I've had awful puppy fever lately.

When I was an early teen, my dad promised my sisters and me that we'd get a dog if we ever moved out of town and into the country. Well, we did move, but we never got the dog. When it came down to it, my parents just couldn't agree on one.

To this day, I've never owned a dog, but I've never stopped wanting one, either. Lately, my puppy fever's been real bad; my wife and I live in an apartment complex that allows pets, and we've seen a wide variety of dogs -- from bouncy puppies to slow old dogs, friendly bulldogs to scary, angry bears. With plans for kids still another year or two off, my wife and I have finally started talking about getting a dog.

Turns out, agreeing on a dog is not that easy. 

Much like my parents, my wife and I seem to have different preferences and priorities. I want a medium- to big-sized dog that I can run with, play with and get big, furry hugs from. My wife, who grew up with a Yorkie, prefers a smaller dog that can sit on her lap. To make matters worse, we both have histories of allergies to dogs. Our list of options is pretty narrow. As someone who doesn't know dogs all that well, I don't know where to start or what a good compromise for us would be.

So I thought I'd turn to you, dog-lover. Any ideas?


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