By Thursday, April 26, 2018 18 No tags Permalink

The month of April marks stress awareness month. I had no idea. Seems appropriate though for what our family is going through this month…


After almost eleven months renovations at the hacienda have begun.

For weeks, we’ve prepped and planned for almost every scenario we could think of. Our list of “what if’s” has been a daunting task.

Because Doodle Dad is home to oversee our dream turn reality, our my focus has been the Boys -the dust – and the debris. With every Company we interviewed, I stressed #punintended my obsession with protective covering of each section they demo.

The company we selected understood my request. They assemble plastic sections outside the inside sections to ensure they’ve captured the majority of the dust….



A recent survey stated more than 29 percent of dogs suffer some form of stress. I wouldn’t say either of my Boys “suffer” from fear or anxiety –

  • Harley: doesn’t care to be outside during the 4th of July – but inside he’s not bothered.
  • Jaxson: doesn’t like it much when the Citadel has a football game. Their stadium is across the street, and with each touchdown they shoot off their cannon. #stupidtradition

In Jaxson’s defense, I don’t like it either, it comes out of nowhere and I’ve been known to spill my wine, or jump out of my slippers a time or two.

When my son came to work on a project in the house, Jax was fine. He enjoyed watching him work…


His curiosity seemed normal. As we moved some items around he was free to observe and be inquisitive…


Notice Jaxson observing from the top of the stairs!

He didn’t seem anxious at all, so I thought we were good to go!


Imagine a hurricane, tsunami, tornado and thunder storm all occurring at the same time. That was how our renovation demolition pawty started.

Doodle Dad called me shortly after I arrived at work. He said –

It’’s getting kinda sporty here at the house


Noisy chaos of major proportions!

Homes in Charleston’s Historical District have metal (or tin) roofs. They are known to last for decades and sustain hurricane force winds. Sledge hammers are required to remove the panels and you can only imagine how loud those panel are when they fall from the roof-top into those metal dumpsters…


They are loud.

When I tell you my kitchen is being renovated, I’m talking gutted…


Jackhammers, sledgehammers, crowbars and chisels just added to the racket.

Lee called me at least three times in less than two hours.

The last communique was a text message –

Jaxson is really not handling the noise well.

And my heart sank.

Minutes later I received another text –

Jaxson won’t come out of the closet.

Along with this photo…


I left my job. #nolie 


There are many ways to approach anxious, nervous dogs with fears and phobias. But none are cookie cutter solutions.

I prefer natural remedies myself.

  • Exercise
  • Distraction
  • Thundershirts
  • Massages
  • Scents (oils)
  • Music
  • Supplements (Extracts)

Dogs have an amazing capacity to adapt to situations, but we (I) can’t expect them to “understand” and fit perfectly in our environment.

Knowing the source of Jaxson’s stress made it easy to for me to do something about it. I removed him from the situation. I took the Boys to my sister-in-laws house for the rest of the day. We took a long walk, drank a ton of water, had some treats and they slept.


The days that followed have been fine. Jaxson no longer hides in closets.

Neither the Boys nor I were prepared for the loud noise and deafening sounds from the tools and machines. Now we have better awareness, and now they are able to cope.

The roof crew have finished removing the old and are now installing the new roof. It’s a fraction of the sound, and we’ve found what works.

If the interior contractors plan to use loud machinery, they notify Doodle Dad and this sweet dear husband of mine does what only a pet parent would.

He finds Jaxson’s favorite movie Bad Boys (Martin Lawrence & Will Smith) on Netflix, and turns it up loud in the bedroom #cantmakethisstuffup… 


Charleston is so super pet friendly the Boys are welcomed everywhere (excpet grocery stores), so the three of them run errands together during the day. The Downtown Wells Fargo branch love it when they come through the door…



Well, Harley has to be and probably always will be one-cool-Dood. During all the construction activity (unless there are errand to run), this 9 year old cutie just naps. That’s right, Harley could care less – he just sleeps…


Completion is about 30 days away. Prayerfully the worst is over.

I’ll keep you posted…

Storms don’t last forever ❤

  • Debbie Matos
    April 26, 2018

    Thanks for sharing this sweet story!

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 26, 2018

      You’re welcome – thanks for always reading 🙂

  • Dashlilly
    April 26, 2018

    AAARGH!!! What a time! But it will be worth it, I’m sure. Dash is so much like Harley it just makes it smile. He is 11 now!! 11!!! But still my cool dood. Plumber was at the house this morning, Dash sniffed him and watched him work. Lilly, my worry wart, sat next to me, pawed at me, let me know that she was not happy. When the cleaning people come, she is upstairs on my bed and not moving an inch. Oh these doodles! So silly and so wonderful. Good luck with the reno. Plan on posting pics of the finished product!!!

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 26, 2018

      Dash and Harley have been “Soul-Doods” for years haven’t they? I am okay with all the projects. Seems like it was taking forever to get started but now that theres forward movement, I’m getting excited.

  • Monika & Sam
    April 26, 2018

    All reno projects are daunting (in addition to being mind-numbingly dirt accumulating). But it sounds like you’ve got things under control. Won’t be long and you’ll all be enjoy the new space. Well done!

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 26, 2018

      Yep – that’s the way I see it too Monika – After a while, I won’t even remember the inconvenience. I pray LOL

  • Cheryl
    April 26, 2018

    I know your pain and excitement of renovations, however, I didn’t have animals to worry about this last time. When we had new air and heat put in, our grand doodle followed the guys everywhere! I’m glad they didn’t mind.
    I laughed out loud when you wrote about Doodle dad putting on Jaxson’s favorite movie, that is just so funny!
    Here’s hoping your renovation goes well!

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 4, 2018

      Hey Cheryl –
      There is a great deal one can learn about oneself during a live-in renovation. I am pleased with the work thus far, and we are making sure we’re doing it the way we want it – so we don ‘t have to do it again LOL

  • Emma
    April 26, 2018

    Oh my! That is a major undertaking. Hopefully it will all be done on time or early so life can return to normal!

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 4, 2018

      It will be a long time before I can call life “normal” again. We will be finished with the first floor by the end of May, then we will have to begin with the second floor, heating and air, front porch, back porch and so on, and so on, etc, etc…. LOL

  • Shadow and Ducky's Mom
    April 27, 2018

    I know you’ll be glad when all the renovations are done and life can get back to normal. Jaxson – dear boy that he is – will be even happier about it.

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 4, 2018

      Girlfriend, it really could be worse, so I’m counting my blessings. I am learning so much about me, the Doodle Dad and the Boys. We are much tougher than I originally thought LOL Should be finished with first floor by the end of the month. Paws crossed. Have a great weekend 🙂

  • Jan K
    April 27, 2018

    We’ve been through that oh-so-many times. We were constantly making changes at our old house, and have done a few at the new as well. Nothing as major as what you’re undertaking though.
    I always tried to have a safe place for the dogs to be, in a closed room by themselves, as far away from the noise as possible, but that only helps so much when it’s loud. Our beagle Kobi was like Harley….he slept through it all. But the goldens and Cricket, and now Luke, are definitely far more nervous.
    The TV and the movie is the best thing I’ve seen….what a great idea!
    But we just did all we could, like you are, and we survived them all!

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 4, 2018

      This is our first time. We’ve moved so many times while Lee was active duty military, but we’ve never renovated. This is near and dear to our hearts because it’s the house Lee grew up in. It’s well worth the wait and I’ve always loved the home, it’s location and the neighbors. I was freaking out earlier when we first moved in and nothing seemed to be happening, but living in the confusion watching everything take shape is pretty exciting. I’ve learned patience that’s for sure LOL

    April 28, 2018

    That picture with Jaxson peeking from the stairway is one of the cutest pictures EVER Thank you for sharing your journey. As always I Love keeping up with The Boys.

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 4, 2018

      Hi Claudette – Jaxson is a character. We love having you as a part of our journey. Hope all is well.

  • Amanda Taylor
    May 3, 2018

    Wrigley has always hated the sound of roof construction more than anything – and we live an area with regular old shingles! But if we are on a walk and there is any house within blocks having roof work done, he absolutely refuses to proceed, sticks his tail down between his legs, and insists on going straight home. Piper is always like, “what? Why can’t we keep going?!” Oh well!

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 4, 2018

      Hey Amanda – the tin roofs are the worst! Ours seems to take forever to finish and the sound of those metal sheets falling into the metal dumpster was grueling. So happy that part is over. Have a great weekend 🙂

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