Trucker’s pet Rottweiler saves his life in the face of heated issues like Atlanta’s unsafe parking conditions and Anti-Idling Laws.

“He saved my life. There was blood everywhere. It took three days to clean up.” 

Joplin, is a dashingly handsome Rottweiler that makes an appearance every year at the Joplin truck show, GBATS, where he was adopted four years ago by driver Gary Harmon. But he is not the hero of this story.

Instead, he is the mirror-tribute of Gary’s last pet, guardian, and friend, Kiev who once battled a thief to save Gary’s life from an intruder. 

Like many drivers, Gary has had to show courage on more than one occasion, to brave the unsafe parking conditions in many of America’s major cities.

CDLLife found that forty percent of crimes against truckers are violent. And this wasn’t the only time that Gary has had to make choices to save his life, often relying on the show of his gun to deter thieves and those that have threatened him.

But one fateful night in Atlanta, Gary was not armed. He was sitting up in his cab with his laptop, when a man fueled with a drug-rage targeted him. The man came through his window. It stood ajar against the Southern heat and in compliance with anti-idling laws that prevent drivers from running their air conditioning… no matter the temperature or compromised safety.

“In Atlanta, the law states: ‘No person shall stop or stand any truck or bus on any street or public place and idle for more than 15 minutes…violators face a minimum fine of $500″’

Gary may have been caught unawares, but Kiev was ready to defend him. He leapt at the attacker and held him at bay until the police arrived.

The thief may have wanted the laptop, but he didn’t know that the truck’s cargo was highly valuable. Kiev had an uncanny ability to sort out who was on the shipper’s receiving team; he would always guard the cargo from outsiders and keep the load safe.

Kiev has passed away now, but Gary had his ashes placed in a Southwestern style urn on his truck’s dash– so that he can be on the road forever with the driver that he loved.

Gary is choked up standing beside his rig, with doors emblazoned with the names of Kiev and Joplin. As he clears his throat, he expresses frustration with unsafe states that have dangerous parking but pass strict gun legislation–  like New Jersey, which has laws against his right to carry a weapon.

He intones, “No matter what, I am coming back alive.”

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