In which our shy dog is not so scared of roofers (or their dogs)

Yard and house and dog
Yard + house needing new roof + dog.

Sometimes I think Pyrrha is a normal, confident dog hiding in the guise of a shy dog. (Or maybe that’s just what ALL shy dogs are…).

For example:

Last week, we had to get our roof replaced. I was not so sure how Pyrrha would handle this, but I imagined she would be rather upset by the whole ordeal: A team of strange men walking around and on top of the house, making loud noises, etc.

But here’s what happened: She was initially nervous and slinking around when the roofers arrived the first day. As I was leaving, my husband alerted me to the fact that one of the roofers brought his dog along (without asking or notifying us about it at all) and left the dog–a medium-sized mixed breed–in our backyard. I was kind of peeved by this news. Who brings their dog along to a construction job, without asking anyone? I had to leave for work, slightly disgruntled, but thankful that Guion was going to be around for part of the afternoon.

Fast forward a few hours: Guion calls me at work. “What do dogs look like when they’re trying to play with each other?” I laugh and he says that he’s let Pyrrha into the backyard to meet Blacky, the creatively named roofer’s dog, and things seem to be going well. Pyrrha apparently raised hackles and snarled a bit at first, but then she started throwing Blacky some play bows and soon, the two were chasing each other around the yard. I was thrilled to hear it, and happy that it went well, considering that I would have never attempted such a thing.

The next day, I walked out into the yard around noon to talk to Guion and Pyrrha followed me out. One of the roofers was sitting in a chair in our yard. I didn’t see him at first, and I was nervous how Pyrrha would react (normally, with growling, hackles up, slinking away, etc.). To my utter amazement, she walked right up to him, sniffed his hand, and wagged her tail. I was SHOCKED.

“Guion, has she met that guy before?” I asked my husband.
“No,” he said. “She’s never seen him; I’ve never even seen him before.”

Pyrrha proceeds to lay down at this man’s feet and look calmly at the two of us, wondering, I’m sure, why we were gaping at her with our mouths open.

“This dog is shy?” The roofer said, when I called out to explain her behavior, and possibly warn him. “I don’t believe it!”

Sometimes I don’t either…

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5 thoughts on “In which our shy dog is not so scared of roofers (or their dogs)

  1. Love this new discovery! Rufus sometimes shocks me as well. One time I was walking him, and a strange man crouched down to pet him without asking (and before I had time to interject) and Rufus took to him immediately….it was bizarre.

  2. Sounds like she’s gaining more and more confidence everyday. It’s all thanks to all of the hard work you all have done to socialize her. Surprises like these make me appreciate them even more and motivates me to do more.

    I’m not sure about other breeds but all the German Shepherd Dogs I’ve come across always has the habit of being very vocal when playing.

  3. That’s too cute. Dogs are just so full of surprises, aren’t they? I am so glad she felt comfortable enough to relax around a stranger like that, especially on her own turf.. It lets you know that such a thing is indeed possible and it’s something to remember during the more frustrating moments. Yay for Pyrrha!

  4. Some of the guys I work with have a name for small contractors–“dog and pick up truck builders.”

    Generally these guys have very well-socialized dogs because they go everywhere around town. Sounds like your roofer’s dog had good dog smarts and was able to make Pyrrha comfortable around him. You might want to find painters and landscapers with dogs too. 🙂

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