Discount Dog


Our youngest dog was the last of her litter, a leftover, and (we think) the runt. I somehow grossly misunderstood the price the breeder was charging; either she misadvertised or I simply erred, having looked at a lot of dogs online that day. It’s a good thing I did, or we’d have never gone to look at her in the first place.

I withdrew the exact amount of cash I thought she was asking, and we drove the half an hour out into the country. I assumed she was asking less than other breeders because she was a ways out of town. The dog wasn’t what we’d expected. We’ve had golden retrievers before, but this one was dark red with short hair. She was well past the standard six week weaning time with long adolescent legs–not the adorable, fluffy, golden puppy that graces so many dog food commercials. She looked odd, like a long-legged dachshund. She didn’t seem terribly bright or to have much personality. She was, in short, a disappointment.

But we’d made a tactical error: we’d brought the girls. They didn’t see what we saw, or they just had their hearts set on a new puppy. When I realized the gross difference between the asking price and the cash in my pocket, we started to walk away anyway. That is when fate intervened. It turns out the woman was desperate to get rid of this last puppy, realizing it was past its prime. I, too, was in the mood to negotiate, given the heartbroken girls I’d have had on the drive home. The owner accepted the cash I had on hand plus a modest check. It was done…the odd creature was ours.

As it turns out, our discount dog has proven invaluable. She is not beautiful, but she is very sweet. She is not smart, but she is the most loving creature I’ve ever met. She is not graceful, but she makes us laugh and brings much love into our house. We have decided that our discount dog has turned out to be one of the happiest accidents and best investments we’ve ever made. Thank heavens for misunderstandings.

“Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make him wag his tail.” –Kinky Friedman


About Kelly J. McCleary

Wife and mother of three, author, financial professional View all posts by Kelly J. McCleary

2 responses to “Discount Dog

  • Christine

    I love this story! It’s so true…had a similar experience 20 years ago going to get a fluffy, regal, leader-looking feline from a litter. The guy left to do something so I sat and watched the litter. All the other kittens were beautiful dark black, orange, white calicos. And then this runt, mostly gray, following my chosen regal one around like glue. I couldn’t take him away from her! So, I brought both home. Capeece made it to 20 and brought joy to my kids I never thought possible.


  • Kim Teichroeb

    I love reading your posts. I agree, sometimes the discount dogs are the best – they are the ones that teach the most important lessons about love – that love has nothing to do with beauty or intelligence!


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