Over the years we have had MANY animals some that we enjoyed and some...  well lets say they were not that much fun. 
We have had dogs, cats, pigs, goats including pigmy goats, cattle,  fish, horses, ferrets, hamsters, guinea pigs.  chinchilla, hedge hog, and one of my favorites a rat named Templeton.   My least favorite was the chinchilla.  Luckily in the truck we have only had dogs and now a cat.
When we first got into trucking we had our Cocker Spaniel, Molly who had all ready traveled many miles with us in our personal vehicle to gun shoots, and also to the girls sporting events, and on many vacations.  She though did not like the truck and was very frightened at first.  Molly sat in my lap or stayed glued to my side for the first week, it was bad enough that she caused bruises on the top of my knees from how she was sitting.  She finally grew to love the truck so much we had to put a leash on her to get her inside the house when we would go home. 
Molly lived to be seventeen and she had a wonderful life.  I think her best years where in the truck as she was with us constantly.   She was the center of our world and when we parked we thought of her and good grass, when we got up in the morning first thing was to take Molly for a walk.  Molly was a comfort when we were stressed and she was happy when we were happy.  When she passed it was a very sad day and several years have passed of not having a pet in our truck.  We missed the gently presence of an animal to pet and keep us entertained.
Fast forward three years and we have a kitten...  What in the world were we thinking?   We have always had barn cats around our house and then come and they go with our daughter keeping us updated on the cat count.  This time though a little brave black kitten who was not going to survive winter as he was to small wormed his way into our hearts at the last second.  His last second and our last second before leaving the house for a few months.
Never having a cat to take care of full time we were in for some surprises.  First having an animal is not cheap and it would astound you what a less then 2 pound can cost us to get him set up to travel.  He also was sick and we had a few extra vet bills to get him healthy and eating correctly and then he was ready to be neutered. 
Squeaky is now six months old and a very healthy active kitten.  Did I mention KITTEN wow do they have energy, they are fast, and they love to play hard and then they go to sleep.   His antics are hilarious and anything that moves, has a tag, or is shaped funny is fair game.  We have had to kitten proof the truck. 
He has balls with bells, he has stuffed mice, he has mice with feathers, and his favorite a mouse that hangs, lights up, and makes obnoxious noise when batted about.   He plays with them all over and over again through out the day and in the early morning.  
Squeaky has learned to walk along our bodies at night to get from one side of the truck to the other.  His favorite is to launch himself off of one of us onto the others chest and making us gasp and then he is off again.  He likes to get up with me and if he thinks I am sleeping in I get wakened with a soft paw tapping my nose.  
He is slowly learning that claws are not to be used on us when playing and the worst is he likes to bite like a puppy does.  We have two squirt guns we use in the truck if he tries to claw anything that is inappropriate and he hates them.  Some days are better then others and when the truck is moving he is calmer.
Squeaky loves to sleep in your lap or curled up next to you or on his personal hammock.  He has figured out that he can sleep between Bob and I on top of the blanket and be wonderfully comfortable. 
Squeaky wears a collar with a bell so we know where he is when awake, being as black as he is he can be hard to find even in the daytime.  When a cupboard is opening he is inside immediately looking around and being nosey.  I know have a better understanding of "Curiosity of a cat".
There is a difference in having a dog or cat in the truck.  The cat does not go outside for walks and he is ok with being left for hours in the truck when we have somewhere to go.  The cat is not a guard cat and if someone opens up the door that is a stranger he will go hide.  There are no nose prints on the windows because when Squeaky looks out he does not touch the glass with his nose.  A dog comes when called and is always ready to be petted and admired.  Usually when coming back to the truck Molly would be sitting and watching for us the cat us usually asleep in one of the seats.
Having a fur ball in the truck is a lot more work as they shed, have food dishes on the floor, and with a dog they track in stuff.   The joy, entertainment and companionship they bring to us is endless.   I find myself talking to our animals as if they can answer often.  When Molly would sit in the passenger seat I would point out things I saw beside the road, ask about her day, or let her know what we were doing.  She was a great companion and it still brings tears to my eyes when I write about her.  Now Squeaky on the other hand does not sit and wait patiently for anything.  When his water dish is empty he tells me, when it is time to get up and give him his wet food he lets me know.   He often gives me a look of "really why are you talking about that?"  
When Squeaky cuddles up next to us or on our lap, flops over on his back, and goes sound asleep without a care in the world, I wonder who saved who?
For us the extra work of having a pet with us is worth the extra work and worries they create.   Any animal in the truck needs to be kept up to date on their shots, have a good wormer, as well as flea and tick medicine.  With a dog carry Baggies or bigger bags to clean up after you pet when they go outside.  Responsible pet ownership is a full time job.

Comment (1)

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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In my line of work having an animal would not work but I'm glad it's working well for you and Bob. On board entertainment! It must take a fair amount of adjustment when taking a pet with you full time.

February 03, 2016 8:12:24 AM