Bigger & Harman - March 2023

Schnautzie Saves the Day Facing a Gas Leak, She Thought Fast

Besides a fire, a gas leak is one of the worst things that can happen in the middle of the night. Fortunately for one Montana couple in 2007, Schnautzie the cat was on the case. She woke up her owners to alert them to the danger, preventing a deadly — and explosive — tragedy. People magazine reported that Greg and Trudy Guy adopted Schnautzie from a local pet store in April 2007. They’d gone with hopes of adopting a puppy but instead fell in love with a tiny black kitten. The couple only intended to foster Schnautzie, but she proved herself a hero and became a permanent family member.

nose. Since cats sometimes do strange (and annoying) things, Trudy didn’t think too much of it — until Schnautzie kept at it. Now, Schnautzie had her attention, especially when Trudy noticed her persistently sniffing the air around her. Once fully awake, Trudy noticed a hissing sound somewhere in the house. Getting up to investigate, she found a broken pipe outside her bathroom, pumping gas into the basement. “The gas was just fuming,” Trudy remembered. “Our house was saturated in a short time.” The Guys quickly vacated the house with Schnautzie in tow and called the fire department. Only upon the rescue workers’ arrival did the Guys realize the extent of the danger they had faced. While the gas alone could have killed them, it was also an unseasonably frigid night in October. Had the

heater or water tank turned on, it would have ignited the fumes and caused an explosion.

Schnautzie was a hero to the Guys, but extra treats and a permanent home were thanks enough for her. Still, she received a bit more than that in 2010. The Great Falls Animal Foundation learned how Schnautzie had saved the day and decided to honor her with the Purple Paw Award. While Schnautzie appreciated the thought, Greg said she didn’t enjoy the reception. “She’s shy around strangers,” he explained. But there’s no doubt that Schnautzie deserved her award. Sally Cerny of the animal foundation told that the Purple Paw is given to pets who uniquely demonstrate the bond between animals and humans. And, she concluded, “There’s no more special way to show that than to save your family.”

That October, Schnautzie climbed up on Trudy’s chest at 2 a.m. and started pawing at her

You will likely make mistakes on your first day at a new job or while trying out a new habit or activity. But that’s okay! We learn from our mistakes, and it makes room for improvement. For our rookie drivers, we wanted to highlight three errors you should avoid while on the road. DON’T IGNORE ROAD SIGNS! While our phone GPS can direct us to where we want to go, it can sometimes be inaccurate. Perhaps road construction is underway, and roadside workers had to close off the road. Or maybe your GPS wants to take you down a street big trucks shouldn’t be on. Your device may not notify you of speed limit changes or show you a clearance marker. Therefore, paying attention to road signs is crucial even if you’re using GPS navigation designed for professional drivers. “My GPS Made Me Do It” is not a legal defense. REMEMBER YOUR TRAILER. Although you won’t forget to attach your trailer to your truck, always remember it is there while driving. When making sharp turns, you can misjudge your turning distance because of the size of your truck and trailer. ATTENTION ALL FIRST- TIME TRUCK DRIVERS! Try to Avoid These 3 Mistakes

Think through what regular car drivers are seeing as well. They might not imagine the wide berth necessary to get around a corner and cut you off, or they may sneak inside to your blind spot when you take a wide berth and get squeezed. Expect regular drivers to do stupid things because they don’t recognize how a trailer changes the way you have to drive. FUEL UP BEFORE GOING TO A WEIGH STATION. On the interstate, you will likely see signs of weigh stations where you must stop. But before you pull into the station, you should fuel up. Each gallon of fuel weighs about 6 pounds. While it doesn’t seem like much, it can affect your weigh-in, trip time, and gas mileage.

Furthermore, if you know you will be making a long trip with few truck stops, fuel your truck beforehand to save time and stress.

One of the best ways to learn is from those with experience. To our seasoned drivers, do you have any tips or strategies that could help first-time drivers? Please email your inquiries to us or post them on our social media pages. We would love to hear from you and highlight your thoughts in a future edition.

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