Firstly, I just want to apologise for the long post - I do have a lot to say!
This is my first thread (though I have been stalking these forums for years!
) I wouldn't normally post, but I felt my situation was a teensy bit different, and it would be well worth getting some advice and (hopefully!) support before I make any commitments.
Before I begin, let me just say I have NO INTENTION
of getting a puppy, as I am well aware that it isn't the right time to get one! So I am looking at getting a young female, between 1 and 3 years old would be ideal, though I'm not against adopting an older dog... It's all about whether or not we *click*, as I'm ultimately looking for a four legged best friend.
Regarding my situation: I am about to start University this September. However, do bear in mind that nothing is set in stone at this point - I figured I'll do a 6 month trial of life at uni, see if I'll be able to cope with having a dog.
I've got a great support network, my fiance lives half an hour away and will be able to pop in to take her out for walks if I'm stuck in lessons, and the parents have said they'll look after her if I need help (they have a GSD as well). Also, I never drink or party, so there won't be any late nights with her left alone (at least, not because of partying...I'll explain later).
I own the apartment; it's a two bedroom place, on the first floor with a small communal garden. But it's right next to this massive Park. I have checked and they have a few dog clubs, which run evening obedience courses and the like, which I figured would be great for the dog.
I suppose it also goes without saying that I will take her for walks and give her plenty of exercise as well. I used to walk and play with Jess for 2-3 hours a day, until she dislocated her hip, and although op went great and it seemed as though she was recovering really well, she passed away 3 months later in February.
This wouldn't be my first GSD, as I raised Jess as a puppy at 12. But, I mean, I've always grown up with dogs - from 3 legged strays to Lassie lookalikes - so I have had some experience with dogs.
I know it may seem like a terrible scenario, but do believe me when I say I'll love her more than anything. I have this void where Jess once was, I miss the companionship terribly. I miss having a second shadow - like, she would literally get up and follow me from one end of the room to the other! Or the cheeky growls she'd give me when we were having a "conversation". Or the nights she'd spend keeping me company while I studied. 8 years of great memories.
I desperately want that again, to have a companion, and even though I'm aware it might not be the most ideal of situations, I'll give everything I have to care for her.
I am fully prepared for the dog, financially; I always set aside £100 for Jess for her food, treats, toys, etc. And I've got another £500 at least, set aside at all times for any emergencies that might crop up.
The other thing is that I'll be studying medicine as well, which means that I might have all sorts of weird hours (toward the end of the course, when doing placements), but the fiance has said he'll stay over if I'm gone for too long, not to mention my friend is renting out the second bedroom, so between the three of us, we'd be able to work out who keeps the dog company - although i do imagine she will inevitably be alone for a couple of hours a day. Again, all this depends on what my study schedule is like, and I won't get a dog if my schedule is too hectic, and if you guys think it's not the best thing to do.
Now that you know of my situation, I would greatly appreciate any input on this - what is your honest opinion, based on your vast experiences as owners and breeders?
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope you have a lovely day!