Ok - I have to confess - DR would NOT approve of what I did, especially given the fact that I'm in debt for medical bills to the tune of 1,700, plus I have no clue how expensive lawyer fees are going to be, potentially in the several thousands but I went ahead and I adopted a puppy.
I asked my roommate if I could - and she was more than fine with it. Her parents have a dog that stays with us when they are out of town.
I realize that this is a "lifelong" commitment. That I'm going to have to ensure my next place has ample room for a dog - that I have to take care of vet bills and food and this may not have been the most financially stable time in my life to do so, but I had to.
Well I didn't HAVE to - but I was SO DEPRESSED. I guess I still kind of am because depression isn't the kind of thing that you wake up one day without. And my reasons for adopting him (he's a yellow lab mix) were entirely selfish, but I thought that having a puppy would give me a reason to keep going. I was getting to such a dark place. About a week ago, I was driving to the grocery store and the thought flashed through my mind that I should just crash my car into the side of the road. That there was no real reason for me to continue to take up space. That I have no family now, I have very good friends, but I'll never have kids - That I will probably die alone in a crappy nursing home, that no one needs me, or thinks I have value. I felt empty and purposeless. I would wake up sobbing, wondering what my purpose for continuing is. That scared the hell out of me, I would NEVER hurt myself (or anyone else) but the fact that that idea even occurred to me scared me.
I don't want to feel useless, I don't want to feel as if my life is over and that the best days are behind me and that I traded in financial security for insecurity.
So I thought about what actions I could take (alone with talking to my doctor and upping my meds) that would make me feel better. And I thought that adopting a puppy and training him and caring for him would make me feel better, plus I'll get a life long friend out of it too. So even though I've got debt, I went ahead and adopted an 8 week old Lab mix from the shelter. I have named him Levi!
A friend gave me a very large crate that I keep next to my bed. I've got a reason to get up in the morning now (and a reason to get up about 2:00 in the morning to go out on a potty break). I've had him for almost a week and I feel so much better already!
I work from home now - so I keep him in his crate while I'm working, and he's very good. We go out on potty breaks every 1.5 hours and we play in the morning before I start work and then again during my lunch hour. I went to half price books and got several books on how to raise puppies. I'm going to do this right.
I know I'm going to have to pay vet bills, and I will start saving for that. I know this is probably not the best financial decision, but if it changes the way I feel (and it already has, let's face it- who can stay depressed playing with a little puppy?) I consider it therapy.
Having someone who needs me, who I can teach things, who is happy to see me helps so much. I'm not alone at night anymore - he's there and that's so comforting. He depends on me to feed him, let him out, play with him, train him. It feels good. And he's stupid cute. I'll upload a picture soon.
So dog owners - what do I have to budget for? Right now I feed him .5 cups of puppy food three times a day. In a couple of weeks I'll feed him only twice a day, but up the amount. I've been feeding him Science Diet, which is what Ex and I used to feed our little kitty, so it's not the cheap stuff - but is there really a difference?
He's going to need to be neutered (he's still too young for that) and in a month I have to take him to the vet for a second round of shots. I'm not planning on going on any vacations any time soon - so I won't have to worry about the expense of boarding him.