Having a dog as a companion animal is truly amazing. They show you unconditional love, they give you a sense of purpose, and they bring a refreshing playfulness into every day. When deciding to get a companion animal, it can be tempting to suddenly start fantasizing about what breed of pup you want, what color fur they’ll have, how tiny and perfect they’ll be, and of course, all of the adventures you will enjoy together. While there’s nothing wrong with getting excited about welcoming a furry friend into your home, all of this planning can warp the experience and change it from welcoming a pet to shopping for one.

This is the experience that a lot of pet stores aim to deliver. Through the cruel practice of puppy mills, they are able to keep perfect-looking pups in stock and make the public believe that this is the best way to welcome a puppy pal into your home. The reality of the matter is there are millions of stray dogs in the U.S. that are waiting listlessly at shelters, hoping that someone can choose to lend a hand as opposed to shop at a pet store. Dogs at shelters sometimes come from abusive pasts, are associated with aggressiveness simply because of their breed, or are physically disabled in one way or another.

Albert is the perfect example of a shelter pup who is just as rambunctious and lovable as any pet shop pup. Just look at him!

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Albert needs a little help when it comes to walking, but that didn’t stop his human mama from adopting him from the shelter. 

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They still go on walks together… 

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…visit the lake… 

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 …and have picnics with the family.

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Whenever Albert gets too tired, or it’s too hot, he simply rides around in his guardian’s backpack! 

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When they’re not hiking, Albert is either chillin’ in the car on his way to the park… 

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…enjoying some time to himself…

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…or hanging out with his brothers. 

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Yeah, you could say Albert has a pretty good life! 

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Albert’s life is only this fun and adventurous because his guardian opened her heart and decided to rescue a dog instead of simply seeking out a “perfect pup.” He is a prime example of why adoption should not be treated like a shopping experience. Dogs are not objects, they are sentient beings that desire and deserve unconditional love and affection like any other animal, flaws and all. Let Albert serve as an ambassador for all of the homeless, rescued, and disabled dogs out there looking for homes. Share his story to enlighten others of the beautiful companions these animals can make!

All image source: AlbertonWheels/Instagram