My dog was a foster dog my friend had that I fell in love with. I'm definitely a cat person but I really liked her personality...she's silly and sweet, but she's not in your face all the time like a lot of dogs are. She likes doing her own thing. And she's really pretty...she is a shepherd/greyhound cross. Wonderful dog. Had her nine years now.
When I decided I wanted a dog, I did a lot of research in dog encyclopedias and tried to find a dog I liked based on looks that would also fit my lifestyle. I initially wanted a wire fox terrier but just didn't think they would fit my working full time lifestyle, plus the grooming. I loved the look of salukis and as they are typically low energy indoors and not too needy, it seemed like they would be able to stay by themselves all day when I was at work.
I went to a dog show and met breeders to talk more about salukis and meet some in person. I knew I was interested in an adult dog and could tell them all about my living situation.
I ended up getting my first saluki from one of the breeders I met. We became good friends and now co-breed together. My first saluki was a 6 year old spayed bitch, she was never bred but her brother and sister were. All my salukis are related to her in some way, my older bitch and my puppies are her brother's grandchildren and the last litter I co-bred are her sister's great-grandchildren.
I got two more adult dogs from my friends, littermates who were both fence jumpers and did better in my apartment. I now live in a house. I have the dog's daughter and she is the dam of my litter. The bitch was leased for a litter and quite frankly I don't like the dog she was bred to, so I don't have any ownership of anything down from her, but she is now in quite a few pedigrees both in the US and Europe.
The final of my five dogs is the one that chose me, my foxhound. I fell in love with his son who was a first year entry the first year I foxhunted. I mostly wheel-whipped and really bonded with the son when we had to pick him up on the road. Because I loved him so much, I got to know his dad the next season after he retired. One day at the kennels I was sitting playing peek-a-boo with the dad, putting his long ears over his eyes. The masters (who I was staying with and who take care of the kennels) asked if I wanted to take him home. He came home with me the next week and is a much beloved member of my family.
I do think it matters what sort of expectations you have for a dog....if you are not going to do much with it (as far as particular training/showing or other activities) then perhaps almost any dog will do, so the Petfinder approach may not be so bad, or just going to the shelter, Craigslist, taking in a stray, etc.
I was just thinking the opposite. I think people who just want a family dog are the ones whose expecations are more demanding and vital. If you're going to focus on a dog and a sport, you're probably going to invest considerable time and focus on the dog which a typical family pet doesn't get. The average family needs direction and luck in a shelter to get a dog who will react kindly to normal, sub-par training and handling.
When I was a senior in college, I fell in love with Dobermans. I couldn't wait to graduate and get one. Had names picked out and everything. 3 months after getting out I met a Jack Russell Terrier. The rest is history I can't imagine owning another breed. Even a dobe.
~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
Check out my Kryswyn JRTs on Facebook
My trainer has always had Aussies, and I've loved her dogs. So when my little English Springer Spaniel died last year at 13 years old I waited about 8 months before deciding to get a puppy. I chose an Aussie because of my experience with her dogs, plus it was different from my Springer so I hoped I wouldn't compare too much. My puppy is now 8 months old, and she's been a fun addition to our family. Tons of energy, but as sweet as can be, and great with my little grandchildren when they come to visit.
First dog, Merlin, was a pound dog who was the only one who didn't go berserk when my mom went to look on her lunch break at work. Brought me and my brother back after school, and we took him home that day. My dad was away on a business trip at the time, boy was HE surprised! But he soon became best buddies with Merlin.
Next dog was about 5 months after Merlin passed away. I had been browsing on petfinder for a while, knowing that I wanted to adopt another dog, and that as long as my mom was on-board with it, I would be able to. Saw a few that had me interested, but none really called out to me until I saw Fergie. Everything about her- age, size, description, just appealed to me and I knew that I had to meet her. I emailed the woman who had her, set up a meeting for later in the week, and adopted her on the spot with my mom. And whoops, we forgot to tell my dad again. He was NOT happy about this one "I thought we agreed- NO MORE DOGS," but he got over it, and now they're buddies as well.