When Tonia Mostellar received a phone call shortly after she left her house, she was probably a little surprised to hear the owner of her local doggie daycare. Especially because Riley, who is a frequent flyer at the Happy Dog Café, was happily sunbathing in her backyard not long before.
Fast forward earlier in the day, Riley and his mom were driving through town when they passed it: a Happy Dog Café employee attached by leashes to a group of Riley’s closest friends. The poor pup was shocked, horrified, and saddened to discover that even while he is not attending daycare, other dogs still do.
Tonia did confirm that Riley “whimpered a little bit,” not realizing the full force of emotion behind his outburst. He WOULD go to daycare today. Even if Mom wouldn’t take him.
The pair arrived home—Tonia let Riley relax on the deck in their fenced-in yard and told her son he was there—and she left once more. “I noticed Riley watching me carefully as I left,” she told WBTV, “but I didn’t think too much about it.”
That was your first mistake, Tonia. You missed the fiery determination in his eyes.
Riley undid the latch on the gate and trotted casually over a mile down the street. He knew the way there, according to Happy Dog Café owner Teresa McCarter, because his family walks him around the area all the time. Once the pup arrived he planted his rump at the entrance and simply waited to be let in.
Teresa came to open the door and Riley headed right on back to the play area where, for some reason, dogs still came when he wasn’t around. The nerve of some people.
Teresa called Riley’s humans, who offered to pick him up (presumably after they picked their jaws up off the floor, like the rest of us), but that was no good. “He got a free day of daycare,” said Teresa, “and he worked really hard for that day.”
The McCarters have reinforced their backyard gate to prevent this happening again, but they’ve vowed to take their pup to daycare more often as well.
And that was the day Riley learned the value of determination.