Q: I know you have a shelter puppy, Steve. Here's our problem: We've always had Newfoundlands. I want to adopt a shelter dog, but how do we find a Newfie? — V.D., Boston
A: You don't. Open your mind to getting something that's Newfie-like: just a large dog. Four years ago, we received a call from a friend at Animal Care and Control in Chicago about a litter of Australian Shepherd-type puppies, knowing we'd lost a dog several months earlier and that my wife and I liked Aussies. Well, I don't know what Ethel is, but she certainly didn't turn out to be an Australian shepherd. I doubt there's any Aussie in her but, of course, it doesn't matter one bit.
You clearly like larger dogs, so periodically check local shelters for big guys, or let your mouse do the walking at http://www.petfinder.com. You could also contact a Newfoundland rescue organization. Find a local rescue for any American Kennel Club breed at http://www.akc.org.