We have a five-year-old neutered black kitty, Squeaky and a three-year-old spayed German Shepherd, Texas.  Both animals got in the truck very young and the truck is their home. As you might imagine Squeaky rules the roost and all of us cater to the cat.

Squeaky was born to an outside cat and destined to die as he was born late in the summer and not old enough to fend for himself as winter approached.  We have stray cats around our house often and we supply them with some food.  In our situation, we see kittens, go back to work, come home, and there are no more kittens.  This little black kitten decided he wanted to be a truck cat and he pestered us unmercifully when we went outside.  As in most situations when a cat is involved they win.

Both Bob and I missed having a dog in the truck to take for walks and to enjoy their company.  Through the years we have had a few German Shepherds and knew they are intelligent and they are known for their tolerance of cats.  After much searching, we found Texas as an eight-week-old puppy and she joined our family.

Truck pets have special lives as our lives revolve around them and their comfort to an almost embarrassing degree. One of us is within arm’s reach of them almost 24 hours a day and has been for almost every day of their lives.  They are our first concern when we get up in the morning and before we go to sleep each day. If you have a cat you will know why we make sure the cat's food dish is full, if not he will wake us up very early in the morning yowling as he can see the silver through the meager amount of food left in his dish.

When we pull into a truck stop the first area we look to park is near good grass.  Good grass consists of freshly mowed soft green grass.  Our routine is the same starting each day driving or parked.  Once the sun is starting to come up Texas is taken for her morning walk, sometimes it is a long walk and at other times we have to stay close to the truck.  We lift Texas out of and into the truck as she hurt the muscles in her back legs and she is susceptible to the same injury again. When getting into the truck she puts her front paws on the top step and we lift the other half in. One of the words she knows is “stop” so that we can clean her paws off. 

Once we have Texas in the truck she receives her “toothbrush” which is a Greenie shaped like a toothbrush.  While this is happening, Squeaky is getting in his position and starting to “squeak” as he knows he gets his Greenies next along with a small tidbit that is supposed to taste like tuna.  Texas then moves to the back of the truck to receive her medicine which is for joint swelling that she thinks is another treat. Once the treats are all dispensed they settle down for a mid-morning nap.

When we stop for a period of time Squeaky’s little bed is put on the dash so he can view his surroundings in comfort.  He is allowed to be on the dash as long as we are not moving.  Once the truck starts he knows he has to get down.  Sometimes he gets down willingly or at other times he loudly protests getting off of the dash as we tell him to GET DOWN.  When we are driving his bed is put on the bed or in the seat.  He is usually found in his bed sound asleep. 

Texas also has a bed that she uses when we are stopped as long as Squeaky has not decided to take it over.  Squeaky will lay in the middle of Texas’s bed and she will then lay on the floor until he decides to move.  Texas is very tolerant of Squeaky and she is a very easy going dog in the truck. She is not a barker which is great.  Texas gives very quiet woofs when she sees another dog or person walking by the truck that she does not know. Texas likes to meet new people and her excitement at meeting a new person or seeing someone she knows is over the top.  When she sees them, she runs up to them and spins around in circles, making her impossible to pet.  She is three and I am still thinking she will calm down and greet people with German Shepherd dignity. 

Throughout the day Squeaky enjoys having the top of his head rubbed as well as his jowls and he will move to make sure we rub the correct spot. Texas enjoys all attention but her favorite spot is from her shoulders up to her jaw along her neck.  If she is not braced properly she will fall down as she points her nose to the ceiling of the truck and relaxes.

When we designed this sleeper, we had a lower cabinet designed for Squeaky’s comfort.  The cabinet is divided into two areas, one is for the litter box and the front space is for his food. There is an outside door for ease of cleaning out the litter box that is very convenient.  We ordered two sets of cabinet doors as Bob cut a hole in one of the doors so Squeaky can enter his private area and eat in peace.

Both of our pets share a water bowl that does not slosh while going down the road.  I created a video about this bowl.

Have I mentioned that Texas is a German Shepherd?  Their nickname is a German Shedder and it is true.  She sheds a whole new dog every day and we are constantly blowing out the front of the truck and using the vacuum.  If dog hair drives you nuts do not consider a German Shepherd.  We have had at one time two Cocker Spaniels in the truck and those two combined did not create a fourth of the hair Texas does on a daily basis.  The air filters are cleaned and changed often, along with the counters, walls, floors, and the closed closets that hair somehow gets into. 

When the vacuum comes out Squeaky hides and Texas comes running.  I have a brush attachment for the vacuum for the carpet and she loves it.  She gets a good brushing with the vacuum before I can shoo her away so I can get the hair off of the floor. It is a constant battle removing hair from the truck that I lose every day.  She is worth all of the efforts I put into keeping the truck clean as we cannot imagine her not being with us.

Our sheets are washed weekly and making the bed with Squeaky takes time.  He is ready and waiting when he sees an unmade bed as there are monsters under the sheets.  Once a corner of the sheet has been placed on the bed he goes into attack mode pouncing this way and that way.  Of course, the “monster” moves around and feints this way and that way causing Squeaky to become an acrobat as he leaps into the air to pounce.  It can take a long time to make the bed as we play and laugh at the vicious cat we have.

They both have their quirks that cause us to laugh and enjoy every day they are with us.

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Linda Caffee

Bob and Linda started their driver careers after their children left home for college in 2000. Bob started as a driver for a large motor carrier with Linda as a rider. They decided to enter the Expedite industry as team drivers in 2005 and purchased their first Freightliner. Both, Bob and Linda have had their Class A licenses since the early 80's starting out driving in the oil field and hauling grain as fill in drivers where Bob worked as a diesel mechanic. Linda worked at the local country courthouse in data processing.

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June 25, 2018