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12/01/2014

The Pokey Little Puppy (and the Expenses that Came Along with Him)

Back in July, I wrote a blog about how I had become a foster mom for dogs.  Between then and then end of October, I fostered 11 pups and helped my parents find one to adopt, making it 12 puppy lives saved in about four months.  I had to stop fostering once the cold weather arrived because I have Reynaud's Disease (basically bad circulation in my hands) and can't be outside for very long.  While I still  walk to work, I can't take the pups on a walk, therefore ending my fostering abilities for the time being.

Anyway, in that blog, a response was posted about the hidden costs of fostering.  And, I hate to admit it, but they were right.  While I incurred relatively few expenses during that time, after I was done fostering, I really missed having a dog around and therein lies the expense… I decided to start looking for a dog of my own.  I decided to look for special needs dogs that I could work with indoors over the winter.  I received a call a few weeks ago from a rescue that had an unsocialized puppy and, after meeting him, I decided to adopt him.  Meet Bodey!

Bodey

The last four weeks have been quite a challenge; he's extremely scared of people and only within the last two weeks has he begun to approach me on his own and play.  He's not leash trained (which is some ways is perfect because it means we can't take walks) so my dad and I have built a pen in my backyard to let him use the bathroom.  It's also been more of a challenge than I expected financially.  I fully expected there to be some expenses to come along a new pet (food, supplies, and vet); I estimated about $100 for food/supplies and $200 to cover initial vet expenses.  As it turned out, Bodey had very little veterinary care prior to my adopting him, so he needed everything: all shots/vaccines, neuter, micro-chip, etc.  His first vet bill came to just about $150, which my parents covered as a Christmas present (thank you, Mom and Dad!).  I was able to purchase a discounted neuter and rabies vaccine through Elmbrook Humane Society ($140), as well as puppy classes for $50. So, when I took Bodey in to get neutered on Tuesday, I thought the appointment wouldn't cost anything more.  As it turned out, I left with an additional bill of $129.55 because he needed a microchip, an ear culture, and medication.  Ugh. 

I love this pup to bits already, but this definitely was a much more expensive endeavor than expected.  In fact, it's been a much more expensive month than expected and I totally blew my monthly budget by purchasing holiday gifts early and succumbing to some online shopping temptations (more on that next week!) My goal is to try to minimize my expenses for December to "finish" this challenge as strongly as possible. (I use quotes because it's not as though the lessons and goals I've made over the last seven months will end… I fully intend to achieve the goals I set out to accomplish!)

Comments

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Awesome progress, Katie. Bodey is delightful -- I hope he stays well. Animal care is so crazy expensive. Thanks for helping all those pups find good homes.

One thing I try to remember during Project Money and I'll remember after PM: Life isn't all about the money. It's about helping others and making memories.

Sounds like you are doing that!

I agree. I mean, don't get me wrong, I've been trying to go full-force towards my goal and, originally, had planned on holding off on a pup. But, he's already been a great addition to my life, and I'm happy I made the decision to adopt him. Adam also mentioned early on in PM that he didn't want me to "stop living" for the next six/seven months, but to just be aware of the decisions I make and how I'm using my money.

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