Dogs have personalities just like people do; that’s not hard for us to wrap our brains around. But it’s harder for us judge how much dogs remember, particularly when it comes to the depth of their social ties. Do dogs have friends? Do they remember other dogs and recognize that they played with them yesterday?
Enter exhibit A: his name is Riley. The 5-year old Golden Retriever is out to prove that he not only has friends, but that he loves them deeply. So much, in fact, that one day last year he took it upon himself to go and pay them a visit. The only problem was he forgot to tell his owners he was stepping out for a few hours.
Riley, a 5-year-old Golden Retriever, was supposed to be playing in the yard. Instead, he was walking himself to day care.
Earlier that day, Riley was in the car with his owner as they were running errands around Belmont, North Carolina. They drove past the dog day care that Riley attends and Riley started to bark with excitement. There was a pack of dogs outside, his friends his owner claims, and he wanted to go play with them.
Once they returned home, his owners put him in the backyard to burn off some energy while they stepped out again. That’s when Riley decided to check himself into day care for the day. He managed to pop open the lock on the gate, and set off into town toward the day care.
Riley escaped from home but knew exactly where he was going. He traveled over a mile into town and arrived at day care.
When he arrived at the day care, he sat in front of the door and waited for someone to enter or exit. Eventually someone came by to pick up their dog, and when the door swung open, Riley burst inside. He ran straight to the back of the facility where the play area was.
“He’s a sweet dog and we love him,” day care owner Teresa McCarter told WBTV. She says that Riley probably knew the route because his owners frequently walk him to and from the day care.
When the day care staff saw Riley checked himself in, they called his owners and let them know where he was.
Initially, the owners told McCarter that they were on their way to pick him up. But McCarter told them to let him stay.
“If he worked that hard to get here, he’s going to stay all day in day care,” she said.
Riley’s owners weren’t charged for the day of day care, and their mischievous pup got to play with his friends.
While the story had a happy ending this time, his owners obviously didn’t want this to become a pattern. They added another lock to their gate, one that Riley can’t open or reach, a
nd have promised to take him to see his friends more often.