I've desperately wanted a puppy my whole life. Every Christmas, every birthday... well, you know the deal. Now I am finally old enough to make these kinds of decisions for myself but I need guidance. I am 22. I am in my fourth year of undergrad but I still have one more year. I plan on staying in my current town to get my master's before I apply to my in-state vet school, which is 600 miles away. I only work part-time, and lucky for me it's at a vet hospital. So I am actually home a lot, and will be for a good part of the summer. My SO and I have a small backyard with a REALLY tall fence. There are 3 parks/open fields within a 3/4 mile radius of our house. I understand the responsibility, time and money that goes into adopting a dog. I'm ready to commit. SO says he will support me no matter what I decide. I think I've got most of it right, but I'm still torn inside. The biggest obstacle is that I will have to leave the state for 6 weeks at the end of the summer and I'm staying with family. The puppy that I'm looking to adopt is currently 4 months old, and at 6 months I just don't feel right about leaving it (my SO works full time). No possibility of taking it with me. I have and will continue to consider rescuing/adopting an adult dog. I've just always relished the idea of investing every thing I have into raising, training and bonding with a puppy. But when is the best time to do this??? I don't want to wait until I am working full time... I'm at home so much more often while I'm a student. And, of course, the beginning of the summer seems to be a great time since I won't be in school! I'm trying to make a well-informed, responsible decision. All the same, I've never wanted anything so badly in my life... seriously. Thanks for any non-condescending advice. Wouldn't mind hearing your experiences with adopting either.