Dogs and College!

JazzyTheSibe

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#1
For those of you who are currently in college,& have dogs, I have some questions for you!

How much of you're extra time do you to taking care of your dogs?
Are your dogs "coping" fine?
Are you in any sports?
Where do you currenetly live,& how's that working out?
Anything else?


I was just one of those people who's believed that having a dog is a not a good idea. I still believe that [not nearly as much], more for myself then anything. I've just always been concerned that I wouldn't have the time to fully commit to a dog, especially since I'll be going to work. Another reason why, was financially. I felt as if I wouldn't be able to support a dog,& that it'd just lead to bad, unecessary things, that could of been prevent. Knowing that there are people here who have dogs in college,& that their(your) dogs are thriving is such relieve.

Basically, I just want to be able to commit as much as I can to my first dog, not only money-wise, but in training, exercise, time, most importantly love! If it means all these requirements can be meant, then I'll certainly consider getting a dog in college. Waiting at least for to six more years for a dog is just toture.


**NOTE: As of currently, I'm not sure what my breed will be my Nextdog. Don't think that will affect answers much, but I could see how it could. Another thing, I know everyone's siuation is unique, so what might have worked fit your, might not work for. Which I'm totally ok with. **

(Thanks Oko for the thread suggestion!)
 
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#2
For those of you who are currently in college,& have dogs, I have some questions for you!

How much of you're extra time do you to taking care of your dogs?
Are your dogs "coping" fine?
Are you in any sports?
Where do you currenetly live,& how's that working out?
Anything else?

(Thanks Oko for the thread suggestion!

1. Most of my extra time is spent with my dogs, which is a lot because I am not super social and do not like the bar/partying scene. I would rather interact with other people that I like in my major or other people that are dog people and that is about it! I am interacting with them whether they are cuddling with me while I watch my shows on TV, I train them when I have time and motivation, I bring them to the pet stores, I bring Chloe to the "dog park" (fenced in area) they built right by my apartment building and sometimes angel. But I am constantly thinking about dogs.. so I interact with them more than a normal pet dog owner.

2. They are coping very well. When I inherited Chloe she was very barky and we have definitely been working on that, she is doing much better in just over a year! I have never had a noise complaint. She is a velcro dog and definitely misses me when I am gone and shows it when I get back. Angel is more independent and is like yay youre back, but im going to stay over here by my toys. lol.

3. I used to do agility with angel, and I started Chloe in agility classes for 8 weeks.. but it was a super far distance away from where I am going to school or I would continue to do that once a week. But these two are not competition dogs- mainly because of Angel's age and back/hips, and Chloe's lack of drive.

4. I live in a one bedroom apartment, by myself and my two dogs. It is working out great.

5. I agree that getting dogs may not be the best during college, however, if someone really wants a dog they will make it work. I do suggest people get a dog 30 pounds or under while in college unless they are sure of where they will be living throughout college or have financial support in the case they have to move. Just because I find that finding places that accept 30 pounds and under are a lot easier than ones that will accept larger dogs. With that being said, my current apartment accepts all size dogs.

If you are tight on money, you just have to do the best you can for your dog. They do not NEED new toys/treats/equipment/etc. Just need food and water and your love. If you can't always afford to feed the most expensive dog food that is okay. You just have to do your best, college won't be forever and you could always ask for special items for christmas/birthday presents and such.

If you are committed to having and keeping a dog, then you will find a way! It is not that difficult.

One thing that makes my living arrangement more difficult is that I am living alone, so if I wasn't able to get home from school or work for whatever reason and needed to have my dogs let out, I am screwed. Now I have friends in the area, so if i knew I was going to be gone I could leave my door unlocked or give them a key or something.

What breed are you thinking?? I vote for you getting a dog!
 

xpaeanx

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#3
How much of you're extra time do you to taking care of your dogs?
I wouldn't say all of it because here I am online... but I would say the vast majority of it. When I see my SO, it's usually we're taking the dog for a walk, or he's going to a lesson with me, or he's helping me at a trial, or we're bringing them on vacation.... you get the idea? When I hang out with friends... guess what we do?

Are your dogs "coping" fine?
Dogs cope, that's what they do. You can make things work. Is it always ideal? No, but you get through it. Same things with mine. I can guarantee it'd be better(they'd be happier) if I had more free time... but I don't so... it is what it is.

Are you in any sports?
Rally, Agility, Herding, and Hiking

Where do you currenetly live,& how's that working out?
I live with family. I have major issues with my family... so... yeah.

Anything else?
Dog in college are definitely do-able. Don't let anyone tell you they aren't... but they ARE a lot of responsibility. It's almost like having a child. You decide to go out to a party one night? Well, there's nothing like dragging your drunk, falling-over self outside to walk the dogs... They also do cost a lot of money. There is so much I don't have because I have animals. It's a commitment and you really have to make sure it's one you want. If you're unsure or you want to be able to just go out and party all night.... I would hold off. You can always get a dog later in life, but once you have one you HAVE to take care of it!
 

JazzyTheSibe

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#4
Oh,& please feel free to ignore "Where do you live". I don't want to be to invasive to anyone.
 

*blackrose

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#5
I'm not currently in college, but I just graduated last year. Sooooo, I'll try to remember what that was like. lol

How much of you're extra time do you spend taking care of your dogs?
Just as much as I do now? Instead of working around a work schedule, I worked around a school schedule. If anything, I had more time in college, because of breaks between classes, especially in junior and senior years when I was able to schedule my classes the way I wanted vs. the intensity of freshman/sophmore year. I took 15-18 credits each semester, too.

I remember three days a week I'd go to classes in the morning, get home around noon, have two (or so) hours at home, then go to work for 4 hours. Two days a week I worked from, like, 8-1, then went straight to class and got home around....6pm? And then I'd work most of the day Saturday/occasionally Sunday.

Honestly, I had more time during the day for my dogs than I do now, when I'm gone for 10-12 hours a day straight at work.

Oh, and to actually answer the question...if we go anywhere dogs are allowed, we have the dogs with us. LOL I think my spare time spent away from the dogs is very rare.

Are your dogs "coping" fine?
They coped just fine. Like I said, I had Abrams growing up in a one bedroom apartment with just me working full time. (Not college, I know.) I'd get home, it'd be dark, I had no yard and no place to walk him.

We survived.

Are you in any sports?
Dog sports, or human? LOL Either way...uh....no. I don't think I would have had time to do that on top of everything else. However, if I *really* enjoyed it/wanted to spend all of my free time doing it...maybe?

Where do you currently live,& how's that working out?
I lived at home for the first few years, then eventually moved in with Michael to a 1 bedroom apartment. We had Cynder, and then inherited a Dachshund and Yorkie, too (who we eventually placed). It worked just fine! Although I would have killed to have a fenced in yard.

Before Michael and I were dating, he lived with a friend of mine and they rented a house with a fenced in yard. It was nice, too. Wish we could have done something like that, but cheaper was better for us at that point.

Both places were within a 10 minute commute to campus. My friend would actually jog to class sometime if she missed the city bus. LOL

Anything else?
Having someone you can count on for potty breaks if needed is very, very nice. Some days did become really long days, when you had exams, or had to work on a group project, or had a weird work schedule change. And by really long, I mean maybe 12 hour days. Not so much fun for the dogs to be stuck at home for that long without a potty break, but ours did it when they had to if we weren't able to get them out. A neighbor/roommate/friend/coworker - they will become a godsend.

I'm also not sure if I could have done a puppy very easily. I mean, I guess I did have Abrams with a similar schedule as when in college, but it was really nice to have a dog that was already trained/housebroken/set in a routine that you didn't have to worry about on top of the stresses of classes. Even when we had Gracie and Cooper as well as Cynder, we knew they could hold it if we needed them to, they didn't have high exercise requirements, they were crated trained, they weren't destructive if we ignored them while writing papers/etc., and they were quiet (good for apartment life).

ETA: they are definitely a financial "stress", but I'd rather spend my money on them than not have them. If that makes sense? And when we had Cynder, Gracie, and Cooper (three dogs), I was spending less on food/treats/toys/medical bills than for Abrams alone. So the size of a dog really does matter when it comes to how expensive they'll be. If you're worried about a budget/finding a place to rent with a dog, may not be the best idea to go out and get a Great Dane.
 

Dekka

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#7
I went to college and universities with lots of dogs lol. Yes I was married but all the dog training, interaction, feeding, grooming etc was up to me.

My dogs found it easier when I was going to school than now when I am working full time.
 

JazzyTheSibe

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#8
I'm not currently in college, but I just graduated last year. Sooooo, I'll try to remember what that was like. lol
That's fine! If you've already graduate college, but did have a dog in college, I'm still as happy if you reply. The more replies, the better! I'd love to hear from more people, just so I'll have more knowledge on this subject.



I would hold off. You can always get a dog later in life, but once you have one you HAVE to take care of it!
Exactly!

I'd rather get a dog later in life,& wait, then get a dog when the time isn't the best. Waiting does suck, but I would rather do what is right for me,& the dog.


However, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's a no-go for getting a dog in college. I'm going to see what is right for me,& if that means getting a dog in college wouldn't work? That's ok! But, if I will be it own during that time? That's awesome. I'd love that.


What breed are you thinking?? I vote for you getting a dog!
Shelties- Most likely
Border Collies
Goldens
GSD
Maybe a Terv, or a Griffon.
 

Beanie

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#10
I got Auggie while I was in college (had my AA, took a few years to work and rebuild my bank account, then went back to finish my BA), and working too. I spent a lot of time taking care of him because he was a puppy, but it wasn't really a chore because he was a cute little puppy and it was super enjoyable LOL. A large amount of my non-working/school time went to Auggie-time, at least until he was older.

It didn't seem to be a problem for him. He got plenty of play and attention, plenty of training. I was originally working retail, then I got a new job during daytime hours only, so my class schedule changed after that to just be night classes - when he was about a year old I started taking weekly agility classes on a night I didn't have class. I scheduled my classes for the next semester around my agility class hahaha.

I was living with my parents so they were always available to help me out if I needed it, and he did get some extra playtime with them when I was at class, but he was always my dog and my responsibility.

He was a great help when I was studying LOL. And I remember falling asleep on the floor one night while reading a history book with little Auggie curled up next to me.

Honestly I probably had more time when I was a student than I have now. My weekends and nights are fuller socially, I have an extra job (or two...) these days. I don't think it was ever a problem for Auggie, and his breeder never even seemed to care about my age or me being a student much when she sold him to me. I was 21. I didn't really worry that much about it, maybe I could have thought about it more and worried about it, but... I just didn't. I knew I was going to make it work however I had to.
 

Airn

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#11
Are you going to be living with your family? YOUR living situation is a much greater influence on you getting a dog than just simply having college classes. Obviously you can't have a dog if you're in a dorm room. It doesn't sound like your family is too happy to have a dog in their house anyway.

To be honest college should not really matter. You can go to school and a have dog just like you can work a (full time) job and have a dog. That's just life.
 

Laurelin

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#12
College wasn't a big factor by itself. I think money, time, back up plans, are more important. My schedule was much freer back then than it is now with full time work. I would not have had the money to do sports very heavily though we did for fun agility classes a while. The main thing was I DID end up moving back home twice (though once was to help care for my mom when she was sick) so if my parents hadn't been ok with Mia and Summer, that would have been an issue.

ETA: I lived on campus 2 years too, so obviously no dogs in the dorms. I got Summer my junior year.
 

Southpaw

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#13
I had waaaayyyy more free time when I was in college vs now that I work full time. Way way way more time. I could cry I miss it so much.

I was in class like... just a couple hours a day. I probably didn't even go 5 days a week. I had some online classes. Yes I had homework, and this probably heavily depends on WHAT you're going to college for, but I never found it to be terribly time consuming - not really any worse than my high school classes.
There was really nothing overwhelming about the situation.

Juno was 6 months old when I started college and I spent TONS of time working with her and playing with her. The reason I don't do as much with her now is not because she's older (although yeah, it's a contributing factor that she just doesn't need as much time anymore), it's mostly because I just don't have the time anymore to go beyond the necessities.

People make a huge deal out of this the same way they do about working full time and having a dog. It's totally doable if you want it to be.
 

JacksonsMom

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#14
Honestly, I feel like it really depends. MOST college students are not ready for a dog, but if you're a 'dog person' like so many of us are on Chaz, I don't think this would be the problem.

As far as scheduling goes, I don't see how it's much different than working a 9-5 type job 5 days a week and having a dog. You will just wait another 6 years only to convince yourself you still don't have time, ya know? If you keep second guessing yourself, you'll never get one lol, there's always reasons NOT to. But dogs are adaptable and most regular people don't have hours a day to hang out with their dogs anyway.

I'm not trying to lighten the responsibilities of having one, because obviously it requires more work than if you didn't have one.... but I think if you know your personality and KNOW you want a dog, you may as well go for it.

Getting Jackson at 18 and heading into community college may not have been the smartest thing for most people. But for me, it was perfect timing. I had all the time in the world (winter break) to train a dog, bond, etc. I WAS lucky in that I lived at home, didn't have rent to worry about, etc. But I don't get a ton of help with Jackson, it's mostly all on me, so it's not like I was sharing any responsibility with any one else.

Sometimes, I do have to cancel plans or something I maybe wanted to do because I have a dog. But to me, it's a sacrifice I'm willing to pay and is worth the companionship of Jackson. I do spend a lot of money on him, both with unnecessary things (LOL) and the necessities like food :p

I think having a dog is an amazing thing. Jackson is my best friend and companion and I can't imagine life without him. I am able to provide Jackson with everything that he needs and my lifestyle works with having a dog. I think you just need to base it off of your lifestyle and if a dog can accommodate to it. I honestly feel I will never get this connection with a dog again if I add my next puppy when I am 100% working full-time. My college schedule is much more sporadic and allows for more time with the dog, I think.

Will my life change a ton over the next 10 years? YES. Do I think that means I shouldn't have a dog? NO. You can be 60 years old and your life could change drastically. Anyone can have life changing experiences whether it be divorce, moving, having kids, etc, at any age.... if that were the case, nobody could own dogs. Jackson will always be a part of my life, for the rest of his life, no matter what happens in mine. I just so happened to really need a dog and it just worked out. I think if you over-think it, you will just continue to question yourself and never do it. But I do think it's good you are planning and preparing. So many people don't.
 
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#15
I'm not sure if I count exactly as I'm only doing community college part-time and working part-time, but I'm technically in college and I'm doing just fine with two dogs so far.

I'm lucky in the sense that I got to complete a good chunk of my AA while I was still in high school, and the school I go to typically only has classes two or three days a week for any given class. This means I'll never have to live in a dorm, which would have affected my decision greatly in getting a second dog. I do work 10 hour days three times a week and the only reason that works out is because I still live at home and my parents can let them outside. otherwise puppy would've been a no-go.

I spend pretty much all of my free time interacting with the dogs in some way. I don't go to parties but I also don't feel like I'm missing out. I hate social gatherings anyway. The activities I enjoy doing pretty much all involve the dogs anyway.

I did agility with Sam for a while but due to funding that's been put on the backburner for now. I'd like to get back into that with him at some point. Working only part-time I can't do all the things with my dogs that I would like to do classes-wise. Most of my money at the moment is going to training classes though. My parents are willing to help out in case of emergencies though.

I say go for it. Like everyone else has said, college is no worse of a time to get a dog than if you're working full-time in the real world. The only difference is money but other than food and vetting, there isn't anything you have to spend money on. Is it ideal? No. But unless you can spend all your time at home or take your dog to work/school with you, and have endless money, it's never going to be ideal.

I do think getting either an older puppy or an adult is definitely a better idea when you're in college, though.
 

Red.Apricot

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#16
How much of you're extra time do you to taking care of your dogs?
When Elsie was younger, it was several hours a day, but that's in small chunks all day long, which is easier to do in college than when you work full time. Now it's about an hour to three a day, but that's more by choice than anything. I got a dog because I LOVE spending time with my dog, not because of obligation.

Are your dogs "coping" fine?
She's thriving.

Are you in any sports?
We've done rally (she has her RAE and we're done with that for now... we'll see if that lasts) and we do obedience (she has her CDX) and we dabble in lure coursing (she has her CA) and we're going to hopefully start training for tracking this winter. I don't know if we'd be able to afford some of the trialing on our own, but my dad often pays my fees in exchange for driving him/keeping him company/for holidays, so that works out well.

Where do you currently live,& how's that working out?
When I got Elsie, I lived at home. When she was about four months old I moved out, to a house, which I rent with roommates. It's worked great so far. Having very firm rules about the dog helps.

Anything else?
Elsie's a high energy, reactive dog, and she's not easy, but we made it work. She's not a strain financially, but I'm a saver not a spender by nature, so I have a fair cushion for emergencies. I'm glad I got her when I did. I have a lot of fun taking her to campus.
 

Dogs6

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#17
How much of you're extra time do you to taking care of your dogs?
I tend to try and do stuff with the dogs when I've got time. Sometimes that's just making space on the couch to cuddle with them while I'm doing assignments or throwing a ball while doing assignments or taking them to work with me (I work with horses) when I have the time.
For me personally it is a struggle. I only go to community college 3 days a week. Those days are 9-5 plus an hour travel each way. I also work 4-5 different jobs at the same time. An average week for me goes:
Monday: Away from home 8-6. The dogs get a quick run out in the morning and come with me to the barn while I sort out the horses. When I get home they get a quick walk/playtime/training before dinner and after dinner they come across to the horses and run about while I'm feeding.
Tuesday: I don't go to college on Tuesday but it is my time to catch up with assignments etc. So again they come to the barn with me in the morning and I try to do something with them during the afternoon as my study break. I work 5-8pm at night so when I come home they get to go to the barn with me again.
Wednesday: Im away at college from 8-6. They get to the barn twice a day and that's pretty much it. Occasionally I have to work a wednesday night so I don't get home until 11 or so.
Thursday: I'm away from 8-6:30. Every other week I have a committee meeting from 7:30- 11:30 at the latest so again all the dogs are likely to get is to the barn twice a day.
Friday- I'm not at college on friday and as the dogs are rarely properly exercised on wednesday and thursday I try and give them a lot of exercise on a friday morning. Then I do assignments or watch TV and do a little bit of training or just throwing a ball during that.
Saturdays are a weird day for me because I never really know what will be happening. It depends on how I'm working or if I'm at a horse show or anything else. A good saturday for the dogs means that we go to obedience class from 11-3 on saturday and go for a hike afterwards. A bad saturday for them I work 8-11 and 1-10. Again all they would get is a trip to the barn twice a day and some fetch in between shifts.
Sundays I usually work 1-10 and I'm generally pretty tired from saturday so they get their trips to the barn and then some flirt pole and training in the morning.

Bearing in mind that that is pretty much an average week and doesn't include things like me going out or being sick or anything. I am sometimes out drinking 3 nights a week (not every week! Just very occasionally. This is worst case scenario) which really isn't ideal for the dogs. They still get exercised but I'm usually up later the next day so they could just be rushed out and in again. I really wouldn't consider myself a party animal or anything like that so it's not just a partying thing. I just end up in these situations!
Are your dogs "coping" fine?
I think so. They do get regular potty breaks through the day because my family is about and if I can't feed them or exercise them someone will let them out for a run and throw a ball for them.
Are you in any sports?
I do ride horses and that does take up a lot of my time during my days off. Especially competitions which can pretty much take up a whole day.
Where do you currently live,& how's that working out?
I live with my parents currently. Next year I'm hoping to move out and go to university. For my first year all the dogs will be staying at home. If I can find pet friendly accommodation for my second year then I will be taking one or two dogs with me. I'm fairly confident that they should transition without a problem.
Anything else?
I think I've covered everything in far too much detail haha. I just wanted to say that when I got my dogs I never planned on spending so much time working and away from them. When they were younger they had 2-3 hours solely dedicated to them. Now that I have so much else going on in my life it really is difficult to dedicate the time and effort that they need. I'm not saying don't get a dog now or when you're in college but you need to really think about how much time you actually will have for them. And even if you aren't really a party person now and don't think you will be that can very easily change. I still don't classify myself as a big partier but a few quiet drinks with close friends a couple of times a week on top of everything else can really make a difference to the available time you have. As well as that you need to make sure an emergency vet bill isn't going to spin you into a panic if you need to pay it. I've been very lucky that I have always had the money to pay for emergencies and if I hadn't had the money to hand my parents would likely have lent it to me. Just things I think are important to think about before getting dogs at any point in your life really.
 

Elrohwen

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#18
I didn't have a dog in college, but I'll answer anyway :)

I think it really depends. College experiences can be so different from person to person. Some people live in college housing for all four years (which probably doesn't allow dogs), while others live at home or in an apartment off campus. Some people live within walking distance of classes, and some have to drive back and forth. Some people are in classes all day long, and other people have very open schedules with a lot of working on their own.

When I was in college I generally had classes all day from 9-3, which a break for lunch. I could also walk from class to my apartment in 5min, at least in junior and senior year. So basically, I had a short day compared to a full time job, and was close enough to get back home easily, so a dog would have worked out well. I had much more free time in college than I do now, honestly, and my schedule was much more flexible. Even if I wanted to go out at night and party, I would have been home with my dog for 5-6 hours first. Now, if I want to go out after work I have to rush home, quickly walk the dog for 45 min, and then leave him again.

For lots of people, I don't think having a dog in college is that big of a deal, and it might even be easier than having a dog with a full time job after school. The biggest issues I can think of are money - I would not have had enough money to care for a dog without my parents' help, and they were already paying for school. The second issue is transitioning into a career after college. My first job involved a ton of travel, which wasn't something I wanted or planned for. I would have had to turn down that job, or send my dog to live with my parents, if I had a dog in college. That type of problem is very dependent on what career you are looking at after school.
 

MandyPug

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#19
I've had Iz since october of my grade 12 year. So for 6 years now. She's been with me through 3 years of university and 2 years of college now.

How much of you're extra time do you to taking care of your dogs?
I don't even know if i can answer that, she's 6 and I've had her for so long it just is. She's with me as much as possible, we go for walks sometimes, play in the house, peanut ball stuff, tricks. Mostly cuddles and just hanging out though. She's just part of the life. Occasionally I go out to the barn on a thursday night to work her for a while, but it's not something that HAS to be done all the time. Old shoe agility dog barely needs repetitive working.

Are your dogs "coping" fine?
There are some long days in her kennel or her "bedroom" (laundry room) but she's cool with it. Treat toys help and she mostly sleeps.

Are you in any sports?
Agility (Regionals/Nationals level competitive, not really just a weekend warrior "for fun" thing). Have done Rally, Obedience, and Scenthurdle too while in school.

Where do you currenetly live,& how's that working out?
One bedroom basement suite. It's working out. Moving back in with my parents for a couple months as I lost quite a bit of my savings (aka ALL my savings) due to my school schedule not allowing me to work at all for a good 4ish weeks.

Anything else?
I imagine it depends on the dog. Iz is like an extra appendage for me. I've had her as a pup and we have been through a lot together. In fact i think having us just one on one together since april has done wonders for our bond (not that it was poor before, but Agility wise she has never been nearly as close to me or me to her).
 

xpaeanx

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#20
I am jealous of those of you who say you had more free time in school than when working full time. I had more time when I was working 60hr work weeks than I do now. It's terrible!
 

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