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deleted 7 points ago +7 / -0
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Verrerogo 4 points ago +5 / -1

Good practice is a dog. It is easier to get a shelter dog who is a year and a half old, already house broken and over puppyhood.

If you think about what breed you would like, and phone the shelter, they will phone you back when they have that exact breed. Read up on the breeds online.

You might want a terrier. Or small poodle. You don't want an energetic hunting or working dog who needs to run a mile a day. You would want a dog whose coat did not need constant care. You might want to know there was a dog groomer not far away, and a veterinarian. And a trainer. Trainers are very useful.

That will get you used to a living thing that has needs and jumps around and will be guaranteed to make a mess sometimes.

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deleted 8 points ago +8 / -0
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Sansa_Belt 3 points ago +3 / -0

What's your skill set? Could you tutor a young person? Even very basic things would be helpful. Home schooling has become much more frequent and popular. Brush up on a subject and let it be known that you will tutor for free or very little cost.

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deleted 3 points ago +3 / -0
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Verrerogo 2 points ago +2 / -0

OK.

Have a few practice runs with someone else around. If there is such a mom you know and trust, recommended by the pastor, carefully vetted, you might have her over to your house with her child and husband too. You will observe by learning how she operates her relationship with the child, is constantly making sure it is doing what it ought to do and not doing what it ought not do. In little ways. Keeping it busy and interested and focused and feeling cheerful. There is a lot to learn.

In time a babysitting relationship might evolve.

The first time would be an hour only, the parents would be nearby in a coffee shop, and with cell phone checking in.

If you really get good at this you might have several families who looked to you for this, from church. Not for money.