Dear Amy: I live in a cooperative building in New York City. The apartment next door was sold eight months ago and has been vacant ever since.
I do some freelance writing work from home, and I teach voice lessons through Zoom. I always have students with two to eight voices, of all ages.
I’ve wanted a canine companion for a very long time. Three weeks ago I brought home a puppy.
A week later, I was given notice that the apartment next door would be undergoing a gut renovation that would last at least three months.
The renovation began last week, and it’s as loud and unsettling as you might imagine.
I can’t take calls at work and I can’t voice text from my home. Even worse, my puppy is very afraid of being beaten up (who can blame her?) and she is trembling and anxious.
Big Bugaboo? I’m in a very tight financial position, and I don’t have the ability to rent a pet-friendly shared workspace in the area. I don’t know of any pet-friendly sound studios.
I don’t even have the financial means to send my puppy to daycare every day. My vet said they can recommend some anti-anxiety medications for her.
Am I completely out of luck here, or am I allowed to ask for money for meds and/or thundershirts for my pup, along with compensation for vacating my house during construction hours?
Dear Brock: If you rent your apartment from the unit owner, you should contact your landlord about a reduction in rent or compensation while working next door. If you are a cooperative owner, you should contact your building’s manager and cooperative board to inquire about any possible redressal.
An obvious solution would be to move your virtual voice classes and other phone work to evenings and weekends, when the apartment next door is quieter.
You can try to take your puppy inside in a dog sling as much as possible, and spend a lot of time outside during these warm months.
However, because of the shock of these sudden noises on your puppy, I highly recommend that you try very hard to find someone to foster this young dog in your home until the demolition and renovation work next door is complete. Don’t fall and your apartment doesn’t get quiet.
Your vet — or the person or institution where you got the puppy — may have ideas for individuals to temporarily spay your dog.
Dogs can be extremely expensive. You should realistically determine if you can take good care of this puppy.
Dear Amy: My father, who is 83, keeps trying to repair the fence with my sister.
My sister is not asking for reconciliation. She doesn’t call, and is never in touch with me.
This is not a recent crackdown, but something that has escalated over the past 30 years.
I decided to keep my distance from her as she constantly let me down.
I have told this to my father. To be honest, I just want to be alone.
I want to keep in touch with my elderly parents, so I keep in touch with them, but what else can I say other than being angry with my father?
I don’t understand why he always takes her side.
keep my distance
Dear Distance: Every parent wants their children to be together. This desire only goes along with parenting.
I hope you are wise and patient with your father.
When your father brings it up, you can respond with “mirroring.” It’s simply reflecting back his own thoughts, so he knows you’ve heard and understood him.
You don’t need to elaborate, blame, or justify your actions: “Dad, I know you want us to be better friends, but that’s not happening, and it’s not your fault. Let’s do something different. Let’s talk about it.”
Dear Amy: A woman signing her question “yikes” wondered how to change her lifelong pattern of “love bombing” men, dived into relationships, and then suddenly broke them years later when she came to her senses.
I thought, your advice to him was good, but upon reading his question I immediately came to the conclusion that he had a very specific personality disorder. I’m wondering how (or why) you missed it!
Dear Perceptive: I do not diagnose people through these pages. Mainly – I’m not qualified!
However, I did seek medical advice. There must be a solution there.
You can email Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow him on Twitter @askingamy or on Facebook.