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Animals

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.

3. You've stalked dogs online for weeks.

Your friends tell you to stop torturing yourself, but you're just so excited to fall in love.
Keith Kissel / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: kakissel

Your friends tell you to stop torturing yourself, but you're just so excited to fall in love.

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

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

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

5. You walk into a hubbub of big and little voices saying, "Pick me!"

Or "Ahhhhh!" because being in a shelter is stressful stuff.
Ian Phillips / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: ianphillips

Or "Ahhhhh!" because being in a shelter is stressful stuff.

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

If they whimper, it breaks even more because you want to take them all home.
Esther Schultz / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: estherjane13

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

7. Especially ones you can't even consider because of your building's bogus breed restrictions.

Does this love muffin look like a “bully breed” to you?
pigletandkingston / Via instagram.com

Does this love muffin look like a “bully breed” to you?

8. And you might even have to pass by dogs that are over your building's weight limit.

Because a heavier but quieter dog is...worse somehow?
Renato Ganoza / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: rzganoza

Because a heavier but quieter dog is...worse somehow?

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.

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.
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.

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.
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.

13. After a while, you're so overwhelmed with trying to choose.

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What's that feeling people talk about when they say they knew? Why don't you feel it yet? :(

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.

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

15. Some pups are calm in their kennel but go bonkers when you meet them.

You worry they're too big for your small apartment.
Steph Skardal / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: just_steph

You worry they're too big for your small apartment.

16. Some are homebodies.

And you worry that they might be too small to keep up with you on runs.
wabisabi2015 / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: necosky

And you worry that they might be too small to keep up with you on runs.

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.

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.

21. At first they might be a little nervous.

But with time, their cough clears up and they start to wag their tail more as their nerves dissipate.
Gloria / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: feeferlump

But with time, their cough clears up and they start to wag their tail more as their nerves dissipate.

22. You start to discover how they play and what their favorite things are.

And you want to spoil them rotten to make up for all of their hardships.
Gloria / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: feeferlump

And you want to spoil them rotten to make up for all of their hardships.

23. It's not long before they're a member of the family.

Your hug levels increase 10,000%.
Deb / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: ferlinka

Your hug levels increase 10,000%.

24. You start to make better food for them than yourself.

What other culinary delights can I stuff this Kong with?
OakleyOriginals / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: oakleyoriginals

What other culinary delights can I stuff this Kong with?

25. You even forgive their remodeling attempts.

Consider mischief only partially managed from this point forward.
B Rosen / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: rosengrant

Consider mischief only partially managed from this point forward.

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

Which you feel every time you look at their sweet, goofy face.
Pete Markham / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: pmarkham

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

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

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.)
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.)

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