Pets, roommates, and the responsibility of the non-pet-owning roommate to the pet
This is going to be long and a little convoluted.
I live with one of my best friends. A year ago he got a German Shepherd puppy, Jo. Jo is now a year old, and she is a cool dog. She is smart, playful, and sweet, and usually enjoyable to have around. I am not a dog person myself- I prefer cats- but I can appreciate that although I would not get a dog, she is a nice dog.
But she is a German Shepherd. She is a large dog, she is energetic, she is busy, and she needs a lot of exercise and attention. I grew up with dogs (a GSD among them) in the middle of nowhere and when the dogs got too rowdy inside the house, you opened the back door and they had a couple of acres to go romp around. They also went on two-mile walks twice a day, and in consequence, they were usually able to cope with themselves. We live in a condo and cannot open the back door. Housemate is a graduate student working part-time with various outside the house interests. He usually walks Jo once a day, or they go to the dog park and throw the frisbee for awhile, but this is not an every-day occurrence- she does not get out every day.
You can probably see where this is going. Jo's usual demeanor is like a kid who's eaten an entire bag of pixie sticks. She has too much energy to cope with herself. I don't think it's reasonable to expect a large puppy to be 100% obedient the first time when she's jumping out of her skin because she isn't exercised, but I cannot bring people to the house because unless she is crated when they come in, even if leashed and held tightly, she goes absolutely ballistic with joy wanting to leap up and kiss faces and generally be enthusiastic and offensive. She does not do this when she has been exercised. When he leaves the house without spending time with her in the mornings, she paces the house and whines for hours loudly enough that she wakes me up (and I sleep like the dead.) I am pretty sure this is attention-seeking. Ignoring it doesn't work; I have tried to train "good quiet" and this hasn't worked, probably due to lack of consistency (see below.)
A few days ago this came to a head when housemate worked a planned double at the hospital from 6AM to 11PM and left Jo alone with me all day. I was not intending to be home all day and in fact I was intending to have people come over in the evening, but his plan for the dog was apparently "Renn will feed her and she will be OK without a walk." She was not OK and it wasn't a pleasant experience for anyone. The bottom line is that I feel bad for the dog.
I keep bringing up "You need to get a dog walker or doggy day care and you cannot leave her in my care for 18 hours." Thus far it hasn't changed, which is a separate issue that is going to be handled because I don't do passive-aggressive. The issue I am currently struggling with is my responsibility to the dog. She is not my dog. I like her, but she is not my dog, and I am not a dog person. I work two jobs, one of which involves 10-12 hour days, and go to school full-time. I am often home (because I work from home for one job,) so I can be company for the dog, but I don't feel that I have time to train a dog. That is why I do not have a house pet right now, despite the fact that I'd love to have a cat- I do not have the time. I can take Jo for a quick mile walk once a day on some days, but I do not have the time to provide for the kind of exercise she needs. I also do not have time when I am home to give her attention- when I am home I am at work. What this results in is often that I'm distracted from work (because she's constantly whining despite peanut butter kongs, rawhides, various distractions and I can hear her over music, headphones, etc.) and trying to find something to praise her for so that she's not getting negative attention 100% of the time, and generally feeling bad for the dog.
I would love input on any of this, besides the fact that my housemate clearly did not think this whole dog thing through and as it stands now is not an appropriate home for a high-drive dog, which I think is evident. I am trying to figure out what my responsibility is to the dog.