Just a warning: this post is HUGE.
I've broken it down into parts so you can read and respond to sections easily without feeling the need to respond to the whole thing. :]
Hey, everybody! I'm new to the site, and will soon be new to the world of dog ownership. I've only had cats growing up and have seriously wanted a corgi since I was 16 or 17, though I dreamt of owning one since I was 12. I'm 19 now (though I will be 20 by the time I can get a corgi), and a student at Virginia Tech. I'm moving off campus next school year specifically so I can have the opportunity of getting a dog.
I've heard from a lot of people that college students shouldn't get a puppy. I disagree with that in my case. I'm an engineering student and have a LOT of homework to do. As such, I spend a lot of time in my room doing said homework. I'm not a party girl... I think the longest activity I do all weekend is play Dungeons and Dragons, and I can bring Waffle to that with no problems. I also have severe depression (and have had it for a while) and am finally seeking help. My medicine isn't doing anything except giving me insomnia... I was discussing the want and possibility of getting a puppy with my therapist. She seemed really positive and agreed with me when I mentioned how it would help me. The responsibility of taking care of a puppy would force me to get out of bed, go outside and exercise, be on a strict routine, and be mentally challenged but also immediately rewarded. So, Waffle would not only be a dream come true, but a treatment for this disease that's been plaguing me for years. Unlike medicine, it will actually work. Does anyone have any stories they can share about dogs helping depressed people function again? Just curious.
Because I am a poor college student, money is kind of a big deal. I worked all summer at 7$/hr in a popcorn factory and managed to store $1000 in my savings account. This is and has always been specifically for dog purposes. I made an excel spreadsheet of all the things I would need for getting a dog initially. However, I am not sure of the biggest expenses at all. How much is neutering for a corgi pup? Shots? The corgi itself?? I snooped around the internet and guesstimated... Basically, does this expense sheet look right? If I forgot something IMPORTANT, let me know.
I can't move in to my apartment until August of 2010. As such, I really want to get my corgi in late spring/early summer so I can begin training him at my parents' house and he can be moderately well behaved and potty trained... It will be difficult (no, impossible) to return to my apartment every hour during classes, but doable every 3 or 4 hours. I was discussing this with my friend, and she brought up a slightly upsetting point. She has a friend who has a dog named Chubaca, not sure of the breed. Chubaca was a puppy that was trained at home and was brought up to Tech for living in an apartment. He was perfectly trained, but moving reverted him back to square 1--mostly peeing everywhere. Is this a problem for corgies? If so, or even if not, how can I minimize the trauma of moving and prevent this from happening? If it does happen, is there anything I can do to stop it besides getting super strict with the potty training?
Furry family members:
I'm moving in with a friend from middle school and her roommate. They are both animal people, one studying animal science and one studying bio with intent to go to vet school, so of course they both want pets. VetSchool wants and is definitely getting a cat (I'm very happy about this!!), but AnimalScience wants to get a dog. She is unsure if she will be getting a dog, doesn't know what breed, and doesn't know what age. So, this is iffy but still a concern. Mostly, I'm afraid the other dog may ruin Waffle's training if AnimalScience isn't being very stern in making her dog a good citizen. I can eliminate the problem with toy stealing by keeping Waffle's all in my room... I also don't want them to eat each other's food. I don't know... Should I even be concerned?
I'm really looking forward to training him and having that bonding time and control. I don't think I will be taking him to obedience classes... but I may if I'm having a hard time doing it on my own. (I watch "It's Me or the Dog" and am minoring in behavioral psychology... so I want to put my skills to the test before spending money.) Potty training, sit, stay, heel, drop it, leave it, etc are all basic and necessary. I was reading about "emergency recall training" on these forums and am definitely going to teach him that. Are there any other invaluable commands I need to teach him?
I think that's it. Of course I'll ask questions as they arise. :3