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"Settling down"

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Blackpaw

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Im 26 and have been travelling/living overseas for a couple of years. SO and i are pretty settled where we are, and this weekend we decided to adopt a dog.

Ive wanted a dog for sooooo long. And always, SO was the voice of reason given our insecure living arrangements. Well we''ve just become more secure and so he changed his mind on the matter.

And what do i do? I start having major anxiety and stress. I am so freaked out right now i dont know what to do
if you''d asked me a few days a go i would have said im happy to settle here for awhile, but now that getting a pet sort of limits my options im stressing out no end and feel backed into a corner. i feel like my opportunities for ''adventure'' are less now, even if some of my daydreams were never really going to come to fruition for a decade or two anyways.

Has anyone ever felt anxiety over this ''settling down'' business? what did you do to work through it?
 

Prana

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It''s hard to make concrete decisions such as this when you are so used to and attached to your freedom. But, as with everything else in life, you will survive changes, and it won''t actually be as bad as it seems.

For instance, once you have a dog (if you do end up getting one), you will love it SO much that you will have no issues adapting parts of your life for it. And you will have just as much freedom, maybe only a few less options.

And, being settled down is mind set, so to speak. You are never anchored to one place, and you can always set your own limits.
 

lovinsparkles

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I would just say don''t get a dog until you''re absolutely sure you won''t mind compromising your time for it. Maybe it''s different with adult dogs, but our lives really did change when we got a puppy. She was so needy -- no more going out after work, had to go home to take care of her. Even now, when we''re out for the day, we have to mentally check how long she''s been alone and whether we need to get home to walk her/play with her. So on a daily basis, it is limiting (though we were ready, so we love her and don''t mind...actually it''s good practice for us having a human baby to take care of...).

If you''re more worried about travelling rather than the daily responsibilities, there is always boarding (if you can afford it, there are really nice facilities available and you won''t feel too guilty while you travel).
 

sctsbride09

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I have to say that owning a dog is wonderful, and I know that DH and I will never be without one. They provide companionship, love, and are just plain fun. However, if my living conditions were unstable, I would really have to think hard about adding a dog to the family.(if I didnt have one already) For one thing, how does your current landlord feel about dogs? What if you decide to move? Alot of places, (at least here in So CA) its very difficult to find rentals that allow dogs. Also, do you and SO work full time? Somone is going to need to be there in the beginning to train this puppy, and if you work heavy hours its really not fair to a dog to be stuck in kennel all.day.long. I know you mentioned traveling is a major consideration, but you can always board them (although they are pricey for a good one and you need to be very careful who you trust with your pets) or if you have family you could ask them to doggysit? DH and I watch my moms dogs when she is out of town , visa versa. I can completely understand that this is making you nervous, its a pretty big life change, especially a puppy. I would give it a couple months of thought, since it seems like your SO is not quite sure about a new addition? Good luck with whatever choice you make. PS. small dogs are much easier to tend to if that helps your decision, I know I have a chug and a dobie. They are both WONDERFUL but the chug is so much easier. So take that into consideration, especially if you do not have a back yard. Jeez didnt mean to write a novel, haha! Sorry!
 

Blackpaw

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Thanks everyone for your replies


To clarify somewhat, we are pretty stable and ''settled'' where we are now. If we moved it would be back to australia and the pup will come with us no problem. We are allowed pets where we live and the lifestyle here is very good for dogs - lots of outdoor activities, and once trained up the opportunity to come to work with us some days. We''re also looking at a slightly older dog, medium sized. I know i would prefer a smaller dog (having only had cats prior to this) but this chap appealed to my SO, he''s a three-legged husky!

Thanks girlface for what you said, it really helped calm my anxiety down. You''re right, the only limits on me i set myself. I seem to be able to make all the arguments but the anxiety keeps creeping back in. Ive never felt like this before and im scared
and im ashamed that my SO has been so shocked by this behavior from me - im shocked too i guess...
 

Loves Vintage

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Aww, blackpaw, don't feel badly about how you are feeling. It's completely natural, but you are in control of how you deal with/react to your feelings, so if you are feeling anxious, don't let it hold you back. You mentioned that you've wanted a dog for quite some time, so I wouldn't allow the anxiety that you are experiencing to hold you back. Try to let it pass you by, if that makes sense, like water over a rock in a stream.

Now, about this dog
-- do you have any pics????? When do you think you will get him?
 

Prana

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You are welcome blackpaw!

Just remember this too....Dogs are a GREAT excuse for getting out of places you don''t want to be. (Oh, I have to get going, the dog''s been in the crate all day!)

Good luck with whatever decision you make!
 

lucyandroger

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How wonderful of you to adopt an older dog that needs a good home! It sounds like you've really thought this through so I bet you're just getting cold feet. Once you get your doggy home, you won't remember what life was like without him!
 

Blackpaw

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Thanks again everyone! you guys are the best
im still feeling the anxiety on and off but your posts are helping so much. Well the pup is due to come home with us tonight so ill try to post pics soon. He''s quite the cutie! he''s still recovering from the surgery to remove his leg though poor thing
 

princesss

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We''re soon to be a 4 pet household, but I want to move overseas in a few years and keep moving, so I know just what you mean. I have freak outs sometimes thinking about what could happen - but what ends up happening is you do what you need to. We moved around with my pets all through my childhood, and it was fine. More complicated, yes, but do-able.

It''ll be okay. I promise.
 

MonkeyPie

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Date: 3/30/2010 12:03:03 PM
Author: Blackpaw
We''re also looking at a slightly older dog, medium sized. I know i would prefer a smaller dog (having only had cats prior to this) but this chap appealed to my SO, he''s a three-legged husky!
Oh I would LOVE to see him!
 

Mara

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just wanted to chime in and say i totally had the same type of feelings when we got our puppy.

i remember driving to meet some girlfriends the night before we were going to see this puppy that needed a home and thinking 'this might be the last time i ever leave my house with absolutely no responsibility on my shoulders...'. it was freaky! to think that you are responsible for someone other than yourself is intimidating.

i even thought maybe we shouldn't do it, we weren't ready, i wasn't ready, etc. even though i had wanted a dog for years and then was a great time..etc. anyway we did it and while it was tough at first to juggle the new responsibility + life..we did it and we have had our dog for 6 years and she is wonderful.

we recently just had a baby and now it's like the dog amplified. you have someone who is absolutely ENTIRELY dependent on you, it makes the dog look easy somehow haha.

anyway i wanted to say what you are feeling is NORMAL and it's good you are worrying about it because it will probably make you a more conscientious dog parent than those who just go out and get a dog and then a month later give it to the shelter because they didn't realize it'd be a huge responsiblity and just wanted something fun to play with. good luck!!
 

Blackpaw

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Thanks again everyone. this is helping so much. I feel so awful for freaking out over a poor lovely pup (pictures will come i promise!), when ive wanted a dog for sooooo long.

and im so ashamed that my SO is confused and upset by my behavior.

The anxiety is lessening i think. so hopefully by this weekend ill be happy chappy again.

Mara thanks for sharing that you felt similarly - it helps to know im not the only one to react like this to a positive event
 

lyra

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Maybe a small dog would be much less restricting to you. We once had neighbours who took their miniature schnauzer sailing with them. He had his own lifejacket and everything. I'll never forget that. They sailed from California to Hawaii with their dog during a holiday. So never say never. Smaller is more portable and easier to find care for should you need to kennel it or let friends/family dogsit sometimes. Good luck.


ETA: Sorry, I missed where you posted about the actual dog you're getting. Three legged dogs are adaptable too.
 

Blackpaw

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thanks Lyra
your post made me laugh


well he''s not too bad - he''s adapting to the whole three legs thing pretty quickly it would seem! we just got home with him and he''s having a sniff of everything. He''s a cutie, he went straight into his crate and picked up the soft blue dog that we got him


pics to come!

Oh and again ladies thanks so much for your support, im still feeling some anxiety but id say its definitely lessening.
 
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