Harper’s misadventure

Last Monday, I woke up around 4:30 without my alarm. This used to be the norm, but lately, it’s become rare. 

It was definitely early enough to go on a run with Harper (we have to drive to the running trail). I got dressed, and we were off. 

I realized I needed gas, which is a hassle with Harper in the car because I have prevent her from escaping. This concern was the least of my worries.

I pulled up to the gas station and got my credit card out of my wallet. I pulled the keys from the ignition to ensure I wouldn’t lock them in my car. I take my keys with me even if I don’t have Harper because I’m hypersensitive about locking my keys in my car.

I pumped the gas, and Harper had, of course, moved her happy butt to the front seat. A black man approached me and asked for a bottle of water as I was twisting on the gas cap. I told him I couldn’t help him.

I wanted to expedite the process of getting back in the car, but I needed to coax Harper to the back seat where she belongs. I went to open the back driver side door.

It was locked.

I tried the front door. 


My keys were on my seat—as was my phone—and Harper must’ve stepped on the lock button on my key fob. 

Great. It was 4:40 and I was at a gas station in a semi-rough part of town. I went into the gas station and asked to use the phone. The attendant couldn’t have been nicer. Early though it was, she kindly let me use the phone. 

I called my mom. No answer. I called my dad. No answer. I called them both again and left them messages. I knew they were probably awake, but who is going to answer the call of a random number before 5:00 in the morning?

Not knowing how Harper would handle being stuck in the car, I became desperate to unlock it. I asked the store clerk if she knew how to break into cars. She said she didn’t, but she asked her coworker, and he did. 

All he needed was a wire hanger, and he said he could do it. He searched his entire car but to no avail. 

I went back out to my car to check if Harper had accidentally undone her locking mishap. She had not.

I called my mom again. She answered, and I explained what Harper had done and my location. I have no shame blaming my dog for this incident (as cute as she is).

My mom told my dad, and he drove to the gas station with a spare key in tow. 

While I waited on my dad, I stood out at my car so that Harper wouldn’t become too harried. She kept cocking her head, and since I am able to read her mind, I can tell she was thinking, “HOOMAN! Y r u owt there?? We no go fur run? Y u not coming in? HOOMAN! Heeehhlp! I am trapped! I am dyeing!” 

She’s a drama queen. Not sure where she learned it.

My dad saved the day, and Harper and I somehow had time to go for a short run. 

The easiest fix is to ensure I only get gas when Harper is safe at home. The idea of taking my keys with me was a good one, but since I failed to execute it properly, I caused the exact problem I was hoping to prevent. (Similar to what happens in Greek mythologies after someone hears an oracle’s prophecy.)

Things could have been worse. Thankfully, I was able to get a hold of my parents before their days really started. Harper handled it like a champ. She was baffled, but she didn’t tear anything up. 

It’s just another story to add to my annals, and maybe I can turn it into a funny comedy sketch. Who knows? 

I do know my life is much richer with Harper in it, and since she’s constantly giving me so much writing and comedy material, someday she may end up paying for herself.  

Author’s note: The photo was taken after Harper’s mishap. No animals were harmed in the writing of this post.

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