Pros And Cons Of Adopting A Shelter Dog

Pros And Cons Of Adopting A Shelter Dog

Your New Best Friend May Just Be At A Shelter

The misconception that all dogs are brought to a shelter because of behavior problems is wrong. About 95% of dogs in shelters are brought there because their owners were moving, allergic, they got it as a puppy and grew too big, they didn't have time, etc. Very few dogs are actually brought to shelters for behavioral problems.

There are many pros about adopting a shelter dog:

Pro #1

Low cost. Shelter dogs are very inexpensive compared to purebred breeders. I got my ten-month-old puppy Harley for $175. Prices at shelters vary, depending on where they are, but wherever I have been, the prices have been low.

Pro #2

If you get an older dog, it more than likely has had a bit of training. I got Harley housebroken and he already knew "sit", "shake" and a few others. Getting a new puppy is time-consuming, and there are hundreds of shelter dogs who are already partially trained waiting for a home.

Pro #3

Adopting a shelter dog is saving a life. Many shelters are becoming no-kill shelters, but even in no-kill shelters, dogs deteriorate. Some are overlooked for months to the point that they become depressed. Others are moved from shelter to shelter, having to readjust constantly.

Pro #4

You are giving a dog a second chance. You don't know where he/she came from or what happened, but opening your arms and your home is giving that dog another shot at life and happiness.

Pro #5

If you have mental health issues such as anxiety or depression, a dog can help. There's a reason why people have emotional support animals. I adopted Harley for that purpose. He's my medication for my anxiety. (Don't think I am saying he's just my medication, he's still a dog and still needs to be treated properly, and he is, he is very loved)

Pro #6

A dog forces you to get out. That walk you promised yourself that you would do all year for your resolution can now be achieved. A dog needs to get out, and so you have to go with it. Plus, you'd be surprised how many new people and new doggie friends you will be able to make while out and about.

Pro #7

The people at the shelter have been around the dog and are able to give you as much information as possible. Harley was on antibiotics and the shelter workers told me everything I needed to know of how to get him to eat it. While they often don't have a lot of time to be with every dog, they will tell you everything they know.

But there is a downside or two:

Con #1

You don't know your dog's history. You only know what the shelter has told you. You don't know how he/she is going to react in certain situations. Luckily for me, Harley was just not fed a good diet, so he's skinny, but he has no behavioral problems and does not act like he was abused in any way. The problem with not knowing his/her detailed history is that you do not know if he has any triggers that will cause problems for you in the future.

Con #2

You don't know what breed your dog is. Harley was listed as a border collie/pointer mix, but upon looking at him closer and going through Google images, he appears to be a border collie/Italian greyhound mix. The only way to be 100% sure about what you are getting is if you do a DNA test on the dog. Harley will be getting one soon himself.

A shelter dog is not a bad choice at all. Go visit a shelter, you may just find your best friend.

(And yes, the photo is of Harley)

Cover Image Credit: Nova Jarvis Photography

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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I Will Always Call Myself A Dreamer

The new thing you should practice: reading the vibrations that surround you.


In "The Science That Will Change Your Future", Dr. Bruce Lipton talks about how everything in life communicates through vibrations. We can simplify everything, even to the atomic level, to good and bad vibes. Before you snort at the person who says you're giving off bad vibes, maybe consider this first. Dr. Lipton talks about how the gazelle doesn't go up to the lion and asks, "Are you my friend?", instead the gazelle can feel its bad vibes. How can the gazelle do this?

Vibrations do one of two things when they interfere with each other: mesh or clash. Good vibes are vibrations that mesh together. Bad vibes are vibrations that clash. The gazelle can sense its energy clashing with the energy of the lion (he terms this as destructive interference).

Dr. Lipton talks about how we are trained to not sense these vibrations. We see animals do it! Some people will tell you that cats just don't like them, for whatever reason. I have had many friends who said that if their dog didn't like you, then you probably aren't a good person.

Animals base everything off of their intuition to these vibrations; it is their key to survival. Everyone knows that dogs and cats can't see color. But have you ever really watched your pet? How their eyes dart around the room, or they growl at nothing? They are seeing things we aren't able to see. They are sensing vibrations in the room that we are not capable to sense.

What does any of this have to do with classifying yourself as a dreamer?

Those who are classified as dreamers are mainly those who pursue careers dealing with their artistic abilities. Having artistic abilities means you are more in-tune with not only your emotions but the emotions in the space around you. You are more perceptive of others and your surroundings. Thus, you are more in-tune with the vibrations that your art comes from. Your brain makes a neural connection between an emotion (a vibration), and what you produce (your art).

If you are a dreamer, you are unrealistic. You are perceived as driftwood; floating on idealism. If you are stiff and follow a designated path, you are practical and considered a "realist."

But who is more real? The one who ignores the vibrations in their environment; the businessman guiding the Caterpillars? Or the dreamer, who not only recognizes the vibes, but is able to portray them in a way that others can not only comprehend, but feel in their own ways?

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