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Sometimes I visit the local shelter or Humane Society to love on the animals that get the least attention. Shaka was one of these babies. Maybe it was her breed or her timidness, but visitors paid her no mind.

I spent most of the day with her until the facility closed for the weekend. We instantly became best friends, and I was there to sign adoption papers when the doors opened on the next business day. I wasn’t looking to adopt another dog; I already had three, but bringing Shaka home was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Shaka is an old soul with a down-to-earth, loving personality. About a month into her new life with us, I discovered that Shaka is also an escape artist.

At 4 A.M., I finally stood up and walked to the kitchen. I was having one of those restless nights and the only thing that would change it was pizza. With no delivery options open at this hour, and no pizza in the fridge or freezer, I grabbed my keys and headed to the grocery store. I typically don’t eat frozen pizza, but desperate times call for desperate measures. And is there any time more desperate than 4 A.M.?

Shaka decided to slink past the gate and follow me to the car. She wanted pizza too.

When we get to the parking lot, I park, roll the windows up, turn the air on to keep Shaka comfortable, lock the car, and remote start it again before walking into the store. I was on a mission.

With pizza in hand and my phone in the other, I see a random call from an unrecognizable number before checking out. I ignore it and let it go to voicemail.

After checking out, I listen to the recording. It was a man calling me to say that he got my number from Shaka’s collar, and that my pup rolled all the windows down, hopped out of the car, and came into the store to find me. In that moment, I vowed never to delete this man’s voicemail and to always lock my windows with that sneaky little Shaka.

Because who can blame her? Plenty of rescue dogs worry about being abandoned, but Shaka’s ready to take more decisive action.

From her loud snoring and piglet sounds to her sleepy smiles to her stubbornness when I have to leave, Shaka is full of affection, carefree spirit, and simple tricks. I’m lucky to have found her.

UPDATE: Shaka knows where the window lock button is now. Shaka is no longer allowed to accompany me on errands.

Nicole C. Prince

Nicole Prince is a North Carolina native with a deep love for writing, literature, and her four affectionate, mischievous dogs. You can find her traveling the world, or close to the dessert table.

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