Brandon Collins settles down for quarantine with his wife April and their new puppy, Lunabelle.

Graphic Designer at S.D. Professionals, LLC and newlywed, Brandon Collins talks about life and raising a new puppy amidst a pandemic. Picture it, Sevierville 2020, a young couple recently betrothed into Holy Matrimony. Seeking to purchase their first home, they decide to settle into a two-story bungalow on the outskirts of town. Shortly after moving in, they adopt their first puppy together. This is their story.

A Note from Brandon

I’ve raised dogs my entire life and, with the exception of one rather lazy border collie, they’ve all been of the small-breed variety. I feel as though I’m a quite-capable puppy parent. So when I received a call during a trip up north to visit the kinfolk, I was ecstatic to learn that the wife had adopted a beautiful black Labahoula puppy named Lunabelle. She is 50% Catahoula Leopard Dog & 50% Black Labrador Retriever and 100% sweetness.

The excitement quickly turned to sheer horror as I found out that this thing did not stop moving. Ever. The small dogs didn’t do this. Their puppy legs were about three inches long, and they tired quickly. Our eight-week-old bundle of joy (pronounced: “terror”) was already larger than the other dogs in their adulthood. For three solid weeks, I was chasing her around the house, running her outside, just trying to keep up. All the while my wife laughed maniacally toward my futile attempts to rear this wild beast. On the bright side, I was getting back in shape.

Happy At Home

But, as time went on, she calmed down and started settling into our routine. At the twelve-week mark, it was like a switch was changed. All the hard work paid off. She became a good dog (pronounced: “slightly less terrifying”).

Around the time of this proverbial switch-flicking, COVID-19 began spreading world-wide, turning an epidemic into a would-be pandemic in just a few short weeks. Those of us at SD Pros decided we would be #SaferAtHome. We made the switch to teleworking, which I was not looking forward to. But on the bright side, not having to commute to-and-from the office has given me more time to work on home improvement projects, such as floating shelves, cabinetry improvements, and landscaping.

Despite my early reservations, teleworking has been rather enjoyable, and great for Lunabelle’s growth. Having the pup by our side day-in and day-out has done wonders for both her mental and physical development. And it has led to many an opportunity for the oh-so-adorable photo. I’ve probably taken about 300 photos alone (burst mode is a must, she still moves a lot), and with April’s efforts, we’re probably close to 1,000 by now. With all that practice, we’ve mastered the science of catching a good shot.

Brandon Collins’ Recipe For The Perfect Puppy Photo


  • Cellphone or point-and-shoot camera (Good luck getting her to sit still long enough to setup a nice DSLR)
  • Basic photo-editing skills
  • Treats
  • One adorable puppy (one is all you need, don’t go giving April any ideas)


  • Coax the puppy into position by brandishing a treat
  • After the puppy steals said treat whilst you avert your attention toward opening your Camera App, go fetch a new treat
  • Once again, coax the puppy into position with the second treat
  • Take photos in “burst mode” because she moves. A lot. This will greatly enhance your chances of getting a decent shot


  • Puppies are constantly on the move. It helps to hold the treat just above the camera to focus their attention for the few precious milliseconds they sit still
  • Cute accessories enhance the “aww!” factor you’ll get when sharing these images on social media. I recommend a bandana if you can get her to sit still long enough to put it on
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