When I was real young mom always had a parakeet, but as I got older we had a dog, mom was partial to Cocker Spaniels, but mostly we just had mixed breeds until we got Sandy. A friend of my mom had a litter of white German Shepards and they were supposed to be related to "White Shadow" of Disney fame. They were purebred German Shepards. Mom picked the runt of the litter as she did not want a big dog and our neighbor across the street from us picked a small female. Well Sandy grew out of the runt stage, first with really big feet and soon he was almost a full head taller than his mother and when he was full grown he was about 150 pounds. The picture below by our front fence which was about 46 inches tall. It took him a few years to learn he could jump that fence with very little effort.
Our neighbor called her dog Josie and she never got as big as Sandy, but they loved playing in the water at the lake chasing fish and having a good time. Sandy's left ear was apparently hurt in birth, and would never stand up like the right ear, so most people did not think he was a German Shepard.
Sandy was always very gentle with me and my sister, which was good as we were pretty small then and Sandy weighed more than both of us together.
After Sandy died mom did not want any more dogs that shed (Sandy's white hair was everywhere when he was shedding). So we got a poodle and then a few cocapoos (half cocker and half poodle), and a yorkipoo (half Yorkshire Terrier and half poodle). When our next door neighbor died we got a Terripoo (half terrier and half poodle), he was not afraid of anything, and he lived to 19.
When my dad got pretty sick and our last dog passed away we decided not to get another dog as pop needed care and I really did not have time for a dog at the same time. Since he died I still have not gotten a dog, but my yard is full of squirrels and a few cats, so I am really not alone.