Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Preparing dogs for roofing projects

"What are they DOING up there?!?"
It's a sad fact that most real estate transactions involve roofers. New buyers want to ensure that the homes they're purchasing will last for multiple years without major investments, and most banks won't produce loans on homes with big, gaping holes in the roof. As a result, when August rolled around, I had to prepare Liam for the advent of a major roofing project that was likely to take several days to complete. I knew he wouldn't like anything about this.

Boot camp for roofing involves exposing the dog to loud, random sounds throughout the day. I looked for roofing videos like this one and this one, and I played them on the speakers of the computer at random times per day (at pretty loud volumes). I also tried dropping books and shoes in the upstairs bedrooms when Liam was downstairs, hoping to show him that loud noises from above don't always spell disaster. And finally, I kept all of the windows open all of the time, so he could become accustomed to people talking outside. I think his nerves were a little shot, but it seemed like this was about the best I could do.

When roofing day arrived and the workers started setting up shop, I took Liam around for introductions. He was allowed to sniff all of the workers, and get little scratches on the head, and then we went right back inside for a good day of work. I had hoped that he'd accept these people crawling around the house, as he'd had the opportunity to meet all of them at least once.

I'm happy to report that he did quite well throughout the roofing project. There were a few scary moments (for both of us) when the roofers made noises that could only be associated with earthquakes or the impending failure of the crossbeams, but Liam quickly went right back to sleep when the dust had settled. In just a few days, it was over. Whew!