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

Post Navigation:


  1. Alicia on December 3, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Hooray for rescue dogs! She’s a beaut!

  2. Sara on December 3, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    SOSO happy that you decided to rescue – over 50% of dogs going into shelters are euthanized, so you did a wonderful thing! For those that would like to rescue: is an amazing resource!

    • Fitnessista on December 3, 2012 at 4:32 pm

      that’s where i found her!

      • Brittany on December 3, 2012 at 9:12 pm

        My brother and I found our family dog on pet finder when we were 9 and 12. Made our parents look at the pictures. They called the place and the rest is history!

  3. Meagan on December 3, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Welcome Caroline! What a sweet, beautiful girl. Congrats to you guys on your new addition!

  4. Courtney on December 3, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    She’s the cutest! How did you come up with the name?

    My puppy fever has worsened!

    • Fitnessista on December 3, 2012 at 4:32 pm

      the rescue group had already named her, so we just stuck with that. i love it, though!

      • Courtney on December 3, 2012 at 4:34 pm

        She looks like a Caroline πŸ™‚

  5. Anna on December 3, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Brought tears to my eyes…I had a Cavalier rescue as well, and now I have a Lhasa Apso rescue. Both came from puppy mills and it breaks my heart to think so many sweet animals are subjected to such cruel treatment. So happy you could provide a safe and loving space for her!

  6. Lora lee on December 3, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    How sweet. I saw the story of the King Charles rescue dogs on our local channel. So sad but
    Looks like she’s got it pretty good now.

  7. Christina on December 3, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    She is so cute!!!!! Congratulations on the new addition to your family!!! Also, I really like your glasses in the last photo. Can I ask what kind they are?! lol!!

    • Fitnessista on December 3, 2012 at 4:42 pm

      thank you! they’re missoni from costco- i get all of my glasses and contacts there

  8. Rebecca on December 3, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    I think it is so awesome that you rescued her! What a sweetie, I didn’t know things like that even happened to poor puppies!! I would love to adopt some more, we have 2 adopted pups and they are like my children.

  9. Abby on December 3, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    She is absolutely adorable!

  10. Michelle on December 3, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Omg I love Caroline and I especially love that you adopted a rescue dog! What a lucky little girl πŸ™‚

  11. Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf on December 3, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    SHE IS SO ADORABLE!!!! I have a sweet little dog myself and I can only imagine the snuggles she will have with our young’n’s when we have them. πŸ™‚

  12. Melissa on December 3, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Sweet Caroline! πŸ™‚

    Bella looks like a proud “big sister” in that picture where they are on the stairs together! Congrats on the new addition.

  13. Kerry @ Totes My Oats on December 3, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Caroline is precious! Rescuing is such an amazing thing.

  14. Kristy @ Kristy's Health Revolution on December 3, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    I can’t even TAKE how much I love Caroline! She’s SO pretty and obviously is fitting in so well with the family. Yay!

    As far as teaching her to walk on a leash, show her how. You say she loves walking around the backyard, so start by following her around out there until she gets used to that, and will walk along with you following her. Then, maybe walk around with her with the leash in your hand so she can see it. Then, after she’s used to that, try walking around with her and slipping the leash onto her collar as she walks. If she lays down, take it off and wait for her to walk, walk with her and slip it on again. She’ll get the picture, but it may take some work.

    Good for you, for rescuing a needy dog! What a great thing to do! πŸ™‚

  15. Maria ( on December 3, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    What a cutie!!!!! Both Bell and Caroline <3

  16. Beverly Aragon on December 3, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Amazing story! When the hubs and I are ready for another furbaby, I’m definitely going to research PetFinder.

  17. Kelli on December 3, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Congrats !!! Awesome on adopting a rescue! Wish everyone would!

  18. Joanne on December 3, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    So happy for all of you – that’s an incredible thing you have done for Caroline and for your family. What a very special holiday you and your expanded family will have this year.

  19. Tiffani @ Miles In Murray on December 3, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Caroline is gorgeous!!!

    I have a Cavalier myself and she is hands down the best dog ever! She is the most lovable, snuggly dog. The kids in our neighborhood LOVE her! They always ask if they can see her or play with her. It is hilarious!

    When we first started taking our girl on walks, she lost focus easily and would sit, instead of walk, most of the time. We just continued to try and take her on walks and she eventually got it.

    Puppy mills are the worst! I am so glad you saved that beautiful girl!

  20. Tina B on December 3, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    What a sweet face! I just loved reading this. I am going through the process of losing my dog to cancer (she’s a boxer, and was also a rescue) and in time we’ll definitely adopt another. For me a house just isn’t a home without a dog or two.That little Caroline has such a soulful pair of eyes, and she will love you forever for giving her such a great home. And how cute is that Liv with her. I love that she waved to her new pup. πŸ™‚

  21. Mellissa on December 3, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    So glad you rescued, one of our dogs is a rescue and he is seriously the best dog ever. He really blossomed when he came home and so loving and affectionate. It makes my heart happy to hear dogs getting a new forever happy home.

  22. Laura @ She Eats Well on December 3, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    She is so so sweet. Love the pick of her and Bell on the stairs. Little ladies!!!

  23. Liz @ Tip Top Shape on December 3, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Aaww, she is too cute!!!!

  24. Amy on December 3, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    This post makes my heart happy!! Kudos to you, Gina…we’ve had quite a few raids on puppy mills here in Arkansas over the past year. I am so glad you found one of those sweet babies and gave her a loving home. Congrats on your new addition!!

  25. Maddy on December 3, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    She does look like a Caroline! Add another poster to the list who has puppy fever! No pressure, but it would be adorable to see a video of Livi hanging out with her fursisters!

  26. Stephanie @ Legally Blinde on December 3, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Welcome to Caroline – she looks like a sweetie! Sounds like she’s settling in really well πŸ™‚ I’m sure Liv and Bella will love their new friend!

  27. Emily on December 3, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    What a little sweetie pie!! So glad you a. chose to go rescue– good for you guys! b. have shared that with all of your readers. You have helped save other dogs just by sharing your choice with others who will hopefully follow suit and “adopt, not shop”. Great job Gina πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on December 3, 2012 at 5:10 pm

      thank you! <3 we're so happy.

  28. Jaclyn on December 3, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    This is soooo sweet anad I love it. I too rescued my dog from a rescue shelter – she had been abandoned/strayed and was sick with kennel cough and so very frail when I first got her – and it is so amazing to me the complete turn around she has done in the months i have had her. She was timid and scared when I got her, I still remember that car ride home, she was shivering so hard I thought she would fall right over.. fast forward and now she loves car rides and her favorite thing to do it stick her little nose out of the cracked window – it’s pretty funny

    ANYWAY congrats on your new family member! SHe sure is a cutie and I really love that you are bringing awareness to rescuing rather than buying dogs from puppy mills, it is something I so passionate of spreading the message :]

  29. Tara on December 3, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Welcome Caroline! What a beautiful girl she is. I don’t have a dog, but I did get my cat from a shelter. Best decision ever!

  30. Leila on December 3, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Sweetest story ever!! So glad you were able to give her a new home! Can’t wait to hear more about the new adventures with all your girls! (and Pilot of course). πŸ™‚

  31. Lara on December 3, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    What a love. Yay for rescue dogs! She seems just perfect for your family. So happy for you!

  32. Lauren Tackett on December 3, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Congrats on your adorable new addition to your family! I just adopted a sheltie from a sheltie rescue group about a month ago, and Caroline sounds pretty similar to my Brady. Brady is somewhat shy and timid, but has really come out of his shell and has gotten attached to us which is the best feeling! Brady wasn’t used to walking on a leash when we first got him, and it took a couple weeks before he could really walk on the leash easily. Even though it wasn’t fun and he didn’t like it we pretty much had to pull him along (it didn’t hurt him and he wears a harness when on a leash), but after a few times of being pulled on the leash he figured out how it works and now he’s pretty good on the leash.
    Good luck with getting Caroline adjusted to walking on a leash and have fun with her! You did such a great thing but adopting her from a rescue group! I can’t get over how cute she is!

  33. Tara on December 3, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    This is such a great post. My boyfriend and I had 2 dogs (6 year old Boxer and 6 year old English Bulldog) but we lost the Boxer, Lacy, to cancer on October 1st. At first, due to the pain of losing a fur-baby, we didn’t think we’d get another dog. But when I made a trip to the humane association in late November to donate some items, my boyfriend surprised me by wanting to go in and look around. We fell in love all over again with the idea of adopting another. We’re still searching though for the right one. One that we think will get along great with our English Bulldog. I look at the humane association website almost every day to see the new dogs and also look at other local rescues. I can’t wait until we find our “Caroline”. (And what’s funny about that is my boyfriend actually suggested Caroline as a potential name.) πŸ™‚ Glad to see you found your match! Best of luck to you all for an easy transition!

  34. vivian on December 3, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Your a HERO gina! And how great is it that Caroline and Olivia will grow up togheter?!?!

  35. Averie @ Averie Cooks on December 3, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Congrats on the new addition! She’s adorable and what a total win-win situation for her and your family and I am loving how sweet she just looks! πŸ™‚

  36. Brenda Garcia on December 3, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Words cannot express how HAPPY I am that you adopted! My dog, Shelby, is adopted and she was also a mama dog from a puppy mill rescue. I’ve had her for 2 years and she is my sidekick, I couldn’t imagine life without her. Our other dog, Murphy, is also a rescue but he was my foster. I fostered about 20 dogs and found them all homes but for some reason we couldn’t let go of Murphy. After volunteering and learning about how many homeless animals there are out there, it really just warms my heart to know that there are others adopting! It gives us fosters the motivation, hope, and sense of accomplishment. It’s news like this that makes fostering SOOOOO worth it!
    Thanks for adopting!

    • Fitnessista on December 3, 2012 at 5:27 pm

      thank YOU for fostering! my parents have fostered some dogs and also ended up keeping one (abby, who’s been on the blog before). it’s something i would love to do in the future, when our kids are older.

  37. Meg on December 3, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    I’m horrible at commenting bc normally I read through google reader while walking my pups. I got a rescue who looks like a darker Caroline back in May (we don’t know what she is but people ask a lot if she’s a King Charles – but she’s skinny and about 40lb so she’s mixed with something). She too had never been on a leash and was about 2 years old when we adopted her. I remember I first put her on it and tried to take her to the car and she went crazy pulling and wrapping herself in it bc she didn’t know what it was. We started putting her on it and hanging out around the house so she knew it wasn’t a bad thing and I’d treat her when I’d pull on it a bit and she’d come to me – we slowly started using it in the yard which she was used to and then eventually on walks – I think it really scared her at first but she loves it now. She is still absoutly tramatized by the car which we’ve yet to figure out and have tried everything under the sun if anyone has any ideas. I feel horrible taking her anywhere bc she tucks her tail and shakes, breaks my heart! I love the last photo – too cute!!

    • Janice on December 3, 2012 at 6:17 pm

      We taught our two puppies to walk on a leash doing exactly as you suggested. Make the leash a normal,ordinary object that is associated with fun. We didn’t push it and sometimes walked only 5 feet a session but now we walk for miles each day.

      Also, Meg, I don’t know if you’ve seen the corny TV ads for thundershirts for dogs but that could be something to consider for your car ride siutation. I recently saw Temple Grandin speak and she spoke to the reassurance animals receive from a large portion of their body being given deep pressure which is what these shirts do. She was amazing to listen to and said these shirts can work with all type of stressful sitations not just storms. It could be something to try?

      • Janice on December 3, 2012 at 6:18 pm

        Oh, and so happy for you and your family Gina! Caroline is precious! We are big believers in having a two dog family!

  38. Leanne on December 3, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    So, so jealous. My hubby & I LOVE king charles cavaliers, and I will periodically scan petfinder to see if there are any available (or really, any other sweet puppy that needs a home). But, we are currently apartment dwellers and are both gone for 9 hours a day, so we just don’t think it’d be fair for the pup at this time. So, I basically torture myself with petfinder, just staring at all the dogs/cats I want but can’t have, haha.

  39. Amanda @ .running with spoons. on December 3, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Eee! What a precious girl! And it’s so awesome that you decided to rescue her. My pup is a little mixie that we got from the local shelter and it’s honestly the best thing we ever did. Can’t wait to see more of her on your blog… she’s just gorgeous!

  40. Amie on December 3, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Heartwarming. πŸ™‚

  41. Alisha @ Alisha's Appetite on December 3, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    omg I am soooo jealous! Congrats, she is beautiful! So happy for you that she fits into the family perfectly.

  42. Amanda on December 3, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Caroline is so cute! Welcome to the family! Like many comments before me, I’m glad you rescued! We have two rescues (but much bigger!) and have had them for 6+ years and they are such good dogs and best friends.

  43. Holli on December 3, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    This melts my heart <3

  44. kristinp on December 3, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    What a sweetheart! I found my fur-buddy on too – he was a rescue from a dog fighting ring in New Orleans πŸ™

    As far as getting her used to the leash, could you put Bella on a leash in the backyard and walk her around so Caroline can see what the point of the leash is? She might not have any idea what the leash is for and Bella demonstrating could be really helpful.

    Congrats on the new addition!

  45. Kandi on December 3, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Caroline looks like such a sweet girl! She’s so cute! Glad she has adjusted well to you guys and vice versa =)

  46. Brooke @ Being Vivacious on December 3, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Oh. the two dogs together are just precious.

  47. Marissa on December 3, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Caroline is such a doll. She reminds me of my little girl, Cami. They’re coloring and faces are so similar. I think you’ll see quickly that these little dogs are just angels. They are so easygoing & just wanna please. I love it when Cami shows her silly personality too. My only advice would be to brush her ears often once they get longer. Those fine little hairs get in some crazy knots! I try to brush them out few times a week.

  48. Monica on December 3, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Awwww your family is the cutest thing ever! Caroline is precious. Congratulations!

  49. Heather on December 3, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    She is a cutie! So glad you got her from a rescue! I can’t go to the Humane Society or I’d end up with 5 dogs πŸ˜‰

  50. James on December 3, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Thank you for rescuing!! Your new pup is such a cute addition to your beautiful family!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.