SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A deserving South Florida mother and her two children started Christmas off right with the perfect present, one that comes with plenty of puppy kisses.

Karra Rodriguez and her children were surprised to find Santa Paws instead of Santa Claus coming to their Southwest Miami-Dade home on Friday, in the form of Shenzi, a Shih Tzu puppy.

“I kind of didn’t believe it. I was in shock,” she said

The furry new addition to the family is particularly significant this year, since it has been a challenging 12 months.

“Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to give the boys everything that they wanted for Christmas, so this is definitely means a lot to us,” said Rodriguez.

The devoted mother is especially appreciative for her boys, who are on the autism spectrum.

“The boys being autistic, they have certain things that calms them down. Puppies is being one of them,” she said.

The family’s furry new friend arrived at their home thanks, to Petland in Kendall, located along Mills Drive.

“She’s really cute, very tiny, and Alex loves her,” said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez and her children were selected from group of over 1,000 families, all of whom were hoping to have a new puppy for Christmas.

This Rodriguez household was the lucky one, adding a new member to start 2022 off strong.

The puppy found a “furever” home, and the family is now getting lots and lots of puppy love.

“This is going to be one of the best Christmases we’ve had,” said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez also said her boys would always love to see other dogs in the neighborhood, and now they have one of their very own.

Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox