My fiance and I have been talking about getting a dog for a couple years. I, personally, have literally been talking about getting a dog since I could verbalize it (my second word, ever, after "mum-MAH" was "dog dog dog"). We knew that we wanted a rescue or shelter dog, and preferred a large or extra-large breed (or mutt).
We moved into our own place about a year ago, and our landlord gave us permission to have a dog after we agonized about asking her for about six months (I'm bad at asking for stuff. Really bad at asking for stuff). At that point, we started looking on PetFinder for Newfoundland mix puppies or young-ish adult dogs. After calling a few rescues and shelters, we found and set up a time to go meet Newfoundland/Lab mix puppy... Gizmo.
These are Gizmo's PetFinder photos. How could we not go see him?
He was in a foster home with about ten other dogs, including one of his brothers, who we were also interested in meeting. When we got there, Gizmo immediately came to me and Curly, the other puppy, immediately went to my fiance. We spent about twenty minutes agonizing over which to choose, and eventually went home with Gizmo (my fiance said he seemed more "chill." That has not continued. Also, Curly peed on the floor, but hey, he's a puppy and that wasn't a deal breaker).
Anyway, Gizmo became our dog.
This is him in the car on the way home. We were prepared for him to absolutely freak out on the ride (I'm a librarian, we did lots of research before this trip), so I sat in the back with him. However, he was a total rock star and sat on my lap, looked out the window, put his little head on my leg, and then curled up and went to sleep for the duration of the ride.
We named him Beorn for a number of reasons ("Bjorn" means bear in several Scandanavian languages, and Beorn is the guy in The Hobbit who can turn into a bear... and our little pup looked like a bear cub, right?). He is the sweetest, smartest, best puppy in the world.
He's grown a little since then (tripled in size, actually), but the vet doesn't think he's going to be huge. We're not convinced he is a Newfoundland mix, but whatever he is, he is the right dog for us. We love him, and if he ever meets you, he'll love you.
He tolerates almost anything, loves playing with all other dogs and adores everyone he meets. The only thing on earth he doesn't love is taking baths, which is unfortunate, because he does love mud. We're working on that.