I took Pup for a car ride today. It’s what he loves to do. Sit in the car watching the world go by, with his nose up to the window. It was my intentional act of kindness. Or, at least I thought.
The ride turned out to be more than what I bargained for. Or, as I believe Pup would say, a woof of a lesson.
Pup, being 16 years old, got very excited about riding in the car and just as we pulled out onto the main street pooped in the passenger seat. He was that excited. So I pulled over at the vets of all places (it’s just down the street) to clean it up.
Just as I grabbed the cleaner from the trunk and shut the trunk door the car locked. That’s weird, I thought, and then reached into my pocket for my keys. They were not there. I looked at Pup sitting in the passenger seat and then I looked inside the trunk. There were my keys. Sitting, locked inside along with Pup.
Oh. My. God. How did that happen? I thought as I stared at Pup on the other side of the window. Then I realized my phone was also in the car with Pup.
My watch! I thought, relieved that Justin gave me an Apple iWatch for my birthday. I will just call Justin on my watch.
Except my watch couldn’t find my phone.
I saw a green Subaru pulling up the road and I ran out into the street waving my arms. A beautiful older woman stopped and I blabbered about my predicament pointing to my car.
Do you have a phone? I asked. Can you call AAA Roadside Service for me?
She did. Her name was Donna and she dialed her phone and then handed it over to me. I asked her if she was going somewhere. She waved it off, saying she had to set up dinner somewhere but she was happy to help.
“It’s what you do.” Donna said as she patiently waited for me to finish my call so she could drive on to her dinner.
Meanwhile, Pup sat in the car as happy as a clam. Or a dog who loves car rides and thinks the car should be his kennel. In fact, when we lived on the Vineyard, the car WAS his kennel every time we went out to eat. He refused to stay in his real kennel after a cross-country flight that terrified the canine snot out of him. So we always let him tag along and wait in the car.
He loved it. He loved the car. It was his own personal den. And today, as I sat waiting on a sidewalk for half an hour waiting for the friendly roadside assistant to arrive, Pup sat inside the car. Please as punch. Happy to sit and watch everything walk by his window.
He didn’t bark until the AAA Man arrived and stuck a long plastic tube through the window to unlock the door.
“This happened yesterday too,” the friendly man said as he unlocked the door. “A lady’s dog locked the car with the keys in it. Must have bumped the lock.”
Of course. I thought to myself as he said it. Pup probably hit the door lock as he shuffled around in the passenger seat trying to see what I was doing in the trunk.
When I arrived home and relayed what happened to Justin, he said, “That would only happen to you.”
I know! I said back thinking how absurd it all was, not understanding how it happened in the first place. I walked outside and tested the car, trying to get it to lock the same way when I closed the trunk. I couldn’t replicate it. It had to have been Pup.
And then it hit me, this wasn’t a day for me to share kindness. It was a day for me to experience it. Thank you, Donna. Thank you, AAA Man. And thank you, Pup.
I’ve never seen a happier dog than the one I watched today. Sitting in his car, daydreaming away, watching the world go by moment by moment. It’s a good lesson in kindness. And presence. And Pups.
(And, of course, not to drop your keys in the trunk!)
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