I love having a dog around: If you have a dog, you will have several occasions to smile and laugh every day.
Around here, when a dog dies it leaves such a hole in my life that I immediately get another dog to fill the hole. The experts say one should take time to grieve, but I can't stand the vacancy and Cliff can't stand me crying, so within two days of the death of one dog, we're off to find another.
I've gone to the shelter for my last two dogs, and I've chosen a grown dog each time. This means I get a dog with baggage, psycho behavior that they wouldn't have had if I'd raised them myself from a puppy. We laugh when Iris attacks dogs and animals on TV, but when she literally tries to kill my sister-in-law's mini-dachshund, it isn't funny at all. It's scary. Part of the reason for such behavior is her breeding. She's half whippet, a breed that goes after small animals (although she carefully avoids any confrontation with a cat; go figure). That's her worst trait; that and the shedding. Sadie, her predecessor, was a hair factory, but Iris is worse.
I've had the thought that maybe we should just put Iris down for her aggressiveness toward small dogs, but that would be hard.
What I do is research a lot. Don't tell Iris, but I'm shopping for the dog I will have when she dies. Although at my age, she is liable to outlive me.
Dogs I've already owned: German Shepherd, Fox Terriers, Rat Terriers, Chihuahua, Chow, and Miniature Poodle. The Chihuahua didn't shed enough to be troublesome, but she wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. The poodle didn't shed and was very bright, but she was snooty and thought she was better than us: After having her for a year or so, we gave her to my parents; she lived to the ripe old age of eighteen and was treated like a queen. As for the terriers, we had a good one and some not-so-good. I loved our German Shepherd, but I wouldn't want one in the house, and we don't have a fenced yard where we could keep an outside dog. I do not want to lose another dog to the highway.
So I've surfed the Internet for information on non-shedding dogs, and I've asked questions of people who own them.
Maybe it would be best if Iris outlives me. I'll just have to keep her away from small dogs so she won't kill them.