Pet Situation

CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
My guinea pig passed away earlier last night. It wasn't exactly unexpected, since she was six and showing her age. But I'm still upset. Dinah was the best guinea pig I've ever owned. And my dog died two months ago.

To make things worse, I live alone. I get seriously depressed without an animal to care for.

Right now I'm at my parents' place for the holidays, so I'm not looking to run out and adopt a new pet tomorrow. I have time and want to grieve. But I can't go back to my empty apartment. I just can't. And I know animal adoption takes a few weeks, so I need to start planning this now.

The thing is though, I'm not sure I want another guinea pig. They live for 6-8 years and I'd like to get a dog sooner than that time frame. But adopting a dog now wouldn't be a good idea. I'm a masters student. I'm only going to be in my apartment for a year and a half, at most. After that, I don't know where I'll be living, or working. My next apartment may not have a dog run like this one. I might not be home enough to give a dog the attention it deserves.

I can't adopt a cat, because again, I don't know what I'm doing in a year and a half. And half my family's allergic.

I love birds, but I travel too much for buying a bird to make sense. Plus they're noisy and my apartment is carpeted, so their poop/feathers/seed husks would be impossible to clean.

I get WAY too attached to animals to foster.

Any ideas? Should I get another guinea pig? Or is there another animal species that'd work better for me? I'd like something sociable/affectionate I could handle, something diurnal, that doesn't eat live prey, travels well, and does well in an apartment. I'd like to adopt if possible, and have access to a great exotic vet.

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  • Lord PalingtonLord Palington he.him.his Registered User regular
    I've had friends do really well with rats. They don't live as long as guineas, but they are super social and do well in just about any place a human can live.

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  • bwaniebwanie Posting into the void Registered User regular
    sorry to hear about your little squeeker.

    I second rats, they are awesome.

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  • Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    Bunnies can be pretty great too and as a bonus they come up a lot for adoption.

  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Rats are awesome but very short lived, about 2 years. If that upsets you, they are not a good choice. But it sounds like it would fit well with your timespan.

  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Rats are awesome but very short lived, about 2 years. If that upsets you, they are not a good choice. But it sounds like it would fit well with your timespan.

    Short lived AND prone to cancers and stuff that might take it even shorter. But super playful and easy to care for.

    What is this I don't even.
  • PLAPLA The process.Registered User regular
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Rats are awesome but very short lived, about 2 years. If that upsets you, they are not a good choice. But it sounds like it would fit well with your timespan.

    Short lived AND prone to cancers and stuff that might take it even shorter. But super playful and easy to care for.

    It's kind of an unfortunate combination.

  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Rats are awesome but very short lived, about 2 years. If that upsets you, they are not a good choice. But it sounds like it would fit well with your timespan.

    Short lived AND prone to cancers and stuff that might take it even shorter. But super playful and easy to care for.

    that is because most rat/mouse lines are extremely inbred.

    Here is my opinion on dogs/cats with regards to grad school and apts

    we got our dog while my wife and I were in grad school and it was the best time to do it. sorta flexible schedule, time to pop back and worth etc. i wouldn't worry so much about the apt. yes it is an added hurdle but they become part of your family so you make do

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  • minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
    edited December 2016
    How about some gerbils? They live up to 4 years, they're pretty hardy, social, and they're fun to have around.

    I've had my gerbils eating out of my hands and climbing all over me, so they make a really great small pet for folks who enjoy physical interactions with their animals.

    I'd suggest getting a same sex pair, ideally from the same litter. Put them into an aquarium filled with bedding/shredded cardboard and watch them dig tunnels.

    minirhyder on
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  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    mts wrote: »
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Rats are awesome but very short lived, about 2 years. If that upsets you, they are not a good choice. But it sounds like it would fit well with your timespan.

    Short lived AND prone to cancers and stuff that might take it even shorter. But super playful and easy to care for.

    we got our dog while my wife and I were in grad school and it was the best time to do it. sorta flexible schedule, time to pop back and worth etc.

    Easier to do with two.

    IrukaEncSkeith
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    I'm against dogs for young folks, even though they're amazing. You might be the exception, but... Over half the grad student-level folks I know who got dogs later dumped them off on their parents. The folks that didn't still frequently bemoaned that they couldn't, say, take off on a weekend road trip like non dog owners.

    What is this I don't even.
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  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    I'd strongly consider not having a pet until your living situation is more solidly agreeable to long term planning. Having a pet is an encumbrance at all levels of getting a place, and with your current schedule it sounds like you won't have the appropriate amount of time to give any of your considerations enough time to be doing the pet justice.

    If being along in your apartment situation bothers you to this level, maybe find ways to do short term fosters or the like rather than adopting something you already know you can't guarantee a life for long term.

    Gaddez
  • beecgbeecg Registered User regular
    Bunnies can be pretty great too and as a bonus they come up a lot for adoption.

    I have two bunnies and agree that they're great, but not a good choice if you want a low maintenance pet with a short life span (life expectancy is 8-12 years).

  • MortiousMortious The Nightmare Begins Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    edited December 2016
    Does it need to be furry?

    Snakes are fun, and while they need specialized care it's not difficult or space consuming.

    And they live for 10-20 years depending on the type.

    wook at his wittle face
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    Mortious on
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  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    Snakes are cute, but I need something a little more responsive that requires more handling.

    Rats actually sound pretty great, but since I visit my parents fairly frequently I'm not sure that's a possibility. My mom's super afraid of them to the point where I couldn't bring it with me when I visit. (She's actually lightly pushing me to get a dog.)

    I've never had a serious problem finding an apartment with a guinea pig. Some apartments that don't allow dogs/cats allow small rodents and birds. My first place didn't even consider her a 'pet.' And while I wouldn't necessarily do this again, I did manage to sneak Dinah into my college dorm and secretly keep her there for two years.

    So a small rodent, would be workable even if they lived more than 2 years. (I'm a little nervous about bunnies because they beed lots of floor time and chew wires/carpet, but I guess I could do floor time in my bedroom instead of the kitchen/living room with all my computer stuff.)

    I guess I'll look into small rodents. Or maybe a senior animal.

  • chromdomchromdom Why do bad things keep happening to me? Oh yeah, because of the things I've done.Registered User regular
    Ferret? They sleep a lot, are affectionate when you are around, and don't take up too terribly much room.

  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    Ferret?

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  • WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    Since the usual pets have been covered

    Depending on where you live in the US, it might be legal to own flying squirrels. They are native to the US (unlike sugar gliders), and there are places that breed them. Easy to take care of, affectionate (as long as you go though a bonding process when they are young), dont have any particular smell other than where they pee/defecate (which will be in a specific corner of their cage), don't really get sick, and live 10-12 years.

    They are super goddamn cute, like climbing on you, sleep in your shirt.... and they can fly. Its awesome. I had three while growing up in Texas.

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  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    A ferret does sound like it would check all the boxes you've got.
    Problem is they do have a reputation as stinky animals (which, to be fair, is earned if not bathed regularly). That can make them a problem if you're renting.
    They are also curious and love exploring. Like rats they can also squeeze through holes that you would swear up and down there's no way they could squeeze through. That can be a problem if you don't know about that tiny hole in the closet and suddenly have a ferret wandering around the ceiling.

    They're also pretty notorious as thieves. They can and will steal anything that's left in their reach that sparks their curiosity. Fortunately, they tend to have caches where they stash everything they steal so you can get your stuff back.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    I looked into getting ferrets, but allergies are an issue for them, sadly. They live longer than guinea pigs anyway.

    I'll look into flying squirrels and see how they compare to guinea pigs. Maybe hedgehogs too.

    Or alternatively, a much older animal. Something like a senior dog or bunny, within 2-3 years of it's average life span.

  • AiouaAioua Ora Occidens Ora OptimaRegistered User regular
    edited December 2016
    edit: wrooong threeeeaaad

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  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    Creagan wrote: »
    My guinea pig passed away earlier last night. It wasn't exactly unexpected, since she was six and showing her age. But I'm still upset. Dinah was the best guinea pig I've ever owned. And my dog died two months ago.

    To make things worse, I live alone. I get seriously depressed without an animal to care for.

    Right now I'm at my parents' place for the holidays, so I'm not looking to run out and adopt a new pet tomorrow. I have time and want to grieve. But I can't go back to my empty apartment. I just can't. And I know animal adoption takes a few weeks, so I need to start planning this now.

    The thing is though, I'm not sure I want another guinea pig. They live for 6-8 years and I'd like to get a dog sooner than that time frame. But adopting a dog now wouldn't be a good idea. I'm a masters student. I'm only going to be in my apartment for a year and a half, at most. After that, I don't know where I'll be living, or working. My next apartment may not have a dog run like this one. I might not be home enough to give a dog the attention it deserves.

    I can't adopt a cat, because again, I don't know what I'm doing in a year and a half. And half my family's allergic.

    I love birds, but I travel too much for buying a bird to make sense. Plus they're noisy and my apartment is carpeted, so their poop/feathers/seed husks would be impossible to clean.

    I get WAY too attached to animals to foster.

    Any ideas? Should I get another guinea pig? Or is there another animal species that'd work better for me? I'd like something sociable/affectionate I could handle, something diurnal, that doesn't eat live prey, travels well, and does well in an apartment. I'd like to adopt if possible, and have access to a great exotic vet.

    Chinchillas can live for 18+ years and are super affectionate. There's nearly no one on the planet who is allergic to them. They get to bathe in dust and make little chirp happy sounds. They are herd animals, so they bond very closely with those they trust. A standard grey will cost around 120$-150$ and they are quite hearty. If you're interested I can post a whole bunch of items you would need to buy in order to keep one. They do require playtime, which means being let out of the cage for an hour or so each night in a chinchilla safe environment. Play time usually involves running around like The Flash and bouncing off the walls and chirping/grooming your hair while they sit on your shoulder.

    Also, Dust baths make them the happiest of any creature I've ever seen.



    Here's a Chinchilla exploring and making happy sounds while the owner sits on the floor.




    Concerns:

    Chinchilla safe space is kind of the most difficult part of owning one in my opinion. They chew on everything as a way of identifying it, as a way of marking space and just because they like chewing. They're like tiny beavers and need lots of things to keep their continuously growing teeth in check. A play area needs to be something big enough for them to run like crazy and poke around with no cords, wood molding, carpet edges or door frames exposed. For me this meant getting a bunch of cardboard and lining the lower 3ft of wall in my apartment with a sort of fence that would have to be repaired once in a while. They poop a lot, but their digestion is such that it's basically the same consistency as the food they eat and you can just vacuum after playtime.

    Another Concern:

    They eat a lot of alfalfa hay and need attention, they're extremely smart. If you get two, don't count on them bonding to you quite as strongly, they need to be the same sex as getting males neutered isn't the safest thing ever (but can be done). They will die if it gets over 84 degrees, there were a few days where my AC went out and I had to put them in the carrier and let them hang out in the fridge.


    Unfortunately I had to give away my chinchillas when I made a cross country move and was worried about my ability to find a decent vet where I moved to. I really, really, really regret that decision and still miss my buddy Chisel quite a bit. If I had it to do again, I think I could make a really decent play area out of simple Home Depot supplies that could be tucked away when not in use.

    Edit: They are nocturnal by default, but that can be remedied by keeping them entertained during the day in an area of the house that is quiet and lets them feel safe but has activity for them to keep an eye on. Don't stick em in the bedroom if you don't spend any time in there or they will default to nocturnal and keep you up all night sprinting on their wheel in protest.

    dispatch.o on
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  • GaddezGaddez Registered User regular
    Have you considered doing work as a dog sitter? You'll get the socializing aspect of spending time with a pooch without having to commit to it full time.

    Only down side is that you don't get to pick the animal and they can sometimes be... tricky.

    Richy wrote: »
    But I think the resistance I’m getting more has to do with “rawr! Loklar said it! Rage!” than anything else.

    No, it has to do with the fact that you're done nothing but throw lies, blatant flasehoods, and downright dumb statements at us so far.
  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    Dog sitting would work if the dogs lived with me while I watched them. I guess I could handle giving them back to their owners if they were really obnoxious.

    But I did kind of a bad thing and started looking at different animals online. At first, I was just looking at the different animals suggested here, and guinea pigs.

    Then, I thought "Hey, senior dogs don't get adopted as often as they should. Maybe I could get something two years away from the end of its breed's life span."

    There's a 10 year old house trained poodle mix whose owner passed away. (Miniature poodles live 12-15 years.) I may have written up an extensive list of questions for her current caretakers to see if we'd be a good fit for each other. Then if the first dog doesn't work out, I found a blind but housebroken, 12 year old Shih Tzu whose owner was sent to an "elder care" facility. (Shih Tzus live 10-16 years.)

    Neither dog would last as long as a guinea pig. And my mom keeps telling me I should get a dog.

    But this is a bad, bad idea. Right? I should absolutely not do this.

    Shadowfire
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Elder dogs can be a problem in rentals due to continence issues. They also tend to get expensive medical complaints. Can you and your landlord deal with this?

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  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Have a plan in your head for what you'll do if the elderly dog gets cancer a year or two after you bring it home. Will you spoil it with steak and humanely euthanize it, knowing that you still gave the dog a better two years than it would have had if it'd been euthanized at the shelter? Will that break your head? Or will you set aside thousands of dollars for vet bills?

    What is this I don't even.
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  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Continence issues are also time consuming to manage, because it can cut into the time the dog can potentially hang out on his own comfortably, and make everything a little more unpredictable.

    I love dogs to death, but I'm putting off getting one until I fall into the permanence of house ownership. It sounds like you think its a bad idea, but are willing to let someone talk you into it. I highly recommend against letting loneliness and vulnerability talk you into getting a pet when there's a voice in your head saying dont.

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  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    Iruka wrote: »
    I highly recommend against letting loneliness and vulnerability talk you into getting a pet when there's a voice in your head saying dont.

    This is my feeling about this as well. It really seems like your main issue here, @Creagan, is that you're depressed when you're alone. The urgency in your OP is putting up a little red flag for me too. Typically when I see healthy relationships to the idea of pet ownership it's more that the owner has been interested in owning a certain type of pet for awhile (i.e. they've put a lot of thought into it), and they first make sure that their living situation is amenable to that type of animal. If your post had just said "what kind of pet would suit me best in the future" with the sense that you'll take the time to make sure it would be the right decision for both you and the animal, I don't think I'd have the same reaction.

    I know your living situations have been extremely stressful, and combined with the loss of your recent pets, it absolutely makes sense to me that you'd be feeling lonely and depressed in an empty apartment. However, if you feel depressed in general whenever you don't have a medium/high-maintenance animal to care for, it might be best for you to try to work on that instead. It seems like you might be using the animal as a band-aid or a distraction.

    I'm sorry if this is at all completely off-base, but it's my interpretation from reading this, and knowing some background on your situation. It might be best for you emotionally to take the time to grieve, be with friends, maybe find a therapist to help you with the depression. Holding off on getting an animal for even 6 months while you take care of YOU might be best for you in the long run.

    NightDragon on
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  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Yeah. It actually might be a REALLY good idea to spend money you might have spent on pets for a few months on seeing a therapist to address the fact that you're uncomfortable being alone.

    What is this I don't even.
    NightDragon
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Or at the very least, stick to the lower maintenance pets. Dogs represent a significant leap in costs when it comes to vet bills, damage that can potentially be done, and time spent.

    It just seems like this thread started with "adopting a dog is a bad idea." as a statement, and you walked it back because emotions.

  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    It would be better to buy a new guinea pig than get a dog, I think.

  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    I do have a therapist, my parents pay for that because it's mostly their fault I need one, and my dad doesn't want me putting it on insurance. So pet bills won't cut into that.

    And honestly, I don't see the trouble being alone as such a serious thing. I don't become dangerously depressed. It's more like a very intense homesickness that just doesn't get better. (Until I get an animal and everybody comments on how much happier I am.) My therapist thinks it's because I was basically always with family or a roommate until my mid 20's. He was really enthusiastic about my first guinea pig.

    And I do really like animals. I like guinea pigs a lot. I'm good at taking care of them, I budgeted my masters expecting to have Dinah with me (so finances wouldn't be an issue) and moving with a guinea pig is not that hard. Even if I didn't have the home sickness thing, I would want another guinea pig. The homesickness thing just adds a timeframe to getting a new animal.

    I hesitated because I thought maybe there'd be a better animal match for me, or something that'd let me get a dog sooner. Because I've loved dogs since I learned they exist and desperately want a dog. (This feeling existed long before I realized how sad I get living alone, animal-less.)

    That was my reasoning behind adopting a senior. I could have a dog, and if I got one that was already old, it would probably pass away before I had to move. I'd give it a good home for the rest of it's life, and we could kind of help each other. I know from my last dog that I can let a vet put my dog to sleep without subjecting it to chemo, or other treatment that just extends the painful sick period of a dog's life. My landlord cas crazy low pet rent costs, and a link to a local animal shelter on their pet policy page, so I think they'd be okay with an older dog.

    But it's looking like a guinea pig (or two, since they're social) might be best right now. I'll think about at least a week before making a decision, baring any parental surpises.

  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Good info. If you're discussing it with your therapist then I think you're on top of it.

    Also, you might like the song "Kirby" by Aesop Rock. It's about the cat the artist's therapist suggested he get.

    What is this I don't even.
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  • CogCog Registered User regular
    I've had sugar gliders before and they're super awesome pets.

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    They eat tiny amounts of fruits and veggies and they're social marsupials so you just carry them around in a micro fleece pouch all day or even just in a shirt pocket and they just chill with you and sleep and then come out and play for a while.

    They can't precisely be potty trained, but they never do their business in their pouch and pretty much always do it right after waking up and coming out, so when they wake up you just hold them over the sink, they do their thing, and it's playtime. They'll spend tons of time crawling around inside your hoodie or whatnot. You can even take them outside or to stores with you. They bond extremely closely to people so if you take them places like supermarkets they'll stay in your pocket or on your shoulder. If you take them to the park they might hop down on the ground for a few seconds, but they always come running right back to you. I took mine to work a couple times. They slept in the pouch for a few hours, got out and sat on my shoulder and chittered in my ear or sat looking out of my shirt pocket and ate carrots for a while, and then took a nap again for the afternoon.

    The only real concerns are that you have to get at least two, and it's by far best if you get them when they're very young. They're ridiculously social animals, so a single sugar glider will get depressed and self harm. They bond better when they're very young. Older gliders can be bonded as well it just takes more time and they'll be a bit bitey. They can't really break the skin if they bite you but they can give you a decent pinch. Joeys (the young ones) might bite for the first couple days, but you combat that by stuffing one of your shirts or socks in their sleeping pouch and they get used to your scent and its over with.

    Their only major material needs are a very vertically tall cage, because they love to jump. They have the flying squirrel flaps, so they love to jump off stuff and glide. You need a pretty fair sized cage, and you have to get them an exercise wheel (wodent wheel is highly recommended because it has nowhere they can get pinched or caught in it). They need things they can climb on - like branches, ladders, chains - things they can chew, and a suspended pouch for sleeping in.

    They make super cute little barks and squeaks when they're excited or happy.

    They're crazy affectionate and fun once they're bonded and can live about 12 years. It's pretty awesome to have a couple little buddies you can just grab and stuff in your pocket and take out with you.

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  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    Yeah, sorry. My first post was kind of dramatic & not detailed enough. I wrote it a few hours after finding my guinea pig and hadn't really slept.

    And it's hard to tell how reasonable I'm being given that I really, REALLY want a dog and my mom keeps telling me to get one.

  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    As someone who just had to put down a senior dog, I don't think that you want to assume lifespan - 2 is a good idea. If you want a dog without the hassle of going through training I would go for an adult rather than senior

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  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    Are you sure you don't want to foster? If you are serious about getting a dog that sounds exactly right for you. If you cannot handle the responsibility then you can indicate to the organization that it's not a good fit (they won't like it, but they'll understand). And if you just love the guy you can adopt him.

  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    I'm the sort of person who would get way too attached to a dog to foster one. And I know that foster dog-moms are frequently tasked with helping a dog become adoptable, which might be a little more than I can take on. Not to mention there's a low chance I could get a hypoallergenic one.

    But I think I could handle a senior dog. I know it can be a lot of work. When my dog died two months ago, he was 13. He needed his teeth brushed, his eyes cleaned multiple times a day, ointment applied to cysts semi-daily, his ears cleaned, help with stairs, special diet, all sorts of things. We did most of his grooming at home, so there was that too. And in some ways, he was actually less work than my sister's five year old dog. She needs loads of attention, hates walks, won't eat unless she's fed a variety of food with meat juice & you make it look like her toy is eating with her, has separation anxiety, hates most male guests, and is afraid of using stairs so you have to carry her.

    I did a lot for the dogs when I was home, and was 100% responsible for them semi-frequently, in week-long stretches. I also was 100% responsible for both dogs for a week, when my sister's was a puppy going through potty training. It was a lot of work, yes. But it was rewarding and made it easier to take care of myself. Way more than my guinea pig was/did. (This is why my mom is pushing me to get a dog.)

    So while I fully acknowledge my judgement is a little clouded here, I'm not blindly jumping into this with some kind of romantic vision of senior-dog-ownership.



    That being said, I haven't contacted anybody about adopting a dog yet. I'm looking at sugar gliders and flying squirrels, since those look really fun to own and might travel better than a guinea pig. There's a "pet store" nearby (it's really more of an animal shelter that also sells pet stuff) that I want to visit to maybe see if I can get some additional information and check out a couple female guinea pigs they have up for adoption.

    Creagan on
  • Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    I will say of all the small pets that I've had in my house or houses I've lived in (bunny, hamster, guinea pig, chinchilla, gerbils, lizard) that guinea pigs were by far my favorite. They are cute, funny little pets and the squeal they make when tickled is pretty much guaranteed to make you laugh. I know the lifespan is slightly longer than you were thinking but if you already know you like them and have the equipment for them, it seems like maybe a good idea to get another one. With that said, my dwarf angora bunny was super awesome and teddy bear hamsters are fun too.

  • Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    Regarding the senior dog option, what will you do if the dog is still alive when you move out of your current apartment? There's no guarantee that a dog won't outlive its average life expectancy by quite a margin, and then you'll be faced with the exact reasons why you said a dog might be a bad idea in your OP. With the added complication that you'll have an old and possibly sick dog that may get stressed from yet another change in environment.

    One and a half years isn't a very long time. I'd go with 2 - 3 guinea pigs if I were you, partly because guinea pigs are awesome, partly because you're already good at taking care of them. You'll be moving and presumably getting a new job/looking for one once you finish your masters. Having familiar, low-maintenance pets would allow you to focus your attention on those changes in your life, and having more than one will keep them happier especially if you won't have as much time to spend with them at home.

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  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    The "pet store" has a pair of bonded female guinea pigs up for adoption. (Again, this isn't so much a pet store as it is an animal shelter that also sells pet supplies.) I'm especially interested in these two because they're a mother-daughter pair, so there's less of a risk that they'll have a falling out and need to be separated two months after I adopt them. Like what happened when my sister dumped her guinea pig on me.

    (That's actually why Dinah was a single pig. After she had a falling out with my sister's pig, and I separated them, Dinah was obviously so much happier alone, I just got her a plushie instead of a new guinea pig.)

    I'm still under a lot of pressure from my mom to adopt a dog. It's hard to resist because 1- I want a dog. 2- She made some good points. (I always manage to stick to a decent sleep/life schedule when I'm caring for a dog, my parents can dog-sit but not guinea pig-sit so I could travel with a dog, I'd go outside more if I had a dog, dogs are better for meeting people, vet bills are cheaper for dogs than "exotics," you can't get reasonable pet insurance for a guinea pig...)

    So I've got another appointment with my therapist tomorrow, just to make absolutely sure I'm thinking clearly about all of this. And because if he tells me a guinea pig's better right now, Mom will listen to him and I won't have to hear about how my father "ruined" dogs for me by fear-mongering. (I tried talking to my parents before I wrote my first post. Dad spent 30 minutes lecturing me on how getting a dog is the worst thing I could possibly do ever, and also my chosen career path is awful and I'll be poor forever. Mom is pissed at him for that, but she also thinks that getting a dog will magically fix all my problems in life, because I was always really on top of my life when they had me dog-sit.)

    If my therapist spends like, the whole session telling me to get a dog, I might do it, but I'm about 75% sure I'm getting a couple of guinea pigs at this point.

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