Fact: There are a LOT of dogs out there without forever homes. Just check out your local shelter or rescue organization — and the online database of adoptable dogs at PetFinder.com. There are big ones, small ones, fluffy ones, old ones, young ones — you name it. And wouldn't the world be a better place if all of those pups had a warm bed and someone to snuggle?
We're huge advocates of adopting rescue dogs and here are just a few ways these pups come into our lives and change them for the better:
You'll gain a new best friend
It's pretty much guaranteed that once you bring your rescue dog home, you'll instantly become the best thing that's ever happened to him/her. And that means your pup will be glued to your side and love you so incredibly much. You won't be able to resist those big pup eyes. Guaranteed.
You'll become a total sucker
Even if you've been "gone" two minutes in the bathroom, when you walk back in the room, your pup will likely be unreasonably happy to see you — and instantly turn your heart to mush. Then you'll run to the pantry to get your four-legged friend a treat for simply being precious, officially making you a sucker. The wagging tail gets ya every time.
You'll work through your issues together
Chances are your pup's life before you came along was kinda hard to really, really hard. So we'd be lying if that meant every day was going to be a breezy walk in the park (literally and figuratively). Rescue dogs can have serious baggage and with the right love and support — and training— you'll overcome any issues there are together. It'll make your bond stronger and both of you happier in the long run.
And while you're helping your four-legged friend become a happy, healthy pup, chances are you'll be able to work out some of your own stuff in the process. It's a strange two-way street.
You'll learn to get over it
Though every day with your dog is a good day, there will be those times where they're mad you've been at work and decide to raid the trash. Or they get so excited about your new shoes that they eat them. This stuff happens (you weren't a perfect child, either) and you'll get mad and then get over it. How long can you really resist those puppy dog eyes, anyway? And dogs don't even begin to understand grudges.
You'll become less selfish
Dogs don't wear designer shoes (mostly), but pets can still be expensive. You might end up with a dog who's allergic to chicken and wheat and gets sunburned (if you're like me), and you'll pay for the dog dermatologist appointments and the most expensive food in the store because it's just money. And she's not just your dog. She's your best friend. Sorry, vacation fund: the dog comes first.
You'll laugh more
Dogs are just like people in that they all have their quirks. You'll quickly discover the strange things your dog does and no matter how many times they howl along to Beyonce, you'll think it's hilarious every darn time.
You'll blast your dog on social media
You can't get enough of your pooch and you'll be compelled to share every snuggly snapshot and new experience on your Facebook/Instagram/Twitter accounts. You might lose some friends if you go overboard with this, but whatever.
You'll want to stay home
There's nothing like a dog to turn you into a homebody. Why go pay for dinner and a movie when you can stay home and play fetch for three hours and watch Netflix? Your dog won't even care if you watch Clueless for the 756th time.
Or you'll find a way to bring the dog
If you really want to get out of the house, then you'll more than likely try to find a place to bring your pup. After adopting a pooch, you'll immediately know every dog-friendly patio within a 25-mile radius. And your life revolves around the dog. Duh.
You'll feel complete
If you don't think something furry with four legs can steal your heart, you're wrong. Pets in general are amazing and bring so much joy to our lives, and rescue pets are that way times a million. After giving a dog a forever home, your life will most certainly feel more complete. And you'll never be lonely!
You'll become a rescue advocate
Pretty soon you'll be trying to convince everyone you know to adopt a pet. And you'll want to bring home every dog at your local shelter because you know how much each of them would love to snuggle on your couch and drive you crazy begging for more treats. You'll also immediately want to support every campaign to raise money for dogs in need — which typically results in a giant rescue dog T-shirt collection.
The design below is one of the many projects from the artist behind the site RescueStrong. He works to raise money for rescues through various fundraisers and creating digital pet portraits in exchange for donations to non-profits.
If you're looking to make your life a whole lot better, start by visiting your local shelter or rescue organization. PetFinder.com is a great resource— it's a searchable database of animals who need homes and is sorta like online dating.
The site currently features 310,100 adoptable pets from 12,251 adoption groups across the country. Your odds of finding a pet online who'll make you incredibly happy are infinitely higher than your odds of finding a person online that you want to date. Promise.