I think I might be ready for another dog. While the loss of Nikki still hurts, I've found my old 'craving' is back. Though in the beginning of the month I saw a Sheltie at the shelter and started crying like an idiot I can now stand to see them and even talk to the owners about them. I don't think I could ever own another sheltie, however. They're really great dogs, but I think I'd compare too much, and that wouldn't be fair to the dog. I've been volunteering at the FAPL since Ginger, my last foster, was placed. I love rescue dogs, mixes, and will always foster, but I find myself wanting to research, find an excellent breeder, and get a purebred puppy. The problem is, I don't seem to be able to judge and pick a breed that would suit my lifestyle. My judgment has been off on a lot of things lately. Any suggestions?? I work full time, and I'm personally usually gone from 7-4 Mon-Friday [it varies, depending on how many kids we have] My Mom doesn't have to be at work until 10:30, so its often she stays with my pups until 10. My Dad or teenaged brother always go to my house to let Maddie and Carly out around 2:30 - so at the most they are confined to one room from 10-2:30, I am not sure if this would be fair to a puppy or not. Weekends are dog days, I rarely do anything else besides camp with them, groom them, take them everywhere for socialization/fun. They get a Ton of exercise one the weekends, but [if you've ever worked with kids (say, 7+ toddlers or 12 3yr olds) you'll understand that I'm pooped after work] only about a 20min walk around the block or the park in the evening on weekdays. Maddie also goes on the treadmill during the week. Dunno if another dog would need this Ideally, I'd love a dog that would be able to hike in the woods with me and Maddie. I want to be able to train him to stay near us and come while off leash (I know some disapprove of this, but its a safe area and Maddie has been doing it for a couple years now) I think that's about it. I think getting a male would be a good addition, and short hair would be nice. About the same size as a Cocker spaniel, a little bit bigger/smaller would be okay. Thanks to all who reply in advance. Keep in mind, I'm just researching, and am NOT going to go out tomorrow and get the first breed suggested here.