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I adopted a puppy last week and all I have done since I got him is cry. I have been wanting a dog my entire life and have spent the last year searching for the right one. I thought this was what I wanted and I spent a months reading books and preparing to get my 6 month old puppy. He is literally the perfect dog...he's cuddly and sweet, basically house trained, he follows me around everywhere and always wants to be with me, and he rarely barks. Ever since I got him i have felt so confined, its like the walls are closing in. I thought I was ready to be grounded and that this commitment would be good for me, but I'm in my early 20s and as soon as I got him all I could think was, "now I can't travel or what if I want to hike the Appalachian Trail." I recently lost a really closed friend of mine and I thought this would be good for me, but my anxiety is higher then ever. Everyone keeps telling me that its only been a week and I need to get used to it, but I don't want the puppy to get more attached to me then he already is if I decide to give him up. I feel like a terrible person. I am afraid that if I keep him I will grow to resent him, but if I give him up I'm putting the poor little guy through so much stress.

Please help me. Did anyone else feel this way when they first adopted? what should I do?
 

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Just take a breath. I have had a lot of dogs over the years and I have felt like this every time I have gotten a new one. It is a big adjustment but I have always been grateful that I stuck with it. The weight of the responsibility is hitting you but I am sure if you stick it out you will not regret it. All the perceived problems- vacations etc., have solutions. I hope things get better for you soon. There are alot of very intelligent people on this board and they will be jumping in soon with advice and encouragement.
 

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Adopting a dog is a HUGE change, that is for sure :)

But, nene is right...take a breath. This is something you have wanted for a while, and as you described he is a wonderful dog. You did your research, you're prepared, but now it's a reality - and reality does make it scarier/more overwhelming.

Keep in mind, lots of people have dogs and travel, go out, have social lives, etc. Actually, most of us do!! :D You can have trusted family or friends watch your dog when you go away, or board him with the vet or at a kennel. There are lots of reasonable options.

Yes, dogs come with lots of responsibility. Now, you can't go out directly after work - you have to stop home to feed him dinner and walk him. You'll probably spend more time doing outdoor activities so he can join you. You will have to account for him in all the plans that you make.

There are lots of little changes you will notice, but having a dog does not require you to never see friends or do exciting things with your life. It just requires you to be more accountable and plan things farther in advance.

I was in my mid twenties when I got my dog (now I'm getting to my late twenties...sob :(), and it was a big change for me, but she hasn't stopped me from doing the things I want to do (and I am extremely overprotective and neurotic, so if she hasn't got in my way, your dog won't get in yours).

My younger sister was 21 when she got her dog and she has a fuller life than I do. Right now she's in vet school, but for the past three years since she got him, she has been to Madrid, Kenya, and all over the US. She took extra classes so she could get into vet school, worked a demanding job, and still has a very strong bond with her dog. She had my dad, me, or some of her friends dog sit him when she had to be away.

Right now, since he's a puppy, he may require more work/time, but that's not forever. I know what it's like to feel claustrophobic, and I used to have a really paralyzing fear of change - even when it was change I wanted. So, I do understand the feeling. But I think you need to take a step back and see the bigger picture. This dog is going to enhance your life, not detract from it.

And Honey is my very best friend. I got her not long after my mom died, and while she doesn't fill the horrible void that the loss left, she does bring joy to my life that I never thought I would feel again.

If this isn't the right time for you to have a dog, then that is a decision you have to make for yourself. But I do think it is worth it to take a moment and really think about this decision because you said it is something you really wanted, and if you're just having a tough time adjusting to the change, you don't want to lose a potentially wonderful companion over it.

Also, FYI, dogs are allowed on the Appalachian Trail - I don't know where you are located, but if you could drive there you guys could do it together ;)
 

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I agree with the two posters above :) It is a change and a commitment and you are not a horrible person for having these fears - it makes you a better pet owner that you are seeking out help! I'm 21 years old and I'm a new dog owner myself, and though I had these fears before I brought Emy home, now that I have her they don't worry me anymore. Try not to focus on what you can't do - but what you can! Dogs bring so much new to the table :)
 

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I felt similarly-not necessarily tied down, though I was doing that to myself, but because I immediately had this extra little puppy to take care of and what if I couldn't? I was constantly worrying when I went to work if she'd be okay home alone for that long, etc. It's a HUGE change and it takes LOTS of getting used to. Like cac2109 said, puppies take extra work and time, but it doesn't last forever. You're probably doing a great job since you're so worried about it, and once he gets a little older you can always board him somewhere or have family look after him on vacations. That, and there are plenty of fun things to do WITH your dog! Camping is a great way to be able to travel and take the puppy with you, too.
 

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It takes a while for you to get adjusted to your new routine with your new dog take a breath and relax there have been loads of posts similar to yours your not alone. :)
 

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^ That's the biggest thing with Emy - The hardest part I'm STILL getting used to. I can't stand leaving her alone and I panic about her being okay! Fortunately, I'm getting better at leaving her.
 

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I'm sorry for your loss. Are you getting any help with the grief? Nobody can make your pain go away, but support groups and counseling can make it easier to bear.

Please know, between this forum and another dog forum I frequent, I see this exact post at least once a week. Pretty much everyone feels this way at first. Then the puppy grows up a bit, you get into a routine and it's not nearly so hard.

So I'd say give it a chance. If, in a month, you still feel the same way, then responsibly rehome your puppy. We can help with that if you need it.
 

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Yes I've gotten help and I am finally taking care of myself again. I lost all the weight I gained after her passing and limit my self to one glass of wine a night. It is actually coming up on the one year anniversary. I love this puppy already and he is very attached to me. But since I got him I haven't exercised at all and I'm so stressed I have no appetite, I've lost 4 pounds this week with out even trying. I don't even know why he's like a perfect angel of a dog. I am a very active person and love extended back packing trips. When I adopted him it was a blind adoption and I was lead to believe he was a medium sized bored collie mix. When I got him he was 6 months and only 9.5 pounds. My vet said he is probably a border collie papilion mix. I don't even think this is the right dog for me. There is nothing wrong with him, I just worry he wouldn't be able to handle my life style. On top of that I'm in grad school studying biology. I feel like I might have not thought this threw as well as I thought

I really appreciate all the feed back
 

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I'm glad you've got help. Anniversaries can be tough, let me tell you. My husband lost his father 20 years ago and the anniversary of his death still hits him hard.

There's no reason you can't hike with a small dog. A lot of our members do it. It would actually be easier in a way, when the dog gets tired, just put him in a bag and carry him. I know people look at small dogs as not really dogs, but they are dogs and just as capable as their larger friends.

Just to reiterate, adoption, of humans and animals, does cause a version of post partum depression. I know that seems stupid, but it's totally a thing.
 

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Hey, I'm 23. I got my border collie when I was 21. Wanna know why I got him? So I could have a young, athletic dog to hike with!! He's also a purebred, working bred dog. He came from a ranch. So he has a lot of drive and energy.

But I kid you not, I wanted a versatile dog that could go EVERYWHERE with me and be a companion and fit in with my active lifestyle. And he's done just that! I traveled to Utah (we drove, 9 hour drive) and stayed there for 6 weeks. He went with me. We went hiking through canyons, swimming in a reservoir, hiking through creeks, camping with friends. The photo of him in my avatar, that's him at the north rim of the Grand Canyon. I have plans this summer to hike White Mountain, which is the third highest peak in the continental US at over 14500 feet. My BC is undoubtedly coming! I could backpack the Pacific Crest Trail or the Appalachian trail with this dog nooo problem.

Oh, and I even take him to do research with me out in the field. I'm a biology grad student too (I got him the summer before I started grad school) and I study an endangered lizard and survey insects. If I go in the evening, I bring a Chuckit and he gets to run in one of the fields. He loves chasing a ball; he can do it all day.

Having a puppy can definitely be overwhelming. But you do not have to be tied down :) Dogs are very flexible creatures and they can be trained to a degree to fit in with your lifestyle. If you are an active person, a BC/pap isn't a bad mix at all. They DO have off switches when you need some down time, but they're right there ready to go whenever you are.
 

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I agree with everyone. There is no reason a dog needs to limit your life. Two dogs, maybe a little (haha), but one can be your constant companion. I just turned 23, and I have two boys that I travel, hike, run and have all sorts of adventures with, and they are both far from perfect. In the winter they often hang out in the car if they can't come somewhere, and once it gets hot, they dont want to leave the house anyway, so they stay home. Dogs are super adaptable, which is what makes them such awesome companions. Try to think about the ways a dog enriches your life and dont worry too much about the other stuff. Most problems have solutions- for example taking the red eye instead of an afternoon flight could save you enough money to board the dog for a few days, and family and friends are often willing to dogsit for a lower or no cost.
There are definitely days that I wish I didn't have a dog, or I look at my boys and wonder what it would be like if I only had one of them. But I took responsibility for them, and I knew when I brought them home that I would do whatever I had to to provide them with everything they need. I might not be able to offer them the most stable home, but I can love them, and that is really the only thing they care about. Love and duck jerky. ;)
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That's exactly what I wanted a dog for, and why I wanted a medium sized BC. I'm just worried this guy is to small to handle that much activity. I study forest dynamics and do bird surveys. I'm afraid one the owls I'm surveying could pick him right up and fly away with him. I really want to do the continental divide trail. I know he's a puppy but I hope he at least gets to 20lbs
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That's exactly what I wanted a dog for, and why I wanted a medium sized BC. I'm just worried this guy is to small to handle that much activity. I study forest dynamics and do bird surveys. I'm afraid one the owls I'm surveying could pick him right up and fly away with him. I really want to do the continental divide trail. I know he's a puppy but I hope he at least gets to 20lbs
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How much does he weigh right now?

Little dogs can be surprisingly athletic and durable. You don't want something too big otherwise you can't pick it up and carry it if you need to. Tigger maxed out at barely 30 pounds, all muscle. Plus a lot of hotels have weight restrictions and only allow dogs under 25 or 30 pounds.
 

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I wish we could post links to other forums, though I do understand the rule. There's a person I know who goes hiking with paps, and another that takes her Yorkie everywhere.

Little dogs can run with the big guys, trust me.
 

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My 8 pound Japanese Chin does everything my BC/shepherd mix does including keeping up on the trails. He doesn't like water though, so luckily he's little and I can tuck him under my arm if he can't jump, wade or find his own way across. Paps are SUPER athletic, even more so than Chin, so I don't think you need to worry about your guy lagging. If you keep him in good body condition and build up his endurance, there is no reason he shouldn't be an awesome hiking/backpacking/surveying companion. Just start getting him out asap so he learns to love it!
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He's 9.5 pounds. I can tell that he is going to grow a bit still though I just don't know how much.. I'm starting to calm down a bit, I had originally brought him back to my parents house and was feeling pretty alone in this. I just got back to my apartment (about an hour away from my parents) and my room mates adore banjo. I'm also starting to realize its ok for me to leave him home while I go do things. I've just got to work on socializing him. He's fine with me but he gets scared on walks and barks at men. I just want him the be friendly and social. There are classes for that right?
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He's a cutie!

Glad that you aren't stressing as much :) The inital adjustments can be rough.

As for size, if I read your post right, you said he was 6 months (about?). Our dog was 20lbs at 6 months, he ended up 40lbs. I don't think it'd be a stretch for yours to reach 20lbs since he's already almost 10. Plus, he could always just be a "lighter" dog and end up taller.
 

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And don't forget, your puppy would LOVE to hike the Appalachian Trail with you!!

And there are always pet sitters and kennels if you need/want to take a trip.
 
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