When Christopher and I decided to get a dog together, it was a big step for us. We'd been dating just short of a year. I was convinced I needed a dog to protect me because at that time I was living in a teeny tiny town, 30 miles past civilization. My only 'neighbors' were a tavern and a general store that closed at 7:00pm. Our obvious choice for a protective dog was a golden retriever. You know - the really ferocious breed that families with small children always get? Right.