Pet Situation

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  • HewnHewn Registered User regular
    Creagan wrote: »
    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...)

    Reading this part, I was reminded a lot of the book Dog Medicine.
    https://www.amazon.com/Dog-Medicine-How-Saved-Myself/dp/0143130013/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1481762937&sr=8-2&keywords=dog+medicine

    If you'd like to hear an interview with the author and such, here's an NPR segment I heard about it that inspired me to buy it.
    http://www.wpr.org/shows/dog-medicine-memoir

    Don't take this as me pushing the dog option. She goes into the idea that many pets fill this role, for her it was the story of the dog. For some people, it's a cat or whatever animal they bond with. Basically, I think you'll enjoy the NPR piece at least, and perhaps you'll find it worth reading given your experiences with animals.

    Steam: hewn
    Warframe: TheBaconDwarf
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Sounds like your folks have Strong Feelings about dogs. You don't want to get in the middle of that; one for the therapist.

    CreaganNightDragonCog
  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    My parents have Strong Feelings about everything.

    I mean, there's a reason I'm trying to sort out conflicted feelings on the internet instead of being a normal inexperienced adult and just consulting my parents before making a major decision. (My best friends either hate animals, or are too obsessed with cats to be any real help here.)

  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    I don't believe I consulted my parents as an inexperienced adult :) I just did what I liked.

    I don't think you should ask your therapist what pet to get, but discussing this high pressure in your family would probably help you in general.

    So It GoesDarkewolfeSmrtnikEncCogGnome-Interruptus
  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    Doing what I want frequently blows up in my face, and then gets brought up over and over and over again forever. (Remember when you picked your own roommate/apartment and it was such a disaster we had to stealth-move you back home? Remember that time you insisted on taking a full course load of writing intensive classes and nearly failed your following quarter because you were so burned out? Remember that time you didn't listen to my warnings about your sister and she nearly stole your ID? Remember that time you shut your phone off and nobody could reach you when your brother had blood poisoning?)

    Not to mention I have the wonderful habit of either becoming paralyzed with indecision, or second-guessing myself into unhappiness. Probably because I know if I screw something up everything goes to hell and I'm never allowed to forget about it.

    But anyway- yeah "telling me what pet to get" does not accurately describe what I will have the therapist do. It's me subconsciously attempting to avoid being the one held responsible for my decision, because no matter what I do, somebody's going to be mad at me.

  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    Creagan wrote: »
    Doing what I want frequently blows up in my face, and then gets brought up over and over and over again forever. (Remember when you picked your own roommate/apartment and it was such a disaster we had to stealth-move you back home? Remember that time you insisted on taking a full course load of writing intensive classes and nearly failed your following quarter because you were so burned out? Remember that time you didn't listen to my warnings about your sister and she nearly stole your ID? Remember that time you shut your phone off and nobody could reach you when your brother had blood poisoning?)

    Not to mention I have the wonderful habit of either becoming paralyzed with indecision, or second-guessing myself into unhappiness. Probably because I know if I screw something up everything goes to hell and I'm never allowed to forget about it.

    But anyway- yeah "telling me what pet to get" does not accurately describe what I will have the therapist do. It's me subconsciously attempting to avoid being the one held responsible for my decision, because no matter what I do, somebody's going to be mad at me.

    Just a bit of a different idea I guess. How about a nice plant or two? Tending to a plant or garden can be very rewarding. Perhaps do part-time dog walking and if you have regular customers you will bond with the animals. This is especially true of people who move into independent living communities, who while they are entirely capable of taking their dog for an evening stroll and caring for it, maybe don't have the stamina or capability to take them to a dog park for a good playtime.

    Believe me, you will get a lot of satisfaction out of helping people keep their animals happy.

  • WiseManTobesWiseManTobes Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    Not sure if I missed it somewhere, but is there a reason Cat hasn't been mentioned? Longer span than a gerbil, more independent and move easier than a dog, furry and snugg as all get out?

    edit: Like I see the same as dog with moving thing, but dogs are seemingly coming back on table

    WiseManTobes on
    Steam! Battlenet:Wisemantobes#1508
  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    Not sure if I missed it somewhere, but is there a reason Cat hasn't been mentioned? Longer span than a gerbil, more independent and move easier than a dog, furry and snugg as all get out?

    edit: Like I see the same as dog with moving thing, but dogs are seemingly coming back on table

    1/2 my family is extremely allergic to cats. Like to the point that when I baby-sat for a family with cats in high school, I had to hand the money off immediately to my dad so I and my mother did not touch it, put all my clothing in a sealed plastic bag, and avoid touching anything until I showered.

    If I got a cat, I'd basically be saying I don't want an in-person relationship with my family for the next 12-18 years. I actually like cats quite a bit and think they'd be great at this point in my life. But I want to see my family in person.

    So cats are off the table. Same with bunnies, ferrets, and chinchillas.

    Guinea pigs are actually a bit of a problem too. (Yet another reason my mom's gunning for me to get a dog,) but if I clean the cage right before my mom visits, run several air filters, and don't touch the guinea pig until she leaves, she's okay. (Similarly, when I visit my parents' house, if I avoid touching the guinea pig, and keep the door to my childhood bedroom shut, it's okay.)

  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    There are cats that are hypoallergenic. Are they allergic to the dander or the saliva proteins? Can also get a hairless cat to cut that down.

    It really sounds like you should not have a pet right now to be honest.

    Enc
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Creagan wrote: »
    Doing what I want frequently blows up in my face, and then gets brought up over and over and over again forever. (Remember when you picked your own roommate/apartment and it was such a disaster we had to stealth-move you back home? Remember that time you insisted on taking a full course load of writing intensive classes and nearly failed your following quarter because you were so burned out? Remember that time you didn't listen to my warnings about your sister and she nearly stole your ID? Remember that time you shut your phone off and nobody could reach you when your brother had blood poisoning?)

    The problem here is your parents undermining your decisions, not you. I had a lot of disastrous roommates in my late teens and 20s and I don't believe my parents were bothered. It's part of growing up. Though they do sometimes remind me of how horrible and disgusting my first apartment with my boyfriend was! (Cleaning, I say? Why?) I failed a year and had to retake it and they were very understanding. And why did they need to tell you about your brother being sick so quickly, are you a doctor?

    Consider moving to Singapore for work and phoning once a week when you graduate :) You've gotta cut those apron strings. You WILL fuck up, but that's the way you learn when you are young.

    EncDarkewolfedispatch.oGnome-Interruptus
  • CogCog Registered User regular
    Creagan wrote: »
    I'm still under a lot of pressure from my mom to adopt a dog.

    If your mom isn't going to be a primary caretaker, what she thinks wants or says about your pet situation is completely unimportant. I would politely tell her that you understand her point of view, and you'll consider her opinion, but you're a grown-ass adult and you'll make your own decision.

    NightDragonEncDarkewolfeWassermelonedispatch.oNaphtaliRainfallGnome-Interruptus
  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    Cog wrote: »
    Creagan wrote: »
    I'm still under a lot of pressure from my mom to adopt a dog.

    If your mom isn't going to be a primary caretaker, what she thinks wants or says about your pet situation is completely unimportant. I would politely tell her that you understand her point of view, and you'll consider her opinion, but you're a grown-ass adult and you'll make your own decision.

    And then give those guinea pigs the best damned life any guinea pig ever had.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
    CreaganNightDragonCogdispatch.o
  • Mom2KatMom2Kat Registered User regular
    Bearded dragon?

  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    Welp, my therapist is super enthusiastic about me getting a dog. So I'm conflicted again.

    Basically, he pointed out that I have a long history of being way too concerned with future disaster scenarios, and then making really solid cases for why I shouldn't do what I want. Or at times what's actually good for me.

    Like, I've been using an air mattress since August, because I was concerned that maybe I couldn't afford a real mattress and since I was moving in two years anyway, maybe it'd be better to use something portable even if it does mean I barely get any quality sleep and wake up freezing every night since the stupid thing is always ice-cold. If I got a mattress, I'd have to pay to move it, and I might not have money for that. Or I'd have to buy some horrible cheap thing that makes me sick as it off-gasses. Definitely safer to freeze to death on the crappy air mattress.

    And I'm kind of just not dating until I graduate. I could spend that energy getting perfect scores on all my assignments, keeping my apartment spotless, cooking all my meals from scratch so I'm healthy, looking for work, trying to publish something, visiting friends on the east coast... Anyway, if I ended up in a relationship, I'd either be really sad in a year an a half when I move, or stuck staying in a city I hate, and resenting the guy for that. So why bother?




    The therapist's take is that's what I've done with the pet situation. I love dogs. I want a dog. I've wanted a dog since I learned they exist. I'm good at taking care of dogs. I'm in a position to potentially get a dog. Actually, the best position possible, since I have over a month to socialize it with my sister's dog, get it used to meeting new people people, and potentially house-break it in a carpet-free place before going back to my apartment.

    So I've made a very convincing case as to why I should absolutely not get a dog, and even gotten other people to tell me I should not get a dog. Because that's what I do when I want something really, really badly.

    He also pointed out that my mom is the "sane" parent, and reminded me that while she was just like "Yeah! A dog's a great idea! Super healthy for you and I can help with it!" My dad insulted my reasoning, and my career while trying to talk me out of getting a dog. And Dad likes to encourage my unhealthy thought process because it keeps me from doing anything.



    I don't know what I'm going to do anymore.

  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    I don't think this thread is actually able to help you. Keep working on your therapy.

    What is this I don't even.
    EncTychoCelchuuuSo It Goesdispatch.oCambiataGnome-Interruptus
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    At this point, the thread has covered almost all the bases of what to consider. Instead of making a list of doomsday scenarios, make a practical list of alternative solutions. Your mom offered to help, but can she take the dog for a more permanent length of time if you need that? Will she help with vet costs? Can your therapist help you make a practical back up plan, or suggest how to better feel prepared for unknowable possibilities?

    The forums can't really outweigh your therapist, we have an incomplete picture of your life and circumstances. Consider that at the end of the process, neither us, nor your mom, or your therapist will be responsible for your dog.

    CambiataNightDragonGnome-Interruptus
  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    Well I was also going to suggest a snake; but we covered that.

    I will instead suggest you look into gel foam matresses, since you mentioned that being a problem. Cheap (for a matress), quite portable (both in weight, and how tightly you can fold them up), and comfortable.

    ArbitraryDescriptor on
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    You can get a decent mattress darned cheap these days. Here's one I got for my kid: it's comfy and $100. Throw it away if you don't want to move it in 2 years.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005G02ESA

    Don't get paranoid about "off gassing" - all memory foam mattresses stink and need to be aired out for a few days. It doesn't mean they are full of "toxins."

  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON IndiaRegistered User regular
    Memory foam toppers are also great - cheaper than an actual mattress, and they basically turn the mattress into a memory foam mattress. I bought one for my super shitty mattress and it's like having a brand new mattress, sleeping on a cloud, etc.

  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Memory foam toppers are also great - cheaper than an actual mattress, and they basically turn the mattress into a memory foam mattress. I bought one for my super shitty mattress and it's like having a brand new mattress, sleeping on a cloud, etc.

    She doesn't have a bed or a mattress because of difficulty in choosing.

    I'm getting the feeling from the OP that she needs permission from *someone* before choosing, just in case she chooses wrong, so that she can have someone to blame, because her family has a history of blaming her from wrong choices that she internalizes.

    So I think her therapist is going the wrong route by encouraging her to choose a dog. He should be trying to help her to make a choice *any choice* *of her own* and learn to stand by it when challenged, even if it doesn't turn out 100% OK (pets are living beings so all of them have some problems.)

    dispatch.o
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    While I agree, I'm reluctant to let this thread turn into a therapy session where we disregard the actual advice of a licensed therapist based solely on the information in a few forum posts.

    @Creagan I'm going to go ahead and close this post. If you decide you have more things you need to work out about getting a pet, PM me. If you more specifically have some questions about decision making that you want to work out, you can make another thread.

    dispatch.o
This discussion has been closed.