Driving a huge truck and hauling heavy goods across the country is possibly the most manly job in the world.

But one pet-loving trucker has shown his softer side after enlisting an adorable travel partner.

Tiny chihuahua Basil travels up and down the motorway with owner Phil Barleyman every day.

Mr Barleyman, 25, said: “I started bringing him when he was about 11 weeks old – too young really to even go out.

“Now he doesn’t ever want me to go anywhere without him.

“He gets in his little bed in the morning, ready and waiting, and expects me to take him.

“He gets along well with everyone at the sites we visit – most of them would rather see the dog than me to be honest.

“One thing he doesn’t like is push bikes. Whenever he sees one, he gets agitated and barks at the rider as we overtake.

“But when we’re on the motorway he tends to doze of and have a sleep, so I don’t think he’d be a great driver himself.”

Basil and Mr Barleyman preparing for their daily adventure
Basil and Mr Barleyman preparing for their daily adventure

The feisty one-year-old pooch was a Valentine’s Day gift for Mr Barleyman’s partner, Alex Stephen.

Miss Stephen, 26, said: “I went with Phil to a family in Castle Donington who were giving a litter away and I picked Basil out straight away.

“He looked like a little teddy bear and was just so adorable. I had to have him.

“I’m happy Basil has some company and isn’t being left on his own.

“Phil and Basil usually come home for the night and absence certainly makes the heart grow fonder – in Basil’s case at least.”

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Although Basil misses his owners while doing his day job, he is most fond of fellow-pet Eric, the 12-year-old household cat.

Administrative worker Miss Stephen said: “I think it’s Eric who misses him the most.

“They just love each other and are always messing about and playing in the garden.

“Sometimes they bed down together and have a cuddle.

“He’s quite a strange cat and is more like a dog in many ways, so they get on so well.

“He should feel privileged, because Basil certainly chooses his friends and is quite picky about who he hangs around with.

“There are certain people he’ll run up to, walk around with and be carried by – but he’s not so keen on everyone.

“Phil says I’ve taught him to be wary of women to keep them away – he seems to warm more to men.”

The image that secured Basil's second-place finish in the Prize Pets competition
The image that secured Basil's second-place finish in the Prize Pets competition

Mr Barleyman works for his dad’s company, Barleyman’s, in Cubley.

He and Miss Stephen were “delighted” when Basil finished second in the recent Prize Pets competition in the Advertiser.

The picture sent in by the couple showed Basil at their Oak Lane home, dressed in his “Christmas tie”.

This gave Mr Barleyman and Miss Stephen a welcome cash boost as Basil prepares to welcome another potential playmate into the world.

The pair are expecting their first child next month.

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Miss Stephen said: “I’ll be getting Basil something with the money, as it’s him that won it, but some of it will also be going on some things for our baby.”