Gretchen Carlson and her dog Bella.
Courtesy Gretchen Carlson
05/09/2012 AT 03:00 PM EDT
A few years ago, Gretchen Carlson was faced with a very important question from her 3-year-old daughter: "Mom, when can I chew gum – and when can I get a dog?"
Thinking fast on her feet, the Fox and Friends host replied, "How about [when you're] 10?"
Both events came much sooner. Gum-chewing started at 6, and for her 9th birthday recently, Carlson's daughter got a surprise in the form of Bella, a 5-month-old Lagotto Romagnolo.
It took a lot of time to decide on the rare breed, which is used to hunt truffles in Italy. "My daughter researched every breed of dog and every book she wanted was about dogs," Carlson says. "She had Post-It notes everywhere on the pages she liked – she was like a walking encyclopedia of dog knowledge."
But it was a friend who turned the pair onto the Lagotto Romagnolo. "I had seen an unusual, adorable dog that a friend had and introduced [the dog] to my daughter to see if she liked her," she says. "She did, and that easily, we had decided."
Bella has been a "wonderful addition to the family," Carlson says. "Except when she cries on Saturday morning at 5:30 a.m. That wouldn't be so bad if I didn't get up at 3:45 a.m. Monday through Friday to host Fox and Friends."