A husband-wife truck driving team just expanded their on-the-road family, bringing their three dogs Gizmo, Bandit, and Nova in the rig and on the road with them, as reported by The Trucker.
Larry and Angie Baum, from Illinois, have racked up an astonishing 3 million miles. To fit how much they love life on the road, they’ve not only brought along their furry family members but also have customized their truck to fit the life they love.
“Used to be, we’d be out for two or three months, go home for a week; out two or three months, go home for a week,” Larry said. “But now, we have the Volvo 180 super sleeper that has all the amenities — toilet, shower, stove, sink, a big refrigerator. So, we are selling our house and living on the road.”
With their commitment to living life in their rig, they have traveled across the United States and experienced moments they otherwise would not have been able to. That’s what Angie enjoys the most.
“I’ve done so many firsts with him since we’ve been driving,” she said. “To see all the landscapes and wake up every day to a new city is so cool. We just love it!”
Before the couple was able to achieve their dream life, they faced some uncertainties.
“I was on unemployment,” Larry said. “Went to one of those classes that they had on unemployment and they’re like, ‘What do you like to do?’ I said, ‘I like to do masonry, plumbing, carpentry, construction and I like to drive.’ They go, ‘You like to drive? Here, call this number.’”
So, he did just that. He was given an address to a Rite Aid distribution center who ran their cargo through Swift Transportation. Larry was new to the trucking industry and it was obvious, when asked how long he had his license he replied, “Since I was 16, like everybody else.”
“They go, ‘I mean, how long have you had your trucker’s license?’ I’m like, ‘You need a special license to be a trucker?’” he continued. “The guy just shook his head and said, ‘Here, call this number — and if you get your CDL, give me a call.’”
After this, Larry earned his CDL and began his career as a truck driver. Eventually, he and Angie found one another.
“I met Larry about eight and a half years ago,” she said. “I’d always told my friends, ‘There’s no way I’m ever going to date a trucker,’ given their lifestyle. And, of course, the one guy I fall for is a trucker. About a year later we were married.”
Angie never enjoyed the lifestyle of Larry being away for chunks of time and her being at home without him.
“We were sick of being apart because he would be gone for weeks at a time, and I’m like, ‘This is no fun!’” she said. “One day his boss was like, ‘You guys, your kids are all grown. Why doesn’t Angie get her CDL?’ Larry was my driving trainer and that’s how I got my license.”
Even though life on the road together was good, Angie knew it could be even better. Three and a half years ago, they adopted Gizmo, a Shih-Tzu Pomeranian.
“I just missed having a pet, because I always had a pet at home. I’m like, ‘Let’s get a puppy,’” she said. “Then we both fell in love with Gizmo. Gizmo’s the one we always say is our comedian. He’s so funny, and he just blended in so well with the truck.”
The couple enjoyed life with Gizmo so much that they adopted another from the same mother. They named him Bandit. And despite Gizmo being Angie’s idea from Day 1 the couple has agreed that Gizmo is Larry’s dog and Bandit is Angie’s.
After adjusting to life on the road with two pups, the couple decided to take their biggest step yet: adopting a Siberian Husky and fulfilling a lifelong dream for Larry. This decision coincided perfectly with them upgrading to a larger truck.
“When we knew we were getting this truck, just out of the blue I told Angie, ‘You know what? Since we’re getting a bigger truck, maybe I could get my dog,’” he said. “She started researching, and she started showing me pictures of Huskies. When Nova came across the screen, I’m like, ‘Oh my God! She’s perfect. I want her!’”
They immediately knew Nova was their dog. The couple says that their three dogs reduce the stress that can come with living on the road.
“It’s a stressful job being out on the road,” Larry said. “There’s a lot of stress out there. When I shut down and I climb into bed, the boys climb in with me, and we snuggle. They just totally calm me down.”