Hi DCspoo, I saw your Adult Spoo Prices/adoption fee topic and can relate so much! I am in the northern Virginia area and have been looking for something similar. I grew up with poodles my whole life and my husband and I finally feel like we are ready for a furry friend. I have been trying to find a rescue because I like the idea, but like you have been having a terrible go at it. You mentioned that you recently found a poodle rescue that might work for you, would you be willing to share that rescue? Like you I have recently thought about expanding my search to include mixes or even just go the breeder route for a puppy. I have heard good things about golden doodles and also have good things about aussi (australian shepherd) doodles (good temperament used for therapy dogs a lot).
Good luck in your search, I hope the right furry companion comes your way!