I did a lot of searching before settling on a cute, special needs schnoodle at a rescue near my parents' house. According to the website, he was about 2, 15-18 lbs., altered, blind and surrendered by a breeder. I called and talked to the woman in charge of the shelter and she told me he was sweet, good with kids, and had, until recently, been with a foster family so was working on housebreaking. She didn't add anything else about the dog. I knew a blind dog would take some extra effort but I was completely willing to do it. I put in an application and made my donation and he was ours. The only hitch was getting him to us. In the end, we decided that my mom's groomer would pick him up, groom him as he was certain to need it, and get him to my mom. Then mom would keep him for a couple of days before coming up here to visit with us, bringing our new boy with her. I have been getting daily updates since he was picked up. He was frightened (to be expected) and not housebroken at all (not thrilled about having to start from scratch but do-able). He's not 15-18 pounds, he's more like 25. That's a pretty significant difference when we wanted a small dog but I was willing to overlook that too.
Each day there was one more thing to report that was not as represented with this poor guy. But last night was horrible and almost certainly means he's going back to the shelter, no matter how much it breaks my heart and that of my kids. Not only was he left with no shot records (supposed to be current on shots) but he's *not* neutered. He's not just blind; he's deaf and almost entirely toothless. He's not just under 2, he's more like 7 or possibly older if the blindness is caused by cataracts from old age. And the deal breaker? He's not a schnoodle but a cockapoo. Now I realize that shelter dogs are very frequently a mix of unknowns but I chose this guy because he was a schnoodle surrendered by a breeder. My husband is allergic to dogs but can tolerate non-shedders. Schnauzers and poodles (hence the schnoodle) are both non-shedders. Cocker spaniels are not non-shedders and therefore cockapoos still shed. Certainly a breeder would know the parentage of their dog, right? And the rescue group has quite a few other schnoodles *and* cockapoos listed on the site so clearly they know there's a difference.
It makes me sick to my stomach that the rescue place lied about the dog just to get him out of there. And I guess if I was a better person, I would take him anyway, despite their lies. But I can't. It's a health issue for my family. And it's breaking my heart for my kids, and for me, and most of all, for this poor frightened dog who has had no stability in his life and has just experienced less thanks to the rescue's misrepresentations. Now I'm going to go crawl back in my bed, nurse my sick stomach, and cry a little for all of us.