I've always wanted a pet dog, but never had the right circumstances (living, money, availability, etc.). Now I think I may. I'd really look forward to having him/her to play with, be there when I get home, take for walks etc. This question is multifacted.
I recently moved to Toronto, broke up with the girl I was seeing since I got here (questions in my profile if you'd like to be invited to my pity party), and I'm pretty lonely. Although my family is visiting for the summer, in a month it's going to be just my sister and I, with me spending quite a few evenings and weekends alone. My sister wouldn't mind the dog, and would help, although it'd be my reponsibility mainly. The landlord isn't excited at the prospect, but wouldn't forbid it - the tenants on the main floor have a pretty big one; I live in the walkout basement, and landlords on the top floor.
: Is it ok to adopt a dog because I'm lonely and want the company and can accept the responsibility?
I'd also adopt from a shelter, as I think that's more responsible, plus I'm looking for one that's already housetrained, and where I can get some background info, etc. on. I know that it's a big responsibility, but can you tell me if there's anything I'm overlooking? I know I'll have to do daily walks, buy toys and a peepad, buy food, vaccinations from time to time. I realize there's going to be some hair in my house, so I'm ready to clean that up; I may even have to clean up poop inside the house from time to time?
: Am I overlooking anything here?
I am also out of the house at 730am, and get back at 430pm weekdays. Weekends I'm home most of the time, except for an occasional hangout with friends. Weekdays I don't usually go out. But since the breakup I've also been trying to reach out to friends more and be a little more sociable. I'd say my goal is apart from work, to socialize once per weekday evening, once per weekend.
: Is this going to be an ok schedule for my little doggie? Or would he/she feel neglected, and I'd be better off without doing that to a dog?
With regards to cost, is this
a realistic guide to costs? I'm looking mainly at the low cost. I don't struggle financially, but I do try cut costs as much as I can, and while I don't have a great job right now, my prospects are okay-good. I think realistically I couldn't spend more than $350-$400 a month right now (excluding adoption fee).
: Can I afford a dog or not?
Finally, I'm looking for a small-medium dog, that's pretty affectionate, doesn't shed a whole lot, and doesn't bark a whole lot. The last part is really important. I know there are sites I can plug these criteria into and I'll get an answer, but the answers all seem to differ. I'd rather your opinions.
: Which type? Or just any mixed breed? I don't have to get a pure bred.
I think that's it, if you can think of anything else I should consider let me know.
I've been browsing dogs on Petfinder for my local area, the few I was excited about were already adopted, so I'm still searching, wouldn't mind ideas on searching either.
P.S. Please don't be harsh, I'm trying to be a first time dog-owner, and posting on here is testament that I'm trying to make the best decision, even if not getting a dog is the decision for me right now.