I am a big proponent of buying second-hand items, especially with big things like furniture and cars. I've tried to instill this mindset in my son. Perhaps with too much success...
We talk here and there about getting a dog. Our neighbor dog is a sweet little pup that we sometimes help care for, as I mentioned here. And since the loss of our kitty, I rather miss the soft, furry presence of a pet in our home (although I don't miss the hair, nor the messes and strange behaviors).
We were discussing a pet, the boy and I, and he said he might want a puppy. I reminded him that puppies can be a lot like babies. "They whine more, and also poop and pee more often, not in the appropriate places," I said. "Besides, we should adopt an adult dog—puppies are always more successful at finding homes, because they're small and cute. They're way more likely to be adopted."
"Would we get a big dog?" he asked.
"Not necessarily big, just full-grown. Those dogs are less likely to find homes," I told him. "Plus, you don't want to buy puppies from a pet store. Some of those puppies aren't healthy." I didn't mention the horrors of puppy mills that I've read about. Sadly, some of them in our very own beloved Pennsylvania... There are some pretty cruel people in this world.
"So where would we get one?" the kid asked me.
"At an animal shelter, Honey."
"Oh, we could get a used dog," he replied, with sudden understanding. I burst out laughing. A used dog. Then we both started giggling.
"Well, they're not used." Then I considered it again. "I guess they are used dogs. But that's okay. We like used stuff, right?"
"Yeah." We chuckled some more. I was picturing the animals, from like-new to lightly loved, all the way to heavily adored, looking wan and worn. It made me a little sad even though we were laughing about it, because it's just another example of how people get a new thing, then lose interest or don't find immediate satisfaction in the thing and dump it somewhere. Except sometimes the thing is alive.
So, yes, if we get a pet, it'll be used. Which is just up our alley.