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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Michael - that is so funny! I mean to read, not the actual event. Yes, I imagine a terrier would chase chickens! Good for you for saving the poor dog!

Karen, you're spot on, as usual.  Just this morning, as I was being shoved out of my own bed by a stretching doodle, I gave a chuckling "thank you" prayer to God for bringing the boys into my life.  Who knew that someone else's discards could become the loves of my life.

I'm glad this discussion has been bumped up again. Karen's story is superb.
Amen! Thank you for this wisdom! Everyone considering adding a dog to their family needs to read your post. Proudly, we received into our home on Feb.25th a CPO labradoodle and we love her to pieces. Of course she came with her little "baggage" and we're working through some issues. Yep, she sheds....like a bear and she still has separation anxiety but we're in it for the long haul and we love her dearly! She's worth the effort. To think this wonderful dog was to be euthanized as a puppy because she lacked the desirable "non-shedding" coat makes me sad and frustrated. She's our diamond in the rough and we will love her forever.

I want to press the LIKE button!

Thanks, Michele. It needed "bumping" today, lol. 

I've had a CPO Dood for eight plus years. Buffy is my best friend, bed companion, cookie lover, ball fetcher, bird scatterer, and foot warmer. She knows what her limits are, doesn't beg (well, maybe just a little), and she tells me off regularly. People who want designer dogs are at best sadly ignorant, and at worst are soulless. That's my 2 cents.

 One of my dogs has kidney stones .we have to buy special food royal canin unirnary so. Whatever it takes to give my dogs a good quality of life  willbe provided.


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