Well, for companionship, in my book, you can't beat a dog..... but it's gotta be the right dog (size, temperament, aptitude, activity level, not a barker, etc.) I've had quite a few and 90% of them were absolutely awesome. (A couple of them, not so much.)
Do some research on the different breeds of dogs.
What size do you want? Some breeds (large or small) require a lot of exercise and activity or they'll easily become bored and chew anything and everything.
Do you have an enclosed area where the dog can "take care of business" or will you have to talk it out a walk half a dozen times each day, rain or sleet?
What will you do about those times when you have to leave it at home (dr's appts, etc.)?
Do you own your own home, or do you rent/lease? Are pets permitted?
Adopting a dog from the shelter is a great idea. An older dog (mature, not puppy, but not a senior) is also a great idea. There are plenty awesome dogs just waiting for a new home.
I'd recommend that you check out the shelters in your area, explaining the situation, and let them help you out in your search. Be sure to spend as much time with your new potential companion as you can. Often a shelter will have a private room (away from other dogs and distractions) where you can spend some time getting to know each other.
You'll know when you find the perfect one.
Most shelters will make sure it's up to date on it's shots. Often they'll give you a coupon for a wellness check up with a vet.
Be sure to ask about any special needs the dog might have. You don't need a lot of complications.
I have a 7 year old little guy that is the love of our lives. I don't know what I did without him. I trained him as a service dog and we worked together for a few years. He even rides with me on my motorcycle.
I wish you all the best in your search. Let me know if you get one.
"It's never too late to live happily ever after."
Make today count!
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