Since I moved out at age 17, I’ve owned roughly 15 cats and three dogs (there were two other dogs that lived with us temporarily but ended up at other homes). Every cat was a stray that I rescued (except the very first one, Spike, I adopted from a shelter as a kitten). My first dog, Misty, was adopted as a puppy from a home (so not a stray) and our second dog, the famous Bubba, Best Dog Ever™, I found running in a terrible neighborhood nearly starved to death (my vet said he had less than a week to live, and wasn’t sure we’d be able to save him but we did and had him for a glorious ten years). Cannie Belle – named Cannon at the shelter, shortened to Cannie by her foster mom, with Belle added by Tori – we adopted from our local animal shelter after Bubba died (we tried to adopt another dog before Cannie named Tank, but he tried to attack both Tori and Charlie and was eventually adopted to another family through his shelter). She’s a great dog, supremely tolerant of Tori and her friends, super cuddly, and has a blast hiking with us. As we enter spring and summer, it’s puppy and kitten season. If you’re thinking of adopting a new member of your family, I hope you’ll choose your local shelter instead of a pet store or breeder. And just to make you feel even more guilty, watch the adorable video below.