Since Angel lived to the ripe ol' age of 14, we had plenty of time to discuss and think about what would happen after Angel. We agreed it'd be nice to a little bit of a dog break, mostly for the purposes of traveling without worrying about boarding. Over much of the last year, we've tossed around ideas of what kind of dog would best fit our family. We like the slightly easier upkeep of a small dog, but the security of a big dog is a big plus for me. If I ever felt the need to open the door for a stranger, I loved that they'd take several big steps back when I let Angel stand in front of me and bark at them.
We kept going back and forth on what we should be looking for, but it was becoming obvious that Secora was developing a pretty significant fear of dogs over time. She had been fine with Angel, but she was getting more and more skittish around neighborhood dogs. We decided we needed to get a move on and get a dog sooner rather than later so we would be able to introduce one into the family without traumatizing her. As these things tend to go, less than a week after we had that discussion, a friend posted on facebook about a stray dog that needed a forever home.
He had been taken in by the friend's parents, updated on his shots, neutered and generally fixed up. He had been named Walter. And when we met him, it turned out he was just right for us.
His biggest behavior problem is loving on guests just a little too much. Once we invite someone in the house, he wants to immediately be in their lap. He hardly ever jumps on us and we don't have guests all that often, so we haven't had a lot of opportunity yet to teach him this behavior has to stop. Angel acted like a puppy for a good 4 years, which I think was the heeler in her (she was part red heeler), so I imagine he still has some time before he's going to settle down much. That's okay, he's been the perfect mix of run with the kids, then lay down for calm snuggles!