|Barked: Mon Nov 5, '07 1:07am PST |
|I got Kiona when I was 19 going on 20, and an undergrad. I have now gone through getting an MA with her (and add on Indy and the foster dogs), and now am in law school with her.
BOL, I have almost never NOT been a student while I have had her!
My take on it is this.
MOST college age people are NOT ready for the responsibility of owning a dog. I tried to continue to go to parties and stay out all night after I got Kiona, and realized right away I could not do those things anymore. I chose to stop doing them, many of my friends didn't.
I do not know why I was different, I certainly was not particularly mature or responsible, BUT - I had grown up with animals and my parents were excellent owners, and taught me how to take care of animals properly. I also worked at a vet my junior and senior years, and moved in with a responsible dog owner (who was 25) when I went to college, who I lived with for a year, seeing how a college age person properly cares for animal, before I got Kiona.
All of those things were instrumental in making me a good dog owner. And, I am a dog person. I would rather hang out with my dogs than anyone else, so that made it easy for me to forgo late night parties.
I also was madly, and am still madly, in love with Kiona, and only wanted her to feel safe and secure at all times. So, I may have been immature and kidlike in some parts of my life, but not in the dog owning parts.
So, I think some people have the mentality and the life experiences to be excellent dog owners at a young age.
As for balancing? For me, it was never hard. I worked through my undergrad and grad years too, so careful time management was a must. I study at HOME, I never study at the library, even though the library may be more effective because then at least I with my dogs.
Also, for me, getting out on walks and going to the dog park were very healthy, mind clearing activities that I enjoyed too, so taking time for Kiona's benefit helped me too.
Long story short, I think if you think you can do it, and are ready to make sacrifices, you can do it. YOU know how much you can give. I am the type of student to sort of breeze through things so I have never felt like studying is the overwhelming burden. I will admit law school is the most difficult thing I have ever done but THANK GOD I have Kiona out here, she keeps me sane and gets me out of the house.
I think many college age students should not have dogs but I also think many older folks should not have dogs, either.
As for rescues, I know our rescue will not adopt out to college age students, end of story. We got burned one too many times. I fully agree with that policy, only because my first independent foster was a husky a college friend "could not deal with anymore".
Every rescue is different, though, but most are leery, and understandably so.
Hope this helps!
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