Despite the headline on this blog entry, really Phin has been a pretty easy puppy. He’s a puppy that is figuring out how to dog in a world full of humans and of course I am very patient with him. But he does have his moments. Lately he’s gotten into pulling dirty clothes out of the laundry, dragging them to his lair under the bed, and chewing them up. Just yesterday I lost 2 pairs of underwear to this fate. (Also, why do dogs like to eat dirty underwear? My lab, Griffen, used to do it all the time and once puked up one of my sexier pairs right in the middle of the floor when we had company over. Gee, thanks Griff.)

This morning I had an experience with Phin that sent me right to panic mode. I went to meet a woman from my neighborhood to discuss the issues we’re having with the massive wind turbines they planted right behind my house. (A whole other story for another time.) I drove our pickup truck there, and took Phin with me, I stepped out of the truck and left it running with the air conditioning blasting. Normally he just chills out, so to speak, when we do this. But I think because I was standing right there beside the truck talking to Linda he bounced around in the truck making all kinds of ruckus because he could see me.

Linda and I finished our conversation and I turned to go back inside the truck when I discovered that the driver’s side door was locked. LOCKED. Engine still running, my purse on the passenger seat, my phone on the dashboard and my puppy inside--which if you didn't know this is red level locked, the worst level of locked you can have. Linda and I exchanged that look. The open-mouth-wide-eyed-OMG-what-are-we-going-to-do look.

I began to panic and plan at the same time. Shiiiiiiit! My puppy is locked inside the truck! What do I do? What do I do? WhatdoIdo??? I supposed I could easily walk home; I was only about a quarter mile away. While home I could plug in the land line, call Todd—who was in his actual office 45 minutes away and not in his office at our house. I could call AAA then walk back and wait for them at the truck and hope that nobody noticed I’d locked a puppy inside and take it upon themselves to break the window, take him away and call the cops. Linda handed me her phone. Puppy! Locked in truck! With purse! And phone! What do I do??? OK, I now have a phone. Call.

I called Todd, and of course he doesn’t know Linda’s number so he didn’t answer. I called again and began to leave him a voicemail. My Samsung watch also has the option enabled where if I press one of the buttons three times his phone will blow up with emergency messages that tell him I am in grave danger and provide a pin on the map of where said grave danger is occurring. I considered doing the 3 button press nuclear option. The day I set up that feature I tested it. Todd was in a meeting with a very important client, and his phone went crazy saying I was in grave danger. He went running out of the meeting and called me to find out what happened. I wasn’t in grave danger. I was in my house, at my desk, playing with my new watch. Oops. Sorry, honey. I don’t know what I was thinking testing it like that. But it’s nice to know he would take the 3 button nuclear option seriously if I were abducted while out on a run.

Meanwhile Phin was happily dozing in the truck while I was freaking the eff out. I began to leave Todd a voicemail, “Honey, I know you’re at the office today, but I’m kind of in a bind here…” as Linda, who is approximately 18 times smarter than I am, tried the back passenger door. She opened it. Phin hopped out and wagged his tail. “…oh wait, no bind. Never mind… bye honey…” It would seem he only locked the driver’s door and not all the doors, thankfully.

Get a puppy. It’ll be fun.

Of course it is a lot of fun.

Here he is trying to help me write my new book. With his teeth.

BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music as a new lemon beagle named Phin.

He figured out how to climb over the baby gates that keep him contained in my office. So I raised the gates a few inches. So he tried to find another way out of jail. Keep in mind his jail has a floofy bed and about 35 chew toys.

BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music as a new lemon beagle named Phin.

He has adapted to boat life pretty well. He's getting more sure of his footing and moves around with ease. He still falls in here and there, so we got him this life jacket.

BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music as a new lemon beagle named Phin.

BJ Knapp is the author of Beside the Music, available for purchase here. Please sign up for the Backstage with BJ Knapp mailing list to get updates on events, signings, dog pictures and so much more.