Meet Caroline

As you could probably tell from our last pics of the day, we have someone very special to introduce πŸ™‚

Meet Caroline:

Caroline  1 of 1

Here’s a little info about the sweet girl, who joined our family on Friday.

We picked her up in Phoenix from a foster family, who were taking care of her through a Cavalier King Charles rescue group. They recently saved over 30 Cavaliers from a puppy mill in Arkansas, and brought them all to Arizona to find loving families to adopt the dogs.

The Pilot and I had been wanting to get a second dog and friend for Bell for over a year, but wanted to wait until we knew we had found the right one. We’d take trips to the Humane Society because we knew we wanted our next dog to be a rescue (didn’t have a breed preference, but needed to be good with other small dogs, kids and hopefully housetrained) and would research online. When I found Caroline through a rescue website, I thought she may be a good fit since she’s fairly young (they think she’s a year and a half) and loves other dogs and babies/kids. I filled out an application to receive more info and wasn’t really expecting to receive a phone call. The rescue organization called a few days later, and we were so excited.

I talked to the representative for about 45 minutes on the phone to hear as much as possible about Caroline, and was also transparent about our last dog and the incident when Viesa attacked Bell. (Viesa is now living with good friends– Meg’s sister and her hubby!- and is queen of the castle. We get to see her often so it was the best possible solution.) We know Bell loves other dogs and thrives when she has dog company, but wanted to make sure that any potential dogs did not have issues with aggression or dominance. Caroline is the exact opposite- she’s a shy, timid and easygoing girl, and has been through quite a lot.

Caroline  1 of 1 2

When they picked up Caroline from the puppy mill, she was one of the “mama dogs” even though she was only about a year and a half old. She’s had at least one or two litters of puppies (when she’s a baby herself), but they’re not sure how many. From being in the puppy mill, she’s not quite used to the outdoors yet and hasn’t been walked on a leash. When I tried to put one on her at my aunt’s house in Phoenix, she just laid on the grass, so we all hung out outside until she was ready to go in.

At the same time, she seems to be housetrained fairly well (for now, we just take her out often and she’s gone outside each time- we make sure to give her lots of praise and a treat) and is still recovering from her trips. She’s been eating and drinking water like a champ, so we feel good about being able to help her gain some weight, since all of the dogs were extremely frail when they were initially rescued. The good news is that Bella is as happy as can be with her new friend -they already follow each other around- and the Pilot and I are pretty sure it’s because Bella thinks she’s a person. “Oh, we got a dog?! Cool, what are we gonna name her??”

Bell and caroline

What we can tell about Caroline so far:

-She LOVES the backyard. She’ll walk around, explore and wag her tail- it’s a lot of fun to take her outside and I’m hoping she’ll eventually enjoy going on walks with us. Anyone have tips for helping her get used to walking? I’m probably not going to try again for a little while, until she’s settled, but I would love any advice. At first, she was trying to figure out what the backyard was, and now she and Bella are already playing and chasing each other around.

-She also loves sleeping in our bed, and the comfy new dog bed the Pilot picked up for her.

-She’s an angel to Liv and Bell. Liv has learned how to have “gentle hands” from petting Bell so often, so Caroline will lay down next to Liv and Livi gives her a few little pats- it’s pretty sweet. I’ve never seen Liv talk the way she has to Caroline.. she’s obviously really excited to have another dog in the house. Caroline walked into Liv’s room when I was getting her out of her crib this morning, and Liv yelled, “HIIIIII!” and started waving.

Liv and caroline  1 of 1

-She’s a shy girl for now, but has already blossomed and come out of her shell so much since we first picked her up. There’s a huge difference in her personality and comfort level since we brought her home as she continues to adjust.

-She already fits in perfectly and we’re so happy to have her. <3

With caroline and bell

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  1. Carrie R. on December 4, 2012 at 1:32 am

    Caroline…what a perfect name for such a sweet little lady!!!

    And a lucky little girl at that…rescues are special dogs, that’s for sure…our Spike is a rescue, he’s (about) eleven now. They are the most loyal, amazing dogs out there.

    I love the pictures of her with Bell…I needed to laugh…Bella is definitely a person. And Caroline is movie-star material.


  2. Mila on December 4, 2012 at 2:32 am

    What a perfect Christmas/December adoption tale! SO happy for you guys and Caroline! By the looks of it, she has found a great home πŸ™‚

  3. Emily on December 4, 2012 at 7:32 am

    This post made me cry! I am so happy little Caroline has been given a new life with a beautiful family. I have a two year old pup, Teddy Bear, he is shiatsu-pekinese, when he was a pup it was really hard to help him understand what a ‘walk’ was all about. Lucky for us it was fall in Cape Breton, with all kinds of fallen leaves all around, so when the wind blew he would chase the leaves. We didn’t get very far on those first walks, but it was sure cute to watch. Good Luck with your new addition:)

    • Mallory on December 4, 2012 at 9:55 am


      Completely off topic but I live in Pictou!! What a small world!

      • Emily on December 4, 2012 at 1:23 pm

        Very Cool!! Fitnessita NS cohort πŸ˜‰

  4. Caroline on December 4, 2012 at 8:08 am

    She’s so cute! And I love the name πŸ˜‰ Because she’s coming from a situation where she was undersocialized you definitely want to go slowly and use a lot of treats and positive reinforcement when introducing her to new things. Try putting the leash on her when you’re home and can supervise so she gets used to the weight of it and dragging it around. You can also practice leash walking in the backyard where she’s comfortable. Use whatever her favorite treat is, make sure she knows that you have it in your hand, and then lure her into walking beside you, giving her a treat every few steps. You can increase the distance between treats as she gets the idea that walking with you means she gets something yummy! Having Bella with her on walks will probably help her become more confident and show her that some things aren’t as scary as they might appear πŸ™‚

  5. Yvonne on December 4, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Have you thought about a dual leash? That way she is “tied to Bella” not in a cruel way but as in a way to “lead by example”. She would be right along side of Bella and would take cues from her. Plus it only means one leash to hold for you. I use one for my two dobes and they (and I) LOVE it!

    • Molly on December 4, 2012 at 4:00 pm

      I second this….walking both Bella and Caroline together is a great idea. Caroline will learn by Bella’s example.

      • Fitnessista on December 4, 2012 at 4:21 pm

        ok, it’s definitely something i’ll look into- thank you! it’s funny because it already seems like bell is showing her the ways πŸ™‚ i walked outside our room upstairs and they were both waiting for me, shaking their tails. a few days ago, caroline was scared to climb the stairs. now, it’s no big deal!

  6. Kimberly on December 4, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Sweet introduction of Caroline. So happy you found each other.

  7. Kayla on December 4, 2012 at 8:56 am

    What a lovely new edition! It’s so great you could rescue her.

  8. Danielle@cleanfoodcreativefitness on December 4, 2012 at 9:02 am

    How sweet! I bet Bella loves having a friend and think it so great that Liv gets to grow up around such sweet dogs. Caroline seems adorable and it’s so great she now has such a loving home πŸ™‚

  9. Sarah on December 4, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Congrats on your new addition! We just got a second dog a couple of months ago and it’s been such a blessing and lots of fun too πŸ™‚

  10. Sylvia on December 4, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Aww how sweet! Congratulations on the new cute additon to your family. What a lucky girl Caroline is to have found such a nice new home!

  11. Erin Hack on December 4, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Congratulations Gina! She is such a wonderful addition to your family. And thank you for rescuing her and discussing her struggles. Rescue pets are the way to go! πŸ™‚

  12. Laura @ My Pink Thumb on December 4, 2012 at 10:12 am

    What a precious girl!! Kudos to you guys for rescuing her! πŸ™‚

  13. Destini on December 4, 2012 at 10:15 am

    What an amazing adoption story. I am so happy for all of you! Rescue dogs are special and they are so full of love. I am glad everyone is getting settled.

  14. Sarah @ Blonde Bostonian on December 4, 2012 at 10:24 am

    What a little cutie! Congrats on the new puppy addition!

  15. Emily @ Emily Eats and Runs on December 4, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Aww! You have the cutest family!!

  16. Sarah @ Yogi in Action on December 4, 2012 at 10:45 am

    I grew up with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel- they’re such great dogs! Very gentle and loving. Though they often end up with ear problems (or at least when our dog always had problems that’s what we were told).

    She looks beautiful- congratulations!

  17. Rachel @ Eat, Learn, Discover! on December 4, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Oh my goodness, the cuteness is killing me! Bella is a very lucky girl πŸ˜‰

  18. Elizabeth @ Southern Color on December 4, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Congrats!! Caroline is so cute! I think it’s great y’all got her from a rescue. I hope she fits in perfectly with your sweet family πŸ™‚

  19. Desiree on December 4, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Congrats on your new addition. We have two Cavaliers and they are the sweetest breed I’ve ever seen. My sister has three kids and they both do really well with the kiddos. We don’t have any kids yet (married just 2 months ago) but I’m confident our furry babies will do well once we have them. My whole family loves this breed so much my parents are now in the market for one. It’s a big deal too because we grew up with Labs. SO when my dad came to me asking for help finding a new addition for them…I was shocked when he said he wanted one just like our little Beau and Callie. Which brings me to my question. Are you able to share the rescue you went through to adopt Caroline? I would love to pass on the information to my parents.

    Congratulations again. πŸ™‚ She’s beautiful!

  20. VΓ’nia on December 4, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    I saw a story about puppy mills on “Oprah” once that really made me cry and I have to say that I admire you and your husband a lot for deciding to adopt Caroline. You deserve all the best in the world as you are amazing human beings.

  21. Umapuma on December 4, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Aww, love that last pic, good for you guys and lucky for Caroline!

  22. Reenie on December 4, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Ahhhh…. so glad you found each other. πŸ™‚

  23. Liz @ Southern Charm on December 4, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Aww yayy!!!!! This makes me happy πŸ™‚

  24. Chelsa on December 4, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    She couldn’t be more perfect. Looks like she’s fitting into the family perfectly and is completely adorable.

  25. Chelsea @ Chelsea Eats Treats on December 4, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    My boyfriend’s dad adopted a dog from a puppy mill in February (she was a momma dog too) and although things weren’t very smooth in the beginning (she was terrified of people) things are much better now. Having another dog around definitely seemed to help the situation and now she is almost comfortable with letting you pick her up! She’s such a sweetie and I’m just so glad he was able to rescue her and give her a better life. Good luck!

  26. Coco on December 4, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Congrats on the new family member!!

  27. Julie on December 4, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Caroline is precious! LOVE the pic of both dogs on the stairs. Liv just outshines everyone in every picture she’s in, though – such a gorgeous child!

    We got a new puppy in Mar. I remember when we 1st brought her home she was so quiet & shy. I remind my daughter of that now, & we just laugh ‘cuz she’s all over the place now, barking & jumping up on everything like she owns the place! We love her to pieces! She didn’t know how to walk on a leash at first either, but we just kept at it, & now she’s my walking buddy. πŸ™‚

    Best of luck w/ Caroline!

  28. Lori on December 4, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    If you’re looking for local training tips you can try the petsmart on grant and swan. They have a trainer,Jeremy, who conducts all the training classes and had an extended background and trains many of the personal trainers in AZ. He knows his stuff. You don’t have to sign up for classes, I’ve seen numerous people go up just to talk (my dog did puppy classes with him). He’s very friendly and helpful and has rescue dogs himself. Hope this helps.

  29. Gurminder on December 4, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Aww, I loved this post! It was so sweet with even sweeter pics. Warmed my heart!

  30. Nicole on December 5, 2012 at 1:32 am

    Oh My Goodness.
    What an adorable and perfect addition to your family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! rescuing a dog makes me tear up a little!! πŸ™‚

  31. Laurie on December 5, 2012 at 2:16 am

    We have a Cavalier King Charles, too. They are the sweetest dogs in the world. If you make a lap, they will be in it! They are terrific with kids. Congrats!

  32. Jill on December 5, 2012 at 11:27 am

    I volunteer with a greyhound rescue and always had a foster in my house before I had a baby this year. Greyhounds spend about 22 hours a day in a crate at a the track and although, sadly, that is better than a puppy mill dog, they do have issues adjusting to home life as well. I think patience is key. Each and every dog came out of their shell a little bit a week after arriving at our house and by three months they were such amazing personalities. So patience is my advice. I’m sure Caroline improved leaps and bounds in her foster home since being rescued from the puppy mill and she will continue to do so in your home with nothing more than love, boundaries, and a good roll model like Bella.

  33. Potatoes and Pilates on December 5, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Congratulations on your new daughter, what a beautiful little girl!

    The Pilot is truly outnumbered by the ladies in your household now! How wonderful that you were able to “adopt” Caroline and that she fits in so well already.

  34. Wendy Heath on December 5, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Bless her little puppy bones, I started crying when I read that she didn’t know how to be outside! And that she’d already been bred. πŸ™ poor thing!! So glad you adopted her. Way to go!!!

  35. Lori H on December 6, 2012 at 5:43 am

    I am just catching up and couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Caroline! Congrats! : ) I’ve been reading for several years and knew you had been looking. The pic of Caroline and Bella is just priceless. The expression on Bella’s face just shows how truly happy she is. They look so sweet together and it looks like they are both smiling!

  36. Lea @ Greens and Coffee Beans on December 6, 2012 at 6:55 am

    She’s so cute! I’m glad you guys were able to rescue her! More people should adopt rescue animals, I have 5 cats (crazy cat lady, I know) that were all rescued and they all have the most wonderful personalities!

  37. Julie on December 6, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    I literally just died from cuteness overload. And I have a friend who has a CKCS that’s name is Julep, and they just had a daughter (the humans, not Julep) and named her Caroline! I want a dog so bad, and as someone who volunteers weekly with pet rescues in Atlanta, I am so glad you went with a shelter/rescue dog. Rescue pets are treasures on earth, I wish everyone would only adopt shelter pets!

  38. laura on December 6, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Our rescue didn’t understand or like walks in the beginning and it really helped for us to put the leash on her often when at home and let her drag it around. Then when that was comfortable we would take her for “walks” around the back yard. She is now a pro. πŸ™‚

  39. Martha Lilian on January 2, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Congratulations on the new addition to your family! I had a Cockalier (Cavalier/Cocker mix) that I was absolutely devastated to “lose” at the end of a relationship. They are just the sweetest dogs – great with other animals and children – so I’m sure she’ll do wonderfully in your home.

  40. Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health on January 23, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    I am a little late to reading this but want to say I think it is so great that you gave Caroline a home. I adopted an older dog after having one already and it is scary at first to see if they will get along. I’m sure especially for you since you had a problem with the last one. I am glad her and Bella are getting along well. And also glad that you have such a big heart to take her home!

  41. Emily on December 21, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Oh my gosh! Caroline is soo soo cute! She seems like an awesome addition to your family!

  42. Brenda Garcia on September 11, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Reading this post a little late but better late than never, amiright?
    Caro is beautiful! I foster a lot for a rescue organization and the fact that you guys opted to rescue just touches my heart so deeply. So often I hear people say they want a certain breed, and a puppy, and they pay $1000+ for a dog . Meanwhile we have thousands of great pets sitting and dying in shelters. You saved a life! And my respect for you has increased tremendously πŸ™‚

    Your daughter is going to have so many great memories growing up with those 2 doggies! Not to mention that I’m sure she will be better with younger siblings and learning how to be gentle with animals.

    You’re awesome! Give Caro a big high five from her internet buddies πŸ™‚

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