So I’m at work at the high-end kitchen store, and talk (as often does) turns canine. My co-friend Gabriela and her family just returned from a little weekend getaway in the mountains, and they took their dog Monkey on his first ever vacation.
Vacation from what exactly, I’d like to know. Monkey does not assist blind people or sniff out drugs or perform complicated tricks in the circus. He leads a posh collie life of being doted on alternately by Gabriela, her husband Brad, and their three kids, as well as various neighbors and friends who have fallen victim to Monkey’s spell of adorableness. Gabriela spoils him shamelessly. He has a personalized collar, a special bed, myriad dog toys, a crystal water bowl, and his very own plastic mirror (“So he can see how cute he is!”).
So there they are, on the first morning of their holiday up in the mountains, and Brad wakes up early and decides to drive into town to get some coffee for Gabriela and hot chocolate for the kids. He helpfully decides to take Monkey with him, and this turns out to be a mistake.
After Brad has procured the beverages, he settles back in the car with Monkey and starts driving. He sees an attractive house for sale, and curious about local prices, decides to pull the car over to pick up a flier. Brad then spends a few moments studying the flier. (The house costs $899,000, which Brad thinks is too much for a vacation home.)
While Brad is busy daydreaming about real estate investment opportunities, Monkey locks him out of the car. With the keys in the ignition. Turned on.
Luckily (or unluckily?) even though Monkey is talented enough to lock the car with little or no instruction, he does not know how to drive. He does, however, know how to panic. Monkey immediately picks up on Brad’s nervousness and sense of urgency as Brad is hopping around making faces through the glass at Monkey, and Monkey starts frantically hopping around himself.
This goes on, Gabriela informs us solemnly, for a very, very long time.
Somehow, Monkey accidentally manages to open the sunroof.
Brad realizes this is his chance, and begins to climb on the hood of the car to get up to the open sunroof (this is the part where Gabriela mentions the car is a rental). Monkey starts barking wildly and inadvertently steps again on the button that controls the sunroof, this time closing it.
Poor Brad. Now, Gabriela tells us, Monkey becomes very stressed out and pees in the car. On the passenger seat. Where Gabriela will have to sit later when they drive back to Avis to return the car.
Brad is jumping around like, well, like someone whose dog just locked them out, and right then, a police car pulls up. The policewoman received a call from the owner of the house he is parked in front of. The policewoman and the homeowner think that perhaps Brad is trying to steal the car. Brad tells Gabriela later that he felt like the hapless star of a bad movie.
After a brief conversation with the policewoman, she offers to call AAA to come and unlock the car. (Brad didn’t bring his cell phone as this was supposed to be a ten-minute jaunt to pick up Starbucks.) Brad agrees with the kind policewoman that this is a smart idea.
Triple A does not have a truck in the area, and the soonest someone can come and help him would be three hours later. Brad has the brilliant idea that they should call Avis instead to see if someone there can run an extra key up.
While all this plotting and planning and phoning is going on (and the overly-cautious homeowner is peering through the curtains at the would-be car thief), Monkey keeps barking and jumping, but miraculously does not spill any of the (by now cold) coffee. Ultimately, by the grace of God, Monkey steps on the window control button and opens the window. Brad is overjoyed, and Monkey squeezes out the window and runs off into the backyard of the house for sale.
Brad is despondent. Again, like a movie, the policewoman whistles loudly, yells out, “Hey, Pup!” and Monkey comes immediately running back to her as if she is his long-lost master and this Brad guy is a sorry impostor of an owner.
The policewoman inexplicably pulls a dog treat out of her pocket, and Monkey sits down next to her expectantly and wags his tail. She feeds him a treat, pats him on the head, and grabs Monkey by the collar.
“I have three dogs myself,” the Superhero Policewoman says to Brad, “but none have ever locked me out of the car.”