“Linus open the door.”

It didn’t register to me at the time that Linus had no clue what I was saying or that he couldn’t stand up and unlock the bathroom door. Instead he whined while I banged on the door, hoping it would open on its on.

Linus, doors and myself don’t mix. It seems we are always locking each other out of a room. Last year I locked myself out of the house. This time I locked Linus in the bathroom, though I’m still not sure how that happened.

Sunday mornings are very wild at my house. The day comes early as Schroeder and Linus enjoy going outside to play while I get ready for church. Being that it was the 10th anniversary of September 11, my morning trickled away as I watched  the news coverage of the memorial events happening up North.

By the time 9 a.m. rolled around I was doing good to get my clothes picked out, my make up applied and my hair curled.  I finished half of my hair, stopping to take a break and let Linus inside. That’s when the trouble started.

When I am away from the house, Linus stays in the larger bathroom. I’ve since had to separate he and his brother because the bathroom falls apart when he’s there by himself. In the rush of putting him in the bathroom, my cat, Marcie, a tiny calico scaredy cat, ran into the bathroom only to be greeted by Linus’ tail wagging and excessive barking. Picking Marci up, I put her out of the room, unknowingly pushing the doorknob in with my back.

I walked out of the bathroom to watch some more coverage and came back to find the door locked. Determining it wasn’t stuck was the easy part, realizing these knobs have those small holes in the center, designed for a special tiny object to unlock them was the hard part.

Did I panic? You bet I did. Not only had I locked Linus in the bathroom, but I had forgotten to move the little things he likes to chew up, like the toilet paper and my toothbrush. The curling iron was also on.

“Come on Linus open the door,” I said. Nothing happened. I had a few options. One, break down the door and deal with it later. Two, climb through the window. Three,  call someone.

I chose option three, calling someone who is in the Army National Guard and someone else who is a volunteer fireman. My reasoning was that these people have practice in breaking into doors. My door would be a piece of cake.

After explaining my situation to everyone, I tried my best at picking the lock with a wire coat hanger and a bobby pin. No such luck.

I called my mom.

“Well, you are three hours away,” mom said over the phone. She was frustrated like me, worried the house would burn down because of the curling iron. “The only thing I can do is Google how to get that door unlocked.” Since when did fixing things around the house come to a series of Googled requests?

At church a little girl walked up to me and asked why my hair was only half curled. I tried not to laugh when I told her it was because I had locked Linus in the bathroom.

“Well, I’ll say a prayer for him,” she told me.

After church the military man showed up with a small screwdriver, popped the front of the knob off and pushed the unlock button. My hour of banging on the door was remedied in less than a minute.

The toilet paper and toothbrush didn’t survive.

I later joked that it took the military to save my dog from the confines of the bathroom. Had that not worked  the firefighter was planning to scale the house by climbing through the bathroom window.  I later checked out plan two, which would have easilyfailed because the window was locked.

I will always remember where I was 10 years after the tragic events in our country. Not watching the TV, remembering my freshman days of high school, but banging furiously on the bathroom door, hoping that my sweet, smart beagle would wise up and learn how to unlock it.

Some lessons we are still working on.

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