Just saw the news about the shooter all over my Facebook. Extremely sad and frightening, I have a lot of friends in the area (and some who work or have worked at the Clackamas Mall) and was busy checking up on them.
Sawwahbear, do you live or attend college in the Portland area? If so I will be back in Portland from Eugene for a month, and also visit my family in Portland sporadically throughout the year. I wouldn't mind meeting up if you are ever in the neighborhood. Also, I know that you are considering getting the puppy soon, but DVG Nationals is in June at my dog's breeder's club in Salem and I have met a Kraftwerk dog at a club trial in the past. It would be a great opportunity to watch the protection work of dogs from similar lines, since you have been emphasizing the particular appeal of that aspect of the breed. If you decide to pass on this puppy and wish to wait, visiting a club and meeting more dogs is an excellent way of getting a better feel for the breed and type.
Regarding traveling, my family and I have always enjoyed our vacations and go on trips a few times a year. We used to take a road trip to Las Vegas through California (for the national parks) every year, but for obvious reasons we would never think of taking the dog along. Since I've had my dog, we've also gone on two cruises, once to Alaska and once to the Caribbean, both times for only a short while - two weeks.
We've yet to take my dog on a family vacation and I don't see us doing that any time soon. I love having him around and I take him everywhere with me on a day to day basis, but it is definitely an added stress and occasional burden, even with a well adjusted, well behaved dog. We board him at the breeder's boarding kennels and trust them to care for him in our absence. He does not suffer separation anxiety and is not affected by being away from me, so I am fortunate in that regard. I know many dog owners have a lot of difficulty finding the right environment and people to entrust with their dogs while they are away.
For me, vacations are for relaxing or exploring, letting go of responsibility, eating a lot of food, and taking a lot of pictures
Hiking, camping, and trips to the beach would be my choice for "me and the dog" days.