
Texas also has a dog bed that she uses if we are stopped and if we are running a team load she sleeps in bed with that person. Texas also has a routine. In the morning she gets out to do her job and when she gets back in the truck she gets a Greenie toothbrush, Squeaky gets two small Greenies, and then Texas gets her treat (medicine to help with inflammation of her hips). It is funny as they both anticipate this but only first thing in the morning. The rest of the day Texas gets out and neither of them expects anything.
When we can control the surroundings, Texas loves to play ball. When she was a puppy she had a long leash, she wore so if she got distracted we could stop her. She is a quick learner and has learned other people and dogs are to be ignored and not barked at. The hardest thing to teach her was that if she saw a rabbit she could not chase it or had to stop on command. We talk to Texas a lot and she knows and obeys a lot of words.
Texas as a German Shepherd or also known as a German Shedder lives up to the breed. She creates a new dog in hair every day. We have a good vacuum and a good brush that is used regularly. She does not mind being vacuumed and while that gets some loose hair it is not all of it. We have learned to live with hair in everything and know that it is a constant battle to keep the truck clean as well as the truck cab filters.
Both pets bring us a lot of laughter and joy and our lives would be very dull without their company.