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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.

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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.

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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.

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4. You have no idea what to expect at the shelter.

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Every place has its own personality, like a floor-to-ceiling portrait of their founder by the entrance.

6. Your heart hurts when you walk by a dog and they wag their tail hopefully.

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If they whimper, it breaks even more because you want to take them all home.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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18. They might look like exactly what you imagined.

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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.

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Please, please, please let this happen.

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

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

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26. You check your health insurance policy to make sure it covers heart explosion from too much love.

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Which you feel every time you look at their sweet, goofy face.

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

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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.)

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