The day Mohammed jumped out the window

The doors of perception (apologies to A.Huxley) can often be confusing like that game show where they had 3 doors and you had to pick one, the right one was surely # 2 but when they opened that door....nothing or a year's worth of popcorn. What we choose to believe and what is reality are sometimes behind different doors.

Back in the 70's (yes, I am old) I lived in a great apartment in the old city of Westmount. It was a second floor walkup right near St. Catherine St. I was working practically across the street in a petshop in Alexis Nihon and had a wonderful dog named Ali.

Ali (late '70's)

A friend of mine named Vince was short on housing and I offered to let him stay at my place as I had lots of room. Vince was totally taken by Ali and expressed how wonderful it would be to have a dog. A couple of months later, we had a beautiful Doberman/Shepherd mix puppy at the petshop and I purchased him for Vince. To go along with my dog's name we foolishly called the puppy Mohammed.

Vince & Mohammed
(an old dusty photo)

I had Sundays and Mondays off and this was a Monday where I was recovering from a Sunday night out. I decided to take an afternoon nap, Vince was at work and Mohammed being a puppy just wanted to play. I had a large spare room and so I put Ali and Mo (for short) in this room and closed the door, with the window open, as it was a nice summer day.

An hour or so later I was awoken by somebody knocking loudly on my door. I put a bathrobe on and went to answer it grumpily. There was somebody I had never seen before at the door and when I opened it, he shouted "Your dog has been hit by a truck!" I said that was impossible as I knew exactly where both dogs were. He ran down the stairs in disgust and I ran to the window. On the street were three or four people huddled over something I couldn't see. I ran to the spare room and to my dismay saw only Ali and realized instantly that Mo had jumped out the window somehow. I got to the window just in time to see the guy who had come to the door pick up what had been hidden from view and start running down the street with Mo in his arms, I screamed "Wait, wait, that is my dog, he jumped out the window" but there were traffic noises and maybe he heard me or not but he just kept running. I quickly dressed in jeans and t-shirt and went running down the stairs and out the door, as I turned the street corner I just caught a glimpse of him going into the hospital at the end of the next block. I ran to the hospital door, it was a side entrance and led to offices. I looked everywhere I could and asked everyone I saw if they had seen a man with a puppy in his arms, no one had.

I went back out the side door and went in the main door of the hospital and asked at the reception if anyone had heard of a dog being brought into the hospital. The receptionist called security and the chief of security came to speak with me. He was a tall and sturdy man of about 55 years old and had the broken capillaries in his nose that usually signal a drinker of long standing. I tried to tell him my story but he kept interrupting me with "There are no dogs in the hospital, dogs are not allowed in the hospital", I explained to him over and over again that I had seen the man come into the hospital with the dog, but to no avail, he just kept repeating his litany. I told him that we had to search the hospital and again he repeated his litany and added that if I didn't leave he would call the police. I was completely frustrated and frantic at this point and left the hospital and went right back in by the side door and continued to search. The only thing I found was the chief of security and he called the police. The police came and I then explained the whole story to the 2 officers who were much more sympathetic and they then proceeded to search the hospital while I stayed under the glaring eye of the chief of security. They returned about 20 minutes later (small hospital) and said they had found nothing and suggested to me that I go home and start calling vets in the area. I did as they suggested and didn't find anything the first time around but I kept trying. all along imagining how I would explain to Vince how I had let his new puppy jump out the window and then be dog-napped by a stranger who tried to get me to come and get Mo and I had said no. In my second round of phonecalls a puppy answering Mo's description had just come in and I ran out and hailed a cab and got there within 10 minutes. The guy who had come to my door was sitting there with Mo, in the waiting room.

I was so relieved to find Mo alive and looking like he would be okay that I wasn't angry with the fellow, I just asked him why he ran off after I shouted from the window, he said he hadn't heard me and was relieved to hear that Mo had not been hit by a truck. He then told me about what had happened once he entered the hospital. He had walked in and immediately had run into this woman who had told him to come to her office. He had told her that the dog needed medical help and she had picked up the phone and was speaking to someone. He had assumed that she was calling a vet but as the conversation continued he heard that she was arranging to have someone come and pickup the dog. All the while he was looking at her desk he couldn't help but notice that she had dozens of pictures of dogs, she apparently rescued a lot of dogs or strangely collected them. When he realized that she wasn't calling a vet and all the pictures of dogs freaked him out, he ran out of her office and back onto the street and went back to the apt. of a friend whom he had been visiting. So all the time that I had been searching in the hospital and had the police search, he had been back at his friend's apt. which ironically was in my building, the floor just below me.

He must have left for the vet's office shortly before I returned and started making phonecalls. I explained my story and why I hadn't believed him at first and we were both relieved when it turned out that Mo only had a dislocated hip and looked even cuter in his new white cast and it was only going to cost me 50$ plus cab fare and I had an amazing story with a happy ending to tell Vince. Six months later Vince got his own place and one night he was walking Mo when Mo just ran off and never came back, I guess his hip had healed well. And so it goes.