RAYVILLE, La. — A rest area near the Missouri/Arkansas state line is where The Trucker first encountered John and Georgie Peavy of Rayville, Louisiana. The couple parked their truck and opened the doors. Most would expect that a driver — maybe also a passenger or another driver — would emerge from the truck, but that wasn’t the case. A little furry head popped out from around the seat and a fluffy brown Pomeranian bounced down the steps of the cab.
“Aww, that’s cute! They have a puppy!” was the initial reaction from this writer; but then something else happened. Another Pomeranian crawled down the steps. Then another did the same. Then another. Four Pomeranians just bebopped out of the truck and out into the grass. Shortly after, John and Georgie climbed out of the cab and followed the pups.
“We don’t have dogs; they’ve got people,” John said in an interview after the couple and their dogs were at home on their ranch in Rayville. While on a break from the road, John was excited to talk about not only the Pomeranians that currently travel with him and his wife but also the many others the couple have had in years past.
“You mean you want to talk about our mutts?” John said with a laugh. “They’re not really mutts — but they kind of are.”
The four dogs that had jumped from the truck were Pretty Girl, a 13-year-old brown Pom; Zane, a white Pom about 2 years old; 8-year-old Rowan; and 4-year-old Tucker. The first and oldest, Pretty Girl, is from a litter of previous Pomeranians the couple owned. Georgie said she helped the mom to give birth and care for the pups in their first few days.
John said those litters of puppies were “accidents.” The couple couldn’t logically keep all of them, so they sold them. However, Pretty Girl, who was a gift for the buyers’ grandmother, wasn’t a good fit for the family. The buyers called Georgie to let her know that the pup was headed to a shelter. John was not OK with that.
“I told Georgie, ‘No, you buy that baby back and tell them to bring her home,’” John said. “We’ve had her ever since. I looked at her and said, ‘She’s a pretty girl,’ so that’s what we named her.”
Having Pomeranian pets in the truck started years ago for the couple, when the two were still driving separately.
“We drove single for many years,” John said. “She had her truck, and I had mine.”
In the beginning, the couple had a combined total of six Pomeranians. John said he had two boys in his truck, and Georgie had the four girls.
While John loved dogs, he had never had a pet in his truck until Georgie talked him into trying it, he said. When he got his first Pom, Jericho, the puppy was so small that John could tuck him into his pocket and take him into the truck stop. Jericho lived to be about 14 years old.
“About 15 years ago was when [Georgie] talked me into getting my first one,” John said. “I love having them. Maybe some are (a hassle), but ours are no trouble.”
After Jericho died, the pair decided to drive as a team with their five remaining Pomeranians. The couple have been on the road, hauling general freight across the country in the same truck for about three and a half years.
“When we drove single, we went separate ways and worked — and then one day we looked at each other and said, ‘What are we doing?’ Even when we’re home, we’re never together. I’m out in the pasture and she’s out running errands or something and we’re just letting our time waste. So, we teamed up.”
Although Pretty Girl came from a litter of the couple’s earlier Pomeranians, each of the other three pups they now travel with has a unique story of coming into the Peavys’ care. Tucker was given to John and Georgie by a single woman who was taking a new job and couldn’t spend enough time with him. Zane is a true rescue pup that came to the couple from a puppy mill that was shut down in Missouri. Rowan was adopted from a shelter, and even though he had health complications, the couple wanted him to have a home.
John said that over the years of owning Pomeranians they have seen their share of heartbreak as the dogs have died. The couple have a cemetery at their home that is in the shape of a dog bone, and each grave has its own engraved granite headstone.
“They go to the vet on time, and we give them everything they need,” John said. “They’re just like people — when their time runs out, you can give them all of the medicine and care, but there is just nothing you can do.”
As Pretty Girl gets older, the couple is trying to strike a balance between keeping her happy and healthy but not allowing her to suffer. Unfortunately, John said she is experiencing kidney failure. They are working with the vet for the best treatment plan, but the couple knows the inevitable is around the corner.
“We give them everything they want and need, but nature just doesn’t let them live that long,” John said.
For now, though, all four of the pups are just enjoying life on the road with John and Georgie. The couple have made plenty of accommodations for their pups in the truck, including a three-step staircase so the small dogs don’t have to jump up and down off the bed in the sleeper.
The dogs also enjoy “fighting” over which one gets to be under the driver’s seat while Georgie is driving, since they can’t be in her lap. John said there’s only room for one under the seat, and the others are forced onto the bed; but as soon as the they switch drivers, the pups are all over “their mom.” The smallest of the pups, Zane, can sit on an armrest and look out the window while they go down the road since he weighs only about 4 pounds.
“They love being in the truck,” John said. “They own it. They’re more loyal to us than our kids are — and we’ve never had one of them walk up to us and hold out their hand saying, ‘Hey Daddy, we need a car.’ These dogs have never asked for a car yet.”
After a decision is made about Pretty Girl, John said, the jury is still out on whether the couple will add a another Pomeranian to their group.
“I told Georgie the other day that we probably don’t want any more, but we won’t stick to that,” John said. “I don’t know, it is kind of like when you lose one your heart says ‘no more,’ but we will until we die because we love them, and we’ll rescue another one or two. I say no — but I know better.”
Since this article was written, Georgie has already picked up two more Pomeranian pups.
Wendy Miller holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in strategic communications. Wendy has been a journalist and editor for nearly 15 years and has specialized in niche publications for the past eight years. Wendy draws her love for the trucking industry from growing up as a trucker’s daughter.