Hopping in the car and driving to the bank has always been an exciting part of the day for my dogs; so when Sophie became paralyzed my husband and I didn’t want that part of her life to end. It was a ritual she looked for to, every afternoon. You see both Ken and I work from home and heading to the bank means that a payment for one of our services has arrived. That alone is pretty darn exciting, but for Sophie, Shadow and Cody it meant receiving a positively delicious treat from the “bank machine.”
I don’t know if all banks handout cookies to dogs, but our bank offers them just like the lollipops they give to children. We found out about this yummy secret when Ken and I made a deposit at the drive-through teller window while the dogs were sitting in the back of our SUV. All three of the dogs had their heads hanging out the car window as we made our transaction. The teller cooed and flirted with them and in-return they wagged their tails back at her.
When she slipped our receipt into the canister and dropped it into the tube that whooshed it to our car, we found three bite-sized Milk Bone dog biscuits inside.
Sophie, Shadow and Cody couldn’t believe their eyes! They pushed their way to the front seat to see the special treat that had been delivered from the big bank machine just for them. They were amazed and quickly gobbled up their prized snack.
I’ve always thought my dogs were some of smartest pups on the block, but I’m pretty sure they misunderstood the purpose of this cookie. I’m almost certain they thought the only reason we drove to the bank was to get them a delicious treat from the wonderful machine.
From that day forward the dogs would do a little dance when the mail arrived, in anticipation that we would all be jumping into the car and heading to the bank.
Over the years, our dogs ate a lot of dog biscuits. The tellers at the drive through window got to know the dogs well enough to call them by name. Some gave us dog cookies even if the dogs weren’t in the car in-order for us to hand them out when we got home.
So you see Ken and I couldn’t stop this ritual just because Sophie wasn’t able to jump into the car by herself and had to be propped up to let the teller know she was in the car. Nearly every afternoon, for the next five years we would lift Sophie into the back of the SUV and drive all of the dogs to the bank. The afternoon trip continued to be one of the high points of her day.
Lesson 12: Keep the rituals your handicapped pet knows.
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