Actually, this may be exactly
what you want to hear
I moved out of state a few years ago, so I have no family or real close friends within state. Before I got into school, my socializing mainly consisted of going out to the bars a few nights a week
Once I got into school, I realized I could not go out to the bars anymore
& I was caught in this catch-22: I couldn't go out anymore, but I also had a lot
of time to spend at home. I had a lot of down time, but still couldn't go out to see my friends anymore like I used to because I was busy with school work. So, yeah, I get
"nursing school" lonely!
I decided to get a dog after being in school for about 2 months. I remember one of my instructors saying, "Don't you think you have enough
on your plate right now?" I didn't even tell my mom about it at first (how sad...my mom lives 250 miles away from me, I'm a grown adult, & I still hid the fact that I was getting a dog from her!
) because I thought for sure she'd poo-poo the idea.
is sitting here with me now, & he's honestly the best thing I could have done for myself.
This is gonna be a little longer than I intended, but I think there's a lot that went into making this transition being so smooth for me:
-Go on Petfinder.com: Adopt a pet and help an animal shelter rescue a puppy or kitten.
. I'm a huge "pound puppy" advocate now because of my experience with the Humane Society. Scrubs was actually days away from the chopping block before I found him
! They'll tell you right online whether or not a dog is house-trained, gets along with kids, other animals, etc. Dig around a little bit, though...sometimes the first pets that are listed come from places that charge over $100 in adoption fees. I got Scrubs for about $80 altogether - & that included the micro-chip, vaccinations & neutering Humane Society does for all their pets. I also just recently found that a Human Society in my area has something called "Re-homing" for pet owners that had/have to give their animals up (for various reasons). These dogs have already lived in someone's home & those people can tell you how well-behaved they are, how house-trained they are, etc.
-Plan on when you're going to bring your puppy home. The way my schedule worked, we always had a 3-day weekend, starting on Friday. So, I waited until Friday morning to bring him home, just so I could be there a few days to see how he'd react to his new home.
-I recommend not getting a puppy. For me, I knew that even though I'd always have a 3-day weekend, I didn't feel that was enough time to house-train a puppy. Not just the potty training, but you have to think about all the stuff lying around your house right now that a dog could get into. Now, that being said: the Humane Society told me Scrubs was full-grown, but it didn't take long after I got him home to realize that he still had a lot of puppy in him! I got him a little over a year ago, & I'm guessing he's maybe a 1 year & 1/2 right now. And we did fine. So, maybe get a puppy...I don't know
! Had I known he was that young, I probably wouldn't have gotten him. We got lucky.
-I got a Dogs for Dummies book. It really helped a lot. I'd always had dogs as a kid, but never had the responsibility of taking care of one on my own. This book helped a lot. It even has a section on what kind of dog you should get, depending on what your needs are & how much time you'll be at home, etc.
-I also did a lot
of research before I got Scrubs. I wanted to know exactly
what I was getting in for...just do random internet searches with words like, "Should I get a dog?" "What do I need to know before getting a dog?", etc. Most of the sites I found stressed that getting a dog isn't just a 2 year, or even a five year committment. My friends just put their little weiner dog down after 16
-I decided early on that I did not want a little tiny dog. They generally have poorer bladder control & are more hyper, which is not my cup of tea. That's also why I decided that I wanted a male dog - less hyper.
-Make sure your landlord's okay with it. I knew mine was, but still thought I could sneak Scrubs in just so I wouldn't have to pay extra rent for him every month. The Humane Society will actually ask you about this & in my case, they actually called my landlord to make sure it was okay. I read somewhere that apartment living is a #1 reason people give up their pets. The Humane Society wants to make sure this is going to work out for you.
know what you're schedule is going to be. Personally, I found that I had more time to spend at home when I was in school than when I was working, so it worked out for me. I'm actually worried about what I'm going to do when I graduate because once I start working full-time, that will be the longest time Scrubs has ever had to be at home alone (actually, I'm planning on getting him a little brother when the time comes). If you're not sure that you're going to be home enough, I'd recommend talking to a vet. I wouldn't ask the folks at the Humane Society, because although they may mean well, they may just want to tell you what you want to hear.
So, a lot of people are giving you the thumbs down, & maybe they're right, but my experience with Scrubs has been wonderful & honestly, I couldn't have imagined it working out better. Had I waited until I got out of school to get him, I wouldn't have had as much time to spend with him for our first couple years together. He's wonderful to come home to after a long night @ clinical & it relieves a lot of nursing school stress to just take him out for a walk when I get home. I haven't had to resort to this yet, but I know I have a couple friends that would come over if I was stuck @ school for a long time that would let him out, if need be.
Good luck. Remember, this is just my experience, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. You can PM me if you have any questions!