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Hi everyone!

I literally just joined this forum and am excited to connect with the community. Starting tomorrow, I’ll be a brand new dog mom to a 10 week old Rhodesian Ridgeback named Lieutenant. I’ve been so excited for this and spent months searching for the right dog.

I’m a 20-year-old college student who was approved for a Service Dog and plan to raise Lieu to be one. I’ve trained dogs before, but never to this level. Also, I realize there is a 50/50 chance he’ll wash out. I already have a trainer picked out to help me and have done extensive research. I work full time over the summer and Lieu’s allowed to come with me. During the semester, he’ll be a Service Dog in Training as well as an ESA to permit him housing. I have two jobs on campus as well, both of which don’t require me to be gone for long periods of time. Plus, I have a roommate who is eager to help. Over all, I have the finances, preparations, and experience to give him the best life.

Yet, I’m terrified. I’ve been nothing but excited and ready; yet I’m now questioning myself. I’m financially independent on this and will be going it alone. My parents, who I live with, have a dachshund that has some very bad habits that I fear will rub off on him. Granted, I don’t plan for the two to meet until she is comepletely acclimated to his smell and presence in the house. She doesn’t enjoy the company of other dogs, but is only aggressive on a leash. She also barks and howls a lot and I don’t want Lieu to pick that up. People have been doubting me through this process... But the people who truly know me think I’m ready.

Still, I guess I’m just looking for some advice to put my mind at ease. I realize it won’t be all peaches and cream: there will be as many bad days as good. He may chew, destroy, and take forever to stop crying in his kennel. I’m aware of this and have experience with these behaviors in dogs. I’m just nervous and for no particular reason... I’m dwelling on all the negatives. I’ve trained stubborn whippets, jack russels, and other dogs. I’ve fostered kittens, waking up every three hours to feed them all while working full time. I’ve been in the Veterinary business for over a year now... Yet I’m scared.

Any helpful words or support would be appreciated <3

-Rach
 
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