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Pets? Am I crazy?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Woots32, Sep 20, 2002.

  1. Woots32

    Woots32 kinda funky, kinda fine
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    Hi, I'm a premed who's heard all of the horror stories of how much time you spend studying, you have no life, long hours during rotations, etc... Thing is, I graduate in December and want to get a puppy this spring so I can train and socialize it before M1 starts. Any students w/ pets out there - can you go to med school and still make a good home (have time) for a dog? Am I insane? :confused:

    Thanks!
     
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  3. KyGrlDr2B

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    Well i dont' know about dogs, but I do have a kitten. Cats can keep themselves occupied while you are gone or busy so its great. And I really look forward to coming home and seeing her run in the room and want to be picked up (she loves attention). She also likes to keep me company while I study by sitting on my desk (sometimes on my notes, which gets annoying). I've spent this past week studying really hard for an anatomy midterm and I have felt incredibly guilty. Since she's a kitten she likes to play a lot in the evenings and I haven't done anything with her this week. I dont know if its my imagination, but I swear that she seemed sad. It actually upset me one night. Now that my test is over, I'm going to spend all weekend playing with her :).
     
  4. reesie0726

    reesie0726 Senior Member
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    I have my cat here. It was not even an option for me to give her up. Med school can be stressful enough at times so it is nice to be able to relax and play with her after a long night of studying. Some students even have dogs. If having a pet is important to you just go ahead and do it and be happy while in med school.
     
  5. Amy

    Amy Animal Lover
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    Honestly, I don't think it would be fair to the dog. You'll be studying a lot, and every year that goes by, you'll be busier. A new puppy needs lots of attention, exercise, etc, and it really wouldn't be fair to him if you're unavailable all of the time. Having and older dog would probably be fine (one who's already trained, etc.), or having a roommate who helps out with the dog. Lots of med students have cats, since they don't require as much attention. Many even get 2 cats, so that they will always have eachother when the owner can't be there. So, if you want a pet, maybe you should consider a cat... I just don't think the puppy will be very happy once the summer ends and you start school... the bordom could lead to lots of behavior problems. :(
     
  6. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    I agree. A puppy could turn disastrous if not trained properly...and 6 months or so might not be long enough to figure out how this dog will be. Puppies need a hundred times the attention of an older dog.

    However, a well-trained older dog can be a nice companion sitting by your side during those long nights of studying. My 10-year old dog has become the school mascot and he's in attendance at most social functions. I live close enough to school and the hospitals that I'm home several times throughout the day to say hello. And it's very comforting to come home from a long, hard day and be greeted by pitter-patter of canine feet (and a nice lick sometimes too).
     
  7. none

    none 1K Member
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    Yeah, how about you skip the whole puppy thing and head down to your local pound? You might find some puppies there, but try to remember that they rarely have a hard time finding a home like the adults. Stick to the smaller breeds too as they tend to demand less of their owners in a lot of ways.
     
  8. dr. maybe

    dr. maybe mongoose
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    Apparently, my opinion is in the minority here, but I have a dog. I truly do not know what I would do without him. I live alone, which I love, but I am never lonely because he is with me. And, he is a good excuse to go outside for a quick break when he has to go out. The things I would consider are: finding a place that will accept pets and possibly finding a place with a yard. I had a difficult time finding a place that would accept pets. There are quite a few other people in my class who have dogs. I think it's great. Just make sure that he/she is trained before you go. You really do not want to deal with that stress on top of everything else.
     
  9. Amy

    Amy Animal Lover
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    Yes Dr. Maybe, I agree with you. Having a dog that's already trained when you start school is great. Lots of med students have dogs. All I (and some other posters) am saying is that it's probably not a good idea to get a new puppy only a few months before starting med school. If you already have one, that's fine... I'm not suggesting that anyone should get rid of a pet!!
     
  10. docuw

    docuw Senior Member
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    I got a 6 week old black lab pup 3 months before I started my first year (and the week before I made a cross country trek in a Ryder van). She has been so wonderful. I spent all summer training her so that I would have less stress when school started. She has been the best thing that I ever did. We go to on jogs every night (I need exercise just as much as she does) and she hangs out with me while I am studying. I also bought a house, so I guess the issue of finding a place to live that allows pets is not an issue.

    good luck
     
  11. anamarylee

    anamarylee A la grande le puse Cuca
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    I have two cats. Have had them since college, so I naturally brought them with me when I moved for medical school. They are great companionship, except when they get annoying and start jumping all over what I'm reading or writting on. Other than that, they are great companionship, always greet me when I get home and play with each other when I'm at school. My advice: If you want a pet, adopt one from the local pound. These animals are usually docile, have passed the puppy/kitten stage, and are very gratefull and cuddlly, qualities you want in a companion pet.
     
  12. pcl

    pcl Senior Member
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    You are not crazy for wanting a companion. I have a dog that i adopted last year. He is five, and i got him from the a breed rescue group. It was especially nice because the foster home could tell me a little about his background, and how he got along with other pets, children, etc., and why he was in rescue... (his family had children who developed allergies...) Also, they were able to match some of his personality traits with ones that I was looking for (like doesn't bark much). If you have a fondness for a particular breed, there are many groups set up this way. (Golden Retreivers, Australian Shepherds, Shelties...) The cost is less than a breeder puppy, slightly more than a pound puppy.

    He is a wonderful stress reducer, as he is always happy to see me, and forces me to get out of the house and get some exercise at least 30 minutes every day. He was housebroken before i got him.

    The hard part is the week before tests i end up studying at school a lot, and he gets lonely, but other than that, I think it is do-able. It would be harder if I had class all day, but we only have it until 1.

    Just make sure you know what you are getting into... cats are much easier to leave alone. Dogs need to be walked several times a day, rain or shine, test or not. My dog is 50 pounds and needs exercise daily. In hindsight it probably would have been nicer to have a smaller dog who was a bit lazier... although I wouldn't trade my baby in for anything in the world. I hope that next year when I'm on call I will be able to find a dog sitter, or he might end up going to live at grandma and grandpa's house for surgery and ob.

    Good Luck!
     
  13. KyGrlDr2B

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    Definitely make sure you know what you are getting yourself into! I took my kitten to get spayed and thanks to the bloodwork found that she has an enlarged heart and liver. Now, we need to consult with a cardiologist to figure out exactly what is wrong with her heart (because that is probably what's affecting her liver also) and find out what medication she needs to be on. I love her to death and I've been very upset. This is going to cost more money than had planned and is more stress on myself, but she is worth it to me. Thank goodness the news came right after midterms or I would be even more freaked. Wish us luck...:(
     
  14. Long Hair and a Beard

    Long Hair and a Beard Obsessionist
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    Awww All this dog-talk has made me miss my dog at home... :(

    There is a cat that roams our corridor these days... Very fearless.. Enters rooms as if it all was its property.. As yet I have shooed it away as a habitual response... Do you think I should try and make it a pet? But then I think of all the garbage cans it visits.. And will bring that stuff straight on to my bed.. ewww..

    OMG I sound just like my mother before we had the dog.. :p
     
  15. anamarylee

    anamarylee A la grande le puse Cuca
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    I wouldn't adopt it. Stray cats tend to be a pain because they are very hard to discipline (kitty litter, furniture, mewing at inapropriate hours, ect). If you want to see his/her face once in a while, you can get a food dish and feed him/her once in a while, just don't do it inside your apartment.
     
  16. DoubleDoctor

    DoubleDoctor Ceder Dog's Daddy
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    I have a 14 year old dog (daughter) that I have had since I was 8. She is evil at times (she has gotten grumpier with age and she never was friendly except to the family). She is a little lap dog that thinks she's a rottie and she is the definite leader of the pack. She thinks the family is her pack and I think she's a little annoyed that we are a crappy pack. She is on about 4 meds a day but she goes where we go. I can't imagine going anywhere without her so it's a good thing that I decided to stay in Cincy so I can live at home. She would be miserable in an apartment.

    Dogs are a big commitment and vet care is very expensive (Her meds run about $100/month) but they are great morale boosters. She is literally a member of the family and we treat her like any other member. She had a problem with her leg a few months ago and we literally carried her everywhere including outside to go do her business. Since she couldn't get up and move around we were turning her every couple of hours. Thankfully, that only lasted about a week and she was back on her feet. If you do decide on a pet just remember that pets rely on humans for all their needs and you may have to sacrifice.

    That said, MY DOG RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    PS- She wants me to get the phone numbers for all the SDN members' boy dogs.
     
  17. daisygirl

    daisygirl woof
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    Dogs definitely rule! However, just as other posters have pointed out, dogs require a lot of time (in terms of walking, playing, etc..) and they can be quite expensive (food, toys, vet bills, etc..). I adore my dogs (and bird, but that is a topic for another post...), and I pay a hefty rent in order to be able to keep one of my dogs with me when I'm at school during the week. One should definitely not get a puppy a few months/right before the start of med school since they are quite time-intensive.

    P.S. DoubleDoctor- My avatar is a picture of my male dog. Do you forsee a love connection between our adored pooches :laugh: .
     
  18. docuw

    docuw Senior Member
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    Another student in my class got 8 week old chocolate lab during school last spring. She has loved having her around as well. Her pup, just like mine, was kennel trained, and thus stays in the kennel during the school hours. She goes home at lunch to let her out, and hasnt had a problem at all. Also a very good dog, and because she was able to train her over the summer (like I did before my MS1 year with my lab), she hasnt been overwelmed by chaos at home. Perhaps it is the type of dog you get. For example, labs are very easy to train, but dalmations are ******ed and stuborn energy-balls that would add way too much headache to your life. So, choose your breed wisely too.
     
  19. DoubleDoctor

    DoubleDoctor Ceder Dog's Daddy
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    Oh Yea, Mercedes thinks he's hot. She wants you to sent some boudoir photos of him.:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
     
  20. DoubleDoctor

    DoubleDoctor Ceder Dog's Daddy
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    Of course, I would probably have to put her on oxygen for the "love connection". The Graduate is her favorite movie!!!!:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
     
  21. DoubleDoctor

    DoubleDoctor Ceder Dog's Daddy
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    Here is a rather recent picture, although she has gotten a little more "extra light ash blonde" fur (pronounced: gray) around her mouth since this was taken:

    <img src="http://www.isoc.net/erdoctor/SDNcedes.jpg"><br><br>
     
  22. Long Hair and a Beard

    Long Hair and a Beard Obsessionist
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    hmmm sounds like sound advice. Thanx for responding.

    So where can I get some advice on what cats like? I have no idea whatsoever...
     
  23. daisygirl

    daisygirl woof
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    Hey DoubleDoctor-
    Neimus definitely thinks Mercedes is adorable! However his sister, Daisy, doesn't think so...you know it's a sibling thing :laugh: ;) .
     

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