We’ve all been there, or we’re thinking about it. You wouldn’t be reading this if you haven’t! These are the ten (or so) steps one goes through when adopting a dog.
1. Tell everyone you want a dog.
This includes friends, family, coworkers, and strangers who have dogs that you are petting. Often the word “dog” is drawn out, as in, “I want a dooggggg!”
2. Start creeping dogs online.
Your Instagram feed is suddenly full of cute dogs and puppies. You follow the Rover Instagram to live vicariously through the sitter pics. Also, you keep several Petfinder tabs open at all times and check your favorite local shelters for updates with militant regularity.
3. Go to a shelter “just to look.”
We all know you’re not just going to look, but you tell yourself you have willpower. This is the stage, the day even, at which you will likely leave the shelter with a dog. And a leash. And a harness. And an #AdoptDontShop bumper sticker, maybe.
4. Clean the pet store out.
BUY ALL THE THINGS. Toys, food, dishes, coats, collars, harnesses, poop bags, more toys, treats, treats, treats (you want your new dog to love you ASAP).
5. Stare at each other skeptically.
This stage lasts approximately 2-5 days as you figure each other and this new living situation out.
6. Compile a list of names.
7a. Spend one to three sleepless nights checking on the dog.
This can make you tired and more emotional.
7b. Get your feelings hurt by dumb things your dog does.
I cried so much the first two weeks I adopted my dog. He wouldn’t take a treat from me, he wanted to sit in someone else’s lap, I didn’t know what to name him, he didn’t respond to the name I gave him right after I picked one, etc.
7c. Cry because everything is different now.
…and you have to stay home all the time and you feel bad for wishing you hadn’t adopted the dog and maybe they could have a better life with someone less selfish. Just me? Cool, I’ll take that up with my therapist, who is also my dog.
8. Adapt to a new routine.
You’re finally figuring it out, together. And it’s actually making life better than it was before!
9. Fall in love.
It’s almost like dogs are too good. What did we do to deserve their love so unconditionally? NO ONE CAN UNDERSTAND OUR LOVE.
10. Start thinking about getting another dog.
And in the words of Brian McKnight, we start it Back At One.