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Thread: How many of you manage living independently, a job, and a dog?

  1. #1

    How many of you manage living independently, a job, and a dog?

    Hi everyone,

    Could use a little peer input on this because I just got a puppy and I am having second doubts very early on.

    I recently graduated from college and am now working as a counselor. My living situation is independent in an apartment. I do have a girlfriend that spends long weekends with me, but she does not live here or stay more because she has her own pets at her family house in her town. This situation is likely going to stay this way for a while. I just got a puppy. I've wanted to have a therapy dog to supplement my work and I've wanted a dog longer than that. I love playing with and working with other people's dogs...but now that I have my own it seems overwhelming. The crying, the chores, the time commitment. I just don't know if I am up for it.

    I value my job and apartment higher than all else at the moment.

    How did you get through it? What did you factor into your decision?

    Thanks all

  2. #2
    Hell, you’re already doing way better than me holding down a life and a job and a girlfriend at the same time. How much more work can a dog really be? I’m sure it will get easier once you work the dog into your routine. Maybe if you’re super busy your pupper would enjoy spending the weekdays with your girlfriend and her pets every once in a while?

  3. #3
    Senior Member bigtop1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Greater metropolitan Detroit area
    Hi juniorsenior,.......I'm a t-11 injury. I have reasonably good mobility in my w/c. I presently have two dogs that started out as puppies with me. We get along reasonably well. I have them trained to the command "up" for them to put their paws on my legs enabling me to put their collars on, for petting and praising, etc. They are both lap dogs and, I am able to pick them up and put them in my lap for grooming and such. It will happen some day where you will run their paw over with your chair. It is inevitable. You will feel like a rat but, that will be lasting impression on them and, they will be sure to avoid those wheels from then on. Use a routine that will work best for you regarding walking, toileting, praise feeding and, watering. Remember, it is usually the owner of the dog that needs to be trained and in tune with the dogs needs. I guess the best way to put it is for you to think like a dog. Good luck.
    I refuse to tip toe through life, only to arrive safely at death.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Blog Entries
    If you're ever in need help you can try something like WAG!, for walks and feeding and such, when you can't.
    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

    "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

    "Even what those with the greatest reputation for knowing it all claim to understand and defend are but opinions..." -Heraclitus, Fragments

  5. #5
    I’m training my second service dog. The first one was a whippet I got at 14 months of age, and he was able to be a seizure alert and also could tell and alert me to chemicals before they also took hold. He started doing this on his own so then I partnered with a professional trainer to get him public ready. It took me six months of daily training of about two hours a day of direct training. We eventually passed two different tests. He
    My second dog I am now working with is an English Lab. I got him at six months so I could avoid the early stuff as I knew I wasn’t up for the hard core puppy days. He’s just over two and today I took him into a grocery store for the first time and he did great. He still has a lot of puppy energy and some maturing to do and lots more training, in fact ultimately he may not be cut out to be a service dog, so I am just seeing how it goes. I live in a small town where I can access everything I need by driving around my power chair, and then I also am married and so am able to rely on the husband for everything and anything too, but I am really an independent type person. I don’t trust my dog to attach to my manual chair until he gets older. At least now I can take him everywhere I go daily and am working on lengthening his attention span for meetings and longer duration situations where he needs to sit and lie down for longer than a few minutes here and there. I also don’t want to force him into a job he just isn’t up for and I also want a trained dog that can meet service dog qualifying criteria.
    I hope any of that was maybe helpful to share..
    What breed is your new puppy?
    Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, Epilepsy, Head Injury, Chronic Pain Disorder

  6. #6
    I just read your post again and realized I totally got side tracked on the dog part...
    I really think you’re amazing to graduate college and be working in this field, and in a relationship and have a new puppy! WOW!! I have never done this life thing on my own except in the younger years before the wheelchair, and I did have the challenge of full time work and being a single mom to two children under the age of four. I did have pets also but I wasn’t yet fully disabled. I had friends who helped me and lots of moral support.
    Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, Epilepsy, Head Injury, Chronic Pain Disorder

  7. #7
    Who picks up the poop for you dog lovers?

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    middle georgia
    Quote Originally Posted by smity50 View Post
    Who picks up the poop for you dog lovers?
    did you see the robotic dog pooper upper its so funny

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by smity50 View Post
    Who picks up the poop for you dog lovers?
    My husband does yard cleanup and I pick it up when I take my dog for a walk. I can bend forward in my power chair to retrieve it and bag it, and then place it on the footplate until I drive my chair to a trash can.
    Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, Epilepsy, Head Injury, Chronic Pain Disorder

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Melbourne, FL USA
    Got her after retiring and had a fenced in double lot with a doggie door. Named her Fred but used to call her my blonde bitch, she was an Australian Golden retriever which are smaller than Americans.
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