On Sunday we went to the Somerville Dog Festival http://somervilledogfestival.org/ which is now over until next year, but well worth knowing about, if you like dogs.  We love dogs and are in the middle of cautiously contemplating the acquisition, sometime in the unnamed future, of a puppy.  My daughter has been assiduously reading puppy training books for the past year so hopefully we’ll be prepared if the time ever comes.  And if not, maybe she can earn us some pocket money training puppies for other people…

But if we do decide to take the plunge there’s the whole question of what kind of dog to get.

I started this process assuming we’d adopt a cute puppy from a shelter and that would be the end of it (or just the beginning, depending on how you look at it).  In New Mexico the shelters were teeming with adorable mutt puppies, adoptable for very little money, so finding a puppy was easy.  Of course that was a problem, too – a fairly big one, actually, because so many dogs are abandoned out there.  But it was good for the many people who wanted a dog.

Here in New England it’s a whole different story.

It seems that New England has a very low rate of abandonment – which, don’t get me wrong – is an excellent thing, except that it means there are few puppies to be had, those few cost quite a lot of money, and they all seem to be some kind of Pit Bull mix.  I know there are people who like Pit Bulls, but I am not one of them.  I want a big, fluffy, smart but goofy, friendly dog of the kind that is running loose all over New Mexico.

So my daughter is researching breeds.  Golden Retrievers were her number one pick for a long time but after meeting Bernese Mountain Dogs at the Festival she has a new love, particularly because she wants to build a wheeled cart and train the dog to pull her around.  She’s narrowed the list down to: Golden Retrievers, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Standard Poodles, Alaskan Malamutes, and Collies, and has ordered books from the library on each breed.  I think my husband wishes I would restrain myself more and not feed our daughter’s enthusiasm, and I try but it’s hard!  I see a great dog and I want to wrap my arms around its big, fuzzy neck!  And I will quietly mention that my husband fell in love with a 125-lb Great Pyrenees adolescent named Buddha, which he aptly renamed Avalanche after seeing it play with a Goldendoodle half its size.  Great Pyrenees are on his list, now.