Los Angeles Times

Pup wracked by the racket

- Email questions to Amy Dickinson at askamy@ amydickins­on.com.

Dear Amy: I live in New York City in a co-op building. The apartment next door was sold eight months ago and has been unoccupied ever since.

I work from home doing some freelance writing, and I teach voice lessons via Zoom. I always have between two and eight voice students of all ages.

I have wanted a canine companion for a very long time. Three weeks ago I brought home a puppy.

One week later, I was given notice that the apartment next door would undergo a gut renovation lasting at least three months.

Last week the renovation began, and it’s as loud and jarring as you might think.

I can’t take work calls and I can’t conduct voice lessons from my home.

Worse, my puppy is scared by the banging and she’s trembling and anxious.

I’m in a very tight financial position and I don’t have the capacity to rent a petfriendl­y shared workspace.

I also don’t have the financial means to send my puppy to daycare every day. My vet said they could recommend some anti-anxiety medication­s for her.

Am I totally out of luck, or can I ask for compensati­on to vacate my home during constructi­on hours, as well as money for meds/a thundershi­rt for my puppy?

Broke 30-something

Dear Broke: If you rent your apartment from the unit’s owner, you should contact your landlord regarding a rent decrease or compensati­on during constructi­on. If you are an owner, contact your building ’s manager and the board to inquire about any possible redress.

One obvious solution would be for you to move your virtual voice classes to evenings and weekends, when the next-door apartment will be quiet.

You could try carrying your puppy in a dog sling as much as possible while inside, and spend time outside during the warm months.

However, because of the trauma of these sudden noises, I suggest you try to find someone to foster this dog in their own home until the demolition and renovation work is completed and your apartment is quieter.

Your vet, or the individual or entity where you got the puppy, might have ideas for individual­s to temporaril­y foster your dog.

Dear Amy: My father, 83, keeps trying to get me to mend fences with my sister.

My sister isn’t asking for a reconcilia­tion. She is never in touch with me.

This isn’t a recent rift but something that has grown over the last 30 years.

I chose to keep my distance from her because she constantly puts me down.

I have pointed this out to my father. Frankly, I just want to be left alone.

I do want to keep in contact with my elderly parents, but what can I say to my father, other than to get flatout angry?

I don’t understand why he always takes her side.

Keeping My Distance

Dear Distance: Every parent wants their children to get along. I hope you will be understand­ing and patient with your father.

When he brings this up, you can respond with “mirroring” — reflecting back to him his thoughts, so he knows you have heard and understood him. You don’t need to elaborate, cast blame or justify your actions: “Dad, I know you want us to be better friends, but it’s not happening, and it’s not your fault. Let’s talk about something else.”

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