Saturday, May 21, 2011

Andy's Quirks:
Opening the Bathroom Door

When I was in the upstairs bathroom at my condo, Andy would jump off the bed push the bathroom door open, take a look at me and return to the bed. On the bed, Andy would peer into the bathroom with an innocent face. He wanted to keep an eye on me. I lived alone so this should not have been a problem. However, my loft had huge windows, well over 16 ft tall. People across the street in the park could clearly see inside the lofts if the lights were on. Trust me, I’ve taken my dogs on many walks in that park and could see right through the windows at the second floor in those lofts.

Making things worse for me was that the bathroom door could not shut completely. The builders did a half-assed job in that building. For example, the bathroom door did not completely ‘catch.’ This was how Andy could nudge the door open. Another example of the builder’s half-assed workmanship was the toilet installation downstairs. The downstairs toilet is cocked a little to the left. It should be perpendicular to wall. However, I noticed that when I opened the closet door, it had a fraction of an inch of clearance when it swept past the toilet. My guess is that when the toilet was put in properly, the door did not open at all. The builder’s solution was to cock the toilet to the side to make way for the door.

I tried to adjust the strike plate—several times. The problem required more than shimming the strike plate. The latch was hitting wood. I would have to get a wood chisel, a hammer and chip out some wood to make room for the latch. It took me several times adjusting the strike plate until I realized I would have to chisel out some wood. In the meantime, I had a yellow lab with separation anxiety opening my bathroom door for the entire world to see.

I remember the first time he opened the door on me. I had already unclothed and entered the shower. Since I had an opaque shower curtain liner, I finished showering. I then reached my arm around to the towel hangar, grabbed a towel and dried off behind the curtain liner. I put the towel around me, left the shower, turned off the bathroom light and continued my normal routine. Once the lights were out upstairs, no one could see in.

I solved the bathroom door problem by making Andy come into the bathroom with me. He got to be closer to me and keep an eye on me. He could not pull the door open since he was on the other side now. Subsequently, I was able to use the bathroom without worrying about half of Raleigh peeking at a naked me. Of course Abby, who normally would sleep on the rug upstairs, had to come in the bathroom, too, now that Andy was there. She didn’t want to be left out. Sharing a standard sized American bathroom with two big dogs was weird. Andy’s quirks and eccentricities were almost contagious.

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