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Why Should I Adopt a Shelter Dog?

My Experience With Adopting a Shelter Dog...

Opal, My Lovely Adopted Lab/Shepherd Mix

Hello! My name is Opal! I come from a shelter in a very small town. The shelter was okay, but definitely not what I wanted. I was happy to have what food I did, but it wasn't enough and I was malnourished and underweight... I was very quiet and afraid that nobody would love me or ever adopt me. I was quiet, like a good dog. Good dogs don't bark, so I'm told.

A lady stopped by today with a stout man by her side. She saw me first because I was the first cage that lined the shelter walls. She had a big smile on her face when she saw me, and she softly said hello. She seems like a nice lady. I watched her walk away. I think I heard her say my name though. She walked around the shelter and eventually came back to me.

"I really like this one. She's so quiet and look how pretty she is," she said.

Me? She's talking about me. I licked her hand timidly through the gate of the cage. She talked to me for a few minutes, asking if I'd like to go home with her. That's pretty forward for someone I just met! She seems like she likes me, though. Maybe I would like to go.

"I decided on this one, Dad. I want her," the lady said. She turned back and looked into my eyes, "Don't worry, Opal. I will be back for you. I just don't have the money right now, but I will be back. I promise." She smiled once again, booping the end of my nose. I licked my nose and wagged my tail. Is she telling the truth? Why is she leaving? Wait, where are you going?

It's been a week. It's getting cold outside and the other dogs are barking a lot. I just want it to be quiet. I just want to chew on some meat, or bone, or jerky, or--

"Hi, Opal!" A female voice chimed from my right. I stood up straight. My tail began to wag. I recognized her. The lady from before—she came back! Her stature shrunk into a squat and she greeted me once more with that wonderful grin.

"Are you ready to go home?" she asked me. I don't know where home is, but with you, I suppose it can't be that bad! The shelter worker who was always really nice to me took me from my cage. I had to wait outside for a bit, but the lady came out of the building pretty quickly. They gave me a brand new leash and harness—it was a little big, but I think I could grow into it! Wow, what a big truck! The breeze feels so good in my face! I love this! I think I'm going to like it with this new lady.

"I love you already, Opal. Welcome home, baby," she cooed at me.

Yeah. I think I'm definitely going to like it here.

Her Trademark Smile

Opal's First Smile

The first picture in this article is the first I have ever taken of Opal, fresh out the shelter. The second is the exact same dog only one week later. The change I saw in her was tremendous! Her wonderful personality showed through as soon as I gained her trust and I couldn't have been happier.

There are wonderful dogs in shelters all over America. Please, adopt, don't shop. You may just find the love of your life sitting in a cage.

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