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The Dogs Locked Us Out!

Tags: door hank guard

Traveling with three dogs is much like traveling with children. We have the one that gets motion sickness and has to be medicated. We have one that insists on having a window seat, and one that won't calm down and enjoy the ride until we are miles from home. Unlike children, though, our dogs can be left in a motel room while we relax in a restaurant.

On a recent trip, my husband unlocked the motel room door after we returned from dinner. As he pushed it open, the swing bar door guard engaged with a sickening "whap." "The dogs locked us out," Hank said along with a few obscenities. I'm stunned into imaging how three lap dogs could manage to swing a bar that's almost five feet off the floor. Did they erect a canine column by standing on hind legs on each others' shoulders? Top dog flips the guard bar as payback for being left behind?

"Max probably did it by jumping off the back of the chair, " Hank said. Max, a wire-haired dachshund, is mischievous and resourceful, but surely flying is beyond his abilities. Max leaped off the back of the chair toward the door with the intent of flipping the bar at the apex of his free-fall? Now, I know a rational person would disbelieve either scenario, but who is rational when discovering they've been locked out of their room by a mini-kennel of canine midgets?

We tried several ways to release the bar with the tools we carry with us, but nothing worked. Rest assured that those door guards will stop a would-be intruder.

Hank discussed the problem with a very confused desk clerk who deferred the situation to the hotel manager. Via cell phone, Hank repeatedly explained our predicament to the proprietor who had a limited understanding of the English language. Finally the manager said, "Ahh, but that cannot happen." Hank assured him that it did and asked if there was some tool-of-the-trade that would open the door. "No, because that cannot happen," he replied. "We give you another room."

My husband pointed out that for many unpleasant reasons that wasn't a good solution. Finally, the manager asked for suggestions. "I can break into the room, but I'll have to damage the guard," Hank said. The manager agreed and apologised profusely for and event he didn't believe could happen and certainly one over which he had no control.

Using a cutting tool we had, Hank proceeded to gnaw through the metal bar. The dogs barked and raced around the room upon seeing their masters through the narrow opening around the door. Meanwhile, other guests returned and arrived for the evening. They watch curiously as we broke into a room in broad daylight. I was surprised no one called the police.

Once inside, we solved the mystery of how the door guard got engaged. The screws in the bracket that held the sideways "U" bar of the guard were loose causing the bar to move slightly toward the bolt with every vibration. A combination of guests banging their doors shut and the dogs jumping on our door when they heard someone outside caused enough movement in the bar that it eventually crept over the securing bolt. Hank pushing open the door was all it took to put us on the outside looking in. Our furry kids were absolved.

In the middle of that same night, a man used a ruse to try to get the guests in the room next to us to open their door and give him money. Would-be thieves targeted motels near the interstate at which to rob travelers who were fooled into opening doors for them. When we learned of the incident the next morning, it was unsettling to know that our security door guard had been mangled in our own break-in attempt.

This post first appeared on The Balancing Pole, please read the originial post: here

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The Dogs Locked Us Out!


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