These days much of our banking can be conducted from our computers and even our phones, but online banking is not always the transaction mode of choice. Some people prefer the face-to-face interaction, the pen-to-paper signature, and they like to take a piece of candy from the bowl on the counter while they’re in the (usually luxurious) bank lobby. Sometimes the only way to conduct our business is to be there in person. For example, we can only have access to our safe deposit box if we are in the actual bank building (so far, anyway). Or we need a notary, we want to exchange currency, or we want to cash in some coins—these are all transactions that are best handled in person.

Other bank clientele may opt for the drive-thru, which is kind of a hybrid between in-person and online. We do our banking at the physical bank building but we interact with the teller on a screen. Making a cash deposit, a cash withdrawal, and acquiring a cashier’s check—these are matters that can take place without getting out of your air-conditioned car. It’s lazy banking—and not very environmentally friendly—unless drivers turn off their cars while sitting at the drive-up window.

Me? I go to the bank for one reason and one reason only: to get our dog Chance a treat. I will make up all sorts of reason to go—which are truly imaginary excuses—just to give our little man the thrill of a ride and a treat. It doesn’t get any better than that, Chance tells us.

Each day, twice a day, when we ask Chance if he’s ready to go for a walk, he says yes in dog dialect. He gets up from wherever he has been lounging, curls his long-haired tail into a perfect arch and wiggles it so it looks like a cheerleader’s pompom, goes to the front door and then waits. We have to put our shoes on, visit the loo, get a drink of water, find our sunglasses and hats, and finally we’re ready to snap on his collar and leash and head out the door. After nearly two years of this, Chance has learned to curb his excitement until he sees that we’re serious about taking a walk. No sense hurrying up just to wait. His patience has been tried much too often.

If we say, “Ride” instead, it’s a whole other tail/tale. Then our fun-loving, adventure-seeking pup goes crazy with glee. His tail does the helicopter dance, he literally squeals with joy, and he hops around like a kangaroo. “Ride! Ride!” we can tell he’s thinking. “I get to go for a Ride!”

So we take him for a ride. To the drive-thru window at the bank. He knows the routine: when we stop at the window he charms the teller with his Lassie pose (back feet in the passenger seat, front paws on the console, head held high, nose pointed directly at the teller). Somehow he knows to looks straight at the camera with those big, brown doe-eyes. Several tellers have become familiar with him and will comment about his visit while they drop a bone-shaped treat into the carrier and send it to us via the pneumatic tube. He watches intently, takes the treat with utter grace, and then chomps away as if it were his last meal.

Chance is adorable. This opinion was made fact the other day when we were walking him in the neighborhood park. Two bicycle-patrol police officers pedaled by on their bikes. One of them turned on his flashing red and blue lights and as he passed us he said, “It’s illegal to be that cute.” Although I have nothing to do with Chance’s good looks, I still beamed with pride. There’s a reason our vet (who happens to be Joe’s sister) says Chance thinks he’s the “cock of the walk.” I’m afraid we don’t deter him from believing it. Daily I tell him he’s precious. Cute. Handsome. Silly. And loved.

He’s banking on it.

You may let The Thunker know what you think at her e-mail address,

© 2022 Sarah Donohoe

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