I’m a dog person. Have been and always will be. My first dog was a beagle named Patches. I was only four when my parents brought him home.
His former owner was a crusty old hunter living north of Bancroft who was going to send the poor old boy to the great kennel in the sky. Apparently he was gun shy and had outlived his usefulness to this Elmer Fudd wannabe.
Patches is long gone. So is Bridie (an out-of-control Irish Setter), Angus (a Pit Bull in a Terrier’s body) and Jessie (a Golden Retriever who was probably the most laid back dog in K9 history).
Flash-forward to 2004 and I find myself living with Maddie, another Golden who we affectionately nick named “Cu-Joe.” This one is a chewer. I know, all pups go through this stage but “Cuj” is different.
For some reason none of the 16 chew toys I’ve bought satisfy her needs. Instead, she prefers couches, tables, fireplaces (made of brick no less), cedar trees, flowers and her specialty, hands. Hands to her are like chicken wings to me on a Tuesday night. My house and body are her buffet.
This dog doesn’t know I need sleep in order to survive. She’s awake each morning shortly before 4 a.m. The first thing she needs to do is to go outside.
No problem, being the responsible dog owner that I am, I’m in my housecoat night after night protecting her from the skunks and raccoons that frequent our neighbourhood. It’s a ritual I hope will end soon. I guess it could be worse; it could be February.
I’ve had the opportunity of meeting a number of you that drive with your dog (or cat) and I can’t think of a better companion.
Pets like Maddie may be a pain in the butt at times but they offer unconditional love and we all know how difficult that can be to find.
If you’re considering making a pet your passenger, I suggest you check out the Humane Society. They’ve always got dogs and cats looking for good homes. There is a fee to pay, and you will be given a short qualifying test but please, if you’re seriously thinking of making the commitment, do yourself and the pet a favour, before you make the visit determine what breed would best suit your lifestyle.
I’m thinking larger breeds are out of the question but there are plenty of smaller breeds that may enjoy a trucker’s life.
– Rob Wilkins is the publisher of Truck News and he can be reached at 416-442-2097.