If you've ever trained a puppy, you know it's hard work.
Now, imagine training a puppy on the road.
That's what K&J driver, Scott Margeson, did when he got his canine companion, Mika, three years ago.
Training On the Road
Margeson, who has been with K&J for seven years, is out on the road anywhere from one to five weeks at a time. While training Mika, he says he purchased training pee pads, laid them out all over the truck bed, and made sure to stop every two hours to let her out.
Mika is a Shiba Inu, a small dog bred in Japan to live in small spaces, like apartments—or in this case, a truck.
Margeson had driven with dogs before, but Mika has been the best fit so far. Her size and comfort with small spaces works well in the truck, and she doesn't bark much, something Margeson says is important for a truck dog.
"I wouldn’t get one that barks," he said. "I've seen dogs where anyone that walks by the truck, they’ll bark. Mine will just bark if someone knocks on the door."
Driving With a Dog
Margeson likes having Mika along in the truck because it forces him to stop and get out of the cab more often.
"It just makes it more enjoyable," he said.
Mika typically hangs out in the back of the truck, but when it's sunny, she likes to sleep on the passenger seat and bask in the warm sunshine.
One of the funniest memories Margeson has of driving with Mika is the time she dropped one of her toys out the truck window.
"It was just gone," he said, laughing. "We were on the interstate."
Lots of other drivers have pets along while they drive, says Margeson. Often, when he stops, Mika gets to meet other drivers' pets.
"She'll play around in the field behind the truck stops with the other drivers' dogs," he said.
When Margeson and Mika aren't on the road, they enjoy visiting K&J's office.
"She likes to wander around the office collecting treats," he said. "Some people keep them in their desk for drivers' dogs. They're her favorite people."
Animals like routine, so you might wonder how a dog does with a lifestyle that varies from living at home to living on the road.
"She's excited to get home, but when she sees me packing up my bag, she runs to the door too," he said.
At the end of the day, whether they're on or off the road, Mika and Margeson are happiest when they're together.