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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm a 50 year old single father, and my youngest is starting college this week so it's about to be just me and my new dog. But it's not what you think. I didn't get a dog because I was about to be alone. I was really looking forward to being by myself. The dog sort of just happened.

My 2nd oldest son got a dog at a rescue shelter, and he lives in an apartment and works 11 to 12 hours. When he got the dog it was 2 months old. The shelter didn't know for sure what the dog was but their best guess is part Black Lab and part Retriever. Well my son found out that this is definitely not a good breed for an apartment dweller who has limited time to take them out for exercise. So a few weeks ago my son is going on a week-long trip, and I volunteered to dog sit. After talking with my son I gathered that he and his roommate weren't doing well with the dog, and I sensed they would be giving up the dog within the next 6 to 8 weeks (even though he would not have necessarily said so at the time).

I've got a big fenced in backyard, and the dog had a great time. By the time my son got back I couldn't stand the thought of the dog being taken back to a shelter and probably being put to sleep. My son wasn't doing anything as far as training, and I just knew that by the time they gave him up, he would not be adoptable.

So I decided to offer to take the dog. I've had him now for almost three weeks, but for most of that time my daughter was doing most of the work because she fell in love with the dog. But now she's back in college, and this is my 2nd day on my own. It is a really tough challenge. Right now I'm working from my home so I've got the time, but oh boy, it feels like taking care of this dog is another part-time job.

I need lots of advice because the last time I had a dog, I was 10 years old. I lived in the country and back in those days dogs just ran around to whatever yard or woods they felt like, and you saw them when you saw them. We had a creek for water, and the dog usually ate table scraps. That's the way things were back then.

The routine my daughter started him on (and I'm continuing) is that he stays outside in the backyard during the day and then he sleeps in a kennel in the garage at night. He doesn't like the dark so once he starts barking and whining about it being dark I will bring him inside for a little bit, then take him out for a final potty break before putting him to bed. We've been putting him in his kennel around 10pm and getting him out between 9:15am and 9:30am, but it seems like he is ready for bed sooner so I'm going to try and shift those times back an hour. I figure I'll have to anyway since it's going to get dark sooner.

Well this post is already long, and I don't know if this is the right place to ask all the advice questions I have so I'll end here. If I need to start another thread asking for advice on all the things I need help with then I'll probably repeat most of the background information since it's pertinent to many of my questions.

One last thing, the dog's name is Woody.
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