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Puppy Love Can Be a Challenge!

Week One: “Oh, I am so excited! I just got my new puppy.”

Week Three: “I had no idea a puppy was this much work.”

Month Six: “I don’t know if I can keep this puppy; she’s driving me crazy!”

The timeline may not be exact, but it’s pretty typical of the thoughts and feelings of many who experience the joy and challenge of raising a puppy. It all sounds like fun on the front end until the novelty and the cuteness of that puppy are no longer in the forefront. That’s when the rubber hits the road, and we are put to the test. Our expectations are often not met as quickly as we hoped. Our dreams of love, fun, and happily-ever-after sometimes crash on the rocks of reality. Every puppy is different, every family is different, and every situation is different, but all puppies need a good start if they are to become well-adjusted, well-mannered, happy companions as adults. Ember was very fortunate to find someone willing to give her that good start, despite the challenges.

Ember was a small female mixed breed puppy who had been surrendered to us when her owner found her puppy behavior to be too much. From the beginning, we saw evidence of why he was feeling overwhelmed by her. Her intensity, emotionally, and intelligence required higher than average time, management, and support. Ember was placed with an experienced foster family who worked with her. After a roller-coaster ride those early weeks, she began to improve with the help of her foster mom. Yet, we all knew Ember’s adopter would need to be well-suited to her and willing to continue the work.

When we first spoke with Diamond, we were immediately struck by her thoughtfulness and foresight about adopting a puppy. It was NOT an impulsive decision! She was thinking ahead about the implications of having a dog: how much time it would require, and how she could meet a puppy’s needs while working full-time. She didn’t take any of it lightly, and she wanted to learn as much as possible so that her puppy would have the greatest chance of success.

Initially, Diamond fell in love with Ember when she saw her picture on our website. Her feelings did not change after meeting her. In fact, she was sure this was the puppy for her. Still, she visited multiple times to get to know Ember better and let the puppy get comfortable with her. Diamond even pulled herself out of bed at the crack of dawn on a day off to drive up the Keys to meet for an early morning group walk with the foster family dogs. That’s when we started to see Diamond as an adopter rock star!! She listened to recommendations, asked great questions, and was always curious to learn ways to help her puppy.

After taking Ember home, Diamond faced every challenge with a great attitude, patience, and a willingness to do what was necessary to build success for both of them. She safely introduced Ember to her two cats and her roommate’s dog, and all are now getting along well. Initially, Ember suffered from anxiety when confined and left alone, not uncommon and something we had witnessed in the foster home. This can be a tough condition for both the dog AND the human, but with time and patience, the two of them adjusted and adapted. Kindness and respect drove all her decisions!

Diamond recently moved and began life in a new area. We have kept in touch, and she reports that things are going well. Ember’s youthful energy and very bright mind keep Diamond on her toes and continually learning. She refers to Ember as her “social butterfly,” suggesting that her socialization was done safely and effectively. Given the updates and pictures we receive, it sounds as though these two companions will be together for a long time to come!

If you are facing some challenges with your new puppy or would just like some helpful tips, please give us a call. We would love to help you build that bond that leads to a long and happy life together. Email us at or give us a call at (305) 294-4857.