14. Time Well Spent
One big advantage pet stores and breeders have over shelters is that they don't require prospective owner to spend any time with their pet before they take the pet home. But the major downside is, you may not always get what you hoped for. "At a pet store, you get what you get. And hopefully you like what you get," says Buchwald.
Shelters invest more time into their services. "I've had people come to me and say today is the only day and now is the perfect time for me to adopt a pet," says Buchwald. "But people have to understand that it takes patience and a few rounds to find a pet with a personality that matches your personality, your lifestyle, and your housing situation. Try a few shelters. Talk to the people there. Let the process evolve."
Kwolek is in the market for another dog to serve as company for Madison. This time, he plans on following Buchwald's advice. "I feel there is no time limit this time. Occasionally, we go to shelters just to see if they have anything. Maybe one day we will find the right match," he says.
In the end, you may or may not find the perfect pet at a shelter. But the important thing is that you tried. And there is nothing wrong with purchasing a pet directly from a responsible breeder. After all, most breeders love their animals just as much as the staffs at rescue shelters across the country love theirs.