sweet Caroline

Award for easiest adjustment to the move goes tooooooooo…..

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Quite a few of you have asked for an update on how she’s doing, so I figured it was about time for a little Caro update. (Our last Caroline update is here, and here’s the story about her adoption.)

Over the past week, she has entirely transformed. The Pilot joked that maybe she instinctively knew she needed to stick with the pack during this busy time.

She’s always been a timid and shy girl, likely a result of how much she’s been through in her short life. I’m thankful that part of her life is over and she can enjoy being a puppy.

Over the past year that we’ve had her, we’ve overcome a few major hurdles (like that potty training thing); but, there was one where we didn’t seem to make much improvement:


We tried EVERYTHING to get Caro to come on walks, because we knew she’d love to exercise and enjoy some fresh air. Little lady is a bit of a couch potato, and I thought she’d benefit from daily walks. Turns out, walks are horrifying if you’ve never had one before.

We tried a comfy harness, treats for every step, lots of praise and patience, but she never seemed to be a huge fan. So I gave her a break from trying, and we decided to let her ride in the wagon with Liv for family walks, which she loved.

Family walk

That worked out well for us, but with the move, we’ve had to make multiple trips from the car to the hotel room with the pups. We quickly realized that we didn’t have the leashes (they were packed) and relied on the dogs’ good listening skills (+ a hint of Caro’s fear of everything) for them to obediently walk beside us. It was shocking, really. Both dogs walked with us, went outside to go potty and came back in without a hitch. While it worked well, we knew we’d have to get them new leashes for safety reasons, so the Pilot picked some up from the BX.

No harnesses: just regular ol’ leashes + a retractable one for Caro. She walked with this leash with no problem at all, and has been ever since. Who knew that a different leash would make such a huge difference?!


Caro walking

I think it’s because she doesn’t feel like she’s being pulled, and she walks next to us, to it’s not really a problem of her having so much freedom with distance. (If Bell had a retractable leash, she’d tangle herself up with us, give us rug burn and then give herself whiplash.)

Some of the things I’ve learned from having a rescue dog:

-Kindness and patience go hand in hand, even if you don’t see the results right away. With Caro, we only did positive reinforcement (which honestly, was sometimes difficult, like that one time she peed in the bed and I wanted to dinosaur cry), and had to wait it out. Even though you may feel like you’re taking steps backwards, eventually the forward steps will outdistance the regressions. 

-You have to give them time to trust you. For quite a while, Caro wouldn’t go up to anyone for scratches or snuggle sessions. We continued to be kind and sweet to her, let her see that we’d never hurt her, and now she’ll easily walk up for a pet. I wasn’t sure her tail could wag, but now, it drags across the floor as it happily whips back and forth. A major turning point was this past week: I was sick with that virus thing, curled up on the recliner at my mom’s house, and Caro jumped up to sleep in my lap. 

-If something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to give it a break and try again later, or try something different. You may be surprised! 

-Love from a pet is one of the best things ever, and love from a rescue pet is an entirely different world. I can still see a little sadness in her eyes, but there’s a lightness and joy to her little smile. Hopefully one day, the sadness will be gone too <3

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Tell us a sweet, funny or mischievous story about your pet! I’ll NEVER forget when I was taking a shower and Viesa ate an entire yellow cake that was cooling on the table. 



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  1. Laura on April 8, 2014 at 9:48 am

    What a sweet girl! Glad to hear that she continues to improve and to open up.
    I love the first photo of her on this post – what a cute smile!

  2. Anum on April 8, 2014 at 10:06 am

    Hey Gina! I was wondering what your thoughts on reverse dieting are…? I’m currently around 1600 cals/day and am trying to get up to what *should* be my maintenance, around 1900. But we’ll see as the time goes on; my main goal is getting leaner!

  3. Emily@WhateverFloatsYourOats on April 8, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Lovde your thoughts about pets! I remember when one of my family’s dogs learned how to slide open our cupboard door with her nose and discovered our candy stash. She left pieces of candy wrappers all over!

  4. Megan @ The Skinny-Life on April 8, 2014 at 11:08 am

    That last picture is too sweet! I don’t have any pets, but that cute picture sure makes me wanna get one.

  5. Reenie on April 8, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    So sweet…. I’m glad she adjusted well. 🙂

  6. Sara K on April 8, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Thanks for sharing! Glad it’s going well. We also have a rescue dog that has been with us over a year and she is still a work in progress. In time I think she will be able to be a true “family pet”. Patience really is key!

  7. brittney on April 8, 2014 at 3:52 pm


  8. Tamara on April 8, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    Thanks for the Caro update, what a sweet girl.

    My schnauzer had a rough nine months to her life with another family who mistreated her, and is still very shy (but cheeky) two years on. I came home from work when we first rescued her to find she pulled the bible out of our bookcase and chewed it to pieces on her bed!

  9. Mandi on April 9, 2014 at 9:48 am

    We have a rescue dog and when we first got her you couldn’t even put a leash on her or touch her paws. Now when she sees us grab her leash she runs to the door. She still isn’t a fan of having her nails clipped but you can play with her paws anytime. She’s such a happy little love bug! Caro seems so sweet!

  10. Maureen on April 9, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    When my last fur child was a puppy, he dug his way through a mattress – digging for China maybe? The foam was everywhere. We were not ready to invest in a new mattress at the time, so I gathered up the foam, filled the cavern back in and duck taped over it. Flipped over the mattress and no one but Angus and me were the wiser!

  11. Sara on April 11, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    That last picture is so beautiful! So much story in those eyes.

    I have a rescue dog who had to learn to go on walks, too. He was terrified of cars zooming past, didn’t understand the concept (he literally went up every porch steps we passed; he thought we must be going somewhere ins tea dog just walking) and we would zig zag all crazy. He was neglected and had never been taken on a walk, so it was completely foreign to him.

    Now he LIVES for walks and totally gets it. I’ve had him for 8 years now, but it was rough at first. They just need consistency and to see, hey, this person is taking care of me and loves me….everyday! They just need to see the other side of the coin.

    Thank you for rescuing Caroline! She’s a doll and lucky to have you guys.

  12. Brenda Garcia on September 11, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Yay for sick naps with doggies! I think the world would be a better place if everyone just took a nap with a doggy every once in a while. I mean how could you be upset after that?!

    When we first rescued my dog (Shelby) she was a puppy mill rescue, mama dog, was emaciated, fearful of everything… a lot like Caro actually… she was a mess! The poor girl had been through so much and I just wanted to show her the world wasn’t all bad. In a matter of 10ish weeks, she was pottytrained, house trained all that good stuff. Me and her had bonded 🙂

    She never acted out and rarely had to discipline her since she was so good! A simple “No” was all she needed. … UNTIL our first vacation where she didn’t come with us….
    She stayed at home with my roommate and refused to listen to her, she got into the trash and pulled everything out, she made a HUGE mess…. We thought that was the worst of it until we went into our bedroom… she had peed on the bed!! RIGHT WHERE OUR FACES GO ahhhhh… It was terrible…

    I guess she must have been really bummed and then mad that we left her for a week. In a wierd way i felt like i couldn’t be mad at her b/c she did it due to the fact that she probably missed us and her routine was out of whack but man it was hard to keep my cool. I’m glad to say that 4 years later she never did anything like that again phew!

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