Tuesday, September 30, 2008

With a click a day, you can help us win this grant!!!

Hi everyone. There's a very cool grant opportunity through "The Animal Rescue Site" for small rescue groups like ours. Each year they do a contest and the grand prize is a $25,000 grant to the rescue group who ends up with the most votes. For a start up group like ours this would be a dream come true! Do you know how many little spotted dogs we could rescue with $25,000!!!

Anyhow, we need you to go to the Website each day through December 14th and vote for New Rattitude. You don't have to register or give any information. All you have to do is link to the contest page, type in New Rattitude in the "Shelter Name" line, and for state, choose Georgia (that's where NR is incorporated.) This will bring up New Rattitude with a button at the end that says "Vote". Click on that. Then, to make sure that some computer geek hasn't found a way to hack into the contest, they will show a picture of an animal and you have to type in the name of the animal (all lower case letters) and click to confirm your vote. It's really quite simple and by just taking a few minutes each day you could help out a lot of dogs.
Right now we are in 33rd place nationwide, but it's only been 2 days. The voting runs through December 14th and you can vote (on each computer in your house) daily. Second place is $10,000 and if we are number 1 in the state of Georgia we win $1,000. Right now we are 2nd place in Georgia! Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaasssssssssssssse take time to do this each day. Spread the word and tell your friends. If everyone takes just a little time we can win this thing! Just look at the photos of the sweet doggy faces in my blog and multiply that by hundreds. That's who you'd be helping!

Izzy's Surgery

Well, I dropped Izzy off this morning for her knee surgery, poor little girl. She was so scared and the next few weeks will be rough for her. They will be correcting the luxating patella in both knees, and while she's under getting the staples from her spay surgery removed and also getting her puppy booster vaccination. We figured we might as well get all the painful stuff out of the way while she's asleep.

Repairing the foot was beyond what they could do at the vets and would need an orthopedic specialist. All the bones would need to be rebroken and pins put in to set things correctly. She's still so young and at this point it might do more harm than good to work on the foot. The emergency vet in Texas didn't think that it would be worth it to fix the foot, since it's the knees and not the foot that is causing the pain at this point. We'll see. I'll call later this afternoon to see how things went and will post a comment to let folks know the details. We'll pick her up tomorrow morning. It will be a relief to have her back home with me.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Do you see your dog?

New Rattitude is working on putting together a small store on Etsy.com of art and craft creations made by the group members and donated to raise money for the rescue and vetting of more ratties. I'll be making 5x7 cards that feature photos of different rat terriers that I have fostered (and our dog Frodo, of course.) I put together the most professional shots of the dogs that I had and came up with a very nice set of cards. There are 8 blank, ivory cards in the set featuring photos of 5 different dogs: Suki, Pepper, Sprocket, Tilly, and Frodo. If your dog isn't in the set, it's not because I don't think they are beautiful, it's just that I didn't get a good enough photo of them. I'm also thinking about doing some Christmas cards featuring a cute photo I have of Frodo in a red collar (like Santa's reindeer wear) with bells. Let me know if you're interested.

Since the Etsy store isn't up and running, New Rattitude decided to start selling the cards directly. It's $15 for a set of 8 cards and $3 for shipping, however if you are nearby we can arrange for you to pick up the cards or to meet somewhere. Of that $15, $4 goes to pay for the cost of the materials and $11 will go to New Rattitude. To buy them either go to Paypal and pay the money to fundraising@newrattitude.org or send a check to New Rattitude, P.O. Box 14064; Lansing MI, 48901. Be sure to note that it is payment for the rat terrier cards. Either include your mailing address in the note to the treasurer or E-mail me with the address and I'll send them out as soon as our treasurer notifies me that the payment is received.

They really turned out quite beautiful. They are packaged up with a dog bone gift tag, so they'd make a nice gift as well.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Goobers, goobers and more goobers

Yesterday was the day o' goobers and grossness. I'm talking pus and poop and boogers out of every doggy orifice. I took a shower twice and changed my clothes three times and still found dog boogers on my sleeve when I was getting ready for bed in the evening.

As you read in the last post, Izzy has a runny nose and with every sniff she sprays wet booger juice. Gross? Yeah, tell me about it. So that was still going on. Then, she pooped on the kitchen floor. "At least it wasn't on the carpet" I was thinking as I cleaned up. At the same time, Tilly was in the living room, ON THE CARPET, pooping. Exasperated, I got the Spot-bot (a necessary tool for any foster family) out to steam the spot before we headed to the dog park.

At the dog park I took Tilly out of her crate in the back and she submission peed in her bed. She had also puked in the crate on the drive over. Wonderful. :I Then, Frodo stepped in poop and also rolled in something dead and rotting. While Frodo worked up his stink, I was looking at Tilly's paw and noticed she had these large bumps on the side, they looked a little like infected slivers. After a little prodding, "pop" out came a pussy sliver on my hand. By this time I was trying not to retch.

We got home, cleaned Frodo up, started up the laundry to wash Tilly's bed and blankets and then went to get Izzy to take her outside. Too late. Poor Izzy had peed in her crate and then sat in the pee. More bed washing. More dog washing. Once you throw in the eye goobers from Tilly and Izzy, you've got one big mix of dog grossness.

Of course, cute little Izzy licked my face as I washed her off. Frodo did a hilarious dance of joy at his discovery of the putrid "cologne" and Tilly stood on her hind legs and danced in front of me, trying to get a few pets and looking completely adoreable. They all reminded me that sometimes you have to put up with a few goobers to see what's really important.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Puppy Boogers

It's pretty common for new fosters to come home with kennel cough, essentially a cold. So far over half of our fosters have had mild cases, but Izzy is the first dog we've had that has gotten this congested. The first day I figured that I would just give her the typical immune-system boosters that I give all new fosters: Omega 3s and 6s, pre and probiotics, and maybe a little vitamin C powder.

She wasn't eating well and I was sitting with her in my lap, working on the computer as she sniffled away. After awhile I realized that there was this spattering of little green dots all over the table and laptop in front of me. Similarly, my pant leg where she was resting her head was also polka dotted, as well as the blanket she was wrapped in.

It ends up that each time she sniffed, she was spraying a little shower of snot over everything. The snot combined with coughing until she vomited let me know that she was in need of a round of antibiotics. Luckily I still had enough for a full course in the refrigerator, left over from another dog. I'm happy to say that, although the boogers are still a-spraying, she is eating more and seems a bit livelier.

I purchased some oil of oregano, hearing from a rescue friend that it works great on a congested puppy. They said to put a drop of it in their food. Well, I guess Izzy isn't fond of Italian, because she won't come near her food if it has the oil in it. It's pretty potent stuff and just the drop that I spilled on my hand opened up my sinuses, so I decided to put a couple drops on the puppy pad in her crate. Now our bedroom smells a bit like an herbarium.
Her surgery has been postponed while she heals up from the kennel cough and while we try to come up with the money to pay for it. The photo above was taken in the back yard during one of many trips outside, hoping that she would pee. Mostly she just follows me around, sans-peeing, and if I stop, she sits like this and stares at me as if she's saying, "so what are we gonna do now?"

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Isabella's Story

Last night we had the honor of welcoming a special new puppy t0 our home. Her name is Isabella and the first 12 weeks of her life have been pretty rough, but happily, things have taken a change for the better. Little Izzy (as we call her) is a beautiful blue tri-color rattie with the silkiest coat imagineable. She likely came from a puppymill or backyard breeder who is in-breeding, as she has a congenital birth defect that is common in small dog breeds that are irresponsibly bred.

Both of Izzy's back legs have luxating patellas. Typically a dogs kneecap sits in two grooves which keep it aligned and allow it to move up and down, but not side to side. In a dog with a luxating patella (kneecap) the grooves are very shallow and/or the tendons that hold things together are attached crookedly. The result is that the patella can pop to the side, causing pain and lameness. Sometimes, in mild cases, it is fine to leave things as is. The knee will pop back into place and after a short while the dog will be walking normally. However in severe cases such as Izzy's, the problem is constant. With both rear legs affected, eventually it will cause arthritis and total lameness.

Izzy's case was pretty bad, but to make matters worse, someone stepped on her foot early on, breaking the toes. The foot was allowed to heal incorrectly and the bones in the broken toes fused together, pulling off to the side. This put even more stress on her knee.

Here her sad story changes though. Izzy was dumped at the Town Lake Animal Center in Austin, Texas, one of the most rescue-friendly shelters around. They had x-rays run, had her seen at the emergency veterinary hospital, and presented her prognosis to the New Rattitude Rat Terrier Rescue volunteer in the area. She was vaccinated, spayed and had a microchip inserted and they offered to reimburse New Rattitude $250 of the surgery necessary to repair her knees.

Well, who could pass up such a sweet, beautiful little baby like this one! Our volunteer pulled her from the shelter and little Izzy was flown with all her medical information to Seattle. She has been seen by the veterinarians who take care of all our foster dogs, and they have offered to do the surgery at a greatly reduced rate of about $1,000. We have applied for a grant that would cover $300 of the surgery, so at this point we have $550 raised for the surgery. That still leaves $450, which for a rescue group who is scraping by to just cover vaccinations and spay/neuter surgeries, is a lot of money. Right now surgery is on hold until we can raise enough money. If anyone can donate any money toward little Izzy's surgery, it would be greatly appreciated. Any amount would help! Let's get this little dog running and playing, pain-free, like a normal puppy. Donations can be made by clicking on the New Rattitude Paypal donation button you see on the left side of this blog (near the top) or can be mailed to New Rattitude, P.O. Box 14064, Lansing, Michigan, 48901. Just make sure to note that the donations are for Isabella's surgery. Thanks so much! I'll keep you posted on how Izzy is doing and how the fundraising is progressing.

Currently she is dealing with kennel cough on top of everything else, poor girl. In spite of everything though, she always has a kiss to greet people and still loves having snuggle time.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Bye-bye Shelby

Today is Shelby's last day at our house. Tonight (or tomorrow morning depending on schedules) she'll get picked up by her new mom and fur-sister, Djinn, a beautiful blue (gray) and white rat terrier. It has been wonderful spending the last few weeks with her because she's such a wonderful, well-mannered dog. She loves to play, but is even more happy snuggling in someone's lap or down underneath a big pile of cushy blankets. Things we'll remember about Shelby is her funny little whine - she hates to be away from her people and cries like a baby when she's separated from them; and her ability to jump about 4 1/2 feet from a standing position, over and over and over like a little tan and white pogo stick. Her temporary foster mom in Texas will remember her for her ninja-like ability to scale a 6' chain-link fence. She just wanted to get back inside to the people though, not run away, so she would climb the fence and then go sit on the front porch to wait for them.

I know that she'll have a happy life, gaining confidence as she settles into her forever home and blossoms from the love and stability she'll experience.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New Rattitude's E-Newsletter

The new rescue group that I'm volunteering for, New Rattitude, Inc., is going to put out a monthly online newsletter that will be sent right to your E-mail inbox! This will keep you posted about what's going on with the group and to share some of our success stories with you. Our list of subscribers will NEVER be shared or sold. If you are interested in subscribing, link on over there and get yourself signed up fast because it will be sent out soon! The service will send you a confirmation E-mail after you sign up. Be sure to open that and click on the link to finish the application. This is just a safeguard to make sure that you indeed chose to sign up and someone didn't do it for you. I hope you'll join us.

To learn a bit more about the group or just to see the cute little ratties that we are already rescuing, link to the New Rattitude Website. The site is still under construction so bear with us as our Web team finishes up the new site design, but there's plenty to see on it currently so don't wait to check it out. One of these days you'll open the Website and the home page will dazzle you, I promise. :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fun shopping opportunity - plus you help the ratties!

New Rattitude is doing a fundraiser through the uncommongarden.com selling candles, monogrammed doggy towels and personalized notecards. A very generous portion of each sale will be given to New Rattitude over the three weeks that the event runs. The candle scents are great and the doggy towels are SO cute. Anyway, how about doing a little early holiday shopping and earn some cha-ching for rat terriers at the same time! Just click on the link above and start shopping!

Here are photos of the one of the types of towels and the candles. Be sure to visit the Website to look at the notecards also.

A Quick Update

The applications are being sent in fast and furious for Shelby and we haven't even shown her at the adoption event yet. She is doing great, such a sweet little dog and although she's had a couple accidents in the house, she's doing pretty well with the house training if she's kept to a schedule. We have really enjoyed having the chance to foster this sweet girl.

Tilly's progress continues and these last two days we have some great benchmarks that she's met. First, yesterday when I tossed out a bunch of new floss knot toys for the dogs to play with, Tilly grabbed one and actually played with it! She's nosed tennis balls around before, but this was her first time to actually chew on something and throw it around.

These last few days I've been trying to give her more free-run of the main floor of the house, but I'm taking the dogs outside every 30 minutes to help avoid any accidents. Well, this afternoon she actually scratched at the sliding glass door to go out. I was ecstatic! Well... quietly ecstatic, so as not to scare the pee right out of her.
We are still taking our daily trek to the off-leash park, carrying Tilly in a baby pack and letting her down for a few minutes when only calm, older dogs are around. She seems much more relaxed at the park, although some of that might be the herbal anxiety relief drops that I'm slipping into her food and treats. She's a great dog and whoever ends up with her in their family will be lucky indeed.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A change of heart

Well, as you can see in the photo, Bud has decided that maybe Tilly isn't so bad after all. I mean, he has to realize what good taste she has to be so in love with him. Tilly's love for Bud has not seemed to abate, and Bud now lets her sniff him and I even caught them playing together a bit over the last couple days. It's so odd how Tilly, who is pretty standoffish with other dogs (and very standoffish with people) just seems to be so connected with Bud. She will be very sad when he goes home on Friday.

Bud is on house arrest right now until I can move the compost bin to a new spot in the back yard. Today he jumped up on the bin and over the fence into the neighbor's back yard. Unfortunately he was working in his yard and had the gates open and out Bud went for a trot around the neighborhood. We sprinted after him for about a 1/4 mile before we were able to corner him in someone's yard. Have you ever raced a rat terrier? Trust me, you will not win unless they let you or you're good at herding.

Then he did it again this evening only the gates were locked so he was trapped in our neighbor's yard, thankfully. Now he is on leash when we go out for bathroom breaks and tomorrow I'll fix things up so he can roam freely with the other dogs again. He is acting like I am killing him by making him be on a leash when he's outside.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Love Triangle

We are pupsitting one of our past fosters, Bud (used to be Gus) and for some reason Tilly is obsessed with him. She follows him everywhere, trying to get him to play with her but he shuns her at every turn, annoyed by her playfulness. Tilly just won't give up, but her stilted odd puppymill dog-play just irritates Bud.

You see, Bud has his eye on our new 2 year old foster Shelby, a beautiful little tan and white who is happy to play with anyone. So both the girls play with Bud and Bud plays with Shelby and nips at poor Tilly. It d0esn't seem to hurt her feelings though - she just keeps stalking the longsuffering guy.

The top photo shows Tilly approaching Bud and Bud turning to look at her and give her the "what, already?!! Just back off!" look. The bottom photo shows Shelby, our new foster in one of her rare still moments when she isn't wrestling with Bud.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Tilly on Vacation

We took Tilly and Frodo with us to visit a friend at her home in Central Oregon and it seemed like a vacation was just what Tilly needed. I was so proud of her! She hiked with us - her first time on a leash - and did great travelling in the car as well. The best part though was when she initiated play with Frodo. Yep, you heard it correctly. Tilly tried to play. It was a stilted odd little playtime, but a playtime nonetheless. She even nosed a tennis ball around a couple times.

In this photo you see her after hiking up to the top of Fort Rock. She really enjoyed the hiking, as long as she got to walk behind everyone else. For a little dog who spent all her life in a crate, the wide open vistas of the high desert of Central Oregon must have been pretty inspiring. Doesn't she look happy compared to some of the earlier photos that I've posted of her?

I won't say that the vacation completely ended her fears, but she has made some great progress that seems to be sticking. Yesterday she went to the off-leash park with me. For most of the time I had her in a front pack, however, once the more rambunctious dogs left I put her down for awhile and she wandered around and sniffed things out. She even let two of our human dog park friends pet her while she was in the baby pack without even snarling or lifting a lip.