Puppies are adorable. We've all been at a pet store and seen the puppies and went "I want one!" But we also have to keep in mind that puppies don't stay puppies forever, and a pet is a lot of work. Unfortunately, shelters are full of homeless adult dogs and cats that need a loving family.

Growing up, I'd always had the C-list pets; goldfish, hamsters, etc. You can technically say that you have a pet, but Skippy the hamster isn't going to run to the door and lick your face when you get home from work. When I finished college and moved into my first place on my own, I decided that I wanted more of an interactive pet. Unfortunately, my apartment complex didn't allow dogs, and I'm allergic to cats. So I got a ferret. Yup, a ferret. And Sparky (aka "Sparkles", "Sparkler", "Sparkington", and many other nicknames) was a great pet. He would be excited to see me get home from work, would fetch his toys, and loved to play. I had him for about 4 years until he unfortunately, and quickly, got very sick and had to be put down. I was devastated. The difference with goldfish and hamsters is that since they don't really show you love, you don't get all that attached. Sure it's sad when they die, but it's different to lose a pet who you could truly tell loved you.

Ferrets are great pets, but they're also a lot of work (and VERY expensive if they get sick). I didn't think I wanted another ferret. I thought it was the perfect time to seriously consider my first dog. So I went to the local shelter just to look. Well we know how that usually goes. In the very back of one of the cages, all curled up on the concrete floor was a sad looking little dog. It was hard to tell what she was, a golden retriever puppy maybe? Turns out that she was picked up as a stray and, as a result, they actually weren't really sure of what she was or even how old she really was, but they thought she was about 5 or 6 years old. And ya know what...I took her home.

That was about 6 years ago now and Sydney has been my most constant companion ever since. Adopting an adult dog for my first dog was a great move. She was already housebroken, and was fine being left at home while I was at work. If you've never trained a puppy, living in a condo and having a full time job isn't really the best time to give it a shot for the first time.

I honestly can't say enough what a great dog Sydney is. She's very well behaved, rarely barks, and loves people. She isn't great with other dogs, though. One disadvantage to adopting a stray is they can't tell you what happened to them before you came along, and sometimes have issues. But, in my opinion, it just goes to show even more why they need a loving family to take them in. If you ask me, they know you saved them.