A few years ago, I was in the market for a new vehicle. I had been driving Maximas for 15 years, and was tired of getting stuck and skidding through the Chicago winters. I wanted AWD. I started looking for a smallish, car-based SUV, otherwise known as a "crossover." I wanted a 6-cylinder engine, a sun-roof and heated seats, with good lumbar support for the driver. Because I had worked part-time for an auto-repair shop for years, I knew which makes were the most reliable. I really wanted a Lexus, but I couldn't afford one.

I looked at a few vehicles, test-drove a couple. Nothing in my price range was what I really wanted. I was telling this to my boss, and he said, "Why don't you drive my car and see how you like it?" And he handed me his keys. My boss drives a Lexus RX.

"There's no point," I said. "I can't afford one."

"Sure you can. You buy one CPO. That's what I did. 3 year, 100,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, and somebody else already took the depreciation hit. Smartest thing I ever did."

I loved his car; the ride, the handling, the luxury, the features. I had never owned a used car in my life, but every bit of research I did told me this was the way to go. I could have a low-mileage, luxury SUV with every feature I wanted for little more than half the price of a new one. Sold. 

Went to the dealer and got my "new" car, in a color called "bamboo pearl"...a silvery, pale green. I would have preferred the light blue, or the burgundy, but they weren't available in the CPO stock. When you buy CPO, you have to be flexible on certain things. And I love my pre-owned Lexus! It is trouble-free.

I love my "pre-owned" doodle, too. More than I can say. But that is where the comparison ends.

You cannot 'shop' for a rescue dog like you would for a used car. Rescue dogs do not come with warranties or a choice of "equipment."

Sadly, many people don't seem to realize this. They want a high-priced, "designer dog", but they can't afford to pay for a "new" one. So they go to searching for a rescue, looking for a bargain. Often they have a list of preferences...they want a dog that doesn't cost a lot, doesn't shed, doesn't need a fenced yard, is a certain age, color, sex, & size, is good with small children (who may or may not be good with dogs), and they want it today.

They are facing certain disappointment.

Please do not attempt to adopt a rescue dog for the sake of saving money. It is the wrong thing to do.

Most breeders will sell any puppy to anybody, as long as they can pay the asking price. A good rescue or shelter will not. Their only concern is, and should be, that the dog gets an appropriate permanent home. This has all been said before, but it bears repeating:

1. Many if not most re-homed dogs have lots of issues, both behavioral and medical.

2. All rescue dogs need to go to homes where they will stay for life, no matter what. That means an adopter who is committed to the dog and has no expectations.

3. Waiting lists for fluffy blonde medium sized female doodles are longer than this blog.

4. Rescue dogs may have issues that will cost you far more than the purchase price of a healthy puppy from a responsible breeder.

5. The purchase price of any dog, even a healthy one, is just the tip of the iceberg.

6. Dogs require a lot of time, a lot of patience, and a lot of training. Rescues, more than most.

7. Top-notch rescues and shelters are going to react to questions about shedding like chalk on a blackboard.  If you are concerned about allergies & shedding, DO NOT ADOPT A DOODLE. Get a purebred poodle instead.

8. A fifteen year relationship is worth a few months of searching, filling out forms, and making sure you have a good match.

You should consider size & temperament as they apply to your particular living situation. Certainly, you should like the looks of any dog you own. But sex and color are superfluous issues and if they are very important to you, you really should buy a dog from a responsible breeder.

You should adopt a dog because you have love to give, a life to share, and a desire to care for a companion animal, and you do not want to buy one when 4 to 5 million homeless dogs a year are being euthanized for no good reason. Period.




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I couldn't agree with you more, Karen. "And the greatest of these is love". I was thinking about this at 7:00 AM this morning as I was cleaning up vomit and diarrhea all over my favorite peach carpet. LOL. I didn't even mind. All I cared about was that my poor Murphy must have felt so awful. It's just all about the love. It's not about how cute or smart they are (although I think my guys are the cutest and smartest Doods in the world). He needs me, and I love that he needs me. I need him too. I love that he found me. I love that I was ready for him to find me. I love that I can give him a happy Doodle home forever, and that he will never have to leave everything he knows and loves again. I love that he comes to find me whenever he's afraid. I love his kisses. I love that he loves our "first Doodle" who is now his big brother (although sometimes you'd never guess it). I love that he's gaining confidence, and most of his fears are gone. I love to see him run and play...a real free spirit. This guy is far from perfect, but we're working hard with his training...and he so wants to please me. He's a regular at the Vet (all small things), but they know him well. I love that he's getting HUGE (and we thought we were getting a small "medium" Doodle). But who cares if he's big....I guess I just didn't even realize before I really did want a big Dood. I love him big! I could go on and on. But I just so believe it really is about your heart being open and ready to love a dog (often sight unseen) "just because" he needs you and you need him. If that's there, the "rest is cake".
"I guess I just didn't even realize before I really did want a big Dood."
This is my favorite sentence of the week. Isn't it amazing the things you never knew you wanted until you got them?
Just like I never knew I wanted a huge clumsy blonde shedding male doodle with fears and quirks and health issues when I went looking for a small, black nonshedding female. What was I thinking????
Now I can't imagine how either one of us ever got along without the other!
Exactly! I think that's what love is all about.....
Karen, I think I got the dog you went looking for, but I think everydoodle ended up in just the right place! My non-certified, definitely pre-owned doodle of unknown origin and descent is one of the best things that ever happened to me!
Karen, your comment just started me thinking about a story that someone shared with me almost twenty-five years ago when our youngest son was born. I was thirty-seven when I got pregnant with our Timmy, and the doctors encouraged me to have an amnio to be sure that he did not have any serious genetic concerns because of my age. I refused, and I told them that I had never prayed for a perfect baby....just a baby. They hated that, and kept at me throughout my pregnancy. He was born, and several hours later we learned that he had Down Syndrome. Family, friends, hospital staff, basically everyone acted like this was a major tragedy. Quite honestly, I didn't get it. I was in love with him from the minute I saw him. I saw a beautiful baby...nothing more and nothing less. Then someone told me this story.....
A young woman dreamed her whole life of going to Paris. She read all about Paris, looked endlessly at pictures of Paris, dreamed of how Paris would be if she could ever get there. Well. she saved and saved, and finally she could afford her dream. So she boarded the plane for Paris, full of excitement and anticipation. When the plane landed she realized that she wasn't in Paris at all...she was in Amsterdam. She was so upset and sad, and then she got off the plane. It was tulip season, and there were flowers everywhere. It was breathtaking. The people there were wonderful to her, and she felt completely at home and happy. She opened herself up to the possibility that this would be an adventure like nothing she could ever have imagined. It wasn't her dream of Paris, it was actually different and better. I think that it's obvious why I was told this story right after my son's birth, but it kind of feels the same as what you were saying, Karen. Sometimes, we just have no idea what we want or need until we get it.
What a beautiful story, Jane. Thank you for sharing it with us.
This is so true. When I first met a "doodle", it belonged to a customer of mine and I fell in love. She was apricot and a medium goldendoodle who had the softest fur I had ever touched and the search started......................then, after much research realized that this breed was not to be taken lightly. My single most important requirement was it be a girl as a companion for Sammy, our Schnauzer, and that they get along!!! Yup, sure would have liked the little fluffy blonde medium but life happens. We had been looking for about 6 months when I met someone in the pet food aisle in our local grocery store. She knew of a family who was looking for a home for their doodle. Long story short, when I first saw her, she was huge and looked like a gray sheepdog. But, her sweetness got to me and I decided to try her with the rest of the family. The first few days were stressful as we tried to see how our alpha male was going to respond, one day almost "this isn't working" was my response. BUT, the owners were going away for a long weekend and we said we'd give it as few more days. That's all it took......IZZY(now Lizzy or Lizbeth) is a very happy member of our family. It took a good groomer and a $190.00 to see how beautiful she could be. The vet pronounced her "perfect". All I have to do is see she and sam cuddled up togther on the couch, playing in the backyard and look into her gorgeous brown eyes and know that. And as for me who never had a BIG dog in her life, patting my 5'9" shoulders and watching her come up to give me doodle kisses is worth it everyday. By the way, she came with one toy, one crate, one shock coller(which was immedately thrown out)-now there are so many tennis balls and toys in the house-we can't find them all. So, the bottom line is, you just never know how great things happen but they just do if you're open to them.
I miss my two dogs even more after reading these beautiful stories. My second dog was a rescue dog that I basically brought home to be with my first dog as a companion and also to give a rescue a home. He was the sweetest dog anyone could want. It took him some time to adjust. He didn't seem to bark or have a voice for the first two to three weeks, but one day he let it out. It was the most pathetic and grating bark I have ever heard, but it was his and I fell in love with those brown eyes and his gentle voice. He wasn't as clever as my first born spoiled little girl dog, but he had a much deeper intelligence with understanding and compassion. He knew what it was like to suffer and be in pain. She took him for granted, but he always stood by her and he loved her. He was so thankful that he had a home and he told me so every day of his short life of eleven years with me. When I first held him, he just sighed and snuggled up next to me. He knew he was finally home. I got him it was for the wrong reasons in many ways. He wasn't for my other dog and I shouldn’t have gotten him just to give a rescue dog a home. When he first sighed, I realized that I wanted and needed him as much as he needed me. He was my light-hearted angel.
I love what you have said here. It is all so true.
Wow, I read every word on this page (which is rare for me). I loved all of it! I totally agree with everyone.
You just can't imagine the reasons that 'people' (I don't call them humans - to me 'humans' have a heart and consider their dogs as part of their families - 'people' don't) give their doodles up. It would make your blood pressure just explode!

We are thankful for volunteers like you who are here that will do just about anything to help a doodle whose only 'crime' is to shed, get too big, being a doodle! so they are just dumped into a shelter without even considering what life would be like for their dog.
I will certainly do just about anything to help a doodle in need. I just love them! In fact, I actually cry if I have to leave my doodle for more than a few hours at a time! It may be an unnatural bond between us, but we've got it and I just love the breed.

I rescued a terrier mix from a high kill gassing shelter, Franklin County animal shelter, who was dumped their by his owners because he chased their chickens. Now, he was a TERRIER!! Of course he was going to chase their chickens...


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