Puppy Love a wonderful tail-wagging Hallmark Channel movie

“Puppy Love” stars BugZ and Candace Cameron Bure

Copyright 2012 Crown Media Holdings, Inc./Photographer Alexx Henry

My-o-my how time flies. It’s been almost 25 years since I first interviewed Candace Cameron at age 12. It was very memorable because she was so sweet and natural when she started playing cute little D.J. Tanner on Full House. All of America watched her grow up for eight seasons. And she went on to make that tricky transition from child star to become a lovely and talented young lady who did the recent series Make It or Break It, plus many guest roles, TV movies, and even produced her own projects. Nowadays she’s also a wife and mother of three, but still finds time to do delightful projects such as Hallmark Channel Original Movie Puppy Love. It stars Candace Cameron Bure and Victor Webster (Castle) and premiers this Saturday, Sept. 8, at 9 p.m.

Puppy Love is a tale about a lovable mutt “Jake” (played by an amazing rescue dog named BugZ) whose bad-dog behavior pushes two unlikely people together for good. Bure plays a single mom Megan who reluctantly adopts a puppy for her lonely daughter Caitlin (Katie Hawkins) only to find herself in a “custody battle” with Ben, a handsome baseball player (Webster) who claims the dog was his first.

When Ben gets back home from a roadtrip he is devastated to find his dog has escaped thanks to a careless roommate. Jake ends up at the local shelter, where Caitlin finds her new best friend, the biggest, happiest, sloppiest dog in the pound. Eventually Megan agrees to share custody of the dog with Ben, and a different kind of “puppy love” blossoms.

The theme of the delightful family-friendly movie ties into the Hallmark Channel’s Pet Project, an evergreen initiative to save the lives of homeless pets through adoption. Bure reports she is a spokesperson for the Pet Project, along with Luke Perry, Valerie Harper, Stacy Keibler, Dean Cain, Kellie Martin, and many more who have become part of the Hallmark Channel’s family of performers.

The Pet Project launched early in 2012 with the mission to help families find pets who need a forever home and to promote healthy, loving relationships between people and their pets. For heartwarming pet adoption stories, or to learn simple tips for happier, healthier pets, you can go to the HallmarkChannel.com website and click on Pet Project. You can also find out about the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards Gala which will air Nov. 2 as a Hallmark Channel special.

Candace told me she actually got to learn the hand signals to make BugZ perform. “His great trainer Sarah taught me how to do it. BugZ was easy to work with, such a well behaved and smart dog. And the cool thing is he was a rescue dog who became this wonderful animal actor because he was given a chance. There are so many of these loving dogs who are just waiting at shelters. It just melts your heart.”

Hallmark has their Pet Project in conjunction with Pet Smart, raising awareness about pets and adopting. She said, “They can bring so much love into your own home.”

In the movie Candace falls in love with a baseball player, but in real life she fell in love with an NHL hockey player, Valeri Bure. They have three children and one dog at home, and she revealed, “Our Rottweiler named Samson is pretty well trained. He can sit, lie down, and shake a paw on command. Now, I’m sure I could teach him a few more tricks.”