My search for a Golden Retriever puppy has been about as productive as a trip to the DMV. Buying illegal drugs would be easier than finding a purchasable puppy. There are waiting lists involved, not to mention down payments and background checks to be endured. I’ve seen prices ranging anywhere from $800 to $1800….for a dog.
Funny thing happens when you’re shopping for a dog. When you see this type of price range, you start turning your nose up at the $800 puppies. You wonder what is wrong with them that they are so cheap. Do you really want to purchase a dog from the bargain bin? This is capitalism at work at its notorious best. How much should a dog be worth? The answer is and always will be in a free economy, what the market will bear. Am I willing to pay $1800 for the perfect Golden that I can get at the perfect time? The answer is…yes. Is $1800 outrageous for a puppy? No, if someone if willing to pay. Would I or anyone out there be willing to pay $1800 for a flea-bitten, tick-infested Basset hound? Probably not.
Like everything else in life that I have wanted, it’s not that things are too expensive, the problem has always been that I can’t afford them. Luckily, this has given me sufficient motivation to change that equation. I can either rage against the high price of Golden Retrievers or make more money. Since I have no control over the price of the product, I must change what I do have control over…my income.
Of course, there is another option open to me. I could try and get the government involved. Why should only the 1% be able to afford Golden Retrievers? Does not the Declaration of Independence speak of the “pursuit of happiness?” I can’t think of anything that provides more happiness than a puppy. First, I would have to hire some high priced lobbyist. Then I could get some intrepid reporter from the NYT to write an expose on dog breeders and tag them with a sinister label, “Big Puppy.” Soon the headlines would read…Big Puppy Lands in Regulatory Doghouse. Then legislation would be submitted to impose strict price controls on dogs. Perhaps a tax-credit for low income families who buy a dog, a modification of the Earned Income Tax Credit. Sure, there might be a few negative consequences to these new laws, namely the creation of a black market. “Psssst…wanna buy a puppy? I know a guy who could hook you up.” Of course, if the past is any teacher, ultimately a shortage of Golden Retrievers would result, making them even more expensive, but in order to make an omelet, you’ve got to break a few eggs. Besides, it would be the intentions of the legislation that mattered, not the results.I hope nobody in Washington is reading this.