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 🙂