I've been stressing out about wanting a dog for the past month.
I love animals - having raised an array very personally all through my life, and having 3 of my own now (turtle, tortoise, cat - all whom I've had for over 5 years, and one who I've had for 16). I am an extremely good animal owner, because I treat them like my best friend while still taking care of them. My cat is even trained to come to her name being called, stay, and stop when I say "no".
I want a dog because I want someone that is more active than my cat, and a little more "friend like", if that makes sense (I take care of my cat a lot and snuggle, train her, and walk her all the time, and she is always so excited that I'm home - even will play "peek a boo" when I walk through the door, but it's still not that excitement and that very high-energy friendship. That is not to say I don't love my cat - she is the closest I'll ever get to having a child).
Problem is, there's a lot of change in my life right now. I'm taking a gap year in between finishing my bachelor's degree, and starting next year, I'll be working part time and be in school about 20 hours a week. The career I'm is known for being unpredictable. I'm applying for a new job right now, and I'm hoping I can take my dog to work with me (worry not -- I'm not adopting before I have my job and hours set). I also want to travel, though again, because of my career, I could be traveling once a year or 10+ times a year within the next decade.
I really want to get a dog though. I don't have many friends, and don't like having many friends because I am so fiercely loyal and deeply attached to the ones I do have (which drives them crazy), and although I am very lucky and a happy person, I often feel lonely or like I have no place to go for any kind of connection to others people. To me, animals are as much people as "human" people are - that, with the love I have for animals, makes me want to get a dog. But I'm extremely stressed about the commitment and the time/travel (not "time-travel" as in back to the future, but "time / travel").
I've thought about fostering or adopting an older dog. My issue with an older dog is that I fear it might not be able to keep up with my lifestyle (I am an active person, and absolutely want to be out and about with my dog a decent amount of time, and have them play with my sister's 3 dogs at the beach or something). Fostering is a slight issue for the reason that it still does not alleviate my fears: I do not want to give a dog back to the shelter unless it is adopted. That's got to be terrible for the dog, and if I have the dog for 5 months then take it back, then the family that does adopt it is going to have to wait for at LEAST 5 months before the dog realizes that it's got a home. Then, it still does not alleviate my fears on time constraints (that I don't even know if they exist yet).
My life has been extremely chaotic for the past year, and so I've become a little fearful of committing to anything - leading to quite a bit of indecisiveness on my part (if you've seen "The Good Place", my indecisiveness is bordering the level of Chidi's).
As I see it:
Pros: It looks like my living situation is pretty set, I am very aware of the time and immense attachment it takes to truly care for an animal, I really want a dog and can give it a great life.
Cons: I predict my life is going to be unpredictable in the next few years, I don't know my daily schedule at all, and I'm the kind of person that does not make any plans, and plans their day by the seat of their pants, but is still always home to take care of my animals, and I want to travel (mini dachshund maybe?)
I have no idea. Whenever I think I'm decided on a decision, I rock back to the other side of the pendulum on the completely opposite decision. I don't know why I'm stressing so much over this - I got my tortoise, who is supposed to live 150 years, after an hour of my Dad and me first seeing him, without any prior thought, and I am so happy he and my turtle get to roam around our little yard and we get to chat during the day!
Please, any words of wisdom or personal opinons would be welcome...thank you :wave: