Should I help my elderly mother get a dog?

Growing up we had a GSD that she obedience trained and loved. She is a widow now for the last year and is lonely although doing church work, etc. She still drives (well) but is 85 yrs old. She would want a smart, trainable somewhat protective dog (at least an alarm barker). I worry that anything too small might... show more Growing up we had a GSD that she obedience trained and loved. She is a widow now for the last year and is lonely although doing church work, etc. She still drives (well) but is 85 yrs old. She would want a smart, trainable somewhat protective dog (at least an alarm barker). I worry that anything too small might trip her and anything too large, even with training, would be too strong.

I am considering suggesting she adopt an older dog, if I can figure out what breeds or breed mixes to look at - maybe in the medium size range. Has anyone been in this position?
Update: PS mom has an alarm system but still wants a dog, mostly for companionship but I think to also FEEL safer overnight, as she & my Dad had his care taker for two years while he was slowing dying of his illness.
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