01-22-2014, 03:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2014
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Hi Jessica, I'm Caitlin and I'm from Ohio. I just wanted to stop by and tell you that I was in a very similar situation (and I am also getting married this year! Congratulations!!!) when I was your age. I was never allowed to have any dogs or pets growing up because my mom is allergic to everything under the sun, except somehow my dog that I have now. When I was 22 I adopted her as a 10-month-old stray. I woke up one day without a dog and went to bed that night a dog owner, basically. I had absolutely zero preparation besides some research I had done on the Internet, and I went and bought her a kennel and all of her necessities. Some friends of mine found her on the street and they were looking for a home for her. I couldn't let her go to a shelter so I took her home and that was that. I was scared out of my mind because I had no idea what I was doing. Fast forward four years, and she is now a beautiful and healthy four-year-old dog. She is well-trained and loving and she has not had any professional training or classes. We did it all ourselves. I read a LOT of books and there are some great resources on the Internet. She still has some issues and she was behind in training because we think she was abused before my friends found her, so it was a LOT of trial and error. She has come such a long way since her first few days as as scared little puppy. Whatever dog you choose to adopt, you will do absolutely fine! i did not have any experience with dogs or pets of any kind and now I'm a pro at it -- but still learning. You learn new things every day! The most important thing I learned was patience and responsibility, as you are caring for another being other than yourself. It has taught me a lot, and in turn given my dog a loving and nurturing home. I think we found each other and we needed each other.
All of the research and reading in the world will never prepare you for the first feeling of accomplishment when your pup learns to sit or does something on her own. Juno was scared of stairs at first and we had to coach her on how to go up and down. Now she zooms up and down the stairs with no problems. When she first made it all the way up and down by herself I will never forget the feeling of relief and happiness. I know I don't know you but it shows a lot of maturity by posting here and shows that you care to learn as much as possible before taking a dog into your home. I think that shows you are ready! And just remember -- the perfect dog for you sometimes has to find you!