Joe had come home after visiting his ailing aunt at the hospice and reported that she was deteriorating more than they expected. Joe had never really known her that well. She and her husband who passed away 5 year ago never had k**s and never were involved much with the family. But since his parents died, Joe stepped in to help her with whatever he could which wasn’t that much until her health turned. She had nobody else. He was really doing it for his mother. But over the past couple years it had taken more of Joe’s time in short increments. So, when Saturday morning came it was a good diversion for Joe.

They were off early to the first breeder Joe had investigated. Upon arrival and introducing themselves, the breeder, Bob, had the 2 dogs brought out for them to look at. Nikki’s immediate reaction to the first was that he was much too big. It was the Great Dane. Although she was interested in a large dog, she was worried about her ability to control and manage an a****l that large. The breeder indicated for the next dog to be brought out, “This is Butch. He is still large, in fact quite large for his breed, but he’s extremely loveable. Very active and will want lots of the exercise but your husband indicated that is a trait you want.”

“Is he a Lab?”

“Yes. But, like I said, he happens to be very large for the breed. In fact that was one of the things that interested me about him and motivated me to keep him longer. But for breeding purposes, his size isn’t a good thing if people are looking for good breed representation. But the other attributes of the breed are still there. He is very loveable, easy to train, and very adaptive. He could easily adapt to being an indoor or outdoor dog depending on your facilities.”

She was down on her knees petting the dog. Looking at Joe, she said, “I really like him. But what about the other dogs?”

Joe replied, “Both would be bigger, like the first dog. We could continue to look, but if you like Butch, he seems to like you.”

Butch did indeed seem taken by her and was already licking her face as she petted him. She stood next to the dog next to the breeder. “You say he is already mostly trained. Would it be okay to take him for a short walk around the area to see how we do together?”

“Absolutely. We’ll wait here. Take your time. Finding the right dog is a big deal for both of you. As I understand it, she will be the primary? It is good to expect to have a primary although you both should be able to control him.”

Joe replied as Nikki walked off with Butch on the leash, “Yes, this is mostly for Nikki. She will have the most time with him and wants the companionship when I am not.”