Like a monarch, Red Haring reigned in the deep leather seat of his KenWorth cab–with its king-size sleeper. The 400 horsepower Caterpillar diesel engine droned apathetically as Red downshifted for the parking lot to his favorite Boise, Idaho roadside diner. He’d picked up a large 26,000 pound household move in Olympia, Washington, which he’d delivered to Baker City, Oregon. dji drones for sale
Red’s company had a contract with BIG Van Lines to move households. Red Haring Trucking, Inc., he used his tractor to pull their trailers. He wore their crisp blue uniform jacket, blue pinstriped shirt, a BIG tie–scenic pictures and moving vans–when moving people’s family cargo.
Red’s traveling companion was a dog named Mercy. She had befriended him at a roadside rest area, four years previously. Apparently abandoned, Mercy seemed to be waiting for him. When Red hopped out of his cab to use the restroom, the dog had come over, sat down in front of him, looked him straight in the eyes, and barked twice. At 3:00 AM, there were no other vehicles in the rest area. That, too, was strange on an Interstate, no other trucks with drivers sleeping or cars that she could have jumped out of. Red had patted her on the head, more interested in why he had stopped than in a dog.
As he continued, the dog walked two steps behind him until they were about thirty feet from the concrete building with its doors to Men’s and Ladies’ rooms blocked open. Mercy raced ahead, went into the Men’s room, came back out, sat down by the door and waited for Red.
Again, as he approached, she looked him in the eyes and barked twice as if to say it was safe. She continued sitting there until he came out, barked once, rose to her feet and followed Red back to his van.
Taking advantage of the stop to check the padlock, the mud flaps and the tires, Red was ready to mount the cab when the dog began barking franticly.
“I’m not taking you with me, dog!” Red told her.
The yellow, longhaired who-knows-what-dog seemed to understand what he said. She stopped barking, ran over between the tractor and trailer, sat down and resumed barking.
“What is it, a squirrel or something I need to see?”
“Okay, I’ll take a look.”
Red walked back to discover a large nut had fallen off his coupler to the trailer when he’d come to a stop. The dog had noticed it. Red knew that a potential disaster had been averted. Had his trailer come lose, on the Interstate, he couldn’t have done anything. This dog had saved him, and who knows how many other motorists. Red selected a wrench from behind a seat, replaced the nut and prepared to leave the rest stop.
“Thanks, dog!” I’ve really got to go, now.”
The dog whined. Red bent down. She was using those big brown eyes of hers to her best advantage.
“You got a collar on? Dog tag? Maybe, we can find out who you belong to!”
There was no tag, only an inch-wide turquoise nylon collar on which someone had taken time to hand embroidery a word in red, MERCY.
“Mercy! Is that your name?”
“You look like you might be hungry, Mercy! You hungry?”
Two more barks.
“Let me see if I’ve some hamburgers in the cab. Are World Burgers all right with you?”
Mercy sat up before he even opened the door. Red located a bag with three World-Burgers.
“They’re kind of cold, Mercy. You don’t mind, do you?”
Mercy dropped down and whined, again.
“What? You want me to put them into the microwave for thirty seconds before you get one?”
“Okay Mercy. One hot World-Burger coming right up. But, I get two of them. Understand?”
Immediately, Mercy’s right paw shot forward. “Woof! Woof!” She agreed.
Red never planned getting a dog. A few long-haulers keep animals for company because it’s illegal to transport human passengers. Section 392.60 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations clearly reads: Unauthorized persons not to be transported. Dogs, cats, even parrots or boa constrictors are not forbidden. For Red Haring, the childhood memory of a car running over his dog had never been healed. He’d sworn never to become attached to another animal.