Deaf Minnesota truck driver credits service dog



The service dog of a Northwest Minnesota truck driver is redefining the standards of Man’s Best Friend.


Overdrive Online reports Pete Kleckner is deaf and his 14-year-old German Shepherd Akita has been helping him with a variety of daily tasks for 12 years. Always together outside the home, Snickers and Kleckner of Crookston form a dynamic team.


The service dog helps her owner with five sounds she has been trained to respond to: the alarm clock, intruders, fire alarms, knocking on the door and door bells. Her method of informing Kleckner of any of those stimulus is either by barking or tapping him with her paw.


“She calms me down and keeps my anxiety at bay too,” he told the news source, he is writing a book – “Justice for Snickers” – which will be out this summer. “The book chronicles the life and times of a trucking service dog who has been all over the country and experienced all kinds of adventures.”


Truck drivers are facing strong development in the industry during the coming years. According to ONet, the sector is set to expand as quickly as 14 percent during the 10-year period leading to 2022.


Snickers also tips off her master as to when people are outside the truck and want to speak with him.


Having been deaf since he was an 11-year-old, Kleckner does not need a waiver issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation because he passes the whisper test. The Commercial Drivers License he holds indicates he must wear hearing aids in both ears and he must have fresh batteries readily available on his person for use.


He said he appreciates the freedom that the government allots him with the whisper test.


“When you have an engine roaring in your ears all day, I fail to see how it’s important to be able to hear a ‘whisper,'” he told the news source.