Thursday, October 30, 2008

Parasite Pals

Well, Izzy and Bess share everything - toys, beds, blankies, crates... It seems that Bess brought some other things to share - fleas and worms. Heartworm, of course can't spread dog to dog, but it's easy for them to pass on other types of worms thanks to a shared backyard. I'm pretty sure that both Izzy and Bess have whipworms now and Bess has tapeworms. And of course the fleas were easy for her to share. So tonight all the furry ones got Frontline Plus treatments and tomorrow I'll go pick up wormer from Kathy and everyone will get wormed. Yuck.

When you foster rescue dogs you end up learning all about things you never thought you'd have to know - heartworm, whipworm, hookworm and any other worm that might find its way into a dogs system, mites, ringworm and other fungal infections, mange... When you have a weak stomach like I do, it makes for a lot of gagging.

Of course, watching the dogs heal and come to life makes it all worth it. That's the biggest paycheck a person could ever hope for.
The photo above shows Bess and Izzy enjoying a quick snooze in the kitchen, sharing a bed, of course.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Mad House

Things have settled down to a more typical pandemonium at our house now. Blessed, who we call Bess, has made herself at home and her and Izzy immediately clicked. They sleep in the same crate now and keep each other occupied in the kitchen since neither of them is house-trained and I don't trust them to run free in the house.

Bess loves sqeaky toys, but after about 2-3 minutes of squeaky, she gets bored and decides she needs to see what it is that's doing all the squeaking. Then she gets busy performing a squeakectomy on the toy. So far Izzy has been our only foster ever who is satisfied to chew stuffed toys and not disembowel them.

Tilly is getting braver and braver. She will even go up and sniff the guys' hands these days and took a treat from Hunter's hand the other day when I wasn't even nearby. AMAZING!

Frodo is busy with his job as the fun police, since Izzy and Bess are always wrestling and playing. He keeps everyone in line as we've come to expect from our persnickety little man. He is getting ready for his 4th birthday this Saturday, but he has the attitude of a 10 year old dog. I can only imagine how he'll be as an elderly dog. Sheesh.

This photo was taken on Bess' first day with us. She was trying to introduce herself to Frodo, but he wasn't so sure he liked her.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Izzy lost a baby tooth last night - one of her molars, or whatever the canine equivalent might be. She was running around making weird faces and then she would rub her face on the couch. It got so frenzied it started to look like a seizure.

Hunter helped me get a hold of her and I slid my finger back to try to figure out what was stuck back there and - pop - out came a tooth. She calmed right down once the irritant was removed and went back to wrestling with Blessed, which seems like a 24/7 activity for those two. They are inseparable!

A little while later I freaked out because I noticed that Blessed had bloody marks all over her hind legs. I knew they played rough, but I didn't hear any yelping so how had it happened! Then I had to laugh. Izzy's molar was bleeding a little and so every time she nipped at Blessed as they wrestled, she left a little bloody spot. By the time her mouth stopped bleeding poor Blessed looked like she'd been used as pit bait or something - bite marks everywhere! Luckily she cleaned right up.
This photo show Iz and Bless in one of their favorite wrestling "rings". Most of the time Izzy is on her back snarling, long skinny legs flying, biting whatever gets close to her.
Their closeness has been wonderful, because Blessed tends to have separation anxiety and she gets very upset when she's crated and we leave. I've learned that if I push Izzy and Blessed's crates right up against each other she calms down. I'd put them in the same crate, but I don't have any of the jumbo wire crates that would work for that.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Blessed: the new dog in town

Miss Blessed's journey from an Arlington, Texas shelter to us was truly blessed - which is why the New Rattitude members gave her this name. Her adoption at the shelter fell through because it was discovered that she had heartworm. This doomed poor Blessed to the euthanization list unless a rescue group would take her.

So New Rattitude members kicked into high gear. Donations were made to pay for her heartworm treatment and I had a friend at Horizon Airlines try to find a volunteer to fly out to Dallas and bring her back to Washington since she couldn't fly in cargo because of her heartworm.

She was pulled from the shelter and driven quite a distance to Jodi, a NR volunteer in the Dallas area. Jodi cleaned her up, gave her a bunch of love and got her ready to fly to Washington.

An incredible volunteer was found and he spent an entire day flying and sitting around at airports to bring little Blessed to safety. We met him at Sea-Tac Airport and welcomed Blessed to Washington State. We'll have her here for a few days until her foster mom, Kathy, is back from Arizona. Then she'll start her heartworm treatment and get healthy so she can find a family to join.

Blessed is such a sweet little gal. She hates when her people aren't around and gets worried and barks, but we are working on that. She just needs to learn that just because she can't see someone, doesn't mean they won't come back for her. She's playful in spite of the heartworm and has made a great playmate for our foster, Izzy. One thing she has in common with Izzy is that she isn't housetrained, but we are working on that as well. With her one ear up, one ear down, she has a sweet comical look and is quite adept at stealing hearts. What a great story of how much can be accomplished when a bunch of great people work together to save a dog.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rat Terrier Earrings - All proceeds go to New Rattitude

A couple of talented New Rattitude volunteers made earrings out of rattie charms. There are four sets left and they are going fast so if you want some, order fast!

The cost is $20, which includes shipping and handling. Each set has sterling silver shepherd's hooks. Some of the beads are made from Czech glass and some are the best picks from years of collecting. The charm at the bottom is rat terrier fun! All proceeds from this sale benefit New Rattitude.

To see the color combos of the four remaining sets, check out the Image event album. To order, contact Contact leveckemas@ (remove spaces in E-mail address). Thanks for looking!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Tilly and the tennis ball

Here Tilly is discovering the joy of a tennis ball and what rascally little devils they can be - always rolling away. It's such a joy to watch this little dog learn how to play and start to feel safe.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Another Texas-Washington Shuffle

Often our team of foster parents and volunteers here in Washington teams up with the Texas volunteers to get rat terriers who are listed to be euthanized transported from Texas to open Washington foster homes. Up here in Washington we are lucky that puppymills aren't as prevalent as other parts of the country and Texas has a bunch of them. We are also lucky to live in a part of the country where more couples have dogs than have kids, so it's very dog friendly and full of folks interested in adopting rescues. The shelters that we work with in the Dallas and Austin areas are woefully underfunded and dogs with any medical issues like heartworm, mange, broken bones, etc. doom most of them to the euthanization table. Thankfully, the shelter workers go above and beyond the call of duty to find breed rescue groups to save some of these dogs.

So, meet "Blessed". She's a young girl who was determined to be heartworm positive in an Arlington, Texas shelter. They contacted New Rattitude volunteers attempting to save this little gal. And so the Texas-Washington shuffle began.
Jodi in Texas contacted Kathy who agreed to pay to fly this gal, a momma and her 5 week old puppy to Washington and find them foster homes. The shelter was notified and little Blessed was taken off the euthanization list. She was pulled and transported to Jodi in Dallas. Now, we are scrambling, trying to find a volunteer at Alaska Airlines to fly her so she doesn't have to fly cargo because of the heartworm. The E-mails fly fast and furious - who is picking up at the airport, how soon can they get flight health certificates, who can temp foster for a week until the three can be transported to their foster homes.... It happens time and again. Incredible volunteers working together, giving of their time, money, and energy to save another 2 or 3 or 4 dogs.
I'm proud, you might even say "blessed," to be part of this team.
Psst... don't forget to click the link on your left (purple colored icon) and vote for NR Georgia in the shelter challenge. We have dropped out of first place in Georgia, which means we won't win that $1,000 unless we can move back up the list.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Another voting opportunity - this one's easy

Another animal welfare website,, is putting on a contest giving money away to shelters and rescue groups. In this one you only have to vote one time and you're done. The top shelter wins $10,000 and they pick a random group weekly to win $1,000. So easy! So help us out and link to care2's contest page to quickly vote. Try it on multiple computers in your house. You may be able to get one vote per computer.

Thanks everyone!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Izzy: Full Tilt

After over a week of having to take it easy, I let Izzy run around and play. Her and Frodo wrestled for ages and this is just a little snippet of that.

Mealtime Madness

I was in the middle of preparing a mealtime for the dogs when I looked at the table and thought, "this is crazy! I've got to get a photo of this!"

We are watching a previous foster, have two special needs fosters and then our healthy and rambunctious Frodo. With all the supplements, and foods and medications added to each mealtime, it can get really crazy.

Here's what gets added:

Tilly gets Orijen adult kibble mixed with Merrick soft food, probiotic powder, vitamin and Omega 3 supplement, drop of oil of oregano for immune system and the kennel cough she caught from Izzy, pinch of buffered vitamin C powder, and a tablespoon of pumpkin to avoid the soft stool caused by all the supplements!

Izzy gets Orijen puppy kibble mixed with Merrick soft food, and all the same supplements as Tilly PLUS pain pills, post surgery antibiotics and in the evening, a glucosamine supplement. Luckily the pain pills and antibiotics are done now.

Frodo gets Orijen adult kibble with a dribble of Merrick on it along with the vitamin and Omega 3 supplement and vitamin C (until the kennel cough passes.)

And Bud, our house guest, gets his kibble mixed with soft food along with the sprinkle of vitamin C that I'm giving the other dogs.
With each foster the things I add are different, depending on what their health is. I've ended up collecting quite a full bin of medicines both from the vet and homeopathic to deal with things that come up. Sometimes we use things from the cupboard, like honey as a cough syrup, but if you do this, check and make sure that the things you are choosing are safe for dogs, not just humans. Some things that we eat are toxic to dogs.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Modified Rattie-run

I'm happy to say that Miss Tilly is acting more and more like a rat terrier everyday. This morning she partook of her first rattie run around the living room. It wasn't the typical circuit that Frodo and most of our fosters use, but it was Tilly's very own puppymiller style modified rattie run.

For those of you who have dogs of other breeds, let me explain to you what a rattie-run is. Out of nowhere at any time of the day, a rat terrier will break out into a joyous sprint at greyhound-like speeds in large looping circuits. In their mind there is a particular track that must be followed at any cost, no matter what lies in their path. Couches lept in a single bound! Stairs? What stairs? Who needs stairs when you can fly? Another dog? Isn't that just a hurdle?

It is something glorious to see (unless of course you are one of the obstacles that they are jumping) and you just can't watch without a grin. At the dog park you will see people with big dogs turn, jaws dragging on the ground, staring in wonder as Frodo, a tiny 12# streak of tan and white flashes by, rattie style. Guys who previously had turned up a lip at my tiny little terrier change their disdain to respect when they have witnessed a full speed rattie run.

Anyhow, Tilly has discovered this joyous terrier past-time and has adapted it to her comfort level. She will tear from her favorite corner over to where I sit on the floor and then stop in front of me in play position. When I reach for her she will tear to the other corner and sit in her crate (not out of fear, but that's just second base). When I say "Tiiiiilllllyyyyyy" she races back to my lap and then back over beneath the dining room table. In each spot she freezes a moment, listening for my "Tiiiillllllyyyyyyyy" and then she's off again, back to me. My husband saw her doing this and said, "wow, she's acting like a normal dog!" For a dog who used to roll over and pee on herself when you looked at her from across the room, this is major!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Tilly playtime

I thought I'd share a little shot of Tilly playing. I wish I had been able to get more but she noticed a rawhide and decided that was more interesting than me.

If only I had taken video of her when she was first with us. The difference would be amazing.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Both of Allie's little puppies here in Washington have received names, thanks to Marilyn Y. She donated $200 for the vetting expenses of the pups and received naming rights. Their names are Benny and Katie, and here's the great story behind how she decided:

After much thinking, I have decided to name them Katie and Benny -- and here's why. I'm a newspaper editor who got in this business because I saw the power of newspapers when The Washington Post's great work ultimately led to Nixon's resignation because of Watergate. I was just a kid then but knew from that moment on that journalism would be my career and my passion. (Along the way, I added rat terriers and Kenny Rogers as passions, too, but that's another story.) So, Katie gets her name after Katharine Graham, who was the publisher of the Washington Post during Watergate, and Benny is named after Ben Bradlee, who was editor of the paper. (And would probably kill someone if they called him Benny!)

There was recently a puppymill bust in North Carolina and 137 rat terriers were seized. New Rattitude has foster parents fostering several of the mommas and their newborn pups so there may be more opportunities to name a few more puppies.

In the photo, Katie is on the left, and Benny on the right.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Izzy's Surgery

I picked Izzy up from her surgery yesterday, and boy, did the poor thing look pathetic. Her rear end and legs are shaved making her look like an odd cross between a rat terrier and an American Hairless terrier. At first she was quite unsteady on her feet, which is understood. She did quite a few face plants as she tried to balance and walk on her front feet only.

What a difference a day makes, though. Today she has learned to use the cone as a tripod and will sometimes walk along with two feet and the cone. It's hilarious! However, by this afternoon she was walking almost normally - just a little stiff.

The happy surprise after the surgery was that it came in at $775, rather than the $1,000 that we were quoted. Kathy Young has covered the cost of surgery until enough money comes in to pay for it. That way we didn't have to make poor Izzy wait for the surgery until we were able to raise the full amount of money, which may take awhile.

If you can donate even a little bit to her surgery, link to New Rattitude's Canine Clinic page and there's a donation button on the page that will specify the money goes to cover Izzy's surgery. We need to get this paid off ASAP because there was a puppymill bust in North Carolina and 137 rat terriers were seized. New Rattitude will be fostering many dogs and puppies from this bust which will be a bit of a financial strain.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

"Name the Puppies" Fundraiser

New Rattitude is proud to announce the birth of our first set of rescued puppies! Their momma, Allie, was about to give birth but there was parvo in the shelter and if the pups were born in that environment it would be a death sentence. All dogs would have been put to sleep, including momma.

We found a volunteer flying from Dallas to Seattle and had Allie carried on the plane and hand delivered into foster care. That was about 1 1/2 weeks ago and now this week the pups were born. Sadly, the first pup - Pumpkin, didn't make it, but the other two are healthy roly-poly little munchkins (1 male, 1 female) just waiting for names.

Puppies can be quite expensive. Just like newborn babies, there are lots of visits to the doctor and lots of vaccinations, which add up very quickly. This is why we are running a fundraiser for this darling duo.

So the first $100 donation toward each puppy's vetting expenses will earn the giver naming rights. If you aren't first, your donation will be reimbursed. Aren't they sweet? If you are interested in participating, link to the puppy page on to learn more. The black and white pup is the male and the brown and white one is the female.

Psst... There is a lot going on right now so check the blog regularly for posts about Izzy, a rat terrier puppymill bust in South Carolina that we are helping out with, and more!