No Cell Phones, No Food, NO PETS!

–From Rita Weeks, Boston University School of Law, Date of event: 2002

We had 20 minutes left in our 2 hour constitutional law class, and everyone was bored stiff. The professor was irritated at the lack of participation and enthusiasm, but most students were either already asleep or online on their laptops.

A strange, faint noise came from the back of the room that got my attention. It sounded like a little bell ringing –– the type a dog or cat would have on its collar. Curious, I turned and looked behind me, but didn’t see anything, so I turned back around. My friend, Jeremy, who sits next to me, said ““There is a dog behind you!”” Of course, I figured he was teasing me about my extreme love for dogs, so I rolled my eyes, but he said, “No really, there is a dog behind you.”

Looking behind me again, I saw a tiny little white fluffy dog that couldn’t have weighed more than 4 pounds. The dog was just quietly walking around, from the back of the room to the front of the room. I almost started laughing, and Jeremy and a few other students around us were trying not to laugh as well.

The professor heard the commotion and turned to our side of the room and asked if there was a problem. Of course, none of us said a thing, which made her even more irritated. The dog was right by my feet at this point, and I wanted to pick it up and give it back to the girl who sat a few rows behind me, who was obviously the dog’s owner as she was trying to discreetly coax the dog back towards her, but I figured if the prof saw me holding a dog she would have my head.

We tried to stay quiet, but the tiny dog made its way to the front of the room, where it peed on the floor!

When the professor finally saw it, she was less than thrilled, but the whole class couldn’t help but laugh and talk about it. In her commanding classroom manner, she announced, “Well, I guess the shit hasn’t hit the fan, but the urine has!”

She then harshly reminded us that along with cell phones and food, animals were items that we are not allowed to bring to her class.

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Andrew Jay McClurg is a law professor whose teaching and research interests include tort law, products liability, legal education, privacy law and firearms policy. He holds the Herbert Herff Chair of Excellence in Law at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.
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