There is a reason this blog is called almost frugal. Occasionally, we all do something which starts off as trying to save money but which in the end, costs you plenty.
It all started with a simple premise. My almost 16 year old dog died at the beginning of the year after a sickly year. A couple months later, I started browsing dogs on Petfinder. Then I found Gidget, a Corgi mix who was described as sweet, laid back, and ‘loves life.’
Gidget was a Corgi mix listed by a shelter in Massachusetts, a do-able distance from where I live. Then I read further that the dog was actually in Georgia (across the country) but could be transported.
Threeish weeks worth of phone calls, emails, and learning way too much about avial dog transport, my boyfriend and I drove five hours in each direction (622 miles to be exact) to and from Boston to pick her up off her Delta flight. (The shelter could only get her on a plane after they opened at noon which meant by the time she would have gotten to Maine, the cargo areas of both major Maine airports were closed for the night. In other words, Boston was the only option.)
I adopted a dog from a shelter in part because I like not having to train a puppy but also because it’s cost effective. My adoption fee was only $125. It was everything else that made this less than frugal:
Two tanks of gas- $50
Dog airline ticket- $250
Fast food dinner on the road for my co-driver and I- $15
Food, treats, and a stuffed animal (I reused other stuff I had, like a bed and collar)- $75
Grocery run to Trader Joe’s, since we had to go to Boston anyway- $85
A lot of people asked why I didn’t adopt from a local shelter. To be honest, Maine shelters don’t have a lot of smaller dogs and I absolutely love the Corgi breed (mixed with something else to give it a bit more height and that extra something interesting). I also had no idea what I was getting into, both dog transport and money wise.
So I paid over $600 to give a dog, sight unseen, a forever home. Yeah, I can’t believe I did it either.
Like any pain in the butt endeavor though, all the hassle melted away when she snuggled on my lap and licked my hand on the way home. I know Gidget won’t be like having my old dog again, but she will be a new friend once she can relax and settle in.
Of course friends, dog ownership shouldn’t be entered into lightly. There is a lot to it, including asking yourself hard questions like can you afford it and do you have the time to devote. If you are considering pet ownership, a shelter dog, and especially a local one, is cost effective and a nice thing to do. Also, I am a big fan of getting an adult dog for a few reasons, in particular if it’s your first.
The things we do for 30 pounds of happiness perched on 6 inch legs!
I am curious to hear other people’s trying to be frugal but failing pet-related stories… If you have them, do share so I feel less crazy.