I’ve had many questions about caring for a dog in residency and it’s absolutely a valid concern given my projected busy schedule for the next 6 years. Yes taking care of a furry friend is time consuming and can sometimes be challenging but having Oscar de la Renta (Ozzi) in my life has made my transition from dental school in Manhattan to residency in Boston 1000x easier.
I didn’t plan to adopt Ozzi, it just happened (kinda). I had a hard time adjusting to life alone in Boston away from the community of friends I created in New York. A few weeks into my residency in July I went to visit my sister in NYC and we were walking around her apartment in Little Italy when we passed by Animal Haven. Ozzi was “the dog of the day” so he was on display. He was owner surrendered because his owner was terminally ill 😕 Ozzi was 7 years old and was not adjusting well to life in a shelter after growing up in a home. He was anxious, depressed and had to have a horrible haircut because he was so matted when he came to the shelter. He had been there for 4 weeks because everyone dismissed this little guy. But I fell instantly in love. The staff loved him so much they made many phone calls to get my application approved overnight so I can take him back to Boston on a Sunday. Everything fell into place and now Ozzi fills so many of my days with joy.
Because he’s older, I didn’t have to spend much time training him. When I come home, my furniture isn't chewed up and there are no accidents on the carpet. He can handle being home alone and naps when I am gone. That was important for me given my busy schedule. This is our usual routine:
6:45 am: I wake up a little early to make sure I have enough time to walk Ozzi in the morning before going to class. He also takes two Angel Eye chews at this time to help get rid of his tear stains.
7:45 am: I leave Ozzi for the morning after he's been walked.
12:00 pm: I live across the street from the Medical Campus so I try to come home during lunch so I can eat home cooked food and take Ozzi on a short 10 minute walk around the block. I also give Ozzi his first big meal of the day at this time. He gets 1/2 cup of Blue Wilderness dry food, 1/2 cup of rice and some shredded chicken breast.
5:00 pm: I usually get back home from Medical School around this time. I take Ozzi on our third and last walk of the day. If I don't have a busy schedule I like to walk him 30-60 minutes around South End. If I have exams or other commitments we usually do a 15 minute walk.
6:00 pm: I usually go to Yoga class around this time and sometimes run errands. Ozzi is left alone for another 2-3 hours.
8:00 pm: I am home to study and cuddle my little fur ball! Long story short, Ozzi has truly been a blessing. When life is going at a super fast pace, Ozzi reminds me to stop and take a breather. Taking him on walks is not a burden, it's actually a huge stress relief. I am so glad I rescued him. Having a pet during residency is a time and financial undertaking that’s for certain, but it’s really worth it if you can make that conscious commitment 🐶
Wearing: Verace scarf (as a hair band), Chanel Jumbo classic double flap bag, Zara lace crop top, Topshop embroidery jeans (on sale at Nordstroms).