June 7th, 2016
Our basement family room has been undergoing renovation work for the past few weeks. Like many renovation projects, it is taking longer than we originally thought. Preparing and sharing one’s living space with a work crew while they tackle the job on a daily basis can be challenging for us – never mind a Newfoundland puppy. Bailey was mystified at first because her entry rugs disappeared each morning. In their place was a strange foam-like covering that ran from the front door through the entry room, along one side of the living room and down the basement stairs. Newfoundland dogs can be very particular about “flooring” and Bailey is no exception. She must have stood with her feet firmly placed on the garage door frame for about 5 minutes, cautiously sniffing this new feature in the entry. As usual, I was impatient to get her in the house and dried off after an early morning walk in the rain. Bailey could not be rushed. What did she think, it would gobble her up? I was okay. I encouraged her to move forward with positive praise. My attempts met with little success. I was not going to resort to treats quite yet. In the end, Bailey took turtle-like steps with a couple of nudges by me from behind. It is situations like this one when I wish she was not so hefty. Finally, she was in. Our girl was sitting on this weird material with another 8 feet in front of her to get to the living room. It was going to be a long morning for the two of us. Thankfully, as the days went on, Bailey spent less time checking out the “flooring”.
As I mentioned, the construction zone is downstairs. It is a place that Bailey has shown no interest in going. Bailey is more than interested now. Strange sounds have floated up from there which have piqued her curiosity. The pounding and sawing sounds do not intrigue her as much as the voices. There are people in the house and they are not her people. She wants to meet them. One particular voice actual gets Bailey to stick her muzzle up against the plastic sheeting barrier. This voice belongs to the crew supervisor, Dylan. One can see that he is a “dog” person. When he arrives each morning, Bailey is waiting to ambush him. She gives her customary deep woof (sometimes two) upon hearing the doorbell ring. After all, she cannot neglect her guard dog duties. Bailey learned quickly that he will rub her. The more she circles around him, the more rubs that he provides. She thumps her tail against the walls which only seems to encourage him. Every time that he comes upstairs, this scene repeats itself. I do not think that Bailey understands he is here to work. Bailey is taken with him but she is not the only one. Dylan has been asking questions about where she came from and how much a dog like her would cost. I would not be surprised if he owned a Newfoundland dog one day. I have to watch Bailey when he is around. She almost followed him outside one day and would have happily climbed into his van if he invited her. Yes, Bailey is friendly – too friendly at times. I keep joking about seeing Bailey peeking out of the van’s back window as Dylan drives off for lunch unaware of our furry stowaway. That is, until Bailey smells his lunch.