T.J. Mitchell and his girlfriend, Bella Preciado, spent a year pining for a puppy.
The Phoenix residents researched breeds and followed Instagram accounts showing puppies for sale, adoring the fuzzy newborns they saw in the photos.
Friends recommended a goldendoodle, a popular hybrid prized for its minimal shedding, warm personality and intelligence. Its coat typically features a poodle’s curl and a golden retriever’s yellow and red tones.
But Mitchell and Preciado’s first attempt to buy one fell apart. They hesitated over the price — several thousand dollars — and soon other customers swooped in and reserved the whole litter. The breeder wouldn’t have another batch for months.
So when the couple saw puppies available on a different Instagram account, @perfect_doodless, at half the price, they pounced.
“We got excited,” Mitchell said. And “that made us ready victims.”
Before they knew it, they were out $300.