If you follow us on Instagram then you know that we recently adopted a puppy from a nearby animal shelter, his name is Auggie, my daughter named him after the main character in the movie Wonder. This was definitely an unexpected twist to our summer but one that has provided our family endless amounts of joy. Today I have a happy story for all of you dog and animal lovers out there, and I also want to talk about what you need to survive with a new puppy at the end of this story, as that has been the focus of our summer!
Auggie is a purebred Cavalier spaniel. There are aspects of his story that I can’t share to protect people involved but I wanted to write about how he came to be ours because there were some miracles that happened to ensure he became part of our family.
To back up a bit, my daughter has had her eye on this dog breed for quite a while, and she’s been begging for her own dog for almost a year. This was fueled partially by our adoration of Kristy Wicks and her dog, Maggie. We love following along to see what Maggie is up to Kristy’s IG stories, she seems like such a sweet dog and was also a rescue. Over the last year, it wasn’t unusual for my daughter to send me a text with no words, just a picture of a cute cavalier to remind me of just how much she wanted a puppy! I had half-heartedly started the process of researching breeders but the earliest we could have gotten a new puppy would have been winter and potty training a dog in freezing weather didn’t really appeal to me. Also, we already have a 7-year-old Silver Labrador named Lucy, she’s pretty much the best dog ever so adding another one to our mix was hard to imagine and these dogs come at a premium price, which was prohibitive to me knowing how many animals out there need homes.
Fast forward to June, when my husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary not out at a fancy restaurant, but instead at a county hearing supporting the rezoning for the property our church plans to buy and build on. I had, in fact, dragged my feet in even going but my good-hearted husband prevailed that the church meeting was important (he was, of course, right). As we waited for our turn at the hearing, I had a chance to catch up with a friend from church and the conversation turned randomly to the puppy she was hoping to adopt.
To make a long story short, my friend had inside information that was part of an ongoing court case again a local “puppy broker”. The county animal control had confiscated the puppies from this storefront for mistreatment (and other really upsetting goings-on, I’ll spare you the details). In addition to testifying, she told us she was hoping to adopt one of the confiscated puppies, a tri-colored KC Cavalier. Of course, I casually mentioned my daughter’s obsession with wanting a blenheim-colored KC cavalier and she told us that she thought there was also one male KCC puppy in custody. It just so happened to have the blenheim coloring and would likely be available for adoption once the court proceedings concluded. We definitely got very interested in learning more!
Sources for my daughter’s room (new blush pink room reveal)
We stayed in touch and waited as the court case settled and the puppies were being nursed back to health. During one of our visits to the SPCA where the puppies were being held when we were hoping to obtain information about their future release, she and I had the opportunity to speak to the animal control officer in charge of the investigation. He told us the sad details of the animals’ early lives and the fortunate closure of what they deemed a puppy mill. Hearing all this made us both that much more invested in the well-being of these dogs. (An aside– the work these people do at animal shelters and animal control for those unwanted and mistreated animals will certainly earn them a special place in heaven!)
Time went by with no information as to when the dogs would be released and I was starting to wonder if we should give up. The shelter (which was not close by) was committed to releasing them fairly on a first come first serve basis but wouldn’t specify a date or time. After a week of waiting, all of sudden everything came together very quickly. I can’t share all the details but I will always believe God wanted us to give this dog a home!
We received this picture of the puppies in the shelter, then hours after we received this photo we got the news that we’d be able to adopt Auggie (on left) and that Hollister (on right) would go to live with our friends. They were best buddies having been caged together for almost two months.
My daughter came home from camp and we could finally tell her the news (she’d be embarrassed if I posted the hysterical laugh/crying video from when we told her she was getting her dog!) She was over the moon excited. A few days later he was finally declared healthy enough to leave the shelter and they called us that he could come to his forever home.
We brought him home, gave him a much-needed bath and began life with a puppy that had never lived outside a cage. We think he had never seen or felt grass, he seemed bewildered by most everything but he still was very sweet even in those first few days. We don’t know his birth date since the paperwork that was taken with the puppies was falsified but our vet guessed he was about 16 weeks when we got him. The good news is, and I credit the good people at the SPCA for this, that he was given an excellent bill of health, which was a relief. Per our vet’s recommendation we are redoing all his puppy vaccinations (we can’t be sure he got them) and he is gaining weight and is just the sweetest, most loving dog ever.
We all just love him. This is our first small breed dog, and before Auggie I would have said “I am a lab person” as that is what I grew up with and large dogs are all we’ve ever had, but I am a convert now. Everyone loves Auggie–my daughter calls him her “miracle” dog just like his namesake from the Wonder movie. He loves to be held and cuddled and has even won the heart of our older lab, who often lets him curl up next to her. Maybe she knows he had a rough start in life and needs the love?
The best thing ever is his joy when he sees his tri-color cage-mate. Our friend’s dog is also thriving and while we commiserate over the challenge of potty- training these dogs little bit later than normal, when they are reunited you can’t help but feel so happy that it all worked out this way. So our summer has been spent with puppy playdates, and that has been really fun 🙂
So for those of you who may have a puppy or are thinking about getting a puppy, I thought I’d share my best tips, I am a self-proclaimed expert now! Here are our puppy must-haves.
This is my number one must-have with a puppy! We have had plenty of accidents, it comes with the late potty training, and this Bissell ProHeat Revolution Pet Carpet Cleaner has saved the day. It’s paid for itself in saving professional carpet cleaning and works great to leave my carpets completely clean. You can see and feel it deep cleaning. I don’t know what I’d do without this! Honestly, even without a puppy you might need this, it a great carpet cleaner 🙂
Chew toys! He isn’t as much of a chewer as our labs were as puppies, my shoes have been safe so far thankfully, but he does like to chew on these types of toys. The larger of these toys was confiscated by our older dog but the smaller ones are great for him, I really like this line of dog toys. I also stocked up on some small Kongs (he loves to try for the treats inside), I think they are the most durable dog toy they make.
Since we had just a few days notice before we knew for sure he was coming home, I had to do a fast stock up of puppy supplies. I ordered this Blueberry collar in extra small and it has been great. It comes in tons of colors, and we ordered a matching leash and a harness for walks (harnesses are better for dogs like cavaliers that can tend toward back issues).
A dog crate is a puppy must-have, we’ve always crate trained our dogs and they often go in them even when they don’t have to. They are den animals and like to feel safe. Of course, we also use an inexpensive baby gate to keep him in our mudroom for training purposes when he isn’t in his crate or with one of us.
We haven’t ordered this cuddler bed for Auggie yet, but we will once the chewing stage is done! He will love it, I mean what dog wouldn’t?!? It looks so cozy.
We had to scramble to figure out what to feed Auggie, he’s so different than our lab and since his early puppy care was basically nothing until he got to the SPCA where they eat donated food. We wanted to make sure that he is now getting the vitamins and nutrition he needs. Our vet recommended Hills Puppy Food, which I order from Chewy.com along with our older dog’s food. I love that I can order it and have it delivered!
Finally, this is my favorite recommendation! At our last puppy playdate with four dogs, this toy was the one they all wanted and all fought over! It was so funny, I came home and told everyone that we have to get the Kong Moose toy! All the dogs loved it, they took turns carrying it around. Obviously, the moose is a pet must-have! 🙂
If you are a dog person, please follow us on Instagram for more of Auggie in our stories. I believe his story is worth sharing so I truly appreciate you all reading this today! I’ll be sure to keep you posted on his progress 🙂
Congrats on the puppy! Rescue dogs are the very best!
Lynne Beattie says
Beautiful story! Auggie is perfect and so lucky to have found your family! We also, always had labs. My daughter changedt hat when she got a pug. she and her family have had two pugs and I truly fell in love with them. They now have a boston terrier and a great dane!!
Wow–a Great Dane, that’s awesome! I have enjoyed getting to know a new to us breed, I am now curious what else we’ve missed just having labs. We’ll see what I need to rescue next…LOL…Have a great day Lynne. XO, Amy
Your rescue is just beautiful! we have a black lab/hound mix rescue whose name is Magic. She came to us when we fostered to adopt her. she had been hit by a car and surrendered because they didn’t want to deal with the cost of vet care. The shelter also runs a vet clinic where she had surgery fo internal damage and her leg repaired with pins and plates. They were later removed, but she had a cast for months. They covered all her vet bills until she was completely healthy, and then we could officially adopt her. She actually gets to celebrate 3 times a year, her guesstimated birthday, and both “gotcha” days. Our 5 year old golden retriever Noble has been great about having a sibling! BTW the blueberry pet stuff is great, and a furminator a must in our house too. Our dogs wear harnesses and car restraints when we travel with them (crates won’t both fit in the car). I got restraints that latch into the car seat buckles and that will clip into the child restraint hooks in the back so they can move a little, but are safe. Auggie looks like he found the perfect forever home!
Thank you for the advice especially about traveling. I need to look into the harness for the car next. I love your rescue story, there was a dog at the same shelter that fostered our puppy that had been starved and needed $5K worth of surgery. She’s doing great but they have to fundraise for all the $. It was a sad story but makes me all the more grateful for dog owners like you that adopted the ones that need homes the most! XO, Amy
What a story! Thank you for sharing. I’m a lab person, but this makes me open to other possibilities. 🙂
Yes Kathy, I get the lab thing–truly I do. It’s nice to have one that can fit on your lap though…well my lab thinks he can fit on someone’s lap but he’s clearly mistaken at 70+ lbs! Ha. Have a great day 🙂 XO, Amy
Uta Z says
Love this story!!!
Thank you so much Uta! 🙂 XO, Amy
He’s a darling! I love the photo of your older dog lying with Auggie–lovely.
Thank you, our lab doesn’t really tolerate other dogs so it is something that she seems to be OK with him. Thanks for your kind words! XO, Amy
Such a beautiful story! And such a beautiful daughter! I know the story was about the dog. But the real star is your daughter. I bet she prayed for this puppy!
You are so right, she definitely prayed for this dog. I love that you thought of that. He’s special mostly for that reason, he was a little gift to our family 🙂 Have a wonderful day! XO, Amy
Sunny McDonough says
I purchased a very lonely 6 month old KCC that was at a local pet store and I’m sure came from a mill. The woman at the store informed me that she was 6 months old due to no one wanting a sick dog.
You never go to just “look” at puppies with a 7 year old! My daughter scooped up “Roxy Ring” (after her favorite Shopkin), which we later shortened to just “Roxy” and looked at me with tears rolling down her chubby cheeks and said “Mommy, this is my dog” and $1800 later, I drove home thinking “my husband is going to KILL me”!! He didnt, in fact, he may be her biggest fan! Id pay 5k to have a dog as even tempered, sweet, snuggly, and lickety split as little Ms. Roxy. She just celebrated her 3rd birthday and we cant imagine life without her, shes totally “our dog”.
I agree, they are worth every penny! I had no idea how sweet of a breed they were. I loved hearing your story and my husband who thought this was a crazy idea at first is just as thrilled with Auggie as the rest of us 🙂 So happy your daughter has her dog too!
Jannelle Fuqua says
I have owned three Cavaliers
1 is a rescue
There are Cavalier Rescue sites for this breed
Research is necessary for any breed, this breed needs time with it’s owners
It’s nice that you have a Cavalier now and hopefully the dog will be healthy. I say hopefully because you should be aware that this breed have many health issues that sometimes crop up as time goes on. I’m very active in 3 breed clubs, an agility club, and therapy dogs, and despite all the problems, I choose to have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She is the love of my life and I too had a lab before (inherited through marriage).
You should be aware that this can be a very hard breed to own because they are descended from only 6 dogs that existed in the uk after wwII (Rationing of supplies made uk citizens put down many dogs, as they had to ration food.). Any breed that has the lineage from only 6 dogs is going to have problems, as there isn’t enough genetic diversity.
In my dog’s case it’s been a scare with heart disease. Right now my dog has appointmentments with 2 canine cardiologists (the first found minor problems but couldn’t recommend anesthetics to use, hence the second appointment to come). Just a short exam and ultrasound at the first cardilogist cost $649.00, and I’m prepared for much more future expenses since my girl is not even two yet and seems happy and pain free. If she was in pain with a poor diagnosis from the vets, I’d have to face giving her medications for the rest of her life. This is after buying a puppy with expert health checks of heart, eyes, and patellas, and a wonderful breeder. So when you say that you can’t be bothered with training a puppy in snowy conditions, I have to wonder if you and your daughter really researched and are prepared beyond the love of all that is wonderful about the breed. Just caring for this breed means brushing it’s teeth every single day, and no you cannot just give dental chews (remember dental disease is closely related to heart disease). Brushing the grown dog’s coat at least every other day, as well as all the other nail trimming/bathing/etc., etc. Care.
And if you think I have an extreme view, know that the number one reason these dogs are taken in for rescue is dental problems. my 1st Cavalier had a broken tooth/cleaning that because of concern in case of heart issues needed a specialist that cost me $2,300.00. Another lady had her dog removed for rescue because it had matts on it’s hindquarters.
My advice is to look up your local breed club as they have low cost health clinics with experts, and members with advice on ways to provide lower cost care. I hope that your puppy remains healthy and you enjoy your time with these wonderful dogs. Just be aware that Cavalier parents sometimes have a tough road to travel. And in case you think that my dog might be an exception, I can tell you my dog is the puppy of a winner of many national dog shows.
Michelle list says
You can find out if Auggie has received his vaccinations by having your veterinarian do a titer test. It is dangerous to over vaccinate any dogs, but especially the puppies, elderly, or sick
For the best diet, I have three easy suggestions that can be adapted to most dogs:
1- The CrockPet Diet (I’ll be happy to share a basic recipe);
2- AllProvide, which is a raw food shipped frozen from Georgia, but can be lightly cooked ;
3- honest kitchen, which is a dehydrated human grade food.
Sher, above, is absolutely on point about the importance of caring for Auggie’s teeth. So for that reason and for the choking hazard, I suggest that you remove the nylabones and any other hard, not natural, substances. A real, raw meaty bone is a great treat for Auggie.
There are many wonderful CAVALIER groups on Facebook. I suggest starting with pawsome Cavaliers, the healthy CAVALIER king charles spaniel, Cavalier king charles stomping ground and going from there!
This is such a great story and a wonderful testimony of God’s love for your daughter and for Auggie! I know that she will always remember how much God loves her and how He wants to give her the desires of her heart when she looks at this sweet dog. I mean I had barely even heard of this breed before, and for God to bring Auggie into your lives really is a miracle. I never got to see the update about Auggie that you posted not too long ago because it didn’t show the post when I clicked on the link (just the comments), but I’m glad to read the original story! I know Auggie is living his best life now, and I hope you all will have many, many happy years together!