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27 Struggles No One Tells You About Adopting A Dog

Finding a new friend isn't easy.

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1. The moment is here: You are ready to get your very own pup.

Well, you’re 90% ready, 10% filled with parental anticipation because you want to be the best owner ever.

2. You’re filled with more nervous glee than you anticipated as you drive to the shelter.

This is it. It’s really happening! Your heart is racing, and your home has empty bowls just waiting to be filled with doggy food.


9. You become overwhelmed with the variety of problems the dogs have suffered through.

Some pups either have had surgery or have a bad case of kennel cough and need some extra tending, and that's OK! The strain of shelters can leave doggies with weakened immune systems.

10. Others have special needs.

Whether you know their backstory or not, they need just as much love as everyone else.

11. You notice some places are bizarrely picky — or, worse, reject your application because of a trivial detail.

wabisabi2015 / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: necosky

You understand the discretion, but some require you have a yard or insist on home visits, even though you plan on taking the pup on a billion walks a day.

12. You might even see your dream dog slip away.

wabisabi2015 / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: necosky

You tumble into an Alice in Wonderland pit of sadness but eventually accept that it's OK, because all that matters is that they have a forever home.


14. You realize it's a lot like Goldilocks and the three bears: You have to find the pup that's just right for you.

Eileen McFall / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: eileen_mcfall

It's OK to look for one that suits your lifestyle so you can give them the best life possible!


17. But then you see the one that's just right and you feel a surge in your gut.

Suddenly it is incredibly urgent to meet this dog. You don't know where the feeling came from, but if you don't take him home immediately, you may physically perish.

18. They might look like exactly what you imagined.

Or you might fall in love with the complete opposite of what you thought you wanted.

19. You sign all of the paperwork, hoping you have everything in order.

Please, please, please let this happen.

20. Then they hand you the leash, and your entire life changes.

You want to squeeze every single volunteer for helping you, and the ride home feels surreal. It's actually happening.


27. And by adopting, you've saved two (maybe three!) lives!

Nikkorz / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: nikkorz

Your own pup's, and the one that will take his empty spot at the shelter to find his new family. (And quite possibly your own.)