Adopted Dog Helps Female Truck Driver Fall in Love with the Open Road
Being a truck driver is a grand adventure with Sparky the copilot.
Florencia + Sparky
As a truck driver, it’s easy to feel lonely on the open road. But a dog named Sparky helped show Florencia the joy in the journey again.
"When we’re on the open road, and I see that we’re about to pass a beautiful park, I stop to let Sparky run wild in the open fields. To see how he runs, jumps and rolls in the grass fills me with so much joy."
Working as a truck driver, I have always loved the open road. Looking out my eighteen-wheeler window, the beautiful world always seemed full of possibilities.
I’ve never really had anyone else to care about except myself, since my life has always been nonstop with zero slowing down; just a ribbon of highway as far as the eye could see. That is, until the day that I heard about Sparky. When I first met Sparky, he was sad and scared. Sparky wouldn’t let anyone touch him. He would hide in his corner, afraid of anyone and everything. He was a lot of work, but I was willing to put in the time for him.
After weeks of visiting him, Sparky finally trusted me enough to let me pet him. When I got home that day after petting Sparky, my housemates asked me what happened because for the first time in months I had my old “happy face” back.
Without realizing it, I had become depressed over every facet of my life. Neither the road nor my house felt like “home.” I didn’t feel like myself. It was not until the day that Sparky trusted me enough to let me pet him that I felt a spark of happiness that I had not felt in a very long time.
Adopting Sparky has significantly changed my life for the better. Sparky and I have a routine to take care of each other. In the morning, I take him for his walk, where watching him trust me and engage with me has built more confidence in both of us. I realized that while working long hours as a truck driver, I never truly took care of myself. I didn’t feel like I was important enough. However, with Sparky, I know that he relies on me to be my best self so that we can continue moving forward to the best life possible.
On the road, Sparky is the ultimate co-pilot. He sleeps in my passenger seat during the day, and stays awake at night to protect us in our truck. When we’re on the open road and I see that we’re about to pass a beautiful park, I stop to let Sparky run wild in the open fields. To see how he runs, jumps and rolls in the grass fills me with so much joy knowing that I have a companion with which to share my truck-driving adventures.
Working with Sparky gave me the courage and confidence to really look in the mirror and recognize that I needed to slow down and work on myself. Because of the love and trust that I receive from Sparky, I look forward to the road again. I can look at Sparky’s loving face and know that I’m okay because I have him beside me. I finally found joy on the open road again.
Each year, the Petco Foundation invites adopters to share the story of how their adopted pet changed their lives during the annual Holiday Wishes campaign, giving the organization that they adopted from a chance to receive a grant award. This story by Florencia won San Antonio Pets Alive! in San Antonio, Texas a 2019 Holiday Wishes award.