A Caro update

Dinner last night was everything I wished for:

Dinner  1 of 1 5

The star of the show:

this risotto.

Risotto  1 of 1

When I put the recipe on our meal plan this week, I hadn’t really thought it through. And then today I was thinking:

“Risotto? There’s no way I’m going to have time to stand over a pot and stir rice until it gets to a perfect texture.” I can only orchestrate drum Tupperware solos for a limited amount of time.

I had visions of making the rice, plopping the sauce on said rice and saying a prayer.

When I actually looked at the recipe, I saw that’s exactly what you do! BRILLIANT. The recipe calls for frozen rice- ours cooked with a press of a button in the rice cooker.

Rice  1 of 1 2

I made the sauce during naptime and prepped the chicken to marinate in the fridge:

Chicken  1 of 1 4

When we got home from the day’s adventures, all I had to do was put the chicken in the oven, make the rest of the risotto (which actively took about 10 minutes to chop onion, garlic and pour some broth in) and wilt the kale in some lemon, olive oil and garlic. A delicious restaurant-quality meal πŸ™‚

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A few people have asked about how Caroline is adjusting to our little family, so how ’bout a little update?

Caro  1 of 1

As you can see, she’s settled right in πŸ™‚

One of the big things I’ve noticed in the past couple of weeks is that Caroline finally trusts us (and the family when they come over). Initially, we’d always have to be the ones to approach her with a treat or scratch, and now, she’ll walk right up to you when you call her, or even come to give a kiss while we’re hanging out in the living room. She’s also fallen in love with Livi, who has been so sweet and gentle with her. I’m glad Liv had practice learning gentle hands with Bell long before we adopted Caro.

Liv and caro

When Caroline isn’t eating, playing tug of war and chasing with Bell, she snoozes on the blanket on top of the couch. This is actually very convenient since she sheds (a ton- you can see the superfluous Caro hairs in the pic above) and I can easily throw the blanket in the wash. Because of the shed factor, I also got a new vacuum (this one, which has an awesome pet hair attachment; it’s also $50 less at Costco) and will just vacuum every other day (the floors and couch).

While everything for the most part has been really great, we’ve definitely had a few hurdles:

1. Learning to walk on a leash. We took Caro on one official walk, but it ended up being the Pilot pushing Livi in the stroller and holding Bell’s leash, while I carried Caroline like a baby for 1.25 miles (our neighborhood loop). I loved your awesome suggestions on getting her to walk on a leash, but we’re still at step 1.

I picked up a mesh harness for Caro, but after I put it on her and tell her what a good girl she is, she tucks her tail and turns into a Cavalier statue. She won’t.move. Lately, I’ll leave it on her for about 5 minutes and then give her another treat before I take it off. It’s a slow and steady process.

2. Chewing on things. I think that this will go away once we can take her on regular walks with Bella, but I think she gets bored when we leave the house and finds something to chew on- usually papers. As long as it isn’t furniture (which is hasn’t been, yet.. knock on wood), it’s NBD. I’m thinking about getting her a Kong to chew on while we’re not home, or another toy with hidden treats.

3. Correcting.Β We let the dogs out a lot during the day -they love to run sprints together- but Caro doesn’t “go” each time she’s outside. Sooooo… every blue moon, she’ll come inside and do her business. Since we’re only doing positive reinforcement with Caro, I make sure to give her tons of praise when she does her business outside. She definitely knows what a treat is πŸ™‚

She hadn’t had an accident in a while, and then when we got into bed last week, there was a wet spot. (In our BED. Gah. Washing sheets at 11pm is always a party.) A volunteer at the Humane Society said that we could kennel her at night and just make sure it’s a happy, positive experience for her (lots of praise and treats). So we’ll see how it goes for a couple more weeks and know that’s an option.

So, even with the small bumps in the road, we know adopting Caroline was the right thing. She and Bell are BFFS, Livi adores her, and she fits in perfectly with our family. I knew that adopting a rescue would take more patience, and we were anticipating the fact that she would have extra needs, and also need a lot of love. She’s been through so much, and as long as no one is in danger -I never have to worry about Bell and Caro fighting- that’s all that matters.

xoxo

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Caro – I like that nickname! I just want to rub her furry belly πŸ™‚
    That really sucks about the dog pee in the bed. Ugh. We put Niko in her kennel at night, because of this (well, but on the floor) and now she loves it! She waits at the door for us to open it and let her in.

  2. Out of curiosity, how much does Caroline shed?? My husband and I have a Yorkie now (they don’t shed at all) but were thinking of getting a King Charles. I was wondering how much a of a difference they were!

    • Fitnessista says:

      she sheds… quite a bit. bella doesn’t shed at all, so i figure on average, it’s like having two dogs that shed a little?

  3. That dinner looks gorgeous! So colorful too!

    As far as the Kong goes, I think Caro would really like that. My dog also went through a chewing phase and though it didn’t entirely stop the chewing, the Kong was great for her. I would fill it with a tiny bit of unsweetened natural peanut butter with maybe a couple carob chips mixed in if I had them on hand, and then pop the whole thing in the freezer for a bit before giving it to my dog. You don’t have to worry about the PB getting everywhere, because frankly, Caro won’t let that yumminess go to waste. πŸ™‚

    • My dog loves pb in his kong never thought to freeze it or use carob chips great idea, also you can put the kong in the dish washer to clean it and they last a long time!

  4. What an amazing dinner!!!
    I hope you can overcome some of your hurdles with Caro-such a cutie!
    Also-I’m getting my Stitch Fix next week and I CANNOT WAIT!!!

  5. Dinner looks delicious! How do you marinade your chicken?

  6. what did you marinate the chicken in, it looks delicious?

  7. I’m not sure if you’ve tried Nylabones, but a lot of dogs love them. Also, my dog LOVES Elk Antlers…you can usually find them in pet boutiquey type store or order them online. They’re totally safe and dogs love them πŸ™‚

    • My dogs LOVE elk antlers (antlerz)! I would definitely recommend them for a chew toy for Caro. They last a long time, and they’re more natural than some of the other chew toys out there. Also, I have a dog with a very sensitive stomach, and she does just fine with the antlers!

      • I’ll have to check out the elk antlers. I just adopted a dog who gets very sick off of rawhide! She wants to chew but doesn’t really like nylabones. She’s been chewing on rope toys. That’s fine for now because she’s small but eventually she’ll shred them and they’ll become a hazard. :/

        • Fitnessista says:

          bell and caro like the nylabones, but after all of the other comments, i’m going to order some antler chews too

      • Fitnessista says:

        ordering some now. i had no idea!

    • Yes! Nylabones and elk antlers are a god-send, they completed stopped my dog’s chewing of shoes.

  8. She is so cute! She reminds me of Elizabeth Taylor (Charlotte’s dog) from sex and the city.

  9. Don’t worry about the peeing in the bed. Our puppy did that once or twice and that was it. We did not crate him. He sleeps in the bed with us and his furry brother. Our dogs love the kong and it keeps them busy for a while.

  10. We rescued our second dog a little over a year ago and our biggest issue continues to be his fear of strangers. We have crate trained him from the beginning because when we tried to leave him out, he would chew (ripped up our couch cushion and 2 duvets – ughh). He actually really loves his crate and will hang out in there when he’s tired/bored/nervous. Would suggest this as a possibility for your girl, too!

  11. I love hearing when someone rescues a dog. Warms my heart. πŸ™‚

    I give my dogs Kongs and they love them. I shove a few strips in there so they get stuck and that keeps them busy for a while. Just make sure you don’t buy the chicken strips made in China.

  12. Glad to hear that she is adjusting well! She is adorable, definitely looks like a nice fit for the fam πŸ™‚

  13. So glad Caroline is fitting right in with the fam! She sure does look happy πŸ™‚

  14. So glad to see a Pup-Date today. πŸ™‚ I left a comment back when you first introduced us to Caro about how we too were looking to adopt a second dog and I am happy to report that we just adopted a 1 year old Lab mix on Sunday from our local Humane Association. So far, she appears house broken and we use a kennel to keep her in at night and while we are at work to keep her from getting into anything she shouldn’t while we are gone. Although I sometimes feel bad about it, I’ve seen first hand how great it is to train dogs this way starting out, and then once trained they are allowed to roam the house without being put in the kennel. But we always make it a positive experience and put a treat inside her kennel when we need her to go in it and she walks right in. But of course, right before work in the morning I play with her outside in the backyard to get some of that energy out and then after work is play and exercise time as well. Our other dog who is now 6 is kennel trained and he now roams the house all he wants because we completely trust him. We hardly ever use the kennel anymore, but he actually prefers it as his bed. He feels safe in there. So it’s just always left open.

  15. Animal hair is my biggest nemesis! I had to find a new home for my little kitty when I moved (SO sad), but would have loved that blanket on the couch idea — great tip.

  16. I want to order a protein powder CHEAPLY from canada…best website to do so?

    Also, what is better (I can’t can’t tolerate anything that will be funky or weird or chalky or digestively unfriendly or bloat-y): Plant Fusion??? Lifetime Basics? Sunwarrior Blend?
    A complete “complete” protein would be good. Cheaply. I like whey, but want to give a vegan one a go. I hear of Pea Protein too, but that seems high in sodium and a bit “weird” to me. Okay, thanks!!!

  17. I rescued a dog from Tucson’s Humane Society too! For shedding, I recommend the Furminator (a kind of brush for raking up the undercoat). You can get it pretty cheap on Amazon, and my dog loves it. We tried to crate train her, at the Humane Society’s suggestion, but she turned out to be an amazing escape artist. Luckily, she was easy to train and socialize. She is also a big chewer, and I think Nylabones, Kongs, and antlers are your best bet (hard to destroy).

  18. Yaara Leve says:

    I love that pic of Livi and Caro! Her little hands!! That chicken looks so good. What do you marinate in? I normally marinate my chicken/fish in lemon juice/ lemon pepper and soy sauce( I know weird combo but really good) but I’m
    Always looking for new ideas. Thanks!

    • Fitnessista says:

      it was olive oil, balsamic, dijon, brown sugar, garlic, thyme and oregano
      HAPPY BIRTHDAY by the way! πŸ™‚
      xoxo

  19. Caroline is just a doll… Her eyes are so cute! You definitely did the right thing by taking her in and it ca only get better from here πŸ™‚ It sounds like you are doing all of the right things to help encourage her to normal habits. Good luck! I love rescue dogs.. they are the best companions!

  20. I also found a wet spot on my bed when I first got my dog. Gross at the time, but something to laugh at later!

    • Fitnessista says:

      i still can’t laugh yet. πŸ˜‰

      • my little papillon had a phase where her food made her stomach upset. the first time it happened, she went in our bed, which was a nasty surprise at 3 am. i wish it had only been a wet spot.

  21. Yes, what is in that marinade? Looks delish!

    My dog chews paper when he is left alone also. He was a rescue dog and the vet said it was from separation anxiety. He said walks might help to burn some of the energy off but probably wouldn’t eliminate the problem altogether. Now I just make sure he has plenty of toys and all the paper is out of sight!

  22. So happy to hear Caroline is adjusting to your family well! I’m sure she will be joining Bella on walks in no time!

  23. I’m glad to hear all is going well! I had sent you and e-mail a few weeks ago asking for advise on adopting as I had adopted a dog with severe separation anxiety that I had to rehome (she is super, super happy in her new home with tons of kids and another dog!). I adopted last Friday and things are going well! My new dog, Lucy, likes the Kong that I give her to keep her busy while I’m at work but she ignores it until I’m home and then she eats everything out of it while still in her crate (even though the door is open). She has yet to figure out that she can carry it out – hah. I gave her a purple treat puzzle (Busy Buddies brand I think; add treats and kibble and twist shut, they have to roll it around to get the pieces out) for the first time over my lunch hour today and she went crazy for it! I’d say get a few different things and switch them out periodically so she doesn’t get bored. Having the dog crate trained is so helpful, I used to think it was mean but then I saw how much dogs can actually love their crate! πŸ™‚

  24. First of all, that risotto looks awesome!

    Secondly, it sounds like you guys are doing a great job with Caroline – adding a new dog to the family is wonderful but requires ALOT of patience haha! If you think you might go the crate route, there is a great DVD called Crate Games that we used with our last dog. Now all you have to do is say “crate up!” and he runs to the crate and sits waiting for us until we bring him a treat and shut the door. Our dogs see their crates as a happy, safe place when we aren’t home and then we don’t have to worry about them trashing our house while we’re away (we have 2 rotties who can get a bit rowdy). In terms of chew toys, I love naturally shed deer antlers – they’re hypoallergenic and don’t break off into shards and they last for a loooooong time. We can buy them in the local pet stores here (in Canada).

  25. So great to hear that Caroline is adjusting so well to your family πŸ˜€ We rescued a mixie from the shelter as well, and there was definitely an adjustment phase, but that was almost 9 years ago and I couldn’t imagine life without her. As for the chewing, I can definitely recommend a Kong! You can stuff them with peanut butter and it’ll keep your pup entertained for a good amount of time.

  26. So glad to hear that Caro is adjusting! My fam just adopted two toy poodles (their pictures up on my blog today!) and they came from a bad situation so they don’t really understand the whole leash thing either. They are sorta potty trained, but not totally, so we are working to fix that situation too!

    We have a yorkie and she seems to be doing pretty well with them, though I can tell she is a bit jealous! I hope that will change over time!

  27. Christine says:

    We crate trained our guy from the start – otherwise he would just roam around at night or try to get in the bed. He LOVES his crate. It is his place where he can go and no one bothers him. It has his favorite blankies in there and he can burrow and get warm. We started leaving the door to the crate open at night in case he needed to go out (we have a doggie door). He puts himself to bed at night in his own crate – we come into the bedroom and he has beaten us there and buried himself under his covers. Some mornings, I will be up for a half and hour or more before he comes rolling out of bed. It’s pretty cute and dogs really love it. The kong is a great idea! The more toys to chew on while you are out, the better.

  28. We kennel our dog at night (she was a shelter dog and wasn’t house trained at all). I was really iffy about it first, because I felt like it was mean to put a dog in a such a small space. But the trainers were right – if you give the dog a treat and praise when they go in they love it. We’ve had our dog about seven months now, and she RUNS into the crate at night, so excited for her treat. She even goes in there during the day by herself to nap, or if she wants to be left alone. So I definitely recommend giving the crate a shot. πŸ™‚

  29. Good for you for being so patient with her! Dogs take up so much time- I’m sure a shelter dog is even worse.

    And she’s so cute!

    • Dogs do take up so much time – but they also give SO much back to us! Though learning to live with any living being absolutely requires patience and this includes dogs, it’s simply part of the commitment you make when adopting a pet. Shelter dogs are not any ‘worse’ than any other dog – often quite the opposite – they just come from different circumstances. I don’t say any of this to be rude or critical of the comment above, it’s just something that is SO near and dear to my heart – I’ve worked in animal shelters for most of my life, and I’m also a vet and proud mama of 3 awesome little shelter critters :).
      Ditto to all above comments re: the Kong – recommend it for every dog owner! Nylabones and antlers can wear down and even fracture teeth in doggies that are hardcore chewers so just keep an eye on those pearly whites if you’re using hard chewies like those. Keep up the positive reinforcement training Gina, it sounds like you guys are doing great and that your sweet little Caro is a great fit for your family <3.

  30. your dinner looks incredible! So glad things are going well with Carolyn!

  31. Just a thought about the accidents inside – it could be just the adjustment period, but keep in mind that it could also be incontinence. My pup had “accidents” long after she was suppose to, and after checking with a vet we learned that some female dogs, after getting fixed, become incontinent (lovely). So we now have her on a weekly pill that has erased that. If it doesn’t stop naturally, send me a message and I will give you the name of our prescription! It use to be a daily chewable, and those were not as effective as this weekly pill that I just toss in her kibble.
    I feel you – changing sheets at night is the worst.

  32. We put our cairn terrier Lilly in a cage at night because she tends to make a mess otherwise. If we forget and leave her out, it’s not a huge deal, but often there is at least one thing we have to clean up, whether it be an “accident,” or torn up paper. I’ve had people tell me it’s cruel, but really it’s not! Lilly doesn’t see it as a negative experience at all. She gets a treat when she goes in and we always say “Good girl Lilly” and she’ll roll over for us to rub her belly before we close the door. It’s also super useful to have a cage for when we’re away during the day. At first it bothered me that she wasn’t let loose, but actually she just sleeps until we come home! And my dad is a professor so he’s always home at odd hours to take care of her anyways.

    I hope you continue with updates! I just wish that you had some tips for cats!! Those are a WHOLE other story πŸ˜‰

    • Fitnessista says:

      hahah no tips for cats at all. i grew up with cats, but my cats all thought they were people haha (or is that how cats always are?)

  33. My dog is about 2 years old and we still have accidents. I am not sure why I have tried just about every trick in the book. I love your update so glad Caroline is fitting in well with your family!!

  34. Your blog is not how it used to be. It seems unauthentic for some reason. I used to enjoy & look forward to reading your posts, and now they have no depth as they used to. I like how it used to be. Sorry, just doesn’t seem like the old girl-next-door blog anymore:(

    • Fitnessista says:

      i’m not sure what you mean by unauthentic.. i tend to pour my heart out pretty often on the blog, in addition to working to provide (free) recipes and workouts on a regular basis. it makes me sad to hear you don’t enjoy it anymore.

      • While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I don’t think the above comment could be further from the truth!! The fact that you are opening up your life to us is incredibly authentic – you don’t “owe” the readers anything, and posts like this give us a little glimpse into your everyday life. I know posts about your babies (Liv and fur, haha) are very close to your heart and personal, and I am always so honored when you let us in! A day doesn’t go by when I don’t check your site (multiple times a day), so you’re doing something right!

  35. I don’t know if I missed it, but how did you marinade the chicken? I showed this post to my hubby, and he’s excited for me to make it πŸ™‚ So glad Caroline is doing well!

  36. Growing up I was terrified of anything with 4 legs and fur. Which of course meant massive freakouts over dogs. Somewhere along the line I put my big girl panteloons on and decided they werent that bad. My sister and I went to the pound almost 3 years ago for me to adopt a dog. I walked in and immediately started hyperventalating because all the dogs were barking and doing the “please take me home” jump. So we turned around to leave, and my eye catches this sweet little thing just sitting quietly not moving an inch. “I WANT THAT ONE!!!!”
    We took Roscoe home that day and he’s been a joy ever since. Not to say there havent been bumps in the road. He had obviously been abused by a man, because whenever my brother or Dad would come over he would cower and run away from them.I crated him at night for the first few months so he would learn not to “go” in the house, but after about 6 months he was fine to be left alone out while I was at work. For the first 2 months of living with me, he refused to go upstairs or in the kitchen. We’ve made sure to give him lots of snuggles and treats, but also let him know that it is not ok to run out the back gate, or get things out of the trash. My boyfriend takes him to the office everyday and it has helped immensely with his stranger danger tendancy.
    Basically, I wouldnt have imagined myself with a dog 5 years ago, and now I cant imagine life without my pupster πŸ™‚

  37. What a sweetheart! We don’t leave the house without loading up a Kong for each of the girls. Now they get excited when they see me packing up. We had a big problem with Pippa (also a rescue) destroying our stuff out of separation anxiety, and giving her lots to chew on (I think our trainer called it “working her prey drive”) helped a lot. We still cant’ leave tissues or pacifiers around, but at least she no longer ruins rugs!

  38. I’m not sure if anyone else has suggested a gentle leader for walks. I was so so afraid our golden pup would never walk with us around the block. She would stop every two seconds to sniff, chew, etc. It was so frustrating and time-consuming. But I finally got a gentle leader and it has been night and day. It is not a muzzle as people thing it is; it simply guides the dog’s head where you are walking and provides a bit of tension if they stray from your direction. She learned quickly to follow me and walk next to me. Just a suggestion. Good luck!

  39. Carrie R. says:

    Oh my land Caroline is so cute…just so seriously cute!!! πŸ™‚

    I’m sure someone has already suggested this, but when you kennel her at night (my dogs love their kennels…old quilts, toys, lots of love when they go in or out…happy place!), you are right,
    a little Kong to keep a smart girl like her busy is the best!

    Also, something you, the Pilot, or Livi has worn that you don’t need anymore (and won’t miss), i.e. an undershirt, old worn baby blanket, something on the bigger side will make her kennel a “safer” place for her at night. When Ace was a puppy it stopped the all-night wail fest (although I know lil Caro is a bigger girl).

    It sounds like she is doing wonderful…what a lucky girl she is!!! Love the picture of her and Liv!!!

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