At this time five years ago we were getting ready for our puppies to come home. It was our first summer and we had been living in the house for three months. In a lot of ways, the house was in bad shape. For example, the room that we wanted to put the dogs in had wallpaper, the chair rail was painted maroon, there was maroon carpeting with a painted floor beneath – and it’s likely all the paint was lead paint – and in true country cob fashion, the previous owners would do things like paint around a piece of furniture rather than move the furniture to paint behind it.
We met and picked out our boys (English Labrador brothers) July 23, 2006. We had exactly two weeks to kick it into high-gear and puppy-proof their room.
The carpeting had already been ripped out – we signed the papers on the house in February, 2006 and immediately following our celebratory dinner, we bought a crowbar, went to the house and started ripping up sections of the carpet to see what we had beneath. That February, I took a week’s vacation from my job in Boston to spend at the house doing renovations. During that week I ripped out the carpet in the entire house! I cut it into strips, rolled it and hauled it out to the garage. I also had to remove a couple thousand staples from the floor. Working fourteen hours a day, I was so proud of the enormous task I had completed. I was here by myself – no phone, no tv, a little boom box for tunes, an air mattress to sleep on and just enough kitchen items to cook a meal.
To prepare for the puppies, we stripped wall paper, scraped paint – not down to the bare wood because there are like ten coats of paint on everything in this house – but we scraped and then painted over, and we rented a belt sander and sanded and stained the floors. The room, even to this day, is not great, because our hope is to bust through two of the walls and enlarge the kitchen which is just on the other side of the dog’s room. We bought food, bowls, toys, collars, leashes, a kennel (although they never used it), and a baby gate. We did it. We were ready!
August 5, 2006 we brought our babies, Acadia and Denali home.