Things are finally starting to take shape at the part-time residence. One of the major concerns, of course, was how I am going to deal with the dogs up there. I feel like I looked at 40,000 houses before settling on this place. (Well, maybe that’s a SLIGHT exaggeration – in reality it was about 40).
I found houses with land, but no places for the dogs. I found places with good set ups for the dogs, but no land. I found a house with a rock in 1/2 the basement, I found a cute little place, that had such huge swarms of dragonflies, so many that not even *I* could handle it – as much as I love dragonflies. There was a beautiful property surrounded on two sides by the Gull River, where the basement smelled like mould. Houses where you couldn’t access upstairs from downstairs, houses on rocks, and the finds go on.
This was actually one of the first houses I looked at, but so much cosmetic work needed to be done, that it really made me worry about the “bones”. Turns out a lot of the worry was unnecessary. Yes, it needs work, and it needs windows and doors. But the furnace that I thought was 30 years old and in need of replacement is actually only 5 years old, and just needed a good cleaning.
My wonderful Dundalk handy man, Mark, has been going out for a few weekends and picking away at some of the tasks, and this weekend he completed what will be the “kennel”
This was the garage, as it existed, when I moved in. Lots of “stuff” being stored – materials for incomplete projects in the house. To the right is a breezeway that leads into the house and the back yard.
The house also had a “mother-in-law” door at the back, coming of the kitchen, which my insurance agent said had to be fixed as it was a safety hazard (Watch that first step! It’s a Lulu!!)
First weekend, the new deck went in. Now it is safe to open the kitchen door, I have a place to sit outside, and to barbecue.
He replaced the kitchen lights, which had been no brighter than nightlights with new fixtures, and set up the portable kennels so the dogs could be safely outdoors .
Now it was time to bring up the dogs, and because of the threat of bears, I had to set up indoor runs in the garage. . But it was dark, and not a pleasant situation for the dogs, so we set out to improve it.
The next weekend Mark added two windows to the garage, one on the back of the house, and one on the side. The difference in the lighting is amazing, as well as the ability to provide the dogs with fresh air during the day. But there is still work to be done.
This weekend the garage was divided by an insulated wall into a new 6×12 “garage” and a kennel.
The street end of the garage has now become a 6 x 12 “mini-garage”, where I can store, snow removal stuff, hardware, etc. It is accessible from the house by a man door.
Now there is a separate are for the “kennel” with daylight, and access to the house. Next step was to seal the floor.
Mark sealed the floor with a light tan colour epoxy, which will cure to a waterproof seal. He also added an additive specially made to provide traction.
The pens are moved back in and assembled and ready for the dogs to arrive tomorrow :) All that remains is to put down mats to keep them off the concrete, and beds so they don’ t have to sleep on the ground.
The last stage (which he actually did during daylight hours) was to modifty the deck to add a ramp for Hunter to get in and out without dealing with stairs.
More plans yet to come, but hopefully this is a good start that will keep the dogs comfortable, safe, and away from bears!! And yes, I have seen FOUR bears since May….lucky me!!