Dempsey has been going to public restrooms for a few months now, and as long as it isn’t too dirty or noisy, he does pretty well. But the men’s room at MSP airport is a different story. You may recall that's where Senator Larry Craig was arrested in 2007 for lewd behavior.
It didn’t really occur to me until I came home and re-read the police report that Dempsey could have gotten us arrested! Check out the evidence against him:
The officer reported a “white male with grey hair standing outside my stall.”
Ok, I’m not white, but I might as well be. And I do have grey hair. When Dempsey is practicing his stays, I frequently stand outside stalls.
“I could see Craig look through the crack in the door from his position.”
This is one of Dempsey’s more embarassing habits. If someone enters the next stall, Dempsey is overcome by curiosity and tries peeking through the crack, or under the stall wall.
“The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area.”
Dempsey does this, too! For some reason, he tends to drop crossways in a narrow stall, so that his tail or his paws intrude on the stall next door.
“Craig then proceeded to swipe his hand under the stall divider several times.”
Ok, Dempsey doesn’t do this with his paws, but when he wags his tail, I'm sure it looks suspiciously like swiping in the next stall.
“With my left hand near the floor, I pointed towards the exit. Craig responded, ‘No!’”
If Dempsey enters a stall with an unflushed toilet, it sometimes takes a bit of cajoling to get him out, as he likes to sniff it. Just like Senator Craig?
“Craig exited the stall…without flushing the toilet.”
Since I don’t use the bathroom “for the intended purpose” when I’m with Dempsey, I don’t always flush. Perhaps I should.
Craig explained that “he has a wide stance when going to the bathroom.”
So does Dempsey! Unlike most boys, he spreads his legs and squats when he has to pee, instead of lifting his leg up.
Craig told the officer he reached down to pick up a piece of paper. “It should be noted that… Craig [did not] pick up a piece of paper,” the arresting officer said.
This is another of Dempsey’s bad habits we’re working on. Sometimes when I ask him to pick up a (clean) paper towel from the restroom floor, he’ll eat it instead. Just like Senator Craig?
We brought the camera to document Dempsey’s first trip to the airport, and in a rare display of common sense, I didn’t take any pictures in the bathroom, so we have no documented proof of Dempsey's lewd behavior. We did, however, take a bunch of pictures outside.
They’re not that interesting, because Dempsey did really well! He was unfazed by the baggage carousel, even when the buzzer sounded and the red light flashed. He didn’t notice the x-ray machines. The only challenge was retrieves near the escalator, which were a little scary at first, but he got over it pretty quickly. (BTW, Dempsey is not allowed on escalators – it’s not safe for his paws – but we think he needs to be more comfortable working near them.)
Now that I know Dempsey could be arrested for his behavior in the bathroom, we'll be focusing more on polishing those skills. No more peeking under the stalls, and no more licking yourself, young man!