On the 'must' list was:
Female. Bella hasn't been spayed, so a male (even a neutered male) was a no go.
Not a puppy. We're over all the puppy-ness, which includes chewing, potty training, etc.
Housebroken. When Bella was a pup I wasn't working and when I didn't keep her at home, Matt took her with him to work. Potty training was easy. With us both working FT and Matt not being able to take two dogs to work, the new addition will stay in the house during the day.
Comparable to Bella's size or smaller. While I wanted at Bernese Mountain Dog, Matt was NOT on-board with a BIGGER dog than our 70 lb. Labrador.
That being said, we had decided that adopting an dog from a rescue site would probably be the best option for us. As sad as it is, there are several fantastic rescues in Illinois that I was keeping a close eye on looking for a dog that would work in our family dynamic. Over the course of the summer we put in a few applications, but the dogs were adopted (YEA!) before we had the chance to get up and visit them.
But last week, I saw a sweet little lady that I had to meet! Here are her specs: 1-2 years old. 30 lbs. Australian Shepard/Catahoula mix. Housebroken.
So Saturday morning Matt, Bella and I loaded up and drove two hours North to visit the rescue. I was trying to stay noncommittal until the point that we actually met Haddie, but knowing full well we'd be bringing her home as long as she and Bella go along! And low and behold... they got along and she came home with us!
Haddie is still a bit timid, but she's warming up to us (and Bella) very quickly! I'll definitely be reporting back about the progress we're making!