For a dog, adoption must be a scary prospect. After all, they’re being taken from familiar surroundings and dropped somewhere full of new faces and smells. You can’t blame ’em for being a little spooked!
Sometimes, though, a new home and all of the sights and smells that come with it is all a dog needs to get his or her tail wagging like they just saw a bucket of biscuits. And when these excited doggos meet their new owners, it can be a seriously emotional moment.
Luckily, there are often cameras around to capture those first, incredibly sweet interactions between a loving human and their new best friends! Here are 24 of the most heart-meltingly adorable ones!
1. Have you ever been so excited you had to bite something? If not, then you’ve never been on the same happiness level of this golden doodle pup, who forwent the lame-duck version of “got your nose” by literally getting his new owner’s schnoz.
talkingxbird / reddit
2. She found this pup on the side of the road and was going to bring her to the local shelter, but then she saw her face, and, well… let’s just say she ended up bringing her back to her own house! Can you blame her?
FuzzyManPeach / reddit
3. If you adopt a dog and she immediately poses for a selfie with you while grinning ear-to-ear, it’s safe to say you made a good choice! It’s nothing but clear skies for these two besties from here on out.
Hi-sup / Reddit
4. As the classic club song once decreed, putting your hands in the air is strictly reserved for those who just don’t care. But don’t tell this pup that! She and her new family couldn’t have looked more excited for their future of friendship.
Lort Smith / Facebook
5. If a picture if worth a thousand words, then all thousand words for this one would be some variation of awwww over and over. The look of total relaxation and comfort on this dog’s face says it all.
Zombeejeesus / reddit
6. A really memorable morning might include breakfast in bed, but a puppy wakeup call seems a whole lot better than a tray of toast, bacon, and coffee. All you need his one look at this cuddly doggo’s face for proof!
Covino & Rich / Youtube
7. What’s cuter than a puppy and his new owner gazing lovingly into one another’s eyes? You can tell they’re thinking of the next dozen or so years of friendship. That, or this doggo is hoping to borrow the keys to the car.
Budzsta / Reddit
8. A little sunshine and a hug from a new owner—what more could a dog want? Not a whole lot judging by the look on this girl’s face! Her gleeful expression would’ve looked perfectly in place in a shampoo ad.
Megan Jordan / Facebook
9. That’s a big smile for a little dog! Of course, Tata the pup couldn’t help herself after she’d finally been adopted and taken back to her forever home. And because of her happiness, her new owner couldn’t help but smile, too!
Nicoletta Licciardi / Facebook
10. Every year he asked for a puppy for Christmas, and every year, his wife declined. That’s another mouth to feed, after all. But one year, his Christmas wish was finally granted, and he couldn’t keep the shock off of his face!
Alyssa Goodwin / Youtube
11. If adventurers ever found the legendary Fountain of Youth, chances are, it would be a 10-foot-deep pit full to the brim with puppies. Nothing energizes a person or makes them smile like a puppy, and this senior citizen who just met her new companion knows that better than anyone!
I_Speak_Australian / reddit
12. There’s no doubt that being a police officer must be one of the most stressful jobs on the entire planet. Cops tend to have a tough exterior while on duty, but this officer couldn’t help but melt when he hugged his new puppy!
Panhandle Welfare Society / Facebook
13. When this woman adopted her new pooch, she couldn’t help but cradle him like her a newborn baby. Judging by the look on this dog’s face, he didn’t mind that at all! He was ready for a lifetime of love.
Allie Lucchetti / Facebook
14. As this Reddit user put it: “I went to adopt a dog and ended up with a bear.” He didn’t seem too upset about it! Now with a big doggo at his side, he’ll be able to tackle anything the future might hold.
wiioz / reddit
15. There’s a certain stigma that comes with adopting an older dog—they tend to have a variety of health issues—but this guy didn’t care when he picked out this pretty pooch. They posed for a quick picture outside the shelter, where she really nailed the adorable lolling tongue!
wickedsmaht / reddit
16. It’s hard to tell the difference between a well-formed “Can we keep him?” face and an “I love this dog so much face,” but rest assured, this girl’s making both! You can tell there’s a lot of love in this pup’s future!
project_seven / reddit
17. Emotions can run wild when you meet a new pet for the first time, and perhaps there’s no greater proof than this guy’s reaction. When his significant other surprised him with a new dog, he broke down in tears.
DarkSpirit_ / reddit
18. You bring your new dog home, and what’s the first thing you’re gonna do? Throw a backyard party with your new pooch, that’s what! Maybe if you’re lucky, the dog will even make the same face as you when you pose for a selfie.
zackbusselsd / reddit
19. The woman in this photo suffered from depression. Life, to her, felt incredibly hopeless. When she finally felt she was on firm ground again, emotionally, she treated herself to a little puppy. This single snapshot captures the beauty of the moment she took him home.
20. What’s the best cure for a grumpy dad who just wants to watch Netflix? Why, a puppy of course! (This is also the cure for everything, by the way.) The question is, who won this staring contest?
RathskellerDweller / reddit
21. They say there’s no medicine quite like a child’s laughter, but maybe children sleeping with their canine best friend for the next decade or so is a close pharmaceutical second. Rest now, fellas, ’cause there’s gonna be a whole lot of playing when you wake up!
Happiness Heroes / Facebook
22. Oddly, this photo looks like a scene ripped right out of a Pixar movie… or a photo from a pamphlet on the joys of dog ownership. Either way, it’s hard not to want to give your own pooch a hug after getting a load of this kid!
logically / reddit
23. As one Reddit commenter pointed out, the camera may have been quick enough to catch this protruding puppy’s tongue, but it still couldn’t capture his fast-flicking tail! The picture practically bleeds enthusiasm.
tinkerlane / reddit
24. Their faces said it all: the little girl, overcome with glee at her new Christmas gift, perhaps thinking about a future of mischief with this new pup; the pup, that placid, tongue-lolling look, couldn’t make a better “I’m a puppy” face if he or she tried!
When you’re holding a new dog, it’s almost impossible not to smile. Sometimes the dog smiles, too!
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