The Courteous Dog

It’s tough having a service dog flunkie. Pablo is loving, gentle and obedient. The perfect dog – until he gets bored. You see, he’s trained to heal, cuddle by a bedside and can even pick up a pen off the floor. Unfortunately he can also open doors. I don’t know if he picked this up in training or if he somehow figured it out on his own, but either way he comes and goes as he pleases.

Since returning from the week with the grandparents, Pablo has been lonely during the night. Most of the time he sleeps down the hall in the laundry room with the door open. But last night as we slept comfortably in our bed, I awoke suddenly to the sound of our door opening and then closing ever so softly. Immediately I expected the worst. Was it a burglar? Maybe Gracie? I waited on the side of the bed, sitting ready for anything. But it never came. Complete silence – then a sigh. Burglars don’t sigh. Gracie would already be snuggled up in our bed by now. I peered around the corner. There curled up in a ball was Pablo, his eyes looking back at me from the corner of the room.

I let him lay. After all, if he could open doors, I had no prayer of keeping him contained. Then, this afternoon, as we returned from work, Pablo was no where to be seen. I looked in the laundry room, in the basement, in the garage – nothing. But on my last pass through the kitchen I heard a whimper. I opened the pantry and there he was. After checking with Brooke I confirmed that she left him alone in the kitchen as she took Gracie to school. Somehow he had not only managed to open the pantry door, but also close it behind him.

I guess I should consider myself lucky. How many people have a dog that can open doors, and then close it behind him? After all, who wants a dog that leaves the door open? How inconsiderate. Normally I’d be worried. But despite his new talent, Pablo does nothing wrong. Except for the occasional tissue ripping when I drop a Kleenex (I think he has an abnormal fear of tissues), he lacks either the energy or the imagination to do anything wrong. Instead he sits in the corner waiting for the moment that we return home to play. I guess I could command him to “stay” and he probably would, but there’s a part of me that wonders what he’ll do next and which room I’ll find him in tomorrow. And that’s fine with me – as long as he closes the door behind him. Maybe next time I can teach him to take out the garbage.

4 Responses to “The Courteous Dog”

  1. Mikey says:

    Hi! My name is Michaela, and i heard about your book on AOL news thing. I have to say, I could help myself in bugging my mom and getting her to buy it for me. (Is 17, and jobless hurhur) My sister almost died about a year ago from an eating disorder, and is back on her way to her death bed as she has relasped. I dont know why but I just knew I needed to read it. I stopped myself from reading in the middle of the book cuz I was scared how it would end, but Im glad I did. I love Elena, and your family. Im sure Elena was proud to have you as a daddy, you are everything I want to be in a parent.
    Im so happy you still journal, and we get an up date on your beautiful family. And trust me I know how uh, ‘great’ a ‘therapy dog’ can be. We got a pomeranian for my sister a year and a half ago and she barely knows how to sit rather than open doors.

  2. Ariella says:

    I would guess he learned it in training. I know several service dogs who know how to open doors for their wheelchair-bound companions.

  3. Allie says:

    Give your sweet dog a treat for me.

  4. Your a mind reader!!!…

    I think this should be posted everywhere!…