|Barked: Sat Jun 30, '07 5:43pm PST |
|I don't think a dog is truly "yours" unless you have full financial responsibility of it. Which is probably one of those things that's inexplicable, but you understand if you have full financial responsibility of a dog. There is no safety net, there is no one to go through before you make a decision regarding food or training or health care, there is no limit other than what you set in terms of care. It's definitely possible to train and feed and bond with a dog without all that, but it's not the same.
So, that said, 15 would be the absolute minimum, unless you're a darn busy babysitter!
I don't think it's usually wise to get a dog before you've been living in "the real world" for a year or so. There's a lot to be considered: housing, expenses, work, time, and so on. It's no good to go into that blindly and suddenly be hit with the reality of it. I did get Vance when I was barely 20. I was fully aware that he will make it very difficult for me to ever rent a place. That I will not be able to drop everything, drive to Mexico with a friend and bum around for a few months. Or even hit a party Friday night and come crawling home sometime Saturday afternoon. I will probably go without cable, internet and so on at some point so I can feed us.
I have ended up talking several of my friends out of getting a dog by bringing up points like that. But all things considered, I decided I'd rather go without and have a dog than do whatever I want without a dog. When you can say that, I think you're ready.
And yes, many rescues have stupid limitations. Yes, it should be case-by-case, but oftentimes it's not.
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