Welcome to the board!
In 1992? 3? I was able to get my first dog of my own. I had visited the Erie, PA Humane Society once before and had gotten a puppy that went to my parents. I vowed to go back one day and adopt an older dog/young adult because I had gone into the kennels and they were just so sad.
I wanted a German Shepherd more than anything else in the world. But I saw a dog that was so pitiful I couldn't leave without him. He was supposed to be a Shepherd mix but at first he looked like some kind of Dingo. I had no idea what I was getting or getting into.
He grew to about 60# max. He was GSD/Chow. And he was the subject of this thread: Kramer....(posting for Jean)
I hope that 16 years from now (or longer) your little one will be as big a part of your life as my dog was mine. Good luck and enjoy and thank you for sticking with her!