I am on the waiting list for a mini ALD in winter 2016. (Yes, that's how long the waiting list is!)
I have essentially zero dog experience. I tried volunteering at the city animal shelter, but that didn't work out. I'm nearing retirement age, and they said I wasn't agile enough to exit the chihuahua kennel and not let the chihuahua out. It didn't help that my mentor was unrelated, and did not model a lot of the behavior she wanted me to do.
Linda, Charlie Brown and Beau wrote me wonderfully helpful comments (because I posted to a place few people could reply.) She was reminded of a friend who had severe arthritis, got a doodle puppy, but had to rehome the puppy because her arthritis in her hands were too severe to groom him. She had a lot of trouble potty training the dog because she couldn't get the dog outside in time. Often her friend couldn't walk her dog. Eventually this friend got a 4 year old dog, and that situation worked out fine.
I can't crouch and get up again, but I don't have trouble standing, then bending at my hips to touch the floor. I can certainly get out of a chair, and can walk about 3 miles in an hour. I'm pretty sure I couldn't lift a 30 or 40 pound dog, but wouldn't a mini ALD weigh less than 30 pounds by the time it was potty trained? I type at a computer most of my workday. I would have trouble lifting 5 or 10 pounds above my head, but no trouble lifting that weight from the floor to my waist or chest.
She suggested going to puppy training classes at places like petco, and books like The Puppy Listener, an trying to volunteer at a boarding facility. Those sound like great ideas.
Thank you so much Linda for your comments. I certainly don't want to get in a situation where I'd have to re-home a dog. My therapist (who has a standard poodle and has lots of dog experience) is totally supportive of me getting a doodle.
I sure plan on following Linda's suggestions. I was just wondering if anyone had anymore suggestions. Thanks so much for reading this!