We've been thinking about dogs ever since we got back to the States.
We talked (several times) about reclaiming Karlee, our Keeshond that we left with my parents when we went to England. That has been decided finally to leave her there, as she's happy and they are happy with her. She's about 9 years old, and after 3 years in one place it'd be a shame to move her.
We wanted to take things slow, getting the chickens established before we got a dog (and the cat established before we got the chicks). That has been done.
The "itch" was growing. Bob started visiting all the local animal shelters, every time we went to town. We took quizzes about what kind of dog would suit us. We talked about rules and training methods. Then it all started to come together.
One recommended breed was a Collie. Both of our grandparents had a Collie at some point. We were used to hair from Karlee. And then we found a pair of 3 month old Collies at the Fayetteville shelter. We asked to see them, but while we were waiting the other worker there informed us that someone had already applied for both of them. We started to feel frustrated, but she said people change their minds a lot and we should put in a back-up application. We did, but they didn't. No Collie.
But. While we waited to find out about the Collie, we visited the Springdale shelter. There we saw the sweetest 10 week old "Shepherd mix." We went out and bought a collar, bowls, food, and treats. When we found out about the Collie, we went back to Springdale and picked up the Shepherd. We named him Sergeant. He is a good little boy who needs to acclimate to life outside his A/Ced metal cage. He didn't mind riding in the car, and no one else minded when we took him shopping with us. If you're cute, rules don't apply.
Oh, a funny. While we were driving, we brainstormed for a name. All the children called out various suggestions : Captain! Midnight! Brownie! Duke! and Elijah wanted to join in. So he started calling out "Da! Da!" But we all ignored him as we thought of better names. Finally he let out a very loud and long "DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!" I answered him, "Thank you, Elijah; we'll keep that in mind." And he was quiet after that, just as if he knew exactly what was going on.