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Life decisions impacting my dogs

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This might be a bit lengthy but please bear with me.

I'm just finishing up college and I just started a new job. It requires a bit more schooling and the employer is willing to sponser my tuition. Another year of school and I will have three education related diplomas. The jobs I will be qualified for are all contract work, decent pay but no long term security.


One of the teachers where I assist sat me down during lunch and suggested that I take a good hard look at my career path. I've always wanted to be a Teacher and he thinks I should go to University instead of more college.


I know he's right. Teachers make big bucks and their pension fund is one of the richest in the world. If I teach for 12 years, I would pension out at about $35,000/ yr.


But, that means 3 more years of school. I'm having a hard time getting motivated to grind through all that. It would also mean some separation from the Disability Boys (2 weeks at a time) and relocating to another city for the last year. Part of me just wants to settle down now, be content with what I have and buy a little sheep farm. Part of me knows I'll have regrets if I don't go for the dream.

I get to teach now as an assistant teacher and I love it.

I'll be 45 when I start as a real teacher. Is it too much, too late in life? Is it too much to ask of the dogs? I wish I could go back about 10 years in life - I also wish I had a border collie savvy house husband to help out. I need to decide soon...more college in January or University in March.

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Let me tell you a little story about my life...


My husband will get his high school history teaching certification at the end of this year. He will turn 33 very soon. (I know that isn't 45, but hear me out). He has been in school for the last 6 years. He first went back to school and found that there were literally no jobs out there for people with no experience in his field. After looking for 6 months he decided to go back to school for his teaching certification. So here we are.


I took a job in January 2 1/2 hours from where we live. I have been driving to work on Monday mornings and driving home on Friday evenings. I will say, and my hubby would agree, that I am the primary care giver for the animals when we are living in the same household. It is not because he chooses not to be...it is just because I get up earlier and I keep a pretty good schedule...and well, I'm particular (yes - Julie - if you are reading...even I can be particular ). I was worried at first about leaving him with 2 dogs and 2 cats, while none of ours are special needs, it is still a handful. Brian has done very well!!!! He oftens jokes with me now about not doing what I was "suppose" to do or what they have come used to doing.


So we are finally moving to the same household after 10, almost 11, months. But it flew by!!! And I love my job...for the most part.


Also, I would eventually like to go back to college so that I can teach at the university level. I don't want to go back until I'm about 40 and will get my Ph.D. around 45 and I don't think that is too old by any means!!!! Teaching is a great job to do into your later years and many teach beyond the typical retirement age.


I think you just have to decide what is best for you given all the circumstances. For us, it was that my husband be happy and I be happy and this is the path is led us down. I don't think you can ultimately be happy in life if you let life take a backseat to your ultimate goals.


With time it all comes and for some of us it takes longer than others.


Good luck in your decision making process but know that you are not alone!

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I know you love your dogs, everybody here does, but you can't decide those great things of life depending on what your dogs could think. This is a super opportunity for you and you are not by fat too old to keep learning and progressing. Your dogs will be happy if you are happy, any other problem could be resolved on the path.

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I can hop in with a couple of stories. I made a decision over the summer to take a job touring around the US with a theatre company for a 9 month contract. I was the primary care giver for the dog and I knew it would be hard to leave him and my SO. But this is what I want to do, my passion is Stage Managing and I know that this will lead to better things for my career. I left in the middle of Aug and so far the time is flying by. Tiga and my SO are making out just fine and have both started to adjust to me being gone. You are never to old to follow your dreams and passions.


My mother lost my father in 1992 when she was 41 years old. She was mostly a stay at home mom for most of my life. When my father passed away she was working again part time as a medical stenographer. She had just gone back to school for that not long before my father got sick. Since he passed away, she has gone back to school a couple of times and now she has a government job and she's happy. She's now 55 and has a career that she likes and she bowls and line dances and just started dating someone for the first time since my father passed away. I don't consider her old, she just started her career later in life.


I say follow your dreams and do what is going to make you happy in the long run. The time will fly by and your dogs will adjust. If you're happy it will make everyone around you happy in the long run.

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If I'm understanding correctly, part of the problem is that you don't have someone at home to take care of the dogs? If that's the case, I can see how it makes your decision more difficult. But if you have good friends or family members who are willing to step in and help out with Tex and Loki when you have to be gone for two weeks at a time, I think you can still make it work. Many folks are willing to help out if they know it's just for a short period. Good luck.


Edited to add: Consider that the extra education and better job will ultimately give you more financial freedom when it comes to taking care of your boys too.



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Oh, I see...you don't have someone to help out at home...thanks for clarifying Julie.


I do agree with Julie - if you could find someone to stay at home with your dogs during the weeks you are gone...could you come home on the weekend? I used to housesit for families when I was in college who had numerous animals and I really enjoyed it because I had a place to get away from campus. That is just another thought.

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In matters like this, I like to ruminate on them for a bit. Spend a week going over this. WHere do you want to be in ten years? Do you *really* want to teach? Yes, it is a great pension, and summers off, but you do have to work for that salary, and your schedule is very strict. On the other hand, there is that great pension...

What is your dream? To teach? Or to have a sheep farm? They are not mutually INclusive you know?

I just went through a lot like what you are going through, and made a concerted decision to stay at my present position, because for me, my family is very important, and I just plain like where I grew up

Take some time, ruminate on this. There is no rush, and if you find yourself making excuses for why you can't do one or the other, that is also telling.


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Hi Jo,


First of all, the age thing isn't really an issue But here's my loonie's worth (sorry, Canadian dollar coin is affectionately known as the loonie)

If you do get your teaching certificate, there is no guarantee that you will be able to teach full time in the geographical area that you want. (if that's in this neck of the woods) I know fully qualified teachers who can't get positions because RETIRED teachers are taking all the 'term' positions. If you're not opposed to moving into the GTA...work probably would be available.

The demographics of N. Ontario is disheartening, ...more people leaving than coming in so fewer schools, etc.

Your final year (provided you can get in), would be either North Bay, Thunder Bay or Toronto (I think those are the only 3)...and all those places as you know have a far higher cost of living than where you are now and finding reasonable accommodations...again, a problem.

On the other hand, you should be able to get your BA through correspondence...LOTS of hard work (which you're already accustomed to) and then you would need to do the final year at teachers' college.

I agree with kelpiegirl...take some time to think about this.

You know that if I could I'd be more than happy to have Tex and Loki hang out..but I'm not sure how DH and more importantly Cranky girl and BA would take to having 2 more around :rolleyes:

Feel free to give me a call...now that you have some wheels, we could meet 1/2 way Hmm, I guess that would be Spanish???

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Just an eye opener. Before you get too enthused about that great teacher pension.... consider what you will give(it is really just taken) each year to the Ontario govmint, and consider it invested at 10% compounded. Then calculate what you will have in 10/20/30/35 years. (what the govmint will really have) Then find out what are the penalties for mot teaching enough years. The pension system in Ontario makes all those old codgers stay so they can get to their full pension.


One high school teacher calculated nearly 2 1/2 million earned by the govmint with all the interest after the full 35 years put in. Never will the teacher get that back. Except for those who live to be 120 years old.

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Most of my acquaintances are teachers who love what they do so it's nice to get different perspectives from others.

I think I'm just looking for some personal fulfillment. I do get to "teach" now and the feedback I'm getting from my supervising teachers makes me think I have an aptitude for it.


Unfortunately, I will have to spend some time away from the dogs to complete by BA. Disabled or not, it's hard to be away from our dogs and put them in a boarding kennel. But we will survive the experience.

I've been socking away money for retirement since I was 18. I'm secure as far as that goes. One of my closest friends is a teacher who only has a few years in and he is losing more than half of his yearly salary to taxes and the pension fund. The teacher I lunched with is at the top of the salary scale and will retire in 3 years and draw a pension of 40% of his current $96,000/ yr.

My BA program is in Disability Studies. I have already completed my first year. The second year deals heavily with the use of Therapy animals to assist the other-abled. Sounds like fun...


I'm going to keep going with school and take it one step at a time. I'll worry about Teachers college when the time comes. Right now, there is a shortage of teachers, two years from now there might be a glut of them.

I need more in life than I have right now and I don't want to have regrets later. The Bdog and the Ddog are coming along for the ride.

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