Sometimes visiting a local dog shelter can be almost too painful to do, if you know that will not be able to take any animals home with you. But for those of us who still frequent the pounds every once in a while, there are a number of things we wish we could tell the poor pups waiting to find their forever homes. Here are just 10 of the many things we wish shelter dogs would understand.
If you're one of the lucky pups who is in foster care as opposed to a shelter then you already have it better than most! While shelters can be fantastic places, nothing compares to the love of a foster parent. This is someone who has rooted for you from the moment you entered their home and only wants the best for you! This is why you should kick back, relax, and trust your foster parents to pick who they think should be your forever family. The only reason they're letting you go, is so they can help another dog like you! Oh, and make sure to give them a snuggle once in a while, they love that!
Do you know how many people are out there in the world? Billions! I know you feel lonely right now, but at this very moment there is a human looking to be rescued just like you are. And whoever that person is that adopts you, they will think you're the best dog ever, and they'll be right. Just don't get too upset if a family doesn't take you home the first day they meet you. They are most likely just talking it over with their family to make sure they know how to take care of you in the best way they can. If they come back, they're yours!
Try to forget what the puppies tell you. People find true love at any age all the time! And it's not just for humans, but goes for dogs as well. Did you know that there are some really special people out there who only look to adopt senior dogs? It's true! You don't have to be fit or athletic, nor will they mind if you have a few white hairs here and there. Some people look for a nice calm dog like you, to sit with by the fire and read a book. Doesn't that sound nice?
So you're not perfect. Who cares? You have a great personality and everyone knows it, so give those adopters your biggest smile and let your inner light shine through! Chances are, if the person who wants to adopt you is visiting a local shelter, they know you're not a show dog. But who is? What matters most to them is that you are a friend, and I can tell you've got BFF written all over you!
Listen, we all go through periods where we think we're not worthy, but all the best people know that practice makes perfect and over time, you'll get better. There is no need to be perfect right out of the gate. Learning tricks like sit and stay will be a fun activity for you and your new parent to learn together and the bond you two will have by the end will be amazing. All your new family asks is that you try your best, and in turn they will too. Don't worry - you'll be a superstar in no time!
I know veterinarians seem scary. They have those gloves, and masks, and sometimes even needles! But these people are there to make you feel healthy and strong. It might not seem like it at first, but everyone at the shelter is there to make sure you are safe, happy, and loved. Even if sometimes it means giving you a yucky pill or two, just trust that they know what they're doing and you'll be fine!
I know you've met some pretty terrible people in your life who may not have treated you the way they should have. But I promise you that not every human will do the same. It's okay to be scared for sure, but one day your time will come and everything will be alright. Actually, it'll probably be the best time of your life! Just learn to have an open mind, give your new family the benefit of the doubt, and I promise you that you will be spoiled like nobody's business!
Take it from one of the most confident women to ever live! Dita Von Teese has gone on record to say, "You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there is still going to be somebody who hates peaches." Now, this isn't to say that someone is going to hate you, but sometimes people have a certain idea in their head as to what they're looking for in a dog. Sometimes, you will be overlooked, but as long as you remain confident and never give up hope - you too, will make it big.
If you were never taught how to kiss because your last owner was a bit of a jerk, or you've forgotten how to since being in the shelter - now is your time to learn! We all get a little rusty once we've been out of the game, but I can assure you that nothing will bring you closer to your new family than a few pecks on the cheek every once in a while. The important thing to remember is that you're not in this situation because of something you did, and that your adoption day is a big deal for your family, and for you! So go on and kiss 'em if you want to, just remember to be gentle. If you're lucky, you may even get a few back!
Now I know this will be both tough. But the reality is that a lot of the people who come to the shelter and look for a dog to add to their family already have a cat or two. They want to keep their cats healthy, happy, and free from harm. So if the difference between being adopted to a sweet, loving family, or staying in the shelter until someone else comes along is your relationship with cats, the best advice I can give you is, be nice to the cat. I promise it'll be worth it!