Boarding School

The place where we board our dog was closed on Memorial Day, and when we dropped him off they told us we'd have to wait until Tuesday morning to pick him up. On our way home from the airport we agreed we'd stop by on the off chance that someone would be out walking the dogs or we'd see someone in the storefront. The place was dark, but the protective metal gate was only pulled halfway down, so my wife called the number on the door. We couldn't hear the phone ringing inside but we could hear the dogs go crazy, and after about five rings someone picked up. My wife asked if anyone was there, and then said "This is Otis' parents. We need to get him. It's an emergency." This shift in our plan caught me off guard, and coming off friends' wedding weekend I was incapable of pivoting on the idea, and the best emergency I could come up with was that someone was sick and we had to head upstate for the week immediately. Then the guy unlocked the door and let our dog out, and my wife had so much joy at seeing our dog that if I'd told him someone in our families was sick he would have thought that she was really the sick one. So, instead I said sorry about 10 times, and then stood looking at him for what felt like five minutes wondering if I should give the guy $10 or if that would seem weird.