30 Stories of Emmet

Emmet the Puppy in the Car
In honor of my late Labrador, Emmet, I want to share with you 30 stories about the life we shared with him.

Here is the first story:

How did he do that?

When Emmet was a puppy, I was a teacher at Heritage Middle School in West St. Paul. Since Emmet was a service dog (in-training), I had arranged to bring him with me to school every day, since in Minnesota, dogs in training are allowed in public places. It was also easy for me to have him at school. I was a science teacher, so my room was equipped with a private storage room that was easily big enough to accomodate a dog kennel. Emmet slept in the kennel while I was teaching class during the day. He would come out at lunch time so he could have a bathroom break and spend a few minutes training. He’d sleep the afternoon back in his kennel and then after school was out we’d spend some more time with training, and my students would get a chance to interact with him a bit as well. My room was also equipped with a separate fire exit, so a quick trip outdoors was also quite manageable whenever he needed it.

One of the hard parts of having him at work with me was that it was about a 25 mile drive through rush hour traffic (each way) to get to work and again to get home. We had fitted Emmet with dog harness and a special seatbelt so I could keep him in the back seat where he would be safe in an accident and where he couldn’t get in the way of me driving. We kept up this routine for several months. One afternoon, I felt Emmet’s head suddenly rest on my shoulder as I was driving. My first thought was, “Ohhh….. That is so cute that he’s doing that.” My next thought was, “Hey! How is he doing that? The seatbelt should be preventing that!” I pulled over at the next available opportunity thinking I had not properly set up the seatbelt. The good news was that I set up the seatbelt perfectly. The bad news was he had chewed through his doggy seatbelt and half of the car seatbelt as well. Yikes!

Needless to say I didn’t bother to seatbelt him in the back seat after that. He never chewed through another seatbelt either!


Emmet had been diagnosed with malignant melanoma in September of 2008. He died on September 27, 2008 of an unrelated condition called GDV, more commonly known as bloat. He was 10 years old. For a photo tribute of his life,
click here.

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