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So, I'm only 21; however I've lived away from home since I was 17 and have grown up around dogs. I've worked with them for the past 3 years also, for a year in a boarding kennels, a year as a dog behaviorists assistant/dog walker and for the past year and currently in an RSPCA shelter.

Biscuit was found as a stray and had just had puppy's and was still producing milk etc, she was covered in burns and scars. She was very hormonal and set to be PTS after she'd served her 7 days as nobody could get into the kennel with her, gradually we formed a bond and they gave her a little more time but she still wasn't responding to other staff members so they still wanted her to go. I started taking her home at the weekends and socializing her, her fears were:
- Men
- Joggers
- Cyclists
- Lorry's/buses
- Other dogs
- Extreme fireworks fear

I have fostered her for the past year and worked on all of these issues with her, she now has a handful of human and canine friends and will happily walk past joggers/cyclists/lorry's with a waggy happy tail :)

She was recently diagnosed with cancer and the shelter has said that if she has to go back there to be re homed she will be put the sleep. I realized that my age may sound like an issue but dogs are my life, i'm due to start studying canine behavior and training at university and I have found a house with a friend that Biscuit adores (who is also a man, shock horror!!) that is animal friendly. She will be left at home for 3 full days a week but we have alternate days off so for the rest of the week someone will be about to take her for big long walks and give her snuggles on the sofa.

I've had mixed opinions about my age, the responsibilities and taking on a dog with fear aggression and other behavioral problems. What are your opinions? Am I ready?
 

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It sounds to me like you already have a dog and just don't know it. If you can be responsible for fostering and trianing with success, why not ownership. I don't see 21 as being too young as long as you understand the commitment, the responsibility and can afford it financially. If she has Cancer, what options are there for her as far as treatment. Will the shelter help with payments if she stays "foster?"

When you stays home 3 full days... do you mean, 8-9 hour work day? I mean, she will obviously need potty breaks etc...
 

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It sounds to me like you already have a dog and just don't know it. If you can be responsible for fostering and trianing with success, why not ownership. I don't see 21 as being too young as long as you understand the commitment, the responsibility and can afford it financially. If she has Cancer, what options are there for her as far as treatment. Will the shelter help with payments if she stays "foster?"

When you stays home 3 full days... do you mean, 8-9 hour work day? I mean, she will obviously need potty breaks etc...
Pretty much what Inga said. You've shown more responsibility than many people twice (or three times) your age.
 

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Age has so little to do with it, other than the fact that when I was 21 I might have begrudged the time/work that a dog (especially one that needs extra work!) would have taken, I was working HUGE hours and trying to have a social life. That said, my DH and I got Caeda, our first dog as adults while in our early 30s and we were FAR less prepared than you sound!

The main thing that I think you might need to be concerned with is the financial aspect of taking care of a dog with cancer. There is also the concern that you'll have to be prepared to say goodbye sooner than I'm sure you would like.Heartbreaking, but worth it I'm sure! Those things aside you definitely sound ready!
 
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