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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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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The Old Oak Tree

A short poem about returning to one's childhood home.


Looming over the burned-out house is an oak tree,

Hundreds of years old at least.

The smell of smoke is gone, but skeleton of the house remains,

A mere speck when compared to the tree.

Whose branches reach out to me like hands,

Begging for me to come closer.

I do.

I sit under the tree like I did when I was young.

The ground is damp from the rain,

I feel the sogginess soaking through my jeans.

I remain.

It is cooler under the branches,

A limitless amount of leaves shades me from the daylight.

I stay there. All day.

Staring at the charred remains of my childhood home.

I stay there until fog begins to form in the crisp night air,

Cold and sharp against my cheeks.

No longer able to withstand the cold, I take my leave looking back once more.

It's nice to know that even when I'm gone,

The old oak tree remains.

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