Puppy commitment issues, three weeks in. How do you get over this feeling?

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Tomorrow marks the third week with my 11-week-old Goldador puppy. They say it takes 21 days to make a habit, and I think I'm slowly getting the hang of following a routine with him, cleaning up after him, et cetera.

But…there's this feeling that's been bugging me when I think of having to take care of him in the long term. I don't know—maybe it's fear? Anxiety? Grief over the loss of my old routines?

You see, I never planned to have a dog. In fact, I was planning to adopt a cat and move out after this pandemic. I live with my parents, and one Friday my mom decided to adopt a family friend's dog. He arrived the next morning. But when she started neglecting him and I learned she was planning to keep him outside after we took him in, I took on the responsibility and pulled all stops to make sure he'll be raised the right way.

Now, he sleeps in a crate in my bedroom and I do all the puppysitting–feeding, taking him out to potty, training, playing. I've been crying almost every day, but I adore him, and I really care for him. He's been a really good boy. But there's this cold feeling in my heart when I think about my commitment to raising this living being by myself.

My mom, who decided to get this puppy, has had no hand in raising him (except for cleaning up some of his messes). My dad, thankfully, takes him out to play with my sister's dog every morning, so I get an hour for myself. But other than that, it's been all me.

I guess I'm grieving the loss of the freedom and solitude I used to have. I miss going to sleep at 2AM because I know I can sleep in until 9AM and only having to mind myself. I'm bothered that I can no longer sit down for more than 30 minutes just to enjoy my coffee or my workout because he'll have to go out and pee, or to drop things from the table and not immediately worry about him grabbing them with his teeth.

But I know that love always comes with sacrifice and compromise. I'm 30 years old, in a five-year-relationship, and I've been in a stable job for almost four years. I don't think I have a fear of commitment. Well, I do have ADHD and anxiety disorder. I want to understand what it is I'm feeling, and I want it to go away. I want to love him and not resent him.

Has anyone ever felt this with a new puppy? How did you manage it? How did you make it go away?

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