Colbie Caillat is thrilled to be touring in support of her latest album, The Malibu Sessions. But while traveling across the country and singing for thousands of fans every night is her absolute favorite pastime, the Grammy-award winning artist can’t help but feel sad about leaving a few of her family members at home.
The 31-year-old singer is mom to three rescue dogs: Mate, a small 5 ½ year-old mutt, a 3-year-old St. Bernard named Malibu, and Dorothy, a 4-year-old Pit Bull. Mate comes on the road with Caillat and her guitarist fiancé, Justin Young, but her other two furry companions are not quite cut out for life on the open road.
“Mate is kind of a pro at travel,” Caillat tells PawCulture. “He’s little so he fits everywhere. He’s the total baby of the group.” Dorothy on the other hand, is more of a “scaredy cat” and doesn’t enjoy car rides, shiny floors, or elevators. And Malibu has too much fur, overheats quickly, and takes up too much room on the tour bus. So when Caillat prepares to leave for a tour, she arranges for a dog sitter to come and spend time with her two larger pups.
“It’s so hard to leave them! We miss them so much,” the esteemed songwriter reveals. But in the long run, she knows keeping them at home is the best decision for her pups. When she and Young return after months away on the road, they make it up to their dogs by lounging around the house and spoiling them rotten. “We usually do nothing after tour,” Caillat explains. “We are just homebodies and we all snuggle and play when we get home.”
The secret to handling three dogs at the same time? Caillat is still figuring that out for herself. “They are so cute and they are so sweet. It’s always so exciting to go home to them just because of how loving they are,” she explains. “But they are also a lot of work. It’s hard to walk them all at the same time because they are super strong. We have to divide them up and take turns walking them.” And having such a massive dog in her pack doesn’t always make things easy. “Our St. Bernard is 120 pounds!” Caillat exclaims. “She’s sweet but she’s really strong and she could take you down by running after a rabbit.”
Fortunately for Caillat, her three canine companions get along relatively well. Because they are closer in size, Malibu and Dorothy are “best friends” and play together often. Mate enjoys the company of Dorothy but is a wee bit intimidated by the colossal size of Malibu. “He’s a little grumpy to her, but she’s nice to him,” Caillat says, with a laugh.
Mate has deemed himself the boss of the group. “He runs the show,” says Caillat. Dorothy is an equal mix of “sweet and cowardly. She is the cuddliest, nicest creature,” Caillat explains. And then there is Malibu who is “huge and beautiful” and doesn’t understand her magnitude. “She will lay on top of you, full body weight, and just snuggle with you—morning, nights, whenever,” says Caillat. But while Malibu comes across as innocent, the singer reveals that the pup has a signature stubborn streak. “She’s really strong so when she’s determined to dig up the fence or jump over the fence, or anything, she’ll make it happen! It’s like Beethoven—anything that could go wrong, will go wrong,” she reveals.
The Southern California native grew up in a house filled with pets and has been an advocate for rescuing animals from shelters her entire life. “My mom always wanted us to adopt instead of support pet stores,” Caillat reveals. “She taught me very young that we should be adopting animals. That’s what we did with our animals and now we recommend that to all our friends.”
In addition to doing her part to clear out local shelters, the singer volunteers with The Humane Society and the ASPCA. “I like to remind people about saving dogs from animal shelters or from rescue groups,” she explains. “There are millions of dogs that are put down every year because new puppies come.” Caillat also works with Farm Sanctuary to help rescue factory farm animals to retire them to a nurtured lifestyle.
Like any avid animal lover, the performer admits to having her self-control tested whenever she walks into a shelter. “I wish we could adopt all of them,” she says of the available dogs she frequently encounters.
But down the line the singer has a plan. “I want to start a shelter some day,” Caillat reveals. “I really want to figure out when I can find a big piece of land somewhere in the middle of nowhere and we can rescue more dogs and take them in.”
For now, Caillat does what she can to keep tabs on her local shelters and to alert her pals whenever she encounters a dog that need adopting. “So many of our friends have adopted,” she explains. “It’s amazing and it really makes a difference in the lives of these animals!”
All photos courtesy Colbie Caillat via Instagram