The following is a firsthand story from trucker wife Karen Colwell, whose dog King Yu-No saved her husband’s life. Colwell submitted her story as part of our December cover story on trucker pets.
Being an over-the-road truck driver is not an easy career, especially when you have to stay away from friends and families for weeks at a time. When a trucker drives all the time it eventually gets lonely. That’s why some of the truckers take their four-legged companions on the road.
My husband has been a trucker for about 10 years and every time he goes on the road he tells me how lonely it is. I understand since I’m home alone and know where he is coming from. About a year ago my husband bought me a Pekingese, who we named King Yu-No. We knew right off the bat he was no ordinary Pekingese. He loved fishing, playing outdoors and especially going over the road with my husband. A couple of months ago I was on vacation, and of course we couldn’t leave my Pekingese home alone all week. We decided it was time for him to go on the road with my husband. Ever since that week, whenever my husband starts up his truck, Yu-No will run to the door with his carry on bag in his mouth, waiting for my husband to say, “OK, Yu-No, let’s go.”
Last August, my husband and his new companion were driving through a heavy thunderstorm. My husband decided to get off at the next stop because it was raining too hard for him to see. After pulling over and being exhausted from trying to see the roads in the thunderstorm, he thought it would be best to take some time and rest.
About an hour or so into his sleep, Yu-No started jumping on his face and barking and licking and pretty much going crazy. After about ten minutes of Yu-No trying to get his attention my husband finally woke up and said, “What’s wrong, Yu-No”?
That’s when my husband smelled the smoke and couldn’t determine where it was coming from. He got off his bunk and into the driver’s seat of his truck. Yu-No was sitting and staring out his door window, trying to tell him to go outside. Sure enough when they both exited the truck, they saw it was on fire. My husband grabbed his fire extinguisher and put out the fire.
We believe that if Yu-No wasn’t with him that night; he wouldn’t be alive today. From that day forward, our Pekingese is known as my husband’s guardian angel.