I'm sorry you can't get a dog...or you choose not to, that is a good choice! I know how much you want a dog. I think your actions are very reasonable. I would just like to say that you should still have a dog that you can visit most of the time when you want to, so you can still have a dog in your life. I think volunteering will be a great idea. By the way, do you have a neighbor or someone that lives close to you that has a dog?