No permanent dog for us these days. We've decided not to keep Jeb the foster dog. He is a great dog and is, in fact, the most well behaved dog that I have ever had. He doesn't run wild when off leash. He doesn't pull on the leash. He is super mellow around the house and like to just lay around. He lays in the shade at the park and doesn't run away even when other dogs go by. He completely ignores the cats. He is an almost perfect dog. He is a bit doggy-smelling, has fleas, and there is the whole separation anxiety thing (which makes one feel like they have a 50 pound furry ball and chain attached to them on a regular basis).
But here is the unanticipated context. I have a baby who still regularly keeps me awake for 1.5 to 2 hours in the middle of the night. I have a baby who likes to crawl up to the dog, grab his fur, and poke him in the eyes. I have a three year old who is extremely demanding and wants a lot of attention. These are my challenges, problems, realities, what-have-you. These are some of the elements of my daily existence. It turns out that within that context, adding a lot of scratching, licking, rattling around, separation anxiety, and other day to day needs of another living being isn't really working out for us at the moment. I do love the dogs, but all dogs come with their quirks and issues. Now is not the time in my life for extra quirks and issues. I've got a bunch of unavoidable, these are mine, can't give them away, type of quirks and issues already. So for now, as bad as I feel about it, I'm going to have to pass on the elective quirkiness and neediness. Maybe in another year or two.