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Old May 12th, 2013, 05:53 PM
MathewsMD MathewsMD is offline
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Have to leave my bud when I go to University

I will soon be starting University and will be living away from home for the next 4 years, at least. I have a 3 year-old dog I love to death and I feel bad now because I feel like I'm abandoning him. He will be living with my mom and dad, and he loves/listens to my dad the most. My mom gets along with him but is not an active carer of him. My older brother will also be living at home, at least for next year, but also doesn't actively take care of him. He should be getting walked daily, though he may not get as much/enough exercise but will get plenty of love nonetheless. He'll be home alone generally for about 5 hours a day.
Well that's my story at the moment, and I guess I'm asking if you guys have advice on which University I should go to. Without going too far into detail, the 2 Universities are pretty much identical in programs, campus, and academics. There really is no distinguishing between the two except one(Western University) is 2 and a half hours a way while the other(McMaster University) is 1 hour away. McMaster would mean being closer at home and seeing my dog and family more often(~once every 2-3 weeks). Western would mean coming home every 4-6 weeks. Although, the upside for Western is that the program is a little more specialized in terms of courses and has better residences, a better city to live in, and has been rated the top University in terms of student experience for countless consecutive years now. I will not be missing home so much per se, hence the reason for moving out, but I was just wondering if my dog will really feel sad/withdrawal. I probably will too, and the fact that I will not be seeing much of him for 8 months out of the year deeply saddens me.
Any advice would be much appreciated!
p.s. I'm a guy
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Old May 12th, 2013, 06:23 PM
pattymac pattymac is offline
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I lived in Toronto for a few years and my parents looked after my dog. I'd come home every 2nd weekend or so and then after my dad passed every weekend. My dog was older but she got along really well with both parents and they took excellent care of her. If you can get on to a semi regular schedule of coming home then they get used to it.
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Old May 12th, 2013, 09:00 PM
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Goldfields Goldfields is offline
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What breed of dog is it? I looked after my brother's (as he called it) 'Pointerdor, a cross between a Pointer and a Labrador, for 3 years while he worked in the States and that was okay. Frodo had to do without any visits from him, though he did have other dogs to mingle with. He was a friendly fellow so didn't seem to fret for my brother, it'd be different if it was one of my very devoted cattle dogs though. Is he being fed by one of your parents? If not, start that happening now. My last red male cattle dog wouldn't eat if I wasn't here. I think you need to start distancing yourself a little, let your father go walking with you and the dog, leading up gradually to doing it without you, and if he doesn't want to spend the next 4 years walking him, then fine, but after you are gone it might be a routine worth carrying on with for a while just to get the dog past missing you. He might be able to find a sensible teenager who could do the walking. I do feel sorry for you, it says a lot for the bond you have with this dog that he is your concern, rather than how much you will miss the family. LOL. With any luck 7 years will be just half this dog's lifetime, you'll have the other half to still look forward to.
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Old May 13th, 2013, 06:09 AM
MathewsMD MathewsMD is offline
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My dog is a Jack Russell Terrier and I'm sure my dad will take good care of him. I guess it just kind of sucks since I won't be seeing him so often and I will not be there to take care of him. My mom and brother do like him, but they will not take him on walks and stuff like that. More so just provide company, let him outside, and fill his food when he needs to eat. It's only him at the house and he may be lonely for at least a few hours every day(~3-4), we have no other pets. Our neighbours all have pets so he will still see other animals every once in a while. I guess I think he's just going to become lonely and I don't want that to happen. I would be returning home once a month but I feel as though that it may be too little. I guess I'm just trying to find solace in the fact I'm leaving soon and want to ensure my little guy is just as happy or more when I am or am not here.
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Old May 13th, 2013, 08:13 AM
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marko marko is offline
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Well you sound like a great pet guy MathewsMD

Given how much you love your dooger, I'd vote for the closer university.

And although it won't replace face to face...I've heard of owners using Skype with their pets to 'videochat'.
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Old May 13th, 2013, 09:15 AM
Jull Jull is offline
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If it was me I would probably choose the closest school, so that I could visit him often - I have to say 2hrs is still not that far, when I went to university it would take me 1.5hr just to get there everyday But, of course you do have to pick the school that you think has the best program for your future.

You say your neighbours have other dogs, do they ever have playdates with your little guy? maybe if there is one of your neighbours that you really get along with they could take him for playdates/walks once in a while?

Marko - I think the Skype idea is great!
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Old May 13th, 2013, 03:39 PM
MathewsMD MathewsMD is offline
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Haha, definitely. I am close with some of my neighbours but they are usually pretty busy so scheduling play dates are kind of hard. The Skype idea is something I will certainly do. Thanks! Well, the 1 hour and 2 hours are the times it takes to get there by driving directly. The actual commute by bus would take 1 and a half to two hours from the closer school by bus, and about 4-5 hours one way from the other school since busing would be my only method of transportation between home and University. Any and all comments are greatly appreciated!
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