The truth about cats and dogs

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My brother-in-law announced at dinner the other day that he’d take a 5 % pay cut if he could bring his dog to work.
Apparently, so would a third of people who got surveyed recently in a poll for the online dog forum Dogster and the job search engine Simply Hired, (where dog lovers can actually do a search for dog-friendly companies!)
The survey also found that 70 % of the 150 people questioned also considered a dog-friendly office ‘an important job benefit.’
Now my brother-in-law, who works for the Ministry of Finance (ONT), could probably swing bringing his dog to the office (if he could get her past the office allergy police and those people who are sensitive to smells).
It’s not like the dog would ever be overworked. She’d have lunch paid for every day. And, she might come up with a better budget every spring!
I think that in terms of working with your pet, though, this could be an area where some truckers might have the advantage over other professions. Finally!
I remember when I first started working for Truck News, my esteemed former editor, John G. Smith, went with me on a photo shoot. We were doing a story on truckers and their pets, and it was the first time I had ever had absolutely no problem getting people to respond to requests for interviews.
For weeks, we got letters from truckers and pictures of their dogs, cats, and occasionally, some other type of pet.
On the photo shoot, we saw some of the best animal accommodations ever in the truck cabs.
I always wondered, though, how does it work for, you know, pit stops, when a pet is along for the ride?
Many drivers told me that the pets got used to the schedule of when they would stop for breaks, and their pets kept them well-exercised when away from the wheel, which definitely kept them healthier. Of all the truckers we interviewed, we found mostly dog and cat lovers. Not too many reptiles and rodents in the cab, that we saw anyway. It always seems to come down to whether you’re a cat or a dog person, I find.
I’d be interested to know what the situation is nowadays (some six years later) with regard to how many truckers are travelling with pets (especially in a climate of ultra-tight security. I mean, can the pet get a FAST card? Does FDA have to come on board?)
I admit, I like all animals but there’s a lot about dog behaviour I don’t understand.
I appreciate that in terms of evolution, dogs allowed man to get further ahead with regard to hunting, for example.
And all working dogs, like police sniffers, seeing eye dogs and sheep dogs, deserve a lot of praise of course.
But the everyday domesticated pooch has some weird habits in the eyes of “cat people” like me.
My brother-in-law and sister-in-law have a half-pug, half-Jack Russell called Milla (after Milla Jovovich, the model. Go figure). We see it once a week when we all get together for dinner.
I pretend to be glad to see Milla although she always jumps on me and licks my face while my sister- in-law uselessly yells “Milla! No licking!” in the background.
I put up with this treatment because as it turns out, my three and a half-year-old is a dog lover.
She likes to boss Milla around and toss the dog’s slimy rubber toy bone around, back and forth, ALL NIGHT LONG (until I hide it in the closet).
I constantly hear her saying “Paw, paw, paw” for the dog to shake her hand. And she was very disappointed at Christmas when we got a new kitten instead of a puppy.
For several days each morning she proposed we send the cat back to Santa in exchange for a dog. She is still negotiating to this day.
But there’s no way that I am walking around the neighbourhood with a plastic sandwich bag, ready to scoop up you-know-what. And given the “debris” that I frequently find littering the local playground, many dog owners are not prepared to do so either.
Now apparently, dogs can’t eat chocolate, even the smallest chocolate chip, or they will d-i-e, but how is it that they can consume shoe leather, aluminum blinds, molding, the silica filling of a stuffed animal, dryer lint and the plastic casing of an I-pod and remain perfectly HEALTHY?
My sister-in-law, refusing to crate the dog while she was at work as the vet had advised, would come home daily to something else destroyed. The only time she punished the dog was for the I-pod though!
(I would have punished it after the pair of shoes, but anyway…)
At least cats go for the good stuff.
I had a bunch of grocery bags in the kitchen and had to leave them unpacked for a few minutes while I ran into the other room.
I came back to see that our male kitten, Giacomo, had clawed through butcher paper and was gnawing his way through several inches of steak. (My husband got what remained of it for dinner).
The cat had also, (though I didn’t find out until later), sunk his claws into a couple of bags of milk, not enough to gash them, just enough so that they leaked out slowwwwwly into all the fridge compartments by the next day.
I blame some of this not completely on his being a cat, but on his still not being “fixed.”
My husband says daily “No one is taking away his balls!” but let’s just see how we get through the spring.
There’s already been a big vet bill for a cat fight that Giacomo got into when he slipped outside unattended.
Simba, an older cat that roams the “territory” near our yard, fanged him right through his front paw.
My husband grumbled that he had never spent so much in his life on all his previous cats combined, but the very next day, he picked up the purring, bandaged cat and said affectionately (for him), “How are ya, gimp? It’s time to get your revenge.”
Stay tuned!

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Julia Kuzeljevich is managing editor of Motortruck magazine, as well as sister publication Canadian Transportation & Logistics and With nearly seven years’ experience writing for the Canadian transportation industry, Julia specializes in human interest, in-depth news and business articles of interest to the trucking and logistics sectors. Julia has a degree in languages with a postgraduate specialization in journalism, and work experience in the air transportation industry.

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  • My wife and I had our dog with us all through the U.S. Papers are important . Anyway the dog made a impression on everyone even the D.O.T getting me out of a fine able problem. I was even offered several hundreds of dollars for him as he loves people and does various tricks. He loves to howl and pull on the air horn so you have to watch him at truck stops not cute when you are trying to sleep.Several tourist at stops would have fun with him and of course pictures were taken. He also is a fairly good hunting dog loves hunting birds. Cute, well he is lovable, but as a watch dog he saved our ass once at a uncontrolled truck stop with a crazy american that was one of those mass murders you hear about.The dog took a dislike to him and he got a bite on his hand . Found out later he had kill three people up the road

  • My cat Buddy has been to 48 states and most of Canada. We used to cross the border all the time, never a problem. When customs asked for his “papers” I showed them his rabies certificate and shot record I got from the vet. That seemed to satisfy ’em.

  • I have three dogs in my truck. My Lhasa Apso (15 lbs) will be 15 years old on December 10th and has been in the truck since she was 9 weeks old. I also have 2 tiny Yorkshire Terriers. My little girl is 3.75 lbs at 4 years old and has been in the truck since she was 10 weeks old; and my little boy, a rescue, is almost 3 lbs at 5 years old and has been in the truck for 21 months. Since I have hauled produce and meat for many years, the Lhasa Apso has trained herself to listen for the reefer. She knows how it is supposed to sound and she alerts me when it starts to run rough or it stops. I can’t count the loads she has saved!! Also, these little fur kids alert me when anyone is getting too close to the truck, which has prevented several robbery attempts.
    I have never had a problem with employers until now. Yes, I paid my pet deposit, to have them with me and I have always got it back. I came to my current company 13 months ago with the three little fur kids and I paid a $500 deposit for them. On September 24th the owner of the company advised me that as of November 1st, I will have to re-home 2 of my fur kids because their new insurance company is saying that they will only allow one pet in the truck. I find this hard to believe. I have talked to several drivers from other companies and they have never heard of this policy. Needless to say I am devastated by this new policy, I feel just like I was being asked to re-home 2 of my children.
    I am wondering if there is anyway that I can protest this.
    Thank you for this opportunity to talk about the problem.