My Ferris Bueller Moment with Rinty

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller

In 1986 John Hughes affected a generation with his film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Anyone who saw it wished to be fearless like Ferris, cool like Sloane but unfortunately reality made us neurotic like Cameron. When I was a young girl, my uncle brought me an amazing gift. I watched as he emerged from the car with a furry quadruped in his hand. At first, I thought it was a toy but then it moved. It moved! The creature turned out to be a shaggy little puppy who I named Rinty. Mostly brown and black, he was half Yorkshire terrier plus common Pompek. I’d had dogs before but never one like him. He was an eccentric little guy and a willing accomplice for my life’s only Ferris Bueller moment so far.

Rinty as a puppy

Rinty as a puppy

Almost every day, Rinty would be in the car when my brother picked me up from school. In fact, Rinty would be in the car as much as caninely possible. He would perk up only for the jingle of our car keys. Perfume and cologne were dead giveaways. In his short life, he frequented the beaches of Mayaro, Vessigny, Erin and Los Iros. Rinty loved to watch TV, sit on my lap or desk during homework and even slept in my bed. Among his few faults, my little dog didn’t start barking until late in his puppyhood. This is an important detail for the story.

A few girls would lookout for my floppy-eared friend and come to the car to give him some love. He relished the attention and behaved very well. One afternoon in Form Four, the school day ended with an unexpected free period. As usual, I took my overstuffed, soft denim schoolbag out to the car and had a brilliant idea. With parental consent (unlike Ferris), I dumped the bag’s contents and put Rinty got in. The little man was going to meet his ladies.

Ferris: the master manipulator

Ferris: the master manipulator

The girls were thrilled, quietly of course because nobody wanted to get caught. We kept him in the bag because nobody wanted to catch the attention of a teacher passing by. It went incredibly well. The girls cooed and cuddled him. Rinty was on cloud nine because he was the centre of attention. I was beside myself that we could actually get away with this stunt. Then the ten minutes of reckless rule-breaking were over and it was time to go home. Except…

Remember I said that Rinty loved to watch TV? Well, he had a little quirk. He howled whenever a telephone rang and it didn’t occur to me that the school bell would hit the same pitch as the telephone. Rinty yelped, just as the Vice Principal rounded the corner to oversee dismissal! I shut his mouth and adjusted the bag to cover him up. The bell rang a second time and Rinty barked again. It was muffled but Miss whipped her head around and peered into the classroom.

School Bell Ringing

We tried to act casual, and then one of his girls barked quietly. Miss smelled a rat but it was time to go home and nobody would be crazy enough to bring a dog into the classroom, right? She shrugged it off and blew the whistle signalling home-time. I didn’t move until she was out of sight then gently carried my precious bundle to the car. A few girls escorted us to make sure nobody realised what happened. Of course, Rinty got many hugs and kisses before we left.

Perhaps my goody two-shoes reputation prevented suspicion. Whatever it was, we pulled it off magnificently. Rinty went to heaven many years ago. He died in my arms due to a doctor’s negligence. However, we have many memories of his antics and loving soul. Naughty and nice, he was my best little pal and I still miss him. So hug your furry friends and take many photos because you never know when you’ll have to say goodbye.

This is not my dog but Rinty used to do the same thing: