So if all this works out, I'm thinking of getting a dog. A black lab to be exact. Here are my two favorites with their online descriptions:

Here's Sam:
Gentleman Sam....and I do mean gentleman!!...What a wonderful 2 to 3 year old black lab companion for someone, and what a wonderful dog to train as a therapy dog!!!.....Sam is a very friendly and very sweet dog looking for that forever, loving family he so deserves! ....He bonds very quickly at even the slightest bit of lovin'! What do you say about a dog who has it all???!!!??? Rides well in the car; friendly with people; friendly with other dogs; loves to play, but is a true cuddle buddy during the quiet times; responds readily to praise/rewards...Amazing how quickly he is learning basic commands such as sit, down, come, over, and shake....Sam is very small right now, weighing only 40 lbs., with his having been "on the road" for several weeks looking for food! With the right foods and a normal feeding schedule, he should soon build up some muscle and body weight! He is neutered; UTD on all shots; heartworm negative; and on monthly heartworm and flea/tick preventatives. Don't miss out on Sweet Sam....He's a one in a million dog!

and here's Tap
Tap is 4 year old spayed female. She is about 70 lbs.
She likes to retrieve and is good with other dogs.
She has not been around cats. She does well with children. Her owner is having health problems and needs to find her a new home.

I'm leaning towards Tap. But they both look like great dogs. I will NOT, I repeat, NOT get a cat though. Some cats are OK, but you never know a cat's personality til you have it for awhile, and if it's a sucky personality, you're stuck with it. I find dogs are much easier to get along with.

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