Good choice Bella!
I'm the person with the mother fucking crazy Chesapeake Bay Retriever that I got as a rescue. Took that damn thing back to the shelter. I never actually hated a dog before until that one.
I've owned 3 dogs in my lifetime, not including the black lab mix I had growing up. The first one we got as a puppy at 5 weeks old. I trained and did everything with her. That dog and I had a huge connection. She would be able to pick up on subtle moods, and react to them. I remember her pacing the floor when the boys would cry when they were babies. When she died it crushed me. She was a small lab, 65lbs, and a mix.
Then I got that crazy fucker from a shelter, and although I thought I was being noble, I would really have to reconsider ever going that route again.
Current dog, Gracie, we got when she was 2 years old because I didn't want to do the puppy thing again. Yellow lab, almost identical to our first dog. She's also 65lbs. I got her off Craigslist. Her back story was her owner passed away and she went to the nephew, who just didn't have time for her. Since she looked so much exactly like my first dog, I took her. Gracie has to be the dumbest fucking dog ever. I don't think her owner ever took her out of a crate. I had to teach her how to walk on a leash. she can't be tied up because it freaks her out. We put in an underground fence, but the damn dog takes the shock to get out of the fence. Seriously. You can see her body shake and her eyes roll back in her head til she bolts. So we have to walk her 3-4 times a day. She didn't even know how to ride in a car. I had to shove her head out the window because she had no idea what to do. Has no idea what the concept of fetch is. If I throw a ball, she just looks at me like, "why'd you do that?" As dumb as she is, she's not destructive, unless you count eating a container of margarine then throwing it all up on the basement carpet. She will also let my boys do anything to her. When my youngest was a baby, he would take her top lips and stretch them above her eyes and she wouldn't flinch. She's now about 6-7, so I'm looking forward to her settling down a bit. I have decided that this is my last dog.
With that said, looking back, I should have gone the puppy route again, like hubby said. That way, the dog is acclimated to the family from birth. You can shape her and mold her very nicely into your family unit. When you pick up an adult dog, you just never know what you're going to get. Gracie has been fairly easy compared to that hell on earth Chessie, but there is a connection missing. Probably more on my part than hers. Not that I don't love Gracie, I do, but it's not the same as our first dog. And I think that's because we got Bailey as a puppy and she truly was one of my children. Gracie's the family dog. I don't mean to sound harsh with that, it's just the best way I can express it.