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In Response to Re: Hi, I am new to this group by babbug
Babbug. If you don't already have one, take a nice photo of your porch poodle and get it framed. Have someone take it if you know anyone who is good with a camera.
Then, when you finally do lose your friend, take a trip to a local animal shelter, every couple of days if you have to. The dog that is for you is the one that exhibits interest in you, and the one that you keep coming back to look at again and again in one visit. If you are old like me, you should concentrate on one that is over two years old, and seems to be trained. Take your time.
I have three dogs, all rescues, and all that I had an affinity for on first sight. Couldn't help myself… The latest is a 20 pound Pit /American Eskimo mix who looks like a large brindle Chihuahua. She is one year old, and has energy to spare, which delights my Canaan Dog and his buddy, a mix that looks like the Canaan, only smaller.
Don't make the mistake I did when my 14 year old Malamute was finding it hard to get up and get around. As I was still working then, I got the Canaan Dog to keep him company while I was gone during the day. The new 6 month old dog was too much for the Mal, and the Mal eventually sprained his neck somehow, most likely trying to roughhouse. He needed that neck to thrust his head downward to help him get up.
If it was just that, I would have nursed him back to health, but he had also been dealing with an ever-growing 20 pound lump on his left side. The vet said at his age surgery and recovery stood the same chance of extending his life as leaving it alone, be it cancerous or not. So I had to say goodbye to my old buddy.
I hope my advice helped you to be prepared, and to find a new friend.