32: Upward Mobility

32: Upward Mobility

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dog Did What?

Upward Mobility

The difference between try and triumph is a little umph.

~Author Unknown

My husband Lee and I had a mystery on our hands. We discovered it one evening after returning home from dinner and a show. Before we left the house, we’d fed our dogs—Conan, a Dachshund mix, and his partner, Lisa, an Aussie mix—and given them plenty of hugs and treats before leaving them outside in our fenced-in back yard.

Our grassy yard is safe and comfortable, with access to the garage in case of bad weather. But the dogs, especially Conan, hated being locked out. They stared after us mournfully through the sliding glass door, whining like they were being marooned on an island.

But when we returned home from our evening on the town, Conan was in the house, barking and wagging his tail. He was delighted to see us.

Lisa, still in the yard, scratched at the door whimpering to be let in.

And the sliding glass door was still locked.

We exchanged quizzical looks and looked from one dog to the other. “You must have forgotten to put Conan out,” Lee said, letting in Lisa.

“No. I remember putting both dogs out, and seeing them in the yard before we left.”

“Well, you must have,” he said. “How else could he have gotten in?”

Lee checked the doors and windows throughout the house. They were closed, except for our bedroom window, which we’d left open for fresh air. He eyed the window, looked at Conan, and back at me.

“Could he have . . .?” I began.

“No way,” Lee said, shaking his head. “He’s a foot high at the shoulder. That ledge is almost five feet off the ground. That would be like me leaping to the edge of the roof and pulling myself up.”

“I must have forgotten to put him out,” I said, shrugging. “How else could he have gotten in?”

The mystery was solved when we went out to dinner a few days later—after leaving the dogs in the yard and locking the sliding glass door.

“The dogs are in the yard,” I announced as we left the house. “Both of them.”

We’d driven two miles before I realized I’d forgotten my reading glasses and we returned home to get them. “I’ll be back in a minute,” I told Lee, and went inside.

My glasses weren’t at the computer desk where I keep them or near the chair where I sit when I read. Thinking they’d be on my bedroom nightstand, I headed down the hall, hearing some odd thumps and scrabbling sounds from outside our bedroom.

Suspicious, I entered the room silently—in time to see Conan’s face and front paws appear at the window ledge. I watched, awestruck, as that smart little twenty-five-pound dog pulled his upper body onto the window ledge and hauled himself inside. Did he just do that? I gaped as Conan leaped nonchalantly to the floor. He looked up at me, tail wagging, tongue hanging, mouth wide, like he was smiling.

He was overjoyed to see me.

~Lynn Sunday

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