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.

Owner benefit: 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.


Expenses: 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.


Moving: 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?

Training: 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

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Wow, if only most other people put this much thought into owning a pet.

As far as the depression, I would keep in mind how you will handle the frustration when training doesn't always go your way - will that be more challenging for you than you expected? But, dogs are great for anxiety and calming nerves :)

Costs - many of the things you need (baby gates, crate, etc) can be found cheaper on Craigslist, so that's something to keep in mind so save a little money for unexpected costs.

Not sure about the moving.

Roommate issues: corgis are famous for getting along well with other animals, including cats. Bear steals toys from Goldy all the time, she just goes and picks up another - doesn't seem like a big deal, but it probably depends on the dog.

Sounds like you've got a good grip on the training aspect, but don't expect it to go perfectly, Bear gets better everyday but wasn't exactly a star student in puppy school. I've noticed that the commands he follows most easily are the ones I use everyday and never really trained "let's go inside" he trots right to the door. "let's put on your leash" he sits, but when I say sit, he doesn't always sit LOL. Patience is a true virtue when training, so be honest with yourself about your patience level.

Best of luck to you!
Expenses: I didn't even think about craigslist! Thanks, heh.

Training/depression: If it's one thing I have, it's patience. :] My sister is 5 years older than me and has Down Syndrome, so I'm pretty much the most patient 19 year old I know because of that, lol. The only time I get frustrated is when it's 30 degrees and my cat stands in the doorway thinking, "Do I want to go out... or stay in.... hmm..." I expect it to be somewhat of a challenge, and a good motivator. I'm a hard worker despite my depression--especially if it's something or someone depending on me. So, that shouldn't be an issue.

Roommates: I'm a worrier, plain and simple. I bet the whole roommate thing will work out fine, but the reassurance is always helpful. My biggest concern is the training and household dynamic, but I guess we can never really tell how that's going to play out until it starts to.

I want to be a responsible pet owner. I wanted a pet axolotl for my dorm room this semester, and all I did was read forums and ask questions for 3 days straight. I ultimately decided it wasn't good for me to get one because the animal would be too stressed out. My mantra is "Animals are people too!" and I just want to be sure I can provide the best possible environment so we can both be happy. :3
I didn't know they had pet health insurance, wow. I really can't afford it because I don't have a real source of income during the school year. I sell some handmade stuffed animals to the occasional customer, but that's it. It is definitely something I will look into in the future, though. Thanks!
It is great that you are putting a lot of thought into this. When the time is right you may want to check for a rescue too. Puppies can be a handful if you are bogged down in school work. It is a great chance to provide a loving home for a corgi without one. If you go for a puppy, look for an easy going one because it will be easier for a first time dog owner. I think a dog is a great way to get you out of depression or anxiety. It is someone that loves you unconditionally and only wants regular meals, a few walks and love in return. Good luck!
I'm kind of set on getting a puppy. I know it will hard work and a lot to deal with but I can do it! :3 I will definitely check some rescues for puppies before I go for a breeder, though. Good advice about getting a laid back one, too. Thanks!
That's a great list.

I have been dealing with severe depression for over 5 years now. A few months ago I got my first dog, Tuesday. She has been a godsend. Every morning she's up and at 'em at 7:30 am. This means I am too. No more sleeping in until noon. She gets me out of the house and talking to people (cos she's just so darn cute, they want to know all about her on our walks.) And on those really awful days, she loves me. I have made more recovery in the past few months than I did in the past few years.

However, there is a flip side. Sometimes things like the shedding, and other corgi quirks, really bother my nerves and those days are hard to deal with. But in my case the good definitely outways the bad.

:)
Aw, thanks for the anecdote. I'm glad she's helping out with your depression. This gives me hope! :] I can't imagine looking at a corgi face and being depressed at the same time... I know there will be rough times with Waffle, but a smiling, slobbery face is all I need to see to remind myself it is worth it. Heh.
I always forget craigslist exists. As someone else mentioned, I will check there for things and puppies! :D

Costs: Oh man, I totally forgot about flea medicine. My cats didn't have any for years, and then we went on vacation and came back and the house was covered in jumping black dots. Yick. I don't want that to happen again. Oh yeah, good idea with the emergency fund too. And old bowls! I might get steel bowls just so he knows they're his, but I could use old bowls...

Training: Seriously? I will definitely have to get in on that at home, then. The SPCA is a 2 minute drive from my house. Thinking of it... I can probably use their low-cost clinic for neutering and such too. I just didn't want to spend around $200 on a class I could teach myself. If it's under $100, though, it would be a good use of birthday money. Thanks for the info!
It does sound like you have done your homework! A couple thoughts I have is 1. make your own dog treats 2.2nd hand stores for even blankets, stainless steel bowls ( I get mine there), gates, or many items can be found there or garage sales also 3.Have a back-up plan for your pup...IF and hopefuly not but if you have a severe problem could your parents help with the dog if you were having a rough time? 4. Enzyme cleaner...use vinegar...the odor doesn't last long and it does the same thing. 5. Shots are split up so it will be more than 1 vet visit and neutering is alot cheaper than spaying...might want to consider a male. 6. basic training would be good and yes...some are cheaper than others. Maybe not a nessecity but a good bonding time also..my 1st 2 corgis I did not take to class but they are fine...but do socialize...the more the better. 7. plan ahead with your roomates that you will be in charge of your dog,plan rules of the house for pets etc., much easier ahead of time! 8 I'm sure I have more.. but don't know what they are yet. You are doing great with planning ahead and this will make a difference too!!!!. CONGRATULATIONS!
My parents would definitely help me out with any medical costs I can't cover myself--although they won't be very happy, probably... I'm HOPEFULLY going to get a better job this summer than working at a popcorn factory for minimum wage. [rant]I'm an engineering student for goodness sake! You'd think someone would want to hire me for something a little more high brow than slapping labels on bags.[/rant]
Every vet visit isn't going to be around $200 is it? :\ Bleh!
I will probably end up taking him to puppy class if my SPCA offers it.
Thanks for all your info! And yes, thrift stores are a blessing for poor college students. I will check there first. :]
Please check out the breeders carefully especially for their health, shots worming etc. and visit or visit if you can b/4 deciding...you might be able to ask if the have a whitey(too much white) or one that has a flaw that could be sold a little cheaper also. I had one pup that the ears were too pointed and so I sold her for 25% less she was /is the perfect dog but just a had a flaw that doesn't take away from her corgi personality...
I've read a bunch of websites about being wary of breeders. I definitely don't want to support a shoddy or shady breeder! I have a list of questions that I will ask when it gets closer to spring, including questions about the health of the parents, the tests/vet work of the puppies, temperament of the parents and puppies... etc. I'm prepared! I've wandered around the internet looking for breeders and I found one relatively close that looks "legit" so to speak. (http://dalarno.com/) I've read some posts of owners who got their corgis from that breeder and they seem pretty happy with them. The post on breeders.net says "All of our breeding dogs have been tested for VWD, hips, and have had eye checks. Please visit our web site!" as well. I will definitely ask about "flawed" corgis, although I'm kind of picky about the color even if I can't really afford to be.

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