Khaleesi (formerly known as Tessa) was given up by a puppy mill in Lancaster County after not being able to be sold at 14 weeks of age. Khaleesi came into our rescue terrified, but luckily went right into a foster home that had experience rehabbing puppy mill survivors. A friend of the foster family quickly fell in love with Khaleesi’s sweet demeanor and decided to adopt her.

Khaleesi did well overcoming her initial shyness (thanks to her new brother and sister), however she really was struggling with learning to live inside of a house. Puppy mill dogs are typically born and raised outside in a barn before coming to us, so it can sometimes be difficult for them to learn to feel safe and secure enough to work on basic training and trust in their new environment.

Khaleesi’s family reached out to us when she was about 1 year old, searching for some guidance on what to do. Her extremely patient mom and dad had been doing all the right things for Khaleesi from the day they adopted her, but she was still struggling with destructive tendencies, house training, and coping to her new life. Sadly, a lot of the time when we get this call the family is not looking for advice on fixing the situation, but instead saying “they just aren’t the right home” and looking to return them to us. It can be really hard during these times you and your dog are struggling, but luckily for Khaleesi, her mom and dad know dogs are a part of the family, and therefore were committed to her and to making it work.

No one (dog or human) is perfect, and sometimes you and your dog may need more guidance or expertise than is currently available. Khaleesi’s family doubled down when things got hard and invested in a wonderful board and train to try to help Khaleesi live a long, happy, and safe life. In a matter of a few weeks, with the help of professional trainers, Khaleesi’s family shared they had hope that they were all going to be ok. They stuck it out, when others would have given up, and today Khaleesi is the sweetest and happiest lady you could ever imagine! Read this update from her family below:

“Khaleesi was the perfect addition to our little family. She enjoys tug of war and wrestling with her brother who loves to play, but also enjoys cuddles on the couch with her sister who is a little less active. Her favorite things are squirrels, sticks, and digging (we’re still working on that one!). She went through a 4 week board and train where she learned many basic and advanced commands, most of which she follows when she’s in the mood to (she likes to pretend to be asleep on the couch when her parents try to take her to bed though.) She is a “retriever” by nature and loves to bring us all kinds of gifts. One thing we look forward to each day is her biiiiig stretch and a good long howl when she gets out of her bed every morning. Khaleesi is full of energy but the sweetest, most loving girl who just wants to play and win the hearts of everyone she meets. We love watching her grow and develop the relationship she has with her siblings.”

We try to ensure all of our adopters will be as committed to their dogs as Khaleesi’s mom and dad were, despite any bumps in the road they may have initially or down the road. We also hope Khaleesi’s story can give hope to those who may be currently struggling with acclimating or training their dog. We can assure you that if you truly want to make it work, you can. We all deserve unconditional love, and are so grateful Khaleesi is one of the lucky dogs who truly found that!