Do you remember how excited you were the day your parents gave you your first pet? Despite the multiple accidents and relentless training, your heart still fluttered every time you walked into the house to overly exuberant tail wags or a friendly meow. Over the years, the mutual love and admiration between you and your pet companion never ceased. October is ASPCA’s Adopt-A-Shelter Dog Month, so why not allow a (or another) furry friend to transform your life for the better? Open your heart and your home and follow in the steps of Dr. Diane Pomerance, who is not only a pet lover but also a pet expert and author of books, including Our Rescue Dog Family Album.

Dr. Pomerance has dedicated herself to educating the public on topics like the aging of our pets and coping with the loss of an animal companion. She is a shining example of how large our love can be and how even the most neglected and poorly treated dogs can overcome the burden placed on them by previous owners and learn to love again.

Here are a few questions you should consider when thinking about adopting a dog: What kind would be most compatible with your living situation? What would the exercise requirements be? Are you able to walk your dog several times a day and play with him? What age of the dog is best suited to you? Do you have enough time for a quality relationship with a dog?

If adoption isn’t suitable to your living situation, then volunteering at your local shelter or making a donation to your local ASPCA is helpful too.