A Pet’s Pride
I drive with Pride for a lot of reasons. Whenever a trucker says to me; “What are you doing here?” Well, I could chew his ear for hours about all the reasons I’m here, in the cab, on the road with Pride. I waited a long time to get here, it’s not something you can just jump into. You have to be ready, you have to have the knowledge and the skills, the patience and the right attitude. Also, you have to be the right age. I just turned three and that is the perfect age to climb into one of these high tech, super clean, Pride trucks and hit the open road. For me, it was worth the wait.
I’m Jake and … I’m a Beagle.
Yup, one of of the many benefits of driving with Pride is my driving partner, Abby, she gets to bring me along when she’s on the road which is great because, I used to miss her a lot when I was younger and not quite ready to be taking the long haul. But, now that I’m older, more mature, I get to go with her and let me tell you, it’s great. We laugh and sing, she likes show tunes, personally, I like classic rock. We share snacks and water and have our meals together. About the only thing we don’t share is the driving, she handles that. I stay in my seat, on my side, I don’t get in the way of her work, I’m just there for support, navigation and I handle all the smelling that needs to be done. That’s important stuff.
The decision to take me on the road was one that Abby did not take lightly. She was well prepared when I hit three and she asked me to come along. She was smart about it and that makes all the difference in the world. For any of you dogs out there coming up on three years old and wanting some adventure, I can’t say enough good things about being in a truck and there is no way I’d drive with anyone else but Pride. But, if you’re getting ready to go on the road, here are some things your owner needs to do. Pass this list along to them and I guarantee that you will have a much happier driving experience.
First off, you’re going to want to have seats covers. We shed and have nails and sometimes, when you start out, you get a little nervous and move around a bit. Seat covers are going to protect the upholstery of the truck and make the seat more comfortable for you.
A spill proof water bowl. I get thirsty and a small water bowl that is spill proof keeps me and Abby happy.
A large water jug. Me and Abby share this. Being hydrated is very important when you’re driving long distances.
Extra cab filters. I got hair, Abby’s got hair and we both have a variety of smells that need to be filtered out. So, extra filters keeps the cab looking and smelling good.
Small, 12 volt, vacuum cleaner. Spills happen. When we’re rolling down the road, singing at top of our lungs, I may decide it’s time for some choreography and that’s when the snacks go flying. A little vacuum keeps the cab ship shape.
A ramp. There are many kinds out there and a guy like me, with my shorter frame, needs some help getting in and out of the cab. It’s pretty high. A ramp, one that folds up, helps me and it helps her not to have to carry me in and out all the time.
Retractable leash. Now, I would prefer to run free but, that’s just not polite so, get a retractable leash to keep me close when we stop. If my curiosity gets the best of me or I smell something interesting, I could really put a crimp in your schedule. Keep me safe, keep me on a leash.
A bed. I need a place to snooze. A small bed, one that doesn’t take up too much room in the cab, but somewhere I can call my own.
A collapsible dog crate. Sometimes, Abby goes into places that don’t welcome me. I know, I know, crazy but, it happens. At those times, she puts me in my crate and that way I feel safe and I don’t get into trouble. Not like that time in Chattahoochee … man, that was embarrassing.
Good, strong poop bags. When you gotta go … you don’t want to trust those supermarket checkout plastic bags. No, better to be safe with strong bags made for the purpose. You know what I mean.
Toys and puzzles. Sometimes I need to challenge myself, keep the old’ noodle in shape. Toys that make me think, work for a snack, treat-release toys they call ‘em, those are good have around. Also, chewy things. If you’re like me, sometimes, you just gotta chew.
Windex. Yup, I tend to push my nose, my tongue, my butt, my paws, against the windows when I see something interesting or someone needs a good bark to let them know they’re driving stupid. Windex is going to keep our windows clean and clear for safer driving.
A few More Tips
Once you’ve got all the gear and you’re ready for me to hop in, there are few things you may want to keep in mind to keep both of us happy and safe.
-Make sure I’ve got tags. Just in case, you never know what might happen and tags will get me back to Abby fast.
-Train me to stay on my side of the cab. You don’t want me on your lap or in your face when driving. I know this, but, it took a few days til I got it right.
-Carry a spare set of keys. My friend Nigel, he’s nervous little Chihuahua, and he learned how to lock the door whenever his driver got out of the cab. That lead to a lot of problems that a spare set of keys would have solved.
-Don’t let me out at the pumps. Too much confusion, too many things to smell, I could get lost or injured. Keep me in the cab when you’re gassing up.
-Clean up after me at truck stops. I’d do it myself but, I’ve got no thumbs.
-Think about using a harness to keep me in the seat in case of quick stops.
You know 62% of all families include one or two pets. I don’t understand cat owners but, to each his own. 60% of all truckers have pets and 40% of them like to take us on the road. It’s good for both of us. And if you’re safe, if you wait til I’m mature enough, no puppies, dear goodness no puppies, if you make sure I have everything I need then, I’ll take care of you and you can take care of me. It makes driving much more fun.
If you don’t have a dog, and, seriously, saying that out loud makes it sounds crazy, but you want the experience, try contacting Operation Roger. They are a truckers pet transport service cause, sometimes pets need rides and, well, we can’t arrange them ourselves because, you know, thumbs.
I have to get moving, me and Abby have a nice long ride ahead of us. Take your pet on the road, it’s company, it’s love and, if you drive with Pride, it’s easy.