When Lee retired four years ago as managing editor of the Daily News, we talked about adopting a puppy. Both of us would be at home full time, and we had loved and raised a golden retriever and an Old English sheepdog from puppyhood to the end of their lives. Lee was the alpha dog in their pack, and I was the indulgent enabler who responded to them as if they were lap cats. We thought about rescuing an older, medium-size dog who needed a stable home. We could help it adapt to our routines, take it on leisurely walks and enjoy its companionship. But we couldn’t fully know a grown dog’s behavioral history or what might set off an aggressive response. Our four grandchildren live four blocks down the street, and we absolutely weren’t willing to risk their safety, no matter how sociable the dog seemed. We decided instead to be thankful for the many good dogs who walk by our house with their people every day.

Several years ago, I saw a photo of a Bernedoodle puppy, who looked like an Ewok, the furry, teddy-bearish creature from the Star Wars universe. A real-life Bernedoodle is a cross between a Bernese mountain dog and a poodle, is bred solely for companionship and combines a poodle’s intelligence with the sweet nature, and occasional stubbornness, of a Bernese.

No drooling and very little shedding, too. A standard size Bernedoodle weighs 70 to 90 pounds, which made me think of Rags, our 80-pound sheepdog, his gentle spirit and loving heart. “There’s almost no chance that we could find a Bernedoodle puppy locally,” I said to Lee. “But if we ever do, and if we decide to adopt it, I’ll name it Duffy.” Lee gave me a long look.