Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Latest from the Veterinarian

First, so no one panics, this is an old photo that was taken on Suki's first day with us. We just wanted you to have something to compare her latest photos to so you could see how far she's come. Six weeks of medicine, quality puppy food, diet supplements, and lots of love have definitely made a big difference.

Well - good news and bad news. The good news is that Suki's mange is doing much better. The bad news is that it is still not a mild enough case to have her spayed and so her adoptive family will have to wait another 4+ weeks to bring home their sweet new little girl.

Her case was quite extreme when she first arrived here from the shelter, in fact the vet wasn't sure he had seen such a bad case of generalized demodectic mange. Now, after 6 weeks on Ivermectin, she is doing much better. She's no longer a scabby mess and doesn't spend much time scratching, however she still has large patches of mite irritation on her neck, body and all of her legs. Yes, that's pretty much all of her, but her face and tail look pretty mite-free so we're going to call that a victory, especially since one side of her face and the top of her head used to look like one big sore.
I can't say that we're sad to hold onto this sweet dog for another month, but her adoptive family is so ready for her that I feel bad that they will have to wait.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ratbone Rescues needs items for a charity auction

A wonderful Ratbone volunteer has offered to run auctions for us on ebay to raise money for Ratbone Rescues. The program is run through something called "MissionFish", and any items for sale need to sell for $5 or over. Soooo...... Do you think that you have anything to donate that might sell on ebay? 100% of the proceeds go to Ratbone AND you can write off the donation on your taxes because Ratbone is a registered "not for profit" organization. The items don't necessarily have to be dog related, just something that will sell for at least $5 (MissionFish rule).

We have "poster pups" that are featured on the different auctions so people can see and hear about a specific dog that the proceeds from the sale are helping. Here's an auction you can check out that features Moxie, a sweet dog that is currently in Washington. The poster pups will be dogs that have medical needs above and beyond the $150 adoption fee that is charged. Many of the dogs that come into foster care are severely neglected or even abused and the result can be a difficult and costly road to recovery.

Can you help us? If you are interested in donating something then drop me an email. Remember that I can give you a receipt for any donations and you can write that amount off of your taxes.

Above you see our personal poster pup - Suki - who is one of those dogs with medical expenses above and beyond the $150 adoption fee. She came to us with severe mange, an intestinal infection and bordetella from a shelter in Texas that was euthanizing her because she had demodectic mange and couldn't be spayed while she had it. A volunteer from Ratbone scooped her up and flew her to us here in Washington where she is being loved back to health.
When you take into account her vaccinations, flea treatment, mange medication, mange salve, antibiotics for the intestinal infection that she had, spaying and having 4 teeth pulled - things add up quickly. Through these fundraisers and donations, Ratbones is able to cover most of the dogs' medical costs, lightening the financial burden on foster parents and thus allowing more people to foster and save these sweet little dogs.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Running like the wind - well, kind of....

This last week I started running again and decided to take both dogs with me. My 14 year old son runs daily, and so we drove over to the BPA trail with Suki and Frodo and started off down the trail. Suki was ecstatic. She trotted along and in her harness reminded me of the photos of Santa's reindeer, prancing along. Frodo, on the other hand, was not at all amused. So I jogged along, one arm pulled forward as Suki tried to catch up to my son and one arm pulled behind me as Frodo pulled back trying to make his nightmare end. At one point he stopped so suddenly that he collar pulled right off of his skinny rattie head. My son ran with Suki for awhile but after a couple minutes she was back with me. We ran about a mile and a half and walked an additional 2 and a half miles and Suki pulled the entire time.

The goal is that Suki will start to understand how to walk/run on leash. She did learn a few things, but not how to gracefully accompany her person while on leash. Here are some of her lessons:

  • 14 year old boys have no patience

  • 14 year old boys do not approve of sniffing forays off of the trail

  • Don't run in front of people or they will step on your paws (she didn't learn a lesson here, but at the time of being stepped on she made note of it)

  • Her foster mom is not a very fast runner and needs to be pulled at all times

  • Water bottles are very fun to drink out of

  • 14 year old boys don't like dog slobber on their water bottles
I'm sure there were some other things she noted, but this gives you the basic idea.

No photos were taken during the run (my hands were full and my son was about a mile ahead of us) but I wanted to include another cute photo of the princess. Sometimes her and Frodo will sit on the steps like this - one end sitting and the other standing - and we think it is so funny.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Don't touch me!

In this little video Suki once again tries to initiate play, only to be shunned by Frodo as he scoots down the couch to get away from her.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Suki aka "Jaws"

As is somewhat typical of rat terriers, our teething beauty's baby canine teeth did not fall out when her adult teeth came in. I sat down to attempt to brush her teeth, and what do you know?! There were 4 canines poking out of the bottom of her jaw. If you look close in the photo you can see them. Her mouth looks a bit like a shark's. :) Now, when I brushed her teeth last night I noticed that the top canines are starting to come in and the baby ones aren't loose in the slightest.

When Frodo's baby canines didn't fall out he just had them pulled when he was in surgery being neutered. But Suki's still recovering from her demodex and so her spaying is on hold for the moment. Hopefully the double teeth won't permanently affect her bite. Wouldn't want her to have to see a doggy orthodontist! :)

She'll be going into the vet's for a skin check in another week and we'll just have to ask him to look at her mouth then. Until then, we'll let her continue to work on her nylabone, which BTW, I highly recommend as a puppy teether, and an alternative to a regular bone for adult dogs. Long lasting, very safe, and it helps scrape off tartar build-up. It's all good!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Smudge: The Latest

I emailed Smudge's new family yesterday to see how he was doing and just received a great report and some fun photos today. He has had his cast removed and is slowly but surely remembering that he can use that leg now. At first he walked on it, but lifted it up to run, but now he's discovered sprinting and that's sped up his willingness to use his cast-less leg.

It sounds like he tries to eat and drink anything (coffee, candy, even beer) but has to settle for apple chunks and cheese for a treat, which he loves. One of his favorite things is to ride around in his dad's shirt munching on sunflower seeds. He actually can shell them! His dad kept getting blamed for spitting his shells on the ground, when they figured out it was Smudge who was doing it!!

His big brother Maxwell (and by big, I mean BIG), a sweet old pitbull, isn't sure how to play with such a tiny thing, so he just stands there and barks at him. Smudge, a 3 pound little lion, stands his ground and barks right back and so they stand there, nose to nose, barking.

It is great news to hear how well he has settled into his forever home and that his leg healed well. As Ratbone Rescues likes to say, this is a "happy tail."

The photo above shows Smudge lounging around and having a little tug time with his brother, Milo. Doesn't Smudge look like a "mini-me" of Milo?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Suki sits and stays!

Just giving a happy update on Suki's training. We've been working on the "sit" command and she caught on very fast. Let's just say that she is VERY treat motivated - well, and she's pretty smart. She has "sit" down so well that I decided to move on to the "sit-stay" today. I do quick little 3-5 minute training sessions several times a day since she's still only five months with the attention span of a gnat. After just two short seconds we managed a 10 second "stay"!!!! Wow!

Frodo is loving all of this training because he gets to take part and earn treats right along with Suki. Seeing as he's been able to sit and stay for almost 2 years, he's thinking "man has this dog got it easy! Where's the "spin", the "roll over" the "high five"!"

I've recently discovered these great training treats that are made in the Seattle area called "Simon and Huey's Doggoned Tasty Treats." They are made specifically for little dogs and are about the size of a rabbit pellet (sorry for the gross description but the peanut butter and molasses treats could easily be mistaken as such). They are made with all natural ingredients, and remind me of the hippy health food cookies that my mom made me when I was a kid - peanut butter, molasses, oat flour, and unsweetened carob (yes, I tasted one.) They are super soft and I actually split the tiny things in half when we train. I just bought some of their "bacon bit" treats and the dogs are equally excited about them. And no, I'm not being paid for this ad. :) It's just when you find a great, healthy, tiny treat for little dogs you have to spread the word!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

10 things to love about Suki

So often rescue focuses on the sad stories that result in these sweet little dogs ending up in rescue. So I thought for this post I would ignore the rescue side of Suki, and her current health issues and list some of the physical and social things about Suki that make her so special.

1. Prancing - When she walks Suki lifts her front paws high in the air and sets them down gently, almost like a little Lippazaner horse. She even does this while she's running at a slow pace.

2. Lack of Coordination - some of this is probably just the puppy in her, but sometimes when she gets excited during playtime she will jump around and eventually fall on her back because she's being such a spaz. Her funny pratfalls always keep us giggling.

3. Her sparkling eyes - Even when Suki's mange was at its worst and the top of her head was one big sore you hardly noticed it because her eyes are so sparkly that they draw you in. Another thing about her eyes is that they are ringed in black that then stretches out in a way that looks like she's put on eyeliner and is going for a Cleopatra look.

4. Her crooked tail - when relaxed her tail is upright but it has a little twist to her left. Just a little quirk that fits her personality.

5. Her beauty mark - On the left side of her white snout Suki has a small dark spot that we call her beauty spot. It's tres' Marilyn. The funny thing is that all of her whiskers are white except the one black one that grows from that spot.

6. Drinking water - When drinking water Suki has an odd and slightly messy technique. She reaches across the water to the far side of the bowl, lapping her tongue against the bowl. The result is a lot of splashes, but boy does she LOVE her water. At times I wonder if she wasn't given water often where she spent the first part of her life. She constantly checks the bowl to make sure there's water in it, even if she doesn't feel like having any.

7. Burping - Thanks to the odd way that Suki drinks, she gets a lot of air going in with the water. Anytime she drinks a substantial amount (or even eats for that matter) about 30 seconds after she's done she lets out this loud burp. It is hilarious to hear it coming from such a petite little thing.

8. Ladybug spots - Suki's spots on her back are fairly symmetrical and they remind me of ladybug spots: one on her rump, two (across from each other) on her rear flanks, one in the middle of her back, and then finally, two across from each other on her shoulders.

9. Back of her ears - The back of Suki's ears are so beautiful. They start as a black at the base and gradually merge into a beautiful, rich red-brown color. But the edges are outlined in black. They are so velvety and the color change is so perfect!

10. Temperment - Last, but most enjoyable is the wonderful temperment that Ms. Suki has. Now we love our dog Frodo to a fault, but he is a notoriously nervous and neurotic dog. Suki's sweet and even temperment has astounded us - we were so used to Frodo and all his fears. She is confident without being pushy and dominant, loving without being super needy. She'll sit on your lap if you want or if you're busy she'll play by herself by throwing around a toy. She's full of kisses and hugs and sweetness - just a wonderful dog who will make someone an amazing companion.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Suki at the Dog Park

We are part of a group on Flickr called the "Seattle Flickr Dogs" and each month they try to get together at a different off-leash park in the region to meet up and photograph dogs at play. This was the first time that we attended one of the meet ups - it was at our local off-leash park so we had no excuses to miss it. Boy! It was like the English bulldog meet up! There were so many bulldogs there and unfortunately one wanted to eat Frodo for lunch, so Frodo did not enjoy the event.

Suki however, had a blast. She ran and ran and nearly every dog she saw she would immediately drop into play position, ready to play chase. This bulldog wasn't sure what to think of her as she jumped and dove around him. The poor guy was on a leash and couldn't chase her. However, it was funny to see the bulldogs that did try to chase her. Her fast little, lithe terrier body wove through the crowd, leaving the poor bullies huffing along in the distance, trying to figure out where she went.