What do you do when you see something odd, something that needs attention? This past weekend I went to the Texas hill country with over a hundred extended family for a reunion. We took our dog with us, and stayed in the special pet section of a little hotel off the main drag. Our little buddy is a jack russell-beagle mix, and at age thirteen is getting up there in doggie years. He is definitely a hunter and a bit of a jumper, but it never occurred to me to appreciate his sturdy but smaller frame until this past Saturday.
I was walking back to our room to drop off the iPad to my husband, but when I rounded the corner I saw the yellow lab from two doors down walking out of his room. I was a bit irked when I saw he wasn’t on a leash, which moved to confusion when I realized there was no human with him. He pranced into the hallway with a shoe in his mouth, proud as can be. It took me a second to get it–this dog had somehow managed to open his door. Now, I’ve had labs before and I know they are very smart, and can be a bit mischievous. But figuring out how to open a door seems incredible to me! Anyway, as soon as I understood what had happened I called him over to me, ushered him back into his room, and firmly closed the door. Within 30 seconds he had the door open again, trotting over to me waiting to be praised.
At this point I didn’t really know what to do. I couldn’t just leave him there to walk out of his room and get lost or hit by a car. I couldn’t take him to my room, since I had my own dog and sleeping babies. So I went into his hotel room and called the front desk, trying to explain my situation. “Uh, yes, my room is 230, but I’m actually in 228 right now. The dog in here has figured out how to open his door. Can you please call his parents?” It was one of the strangest situations I’ve been in, honestly. And I have to tell you–being in someone else’s room was so, incredibly awkward. Eventually I couldn’t handle how invasive I felt and waited outside, telling the dog, “No!” every time he tried to open the door.
His owners came rushing back from dinner a few minutes later, full of thanks and apologies. Evidently this was not the first predicament he had gotten himself into–the previous day he had managed to lock the deadbolt while in the room alone, effectively locking his owners out. Labradors are awesome, but sometimes too smart for their own good! I am so glad I was there when he got out. And I am also so glad my dog is too small to open doors!