Early on, Cricket, my fourteen pound Cockapoo, found the whole idea of a closed door, with her on one side and me on the other, highly offensive. Mom’s door is rarely closed, especially because there’s an ironing board attached to it and telephone cords running under it and pocket books hanging from the door knob. My room has no door at all, just a door way and a set of stairs leading up to the attic. So the bathroom is a room that is uniquely closed off to Cricket when in use, and she hates it.
The door was already not quite level, because the whole apartment is kind of tilted; which explains why a pan on top of the stove tilts all of the oil to one side, and the dust bunnies in the Living Room roll down hill. When Cricket started to throw her body against the bathroom door, in a panic at not being able to reach me for two whole minutes, she managed to make the lock pop open.
She was shocked at her power. She stuck her nose into the little space she’d created and then jumped back when the door opened even further.
We added a latch to the door, but even with the latch she can get the door open about two centimeters and stick her little black nose into the space. The funny thing is, when I leave the door unlatched, like when I’m brushing my teeth, she’s too wary to walk in. She doesn’t know what to make of all of that freedom. It makes me wonder if she really wanted to be in the bathroom with me, or if she just wanted to be in conflict with the door.
Cricket is a connoisseur of the people bathroom. It is as much her as ours, because she has her wee wee pad in front of the bathtub. She relies on the wee wee pad, especially when she uses up her outdoor time chewing on sticks and forgets to pee. She also takes advantage of the convenience of peeing in the middle of the night when getting her people to take her outside is an impossibility.
Before Butterfly came to us in November, Cricket used to stay in bed with Grandma in the mornings, guarding her head, until Grandma finally woke up, and then they would walk to the bathroom together for a morning pee duet. Then the caravan moved on to the kitchen for coffee, and then to the coat rack, for Cricket’s leash, and an outing.
But now, with Butterfly here, I do the first walk of the day. Butterfly insists on getting up very early and stares at me until I give in. Cricket hears the footsteps and the leash rattling and relinquishes her guardianship of the grandma to come outside with us. As soon as we come back inside, Cricket runs, leash and all, back to Grandma’s bed to continue her vigil. Then, when Grandma wakes up, the routine continues as before, with bathroom visit and coffee caravan intact. But now Butterfly has added herself to the team and all three of them trail into the bathroom together.