She is the best dog in the world (well at least the world I've seen).
The wife and I adopted her when she was five years old from a local shelter. She was given up by her original owners as a result of a divorce. She was then adopted out and returned a day later. Her paperwork said she grew up on a farm, stuck close to her people, and had never been kenneled. The one day owners kenneled her for a few hours, then locked her in the bathroom while they were at work. She tore it up, probably trying to get out. Their stupidity was our gain.
We were living in Green Lake when we picked her up. We spent the weekend getting her adjusted to her new home, taking turns leaving for brief periods to ease her separation anxiety. It was clear she was a country dog as she was oblivious to traffic when we'd head down to the lake for walks. She would sit in a chair by a window and would be peeking out the window when we came home.
When we bought our new home, a fenced yard was high on the list of necessary features.
She is great with people, other dogs and children. She's not much of a barker, except when someone is at the door. She doesn't chew up things, though she does like to drag clothes and shoes around. Though she is very excited at dinnertime, she doesn't beg for food or drool. She can be left alone for hours without getting into trouble. Usually.
She has been know to get into the garbage, but it is so infrequent we haven't done much to prevent it. Last week she dumped and dragged garbage around the house both Wednesday and Friday. Not sure what set her off but we might need to secure the garbage somehow. Just a little reminder to appreciate how good she is 99% of the time.
She is now ten years old and has a bum leg. We took her to the vet for a checkup and X-rays. She has a partially torn ACL in her left rear knee as well as arthritis in the same joint. Surgery is an option, but it is both expensive and the recovery period is 4 - 6 months. During much of this time she would need to be off her leg completely. We're not sure how feasible that is with an excitable dog.
We tried the pain reliever route. Within a week, she became lethargic and wasn't keeping food down. Back at the vet we found out that the pills were affecting her liver. I never suspected my dog would be the one in our family with liver trouble. A new regimen flushed her system and she is back to normal, but also back to limping.
I grew up with many dogs in our house. There were generally at least two dogs, and my sister actually bred dogs for a time so there were sometimes as many as ten. Our dog is my first as an adult though, and she means so much more to me. She is truly the third member of our family. We have thought about getting a second dog, but why mess with (near) perfection.