Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Almost 8 weeks

The puppies turn 8 weeks old this Saturday and that means they are ready for their first set of puppy shots. Boy, this has gone fast. It seems like only yesterday that they were squirming around on their bellies. I've been meaning to post for quite awhile, even have a bunch of notes for a post but I never have time thanks to their penchant for tromping through their poop overnight which requires a pen cleaning and five puppy baths each morning. It's a good thing they are so dang cute.
So here's a photo of them at 6 weeks old. As per usual most of their ears are inside out. L to R are Dax, Rom, Sisko (back), Worf (middle) and Milah Jo (front, lying down). They are mostly weaned now, although Star is still having trouble letting go and is still quite protective of them. Their little personalities are very apparent now, which is fun. Anyhow, I have to run now - time to feed the puppies - again.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Holiday Hugs Drive

We know that money is tight this year for a lot of people, but here's a way that you can make your money do twice the good. Over the holiday season we have a "Holiday Hugs Drive" going on over at the New Rattitude Website. A generous donor has offered to match holiday donations to New Rattitude's vetting fund up to $1,000. So if you make a $25 donation that means $50 will be put into the vetting fund. Pretty cool, huh? We've already had about $650 in donations. Remember, you can donate in someone's name for a holiday gift. New Rattitude will send a card to the person whose name you are donating in letting them know that you have donated money in their name to New Rattitude and telling a bit about how we use donations.

Another way to help us earn an extra $1,000 would be to tell everyone you know about the shelter challenge over on . The contest ends on the 20th, I believe so we only have a little more time to widen our lead. The 2nd place group for Washington state is VERY close to our vote count and we don't want to lose this at the last moment like we did last time. E-mail everyone you know and ask them to vote for New Rattitude, WA (Northwest Region) daily.

The dogs here are doing great. Franny is now reliably house-trained and the puppies are now reliably NOT house-trained and making many messes, many times a day. Star is less enthused with her role as momma now that the pups are 6 weeks old. She is still nursing them a little but spends more time out of the puppy room than she used to.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The perfect storm

Sh$% storm, that is. The puppies are growing up and now that they are over 4 weeks old the poop is coming fast and furious. This would be fine if it was a nice little pile in the corner, but no. For a young puppy pooping usually involves walking through the pile, wandering around in circles and then wiping in on your sibling a few times when you put them in a puppy smackdown.

It's a good thing they are so dang cute because these little boogers have entered the stage where they are a LOT of work, what with the supplemental feeding, extra laundry, and the steady supply of urine and feces they provide.

They are growing so fast, so a couple days ago we moved them out of their playpen and into an x-pen where they have more room to play (and spread their poop around.) Fuzzy faced Sisko is the biggest at 2# - 13 1/2 oz and Milah Jo is still the smallest at 2# - 3 1/2 oz.

Their personalities are starting to emerge which is very fun. Dax knows what he wants and isn't afraid to let you know about it. Milah, Worf and Rom are all pretty easy going with Milah being the most playful of the three. Worf was the first to discover his bark. Even though Sisko is the biggest, he is a bit timid and takes longer to get used to new things.

The picture above was taken after an extremely involved cleanup of the x-pen last night. Watching Troy and I work so much at cleaning up their poop and pee really wore out the pups and they crashed with all the little brown/black pups (F to B: Milah Jo, Worf and Sisko) lined up in a row.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Shopping to help

As we head into the holiday shopping season I wanted to make a couple suggestions of ways you can find great gifts, save time and money AND help out animals.

This season, what about helping out the little guy? Why go to Target when you can shop online for one of a kind gifts made by local artists. Earlier in the year I discovered and I have to say, it is a wonderland of handmade items, many that you would typically find in galleries and boutiques only. Instead of paying boutique prices you can go straight to the source on Etsy and buy directly from the artists. This way you end up with unique gifts, you save money and you help out the little guy. It gets better though. Etsy has a group called "Etsy for Animals" or EFA for short. If you go to the EFA Webpage you can find the over 500 artists who give a portion of their profits to non-profit animal welfare groups. I just purchased some beautiful handmade fused glass ornaments for less than I would have paid for a plastic Hallmark ornament AND a portion of what I spent went to an animal welfare agency AND it was a local artist so I'm shopping locally as well. Can't get a whole lot better than that.

If you still want to shop from big box stores there is a way to help New Rattitude Rat Terrier Rescue while you shop online. Stores like,,, Petco,, ..... will donate a portion of what you spend when you link to their Websites from or . All you have to do is go to one of the previous Websites and check out their list of participating vendors. Use their links to get to your favorite Webstore and then a portion of what you spend will be donated to the charity you have chosen on goodshop or igive (PS: I'm thinking that New Rattitude would be a good choice. :)

A third option is the greenest and best in my opinion. Make a donation to New Rattitude in a person's name and a card will be sent to them noting that you have given in their name and it will explain a bit about how the money will be used to save rat terriers. I mean, who really needs more stuff? This is perfect for that difficult to shop for person. You can even request a receipt and write the donation off your taxes. How 'bout that? And coming up soon there will be a way to double your donation at no extra cost to you. Stay tuned and I will announce the Holiday Fundraising drive info as soon as it is kicked off in the next 'Tude News newsletter.

Anyhow, I just wanted to send out a plea before we Black Friday. Save gas, time and money, shop local, help independent artists AND help out animals all at the same time.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


The pups are now 3 weeks old and the big surprise this week is that several of them are growing these scruffy long hairs around their face which makes me wonder if dad was wire-haired or long haired. Since we were told that Star is from a puppymill we assumed that dad was another rat terrier, but who knows now. We will just have to watch and wait.

Dax continues to lead the pack in development and Rom in size. This week Dax has learned how to pee and poop without mom's help. Thankfully he walks over to the corner of the playpen before he does his business. He's the smallest of the boys, but is certainly precocious. Rom is now almost 2 1/2 pounds and the smallest two pups, Milah Jo and Dax, should hit the 2 pound mark today.

The photo above is of Sisko and you can see a bit of the scruffy hair that is growing in around his face.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Going mobile

The puppies' 2nd week was a week of firsts: early in the week Dax opened his eyes followed a few days later by the rest of the pups. Then a couple days ago Dax started walking and today all the pups are up on all fours, wobbling around the playpen. Another first this week was my first panic that something was wrong with a pup.

Although Dax was the last pup to be born, and one of the smallest, he quickly overtook the others in weight as was soon tied with his brother Rom for heaviest. Then over the course of 3 days his weight gain slowed to a stall and he seemed low energy compared to his typical self. He also no longer was seeking out the pile of siblings when he went to sleep but would snooze off by himself and his suck when he nursed seemed much weaker. His weight gain dropped to the point where he was the smallest again so I purchased some puppy formula at the feed store and started supplemental feeding with a small syringe. After just 2 days of these extra feedings he started putting on a more typical amount of weight and immediately decided that walking would get him moving much more quickly than scooting around on his belly.
Now that they are all "walking" when you look in the playpen there is often just a mass of wiggling movement - not often distinguishable as separate pups but a big pile of squirming fur. Soon they will start to be more aware of their siblings and play will begin.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

New Rattitude desperately needs votes!

Over at there is the shelter contest going on that I've told you about before. We are having people vote for the New Rattitude - WA region this time for the contest and we were doing pretty good but recently we've dropped down in the over all standings and we now have only about 10 spots between us and the 2nd place group in WA. They are holding strong and we are steadily sliding down. We can't lose this right at the end like last time, so PLEASE help us. Our canine clinic is full of needy dogs right now that could use that $1,000.

Go to the voting site, choose New Rattitude as your shelter and WA as the state and VOTE!!! Thanks so much for your support.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The puppy pit

Once the whelping was complete and Star and her pups had some time to bond I needed to move the family into new, clean and comfy digs that would allow mama to get in and out but would keep puppies securely in one place where they'd be safe.

A lot of people use those hard-sided kiddie pools that you can buy at Target or places like that. Perfect idea, except that it was October and the kiddie pools had all sold out of stores by early August. At the Pet Market we have these playpens that are specifically made for small dogs and puppies. They are very similar to the fold up playpens for babies except these have an end that zips open so dogs are able to come in and out. This one also has a hard plastic liner that fits in the base and is easy to clean - perfect. With some clamps and cardboard I added a lip to the end to allow Star to come in and out easily but to keep the puppies inside and it has worked wonderfully.

Once they are bigger we'll switch to an ex-pen at home and the playpen can go back to work for when the puppies have had their vaccinations and can visit the store with me.

All 5 of the pups have now passed the 1 pound mark and we anxiously await their eyes opening. Their little snouts are starting to lengthen so they look more like puppies and less like little mice. lol

Friday, October 30, 2009

One week old

The pups are now a week old and a couple of days ago the blonde guys started getting their nose and pad colors. Here you can see little Dax's nose, starting to get a little bit of black at the tip.
They have nearly doubled in size and are all quite healthy. Star has an arm chair in the puppy room that she sits on and chews on her nylabone when the pups are sleeping. It's 84 degrees in the room so they do fine without her body heat. Like any mom, she treasures her kid-free moments when she can relax and do what she wants.
I really find it tough to believe that Star was a puppymill dog. She is in no way fearful of humans, loves attention, and (drumroll) is housetrained and trained to a pee pad. She was just going on the pee pad in the middle of the night but she has taken to waking me up at 5:30 am so we can take a walk in the back yard in the freezing cold and she can do her business. I much prefer wadding up a pee pad at 7:30 am to getting up at 5:30, but hey, I shouldn't complain.
Today we took the puppies' 1 week old photos that will be used on New Rattitude's Website for the nursery Webpage. There was also a New Rattitude litter born in Michigan this week - 4 girls. Watch for photos of them on the New Rattitude Website soon.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Little Squirmers

The puppies are all doing great and growing quickly. Star continues to be a great mom and dotes on the puppies constantly, only leaving her box for quick bathroom breaks. After she's done she tears back in the house and up to the office, waiting for me to open the door so she can get back to the babies.

The 2 blondies are the biggest and are growing faster than the other three. Dax actually started out as the smallest, but now he's as big as brother, Rom. They are nearly identical so we had tied a ribbon around Rom's neck so we could keep track of who was who at weigh in time. Last night I went to weigh the pups and was calling out the weights to Troy, who wrote them down for me. I weighed Dax, put him back in the box, and then grabbed the other blond pup, Rom. I weighed him and the weight was the same. Then I realized this pup didn't have a ribbon. I looked back in the box, confused, and there was Dax, asleep where I had laid him. Then I realized that Star must have chewed off the ribbon. We laughed over that, trying to decide who was who since Dax had caught up in weight to Rom. Luckily I had noticed earlier in the day that when you turn on the overhead lights that Dax is just slightly darker than Rom along his back. You have to have them side by side to notice but there is that slight difference.

The three dark pups are all starting to get their rattie eyebrows which is SO cute. They show up best on the brown pups, Milah and Sisko, but I can see that Worf is getting his as well. It will be fun to see their little markings start to emerge.

Anyhow, the photo above show little Mr. Rom, before his ribbon was removed by his momma.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Star and her Trekkies

Yesterday from 3:45 pm to 6:20 pm Star gave birth to 5 healthy little puppies. There were 4 boys and 1 girl and they were all between 7 3/8 oz and 7 3/4 oz in size. She is an excellent mom and really there wasn't much for me to do but sit back and watch her work. I actually missed the birth of the first little guy because I went downstairs to get heat the microwave pads for the puppy basket. I figured I was way early but, you know - better safe than sorry. I get upstairs 2 minutes later and Star is licking this little black blob.

Two of the boys are blondies, like Armstrong/Sunny if you remember that little foster guy that we had. As they age their markings will show up but for now they look solid. The first pup is a black sable with tuxedo markings and then the other two are dark brown with black sable and the tuxedo markings.

The girl's name is Milah Jo, and the boys are Worf, Rom, Sisko and Dax. All the names follow our space theme and are from the TV show "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" since these five pups bring our current dog count to 9!

Blogger is being obnoxious and currently won't allow me to get photos in my posts from Flickr. So to see all the photos go to the Star set of photos over on

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Star stopped eating last night and has been resting most of the morning. Now stage one of her labor is starting so we should have puppies tonight. Wish her luck!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

2010 New Rattitude Rat Terrier Calendar is here!

The contest is over, photos have been chosen and a very nice calendar has been assembled and is now for sale over at New Rattitude's ReTail store . 100% of the net proceeds of the calendar sales benefit the rat terriers in foster care with New Rattitude, Inc.
The cost is $15 and if you order before November 1st you don't have to pay the additional $3 shipping fee. Order early because quantities are limited. Check out the preview Webpage to see the great photos that were chosen. I was very impressed with the final product.

Big ol' belly

As promised, here is a photo of our new girl, Star. She is a very sweet girl, around 3-4 years old and about 20 pounds right now, several of them baby pounds. She has a great big belly but still manages to go up and down the stairs. For a puppymill dog she is very well socialized and has settled in nicely.

She ate a nice big dinner of Orijen Puppy kibble mixed with a little Sojos Grain Free veggie mix and is now resting nicely up in the "nursery" aka office. I will keep you posted as to how things progress.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Introducing Star

Okay, so everything finally worked out and after 3 weeks we were finally able to get 2 puppymill rescue dogs out of the kennel they were in. The male will be going to another Washington foster home and the pregnant female, Star, will be coming to our house. I have been wanting to foster a litter for quite awhile so this is very exciting.
The photo above was taken over 3 weeks ago so she is actually really close to giving birth. She is already producing milk so I'm pretty sure that she will be whelping by the end of the week.
The story is that she was part of a group of dogs that were seized from a puppymill in Missouri. About 100 of these dogs were transported to a rescue kennel in Southern California but they couldn't handle the load of dogs, especially a pregnant mill girl. The rescue contacted New Rattitude and things finally came together this last week to get the two rat terriers transported to Washington.
So now she just needs to hold on until she gets here and we can get her in the nice warm whelping room that we've put together for her up in our office. Her and her buddy will be flown up here tomorrow morning in cabin, thanks to a couple of Alaska Airlines volunteers (thanks Peter and Amanda!)

Monday, October 19, 2009

The latest

Little Mr. Peanut has joined his new family and him and his new brother, a 6 month old rattie named Gator are already the best of buds, spending lots of time racing (and sliding) around on the hardwood floors. He is even already sharing the bed with his family which is quite a treat as he had to sleep in his ex-pen here.

For about the past three weeks I have been working on who would fill Peanut's foster spot once he went home. Because Franny is pretty alpha we needed to be careful. Well, this Wednesday is the transport day for our new foster girl but I still can't say whether it will actually work out until tomorrow when the volunteer in California goes to temperament test her and pull her from the kennel where she is at. If she gets pulled tomorrow I will be sure to post the exciting details. If she doesn't, I will be to busy moping. ;)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fun Franny

Franny is turning into a very fun, playful dog. She is the only adult dog in the house right now that will tolerate 4 month old little Peanut's puppy antics and wrestles with him and plays chase for quite awhile before she gets tired of it. She loves lying on the back of the couch so she can see everything going on and although she doesn't like it, will go to her crate and sleep there if led on a leash.

She still won't be able to be in a household with another alpha dog, but somewhere out there is a household that will love and cherish this little dog who's loaded with personality and just needs a new start to life.

She is really slimming down now, thanks to the Sojos mixed into her kibble (veggie mix that replaces some of the kibble) and all the wrestling with Peanut. I'll have to get photos later so show that she has a waist now. Anyway, busy, busy... talk later.

Monday, October 12, 2009

One of those mornings

This morning Peanut had an appointment at Coalition Humane for the "big snip" so at 7:30am I packed a large crate with his bed and a blanket and loaded him up to head to Tacoma. My husband had assured me he had pooped and peed when he was taken out early so I didn't take him for a bathroom run before we left. Mistake.

The stress of being in a crate again and in the car must have gotten to Peanut because halfway to the clinic I smelled a tell-tale smell, and no, it wasn't the Port of Tacoma. Peanut, the little pup who rarely even has accidents in his big ex-pen had pooped in his crate.

When we arrived at the spay/neuter clinic I took a poopy little puppy out of the crate and attempted to clean him and the crate up without getting myself all poopy. Thankfully I had covered the dog bed with the blanked so I was able to just pull the blanket out and the bed and crate were clean. Peanut however, was not clean. We wrestled in the back of the CRV as I used the doggy water bottle and the towel from the doggy car seat to attempt to clean him. Mostly it was his paws that were a mess, because he had stayed standing after he pooped. I had to be very careful that I had no remnants of the clean up job on me before I went inside to do the paperwork.

After I came back to the car to finish the clean up job it reeked horribly. I decided to just throw out the blanket and towel rather than ride with the stink and that definitely helped. Thank goodness for the old towels and the doggie blankies and fleece yardage that gets donated to me for the dogs. With puppies around they always come in handy.

I felt so bad for the little guy. He has a rough day and evening ahead of him. I will be there tomorrow morning at 7:30am to pick him up and take him home for some love and attention. He will come to work with me so I can keep an eye on him and make sure he isn't licking the incision site.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Little Peanut struck gold!

So I had been receiving a couple applications for little Peanut that made me cringe and was getting worried. I needed this sweet little guy in a spot where I wouldn't worry about his future. He needed a dog, and possibly kids to play with. He needed a fenced yard so he could play chase. He needed a home where he'd be fed a nutritious diet of quality dog food. You see we have fallen for this sweet puppy and only the best would do.

I E-mailed a few folks asking them to think of friends who might cherish and dote on a spectacular little dog. One of the ladies who helps me with air transports of foster dogs E-mailed back, that she knew the perfect spot - with her! She had said that she was waiting to look for a buddy for her rat terrier pup when I had talked with her recently so I thought she was joking. I didn't even respond until the next morning when she E-mailed again and said "I was serious. Should I fill out an application now?" I got so excited that I had to call my husband to let him know the good news.

So probably next week sometime he will be heading to his new home, complete with kids and another rescued rat terrier who is still young enough that he will be overjoyed to have a partner in crime, so to say. The adoption coordinator has already given the application a pass, as have I as the foster parent, so all that is left is the home visit, which should go great.

Peanut will be neutered Monday in Tacoma and I think the home visit will be Wednesday and I'm guessing that all the paperwork will be done by Thursday (because our applications team is just that good!)

Whenever I'm sure that one dog is going home I start working on getting another dog that is on New Rattitude's urgent list pulled and transported to WA. Right now I'm working with the California team who has 8-9 rat terriers that are considered to be in danger of euthanization at this point. As soon as I have more details I'll be sure to post about the next foster.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Franny and Peanut updates

Well, it was a bit of a disappointing day. Franny had an awesome application and today was the day that she was going to go home. We had agreed to do a short trial just to make sure that she got along with her new furry siblings. Well, when her new mom came to pick her up Franny and one of the dogs, Dudley, took a distinct disliking to each other.

I've seen this happen before for the first 15 minutes or so when there are territorial issues and the dogs are still checking each other out. We let the dogs off leash in the back yard and several times Franny full out attacked the sweet little rat terrier boy. I've seen her be snippy with other dogs at the pet store but never have I seen her full on start fights. It was pretty traumatic for little Dudley as Franny is much heftier than he is. She does fine with Frodo and Tilly but I think she will definitely need to go to a home where none of the resident dogs have alpha tendencies. Tilly and Frodo are about as omega as you get so Franny doesn't sense a challenge with them and gets along with them fine.
Peanut went to the vet this morning for his distemper vaccination booster. As usual everyone was in love with him and he charmed the staff when he escaped into the back area of the vets when the vet opened the door to the exam room. He made sure he ran around back there and gave all the vet techs kisses before he let the vet catch him and bring him back to the room for his vaccination. He is now 9 pounds, 4 ounces and is about 15 weeks old. I just got his information to the New Rattitude pet publicists, who list the fosters on and so he should start to have some application rolling in soon.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Calendar Contest at New Rattitude - LAST DAY!

Oh my gosh! I can't believe that I forgot to mention the calendar contest at New Rattitude. The fundraising team is putting together a rat terrier calendar that we will be selling. You can submit photos of your rat terrier for the contest: $2 for one photo or $5 for three.


For info on how to submit and a photo release form go to New Rattitude's fundraising Webpage for the full details.

Each of the winners of the 12 chosen photos will receive a copy of the calendar, plus bragging rights that you dog is a star!

PS: Don't forget to keep voting for New Rattitude Washington on The Animal Rescue Site!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Goobery Peanut

Poor Peanut's kennel cough turned into a full blown upper respiratory infection and Troy spent 2 1/2 hours waiting for an appointment at the vets on Saturday so that Peanut could get some antibiotics. He's now taking Clavamox and we are starting to see a change.

The little guy is just loaded with snot, though. He sleeps on his little curly tail and in the morning it has turned from white to crusty green. He needs fresh bedding daily thanks to the boogers and often he will have strands of green snot adorning his snout, thanks to a recent sneeze.

In spite of the cold he is full of puppy energy and loves to run around the back yard and to fetch toys that are thrown to him. I brought home some new squeaky toys from the store for him and he is enjoying flipping them around his ex-pen.
Currently the poor little guy is still quarantined in an ex-pen in the rec room to keep him separate from the rest of the pack. I am looking forward to introducing him to the other dogs and letting him and Frodo chase each other in the back yard.

Friday, September 25, 2009


We've had a few days to get to know Franny now and she is quite a character. What a great little dog - energetic without being hyper, snugly without being needy. She's getting along great with Frodo and Tilly but probably wouldn't do well with a strongly alpha female in the house.

Franny is a puppymill rescue and because of that she has her quirks. If she feels cornered she will roll on her back and snap at you if you try to reach her. Because of this she shouldn't be in a house with young kids. She's especially touchy if she's been napping and is woken up by a human. We are working on this and as she gets to know us and trust us it isn't as much of an issue.

Anyhow, that's the latest on sweet Franny.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Peanut and Franny

The two newest dogs have arrived! They flew in yesterday morning from Chicago and are doing great.

Peanut is 12 weeks old and a smart little guy. He seems to be house-training himself! He does have kennel cough and so right now he has to hang out in the rec-room in an ex-pen until he is feeling better. He has plenty of puppy energy and a big appetite so he's not too sick.
He's going to be a big rat terrier. At twelve weeks he's already nine pounds so he will likely be around 20-25# full size. He's a beautiful little purebred tri-color with a very sweet temperament. Some lucky family is going to get quite a special dog.
Franny was transferred to us from another foster home that was needing to lighten their foster load. She's a type B rat terrier (shorter type sometimes called Teddy Roosevelt terriers) and is quite a character. She was part of a puppy mill bust earlier this year, but it was thought that she was one of the house dogs so she doesn't seem to have the temperament issues that you can have in mill dogs.
She has packed on the pounds and is on a doggy weight loss plan right now. Once she's slim and trim I'm guessing she'll be 12-15#. She loves to run around and play chase with Frodo and seemed to enjoy her 1 mile walk last night.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Your rat terrier could be famous!

Hey everyone out there! Do you have some cute photos of your rat terrier? Well New Rattitude is holding a photo contest for the New Rattitude 2010 Rat Terrier Calendar that we are putting together to sell. Head over to New Rattitude's Website and check out the contest page. It's pretty easy to enter in the contest - $2 to submit one photo or $5 for 3. The 12 winners will receive a copy of the calendar.

Photos must be digital, high resolution, quality photos. All entries need to be received before September 30th so we can get this thing published and ready to sell. All money raised will go towards rescuing rat terriers. As you well know, we are an all volunteer organization which means almost no overhead so we can put all our fundraising monies toward the dogs care. Thanks to everyone who takes the time to participate!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Busy, busy, busy!

Stella went home a couple days ago to a very excited family. She was so enthralled with treats and the bag of Deli Fresh dog food that I had brought with me that I don't even know if she noticed that we left. What a sweet little dog.

Another foster parent decided she wanted to take on the litter of puppies that I had been working with her to rescue so I have found a couple other dogs needing a foster home. Franny is actually just being transferred from another foster home. She is a puppymill rescue from Indiana although it seems that she was one of the family dog so she doesn't have some of the social issues that some of the puppymill rescues seem to have. She's a 3-4 years old Teddy Roosevelt terrier (type B rat terrier) and you can read about her on her Webpage.
The second dog that will be flying in this Sunday with Franny is a male puppy who will be a big boy. Right now he is about 11-12 weeks old and is already 9 pounds! At full size he will probably be around 25 pounds. We are still thinking about what to name this little guy. Both dogs will be transported to Chicago and will fly to Seattle non-stop and arrive in the evening.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I'd better write about our foster Stella before she goes to her forever home. Little Stella arrived in Washington last Wednesday, thanks to the help of an Alaska Airlines volunteer who flew out to Southern California on her day off and carried Miss Stella to Washington.

After a day of getting Stella settled in she had to go to her visit with the vet for a dental on Thursday. The poor little girl had to have 12 teeth pulled which brings her missing teeth to a total of 15 - over 1/3 of her teeth! She bounced right back though and I'm sure that she's feeling much better now that the abcesses and rotten teeth are all cleaned out.

So Friday I had to work all day long to get ready for the Pet Market's "Back to Drool" sale on Saturday. Stella came to work with me and guess what - she found her family that day! The daughter had come in to get food for her dogs and met Stella. She had been trying to talk her parents into adopting a dog after they lost their last dog, Pepper. She brought her parents back to meet Stella and of course they loved her. Who wouldn't?

Her new family only lives about a mile from our house so we will get to visit her on occasion, which is nice. Plus, maybe we'll get to see her at the store on occasion as well. The home visit was done today and everything looked great so she should be heading to her forever home in the next few days.

Time to vote! But this time we're a shoe in

Hi guys,

Well everyone knows that we were squeezed out of the competition last time on for their shelter challenge event. A new challenge is starting tomorrow but this time, instead of using our Georgia region the group decided to use the Washington/NW region as our state choice. See, Georgia has a bunch of rescue groups that compete in the challenge and many of them are very high in the overall national stats. Washington, on the other hand, doesn't have many shelters participating and the ones that participated didn't have that many votes. Sooooo..... this time when you vote for New Rattitude and choose a state you will choose Washington!

All you have to do is go to:

Pick New Rattitude as your shelter name and then "WA" as the state. That will bring up the vote button.

Repeat daily through Christmas. I know that's a long time but hey, it could mean $1,000 for some very deserving doggies who need to be rescued. E-mail everyone you know and get voting. The Website has a reminder feature where you can sign up and get a daily reminder. That's the easiest way to make sure you get your vote in everyday. Also, in the past you have been able to vote once per Internet browser so unless that loophole has been closed, be sure to vote on each browser that's loaded on your computer.

Thanks everyone!

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Einstein went home yesterday to a great home where he will have a furry brother, Jack to play with and a kitty who keeps the canines in line. We were very excited to find such a wonderful home for him where they understand that it takes this poor guy a little time to settle in and relax.

Stella is scheduled to fly into Seattle on Tuesday. A wonderful airline employee will use their day off to fly down to Ontario, California and pick her up. Ms. Stella is in great need of dental care and is having trouble eating due to the bad condition of her gums and molars. The vet who looked at her in California said that they think about 8 teeth need to be pulled. Stella is 7 years young and has many years left that she will be doting on some lucky family. As soon as she arrives I will post some photos.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Look at all those faces

These are the faces of all the dogs that were flown to Washington in the past year and saved from being euthanized. All of the dogs were in urgent situations and had no local foster homes with openings to take them in. Is that awesome, or what?!
New Rattitude has a flight fund and honestly, most of its money is spent on helping get dogs to Washington. (To learn more about why we fly so many dogs to WA check out the article in the 'Tude News) This last month we've been raising money online so that we can continue to save these wonderful dogs. The average cost to fly the dogs with the discounts that we are able to get is a little over $100. So far the fundraiser has raised just about $1,500 which is incredible, but wouldn't it be great to make it to $2,000! Twenty dogs that we can save. So if you can give a few dollars - any amount will help us - then please link to the fundraiser Web page and donate. A donation of over $20 will get your name listed on the donor recognition page over on
Thanks so much for your help!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Catching up

Wow! It's been a long time since I've posted here. First we were dealing with the distemper outbreak and all the heartache that came with the loss of 3 of Washington's foster dogs and then last week we were on vacation in Eastern Oregon, trying to recuperate and get re-energized.

It was a much needed break full of camping and hiking. Tilly and Frodo hiked right along with us and by the end of the trip Tilly was a bit like Charlie Brown's buddy, "Pigpen". She loved to give herself dust baths by rolling in the dirt and on trails chose to plough right through large piles of horse poop rather than take a few extra steps to walk around them. She also added a few black spots to her coat when she would rub up against the charcoal covered firepits in the campsites. Frodo, always the priss, avoids dirt and mud at all costs and even after miles of hiking would be perfectly clean. In the photo above, I am carrying Tilly on a hike in the John Day Wilderness after she laid down in a patch of dust and refused to hike any further. Note her ripped harness, torn when she decided to scratch her back along a downed log while the rest of us played in the river and weren't watching.

Our foster, Einstein, is still with us but has a great application and I'm guessing will be going home by next week sometime. We are currently working on getting a new foster dog flown up from CA who was on New Rattitude's urgent list. Her name is Stella and she's 7 years old and has most of her vetting already done. She will need to have her teeth cleaned though as she has bleeding gums and possible abscesses that need to be taken care of.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


In all the craziness, I've yet to introduce our foster dog Einstein. He's 1 year old, about 12 pounds and is extremely shy. I don't know if someone has been mean to him or if he was just never socialized to humans but it takes awhile to get him to come to a person. The good thing is that as much as he is afraid of people, he craves affection which means with time and patience he should relax and start to enjoy people.

He loves dogs though, and he and Tilly are best of buds. I swear that Tilly recognizes all the short little Teddy Roosevelt ratties like herself and likes them best. She bosses poor Einstein around to no end, but he doesn't seem to mind. I wonder if Einstein has some corgi mixed in with the rat terrier because his proportions seem more in line with a corgi than a Teddy Roosevelt and he has a curly tail.

Yesterday Einstein was neutered and we just got him home this morning. I think that I'll take him to work with me this afternoon so I can keep an eye on him. He is not at all happy about the cone and looks up at me with the most forlorn eyes, as if he can't understand how the one person he trusted could be so cruel to him.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sad times for New Rattitude's WA team

Last post was written after reassurances from the E-vet that Kewpie was experiencing symptoms of poisoning and would make a full recovery. We returned the next evening, ready to take her home only to find out that the tremors had gotten worse and they were now thinking that this was a viral infection. Swabs were taken to test for distemper and sent off to a lab in California and then Kewpie was released for us to take home for supportive care.

Sadly she progressively worsened, and just a week later things had gotten to the point where we had to put her to sleep. The test for distemper came back positive.

So Callista likely brought the distemper with her from the Texas shelter and then spread it to Kewpie, who as a puppy dealing with coccidia, had a suppressed immune system. Happily, Poppy has seemed to avoid the disease. We are guessing that she didn't catch it from Callista, but are still worried that because of her closeness to Kewpie she might have somehow been infected. She's had two distemper boosters at this point so we are crossing our fingers that it will be enough.

On Friday we thought the sad times might finally be at an end, but learned that Bugsy, another puppy who had spent time with us while his foster parents were in Eastern Washington, was coughing, had a fever and goopy eyes, and had started tremoring. We were sick - when will it stop! After three bad days, he seems to be getting a little better and the tremors have subsided so we are cautiously optimistic that he may beat this yet. Although he's immunosuppresed from the demodex, he did have one vaccination back in late May and we are hopeful that will give him the little something extra to fight this that Kewpie didn't have.

The medical bills have piled up from all the emergency vet visits and between the dogs is now nearing $2,000 for their care. It has been a summer full of emergencies for New Rattitude and the online clinic is full of recovering rescued dogs.

Thanks to all of you for your kind words, and please keep little Bugsy and Poppy in your thoughts and prayers.

If you aren't currently up to date with your dogs distemper vaccinations or titers, make an appointment with your vet now. Trust me - you do not want to have to watch a dog die this way.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

More Emergency room drama

Boy, I have had my fill of veterinary emergency room visits. Once again we have had a terrifying evening wondering if one of our fosters would make it - thankfully this visit has a happy ending.

During our hot weather here in Western Washington, one of our foster pups, Kewpie, stopped eating and drinking. We treated her for dehydration, tried to keep her hydrated, but by Friday morning we had a weak and trembling puppy who was fully hydrated but still not getting better. She was taken to the vet who kept her overnight on an IV. By this morning there were no changes so we brought her home and regrouped. It was determined that she likely had the same problem of neurotoxicity that Callista, who had to be put to sleep, had dealt with.

Terrified, we scoured the yard again, and spent lots of time researching neurotoxicity in dogs. Combined with our previous experience with Callista we finally found the culprit: water. Yep, in a hidden away corner of the back yard next to our composting area is a bucket full of dead leaves and mucky water. The leaves were added as the brown, carbon matter for our compost bin. Well, it ends up that rotting leaves can develop a mold that produces mycotoxins. Typically a dog wouldn't try to eat leaves, however these leaves had standing water over the top of them and it was hot. Being dogs, the fact that the water was dark brown and smelled like poo wasn't an issue. It all started to make sense: short dogs didn't get sick, Frodo who eats all manner of putrid things hates to drink anything but clear water in his water bowl - no puddles or even from streams when we hike.

For awhile today we thought we would have to stop fostering as we couldn't determine where the poison was coming from. It was horrible. Watching sweet Kewpie twitch with tremors and not being able to stand was horrible.

After calls to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control and a visit to the Emergency Vet Clinic the mystery is over and it has been determined that little Kewpie will make a full recovery. She will need to have charcoal treatment and an enema to flush her out and will also have to spend the night and receive Valium injections to manage her tremors. Her vet bills will not be pretty, but she will be alive and back playing with her sister soon. And best of all, no more dogs will have to deal with this nightmare at our house.

Thanks to everyone who has sent their prayers and good wishes. Kewpie will be fine and our family will be able to continue fostering rescue dogs.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The latest from the crazy dog house

We are at an all time high for foster dogs right now with 4 foster dogs and our 2 personal dogs. Luckily a few will be going home this week and the new guy, Bugsy, will be headed to his foster home as soon as they are back from vacation on Tuesday.

As you see in the photo, dinner and breakfast time for the dogs is a big to-do. Each of the 6 dogs have their own personal combo of meds and supplements that they are taking along with some needing puppy kibble and some needing adult. It takes a good 15 minutes to get all the bowls mixed and all the meds taken before they are served their doggy mixes - 15 minutes of whimpering and howling because they are sure that I'll NEVER be finished with all my mixing.

Bugsy is an adorable little 5 month old pup who has two litter mates who are also in Washington. He was one of three pups who had mange and skin infections so bad they lost all of their hair. I called them the naked mole rats and who would have guessed that they'd turn out so dog-gone cute! Bugsy is a sweet little boy who loves to play and hang out with his people.

We also have the two puppies, Kewpie and Poppy, who were originally from Kentucky. They are both sweet little girls who are pretty laid back, considering they are only 5 months old. We've never had siblings before that are so totally bonded and are very excited that a home has been found who wants to adopt both of them.
Leda will be spending a week with a potential adopter to see if the home will be a good fit for her. So by this Thursday we should have an empty house! From 6 dogs to 2 dogs in just 4 days! As much as we love this little boogers, it will be nice to have a short break.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Rest in peace, sweet Callista

Sadly, things quickly worsened for Callista. She developed neurological tics and an inability to use her legs. The poor girl was so uncomfortable and she had to spend the night at the emergency vet hospital. In the end they do not think that it was distemper but was possibly a neurotoxin that caused permanent damage.

Yesterday afternoon, after 18 hours of struggling in emergency care, Callista was put to sleep. They gave her a drug to relax her so she was comfortable, but she still knew who I was and wagged her little nubbie tail at me and licked my hand. For 30 minutes I rocked her and pet her and for the first time since I met her she didn't seem scared to be touched by a human. When it was time, I was holding her in a blanket, warm and loved, petting her and telling her she was a good girl.

When I returned home from the ordeal with Callista, Tilly was coughing horribly and there were piles of vomit all over the kitchen. Troy and I rushed back to the emergency vet hospital with Tilly, terrified that maybe she too was succumbing to something similar to Callista. Her sypmptoms were different though. The vets gave her fluids, antibiotics and anti-vomitting meds and sent us back home. If she was throwing up in the morning it was likely intestinal blockage and they wanted her brought back in.

I mentioned to the receptionist that Leda, who was at home, had seemed shaky in the morning, kind of like Calli when it first started in her. Then someone came out to give us Tilly's meds and we were on our way home. About 2 minutes down the road the receptionist called to tell us that the doctor wanted Leda to be brought in because they were worried she might have what Callista had. So it was back to Federal Way. Switch dogs. Then back to South Tacoma.

Thankfully, the vet took a look at Leda and said "wow, she doesn't look that bad." He attributed the trembles more to being a tiny dog with typical trembles, than to anything neurological. Her hydration looked good and when he opened a can of wet dog food she snarfed it down (because it was that Science Diet prescription crap - that's like McDonalds for dogs.) He sent us home with some antibiotics for her upper respiratory infection and said to just keep her hydrated and eating.

Tilly was up at 2:30 am and at 5:30 am with coughing fits and gagging. Both times I was ready to jump back in the car and head to the vets, but both times she calmed down and the coughing subsided. This morning I am happy to say that she was able to keep a little chicken down along with her antibiotics and some Pepcid AC. She also pooped which means that if stuff is going in and coming out, then we don't have to worry about the blockage.

So it is a happy-sad day. We mourn the loss of sweet Callista but are happy for the turn around in Tilly and Leda's health. Frodo is as healthy and yappy as ever, quarantined upstairs and yapping to the rooftops about how inhumanely we are treating him. Even a bully stick didn't quiet him down.

Thanks to all of you for your thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Callista is not well

Please everyone, keep Callista in your thoughts. She has developed some type of neurological problem and the vet thinks there is a chance it might be distemper. Since Leda came from the same shelter she is at risk as well, if indeed it is something that came from there.

Both dogs have been quarantined and Callista is on diazapem to relax her. They are eating and drinking still, which is a good sign, and her tail still wags on occasion. I will be spending the evening with her to keep her company. Hopefully by tomorrow this will all be an overreaction and she'll be back to normal. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

We are losing! Please vote!!!!!

With only a few days left to vote, New Rattitude has dropped into 2nd place for the state of Georgia in The Animal Rescue Site's bi-annual rescue contest. We need you to vote on every computer and with every Web browser you can get your hands on. E-mail everyone you know and get them to help us!!!! If we come in first for the state of Georgia we will earn $1,000 grant to help pay medical bills of our rescued dogs. All it takes is a few seconds to vote so PLEASE help us.

Just go to and then vote for New Rattitude with Georgia as your state choice (we are concentrating our votes so we have a better chance to win.)

Be sure to E-mail all your friends and family tonight! We need your help more than ever.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The girls have arrived!

I'm happy to announce that our two newest foster girls, Leda and Callista, arrived yesterday morning in Washington. They spent yesterday exploring the house and yard and finding their favorite spots on the couches. Both seem to have the beginnings of kennel cough and are a bit thin, but that's nothing we haven't seen before.

The girls are extremely skittish and avoid human contact. Callista, 2 years old and 12 pounds, desperately wants love and attention and will scooch as close to you as she dares but as soon as I reach out my hand to pet her she runs away. Leda, 3 years old and 7 pounds, is even more wary of humans. I can tell she'll turn around though, because the one time I was holding her she did relax and lay down after being rocked and pet for awhile. Their temporary foster mom in Texas said that it took awhile but they came out of their shell after a couple days and were fine with petting and loves.
Leda and Callista were originally in a Texas shelter and had been listed for euthanization in a gassing shelter when they were pulled. Since Washington had the only open foster homes (the South is swamped with tons of urgents, as usual) the girls were sent to us.
This evening 2 more foster dogs will be arriving at Sea-Tac for us to pick up, these ones to be fostered up in Kirkland. These two girls are five month old rat terrier-beagle mixes who were listed to be gassed in a Kentucky shelter due to overcrowding. A volunteer pulled them from the shelter and transported them to a New Rattitude volunteer in Indiana. She then put them on the plane this morning, Seattle bound. We'll have them for the night, tomorrow they'll attend an adoption event at Petsmart and then tomorrow night they'll finally make it to their foster home in Kirkland, WA. Thanks to Lesley in Kentucky and Julie in Indiana for your help in getting these little dogs to safety!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The latest on the girls

Well, flight plans fell through for Sunday when Alaska Airlines decided that no dogs would be allowed on the first flight of the day. Since it is hot in Dallas that is the only flight of the day when it is safe to transport animals so we had to postpone the transport. Now everything is arranged for the girls to fly here Friday morning.

They have been named Callista and Leda after two of the moons of Jupiter. Callista, or Callie for short, is 2-3 years old, about 12 pounds and looks to be a pure-bred black and white rat terrier from her photos. Leda is 2 years old, about 7 pounds and is a rat terrier-Chihuahua mix.

They have been pulled by a New Rattitude volunteer who will take them to the vet for their flight health certificate and get them on the plane Friday. She says that both girls were very shy when they first arrived but that they are starting to come out of their shells and even have done a few rattie runs around the house.

I'll post again once the girls are here and I have some photos of them.

Friday, June 26, 2009

A wild week of rescue

Wow! Talk about emotional rollercoaster. There were rat terriers being listed for euthanization everywhere it seemed and we had no place to put them all. The group would scramble to save a bunch of dogs that were scheduled for gassing and then at the last minute another group would pull them. Each time we were SO happy that they were safe but the stress really gets to you after the 3rd or 4th urgent E-mail begging you to save yet another dog that had been dumped.
The flight was all set for the 2 puppies that were supposed to come to Washington (pictured a few posts back) and then we discovered that another group pulled them. Okay, so then we worked to try to save some in Louisiana that were in a gassing shelter. The state coordinator was all excited, called the shelter and they too were gone. Then we were possibly going to get a pregnant dog from California but 2 dogs came up in a Texas shelter that were going to be gassed. Team California pulled together and found a spot for the momma and FINALLY, we knew who our foster dogs would be - two adult girls from the Dallas area.

So no puppies will be heading to Washington but instead well get two adult females. They each came to the shelter with a litter of pups and now that the pups are adopted and no one was interested in the moms, they were going to be euthanized.

We've named them Callista (Callie for short) and Leda after two of the moons of Jupiter. Some good samaritans are going to help us fly them here so on Sunday morning at 9:30 am there will be two new rat terrier girls arriving at Sea-Tac airport.

Above you see Callie and some of her pups. Doesn't she look sad and scared?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dine to Donate!

On Thursday, July 30th, the New Rattitude Washington Team will be hosting a "Dine to Donate" event at Applebees. All you have to do to help us out is get ahold of one of the fliers and then come to the Federal Way Applebees to eat. For every diner on July 30th that presents their server with the New Rattitude event flyer, Applebees will donate 15% of your ticket to us.

These events will happen across the country and each NR state will participate for bragging rights of raising the most money. Can you help team Washington win this contest and at the same time help out a few little spotted furry ones?

Let me know if you would like a flyer or need a few for friends as well. You need one flyer per ticket so if you and friends will be paying on separate checks you'll need one flyer for each of you. I'll have fliers at The Pet Market and area vets or I can mail you one.

Thanks everyone for your help!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Calling all airline employees!

Daily I get E-mails from New Rattitude's Urgent Team checking to see if I happen to have an open spot for dogs in kill shelters in the South. There are so many rat terriers down there and young and old alike are ending up euthanized due to lack of space and funds. Thankfully the kill rates in PNW shelters (if they even euthanize) is incredibly low and we have a ton of rescues operating here. The result is that rarely to we end up needing to rescue a Washington rat terrier.

The problem is often the cost of transporting the dogs from places like Shreveport LA, Atlanta GA, and Dallas TX to the Seattle area. It can cost around $200 to transport one adult rat terrier from Atlanta to its foster home in Seattle.

One way we can get around this is to find airline employees to help us fly the dogs. Typically the rate an employee would pay for cargo is 75% off what the airline would charge the rescue organization. So for the price of one dog we can save 4!

If you have any friends or family living in the Puget Sound area who are employed by an airline that flies into Sea-Tac airport then would you please, please, please ask them if they would help us out? All it would take was occasionally working out a time that they could pick up a dog for us. NR volunteers would meet them and get the foster dog immediately.

Also, if y0u know of anyone who has been thinking of fostering, please let me know. Today I was informed of 4 dogs who will be gassed on Friday if the Urgent team can't find a placement for them - yep, that's right, gassed. Washington only has room for 1 of them right now. With the economy the way it is, the number of dogs in the shelters has shot up and the typical numbers of urgent rat terriers we are learning about is triple what we are used to.

Thanks everyone. Oh, and don't forget to keep votine at . New Rattitude could really use the $1,000 grant.
BTW, the photo above is of two of the pups who will be flying here from Atlanta on Tuesday of next week. The litter was listed to be euthanized due to lack of space. Stay tuned for puppy breath reports!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The next ones

Well, Rory goes home this weekend and Spock now has a great application on him so we are moving right along to rescue the next two rat terriers and get them transported to Washington. There is a litter of four 8 week old pups in Alabama in a shelter that listed them for euthanization. We said that we would take 2 of them if they could find a way to get them here. Another foster home took one of them as well, so that just leaves one pup in need of a foster spot.

So the transport team and the Alabama team are working to get these two little dogs to Washington. They are young enough that they can fly together in one crate and keep each other company, which is nice. We're not sure which of the four will end up here (there are 3 males and 1 female). The dog pictured above is a male and is the only tri-color in the bunch. The other 3 are black and white.
There was also a 10 year old gal who was going to be put down at the same shelter, but an adopter was found for her, thank goodness.
Another dog that will be coming to Washington soon is a blue tri-colored little guy who has a badly broken leg and will be needing surgery.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The latest

First to report, is that we are still holding 1st place in Georgia for the shelter contest. Continue to vote for New Rattitude (state of Georgia) and tell everybody you know to do the same and we may just win this contest yet! Voting continues through July 29th.

Next to report, we went over to Cosmo's new home for dinner and he is doing awesome. Although he is fond of his new mom, he is head over heals crazy about his new dad. Anywhere Dan goes, Cosmo is at his heels. He's doing great - getting two 1 hour walks each day - and has taken off the chub that he came to the shelter with. Now he's all muscle and his coat is looking great - no more dandruff and skin problems. So a big 2 thumbs up to the Proctors for giving this guy a great home and wonderful care.

Little Aurora aka Rory was spayed last week and had a retained puppy tooth pulled. She recovered quickly and is now just waiting for the two week medical hold to be over so she can go home to her already approved forever home. They are super excited to get her home. This week she'll be microchipped and have a distemper vaccination and then she'll be ready to go.

Spock continues to be a great boy and hasn't had any accidents in the house. He can be left loose in the house when we are out. What a lover. I need to try to get video of him "talking" when breakfast is being prepared. His basenji voice comes out then and he rasps away - so funny.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Help New Rattitude win another $1,000!

Although we are still in first place for Georgia, our overall placement has been slipping daily while the 2nd place group in Georgia has been gaining daily. There are still a few weeks left in this thing and we could end up losing the $1,000 grant if the votes don't keep up.

One thing you can do to help you remember is go to their main Webpage, , and then look about 2/3 of the way down the page. There is a button you can click that will E-mail you daily reminders to "click to give". After you click to give it opens up a link that says "vote for your favorite shelter". That would be New Rattitude (choose Georgia as the state so all our votes will be concentrated in one area.)

What's click to give? Well, the animal rescue site is set up as a way to raise money for shelters. The advertisers on that Website pay per click. Each day that you click to give that will generate 1/3 of a bowl of dog food. It's a great program. They also fund raise through their store which, by the way, has some awesome dog and cat themed gifts and pretty low shipping rates.

So pleasssssssssse can you help us? $1,000 could help us pay for vetting for about 10 dogs. Adoption fees help, but rarely do the vetting costs (spay/neuter surgery, shots, medications for illnesses...) come in at under the $150 adoption fee.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Spock is looking for his own home

I thought I'd write a little about Spock, now that we have gotten to know him better. WOW! What a great dog. First off, he's housetrained, which is always a big plus. It's rare that we end up with housetrained fosters since a lot of them that come to us have been outside only dogs in Texas and are clueless about the whole outside/inside bathroom thing.

Frankly, I'm really shocked at how healthy and muscley he is. Wherever he was before he ended up a stray in the shelter he was well cared for. He isn't hand shy or overly submissive so he likely wasn't mistreated. His coat is gorgeous and his weight is perfect.

He does bark, but really, our dog Frodo is the one who starts it and he just joins in for a bit and then gets tired of the barkfest so goes off to do something else. If only Frodo was so inclined. I'm pretty sure that he is a rat terrier/basenji mix, so he has that odd, hoarse bark that basenjis have and also has the curly basenji tail, which is pretty cool. He acts like a typical standard rattie: full of energy and always ready for fun, but just as willing to kick back on the couch with you and relax.

If you know of anyone looking for a sturdy, loving, gorgeous rat terrier mix then let them know about Mr. Spock!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Mr. Spock and Aurora

Spock and Aurora arrived in Seattle at 10 this morning and have spent the day getting settled in. Aurora is a 10 month old, 7.5# rat terrier/chihuahua mix, and spent the day with me at the pet store. Midday she stole a couple's heart and it looks like she already has a home lined up. She was going to be shuffled around foster homes a bit since she was being squeezed in, but since the female rattie we were supposed to get was too ill to be flown we decided just to keep her here for until she can go to her forever home.

At first we were worried that Spock was going to be loud and obnoxious since he came off the plane barking his head off and spent most of the drive to our house doing the same. Now that he's calmed down from the plane ride he's an absolute sweetie, full of love and kisses and always ready to give a kiss.

Phoebe LOVES Mr. Spock and they have spent a lot of time wrestling and playing. Of course, Frodo, Mr. Fun Police, is greatly bothered by this and barks at them whenever he feels they are overstepping their limit of fin times.

It's a very full house with 5 dogs here tonight but Phoebe will be heading to her forever home tomorrow. Even though she's just 4 1/2# she will leave a giant hole in our hearts because she's such a wonderful little gal.

Friday, June 5, 2009

More heading home

Well, Cosmo headed home last week and little Miss Phoebe will likely be on her way this week. She has a great application with a couple who have experience with tiny little "microdogs" like Feebs is. She is continuing to eat well and should be at a healthy weight soon.

While we were on a road trip she was watched by some friends and one of them teaches developmentally disabled high school students. Phoebe went to work with this friend and one of the non-verbal students started talking at school for the first time, telling people all about her pets and calling out when she thought Phoebe was lonely back in her little crate. It was a wonderful breakthrough and all thanks to a tiny little speck of a dog. What a great girl Miss Feebs is.

We have one, possibly 2 new dogs coming from Dallas tomorrow. A male we named Spock for his very pointy rattie ears (pictured above), and a female that we haven't named yet but the shelter is calling Annabelle. She was on the euthanasia table and they had tried 4 times to get a line in to put her to sleep. After the 4th try they decided not to test fate and called around to rescue groups in a last ditch effort to save her. We don't have many details about her other than the story I just told and that she is a rat terrier.

Monday, May 18, 2009


I don't know if I've told the whole story of Cosmo on the blog, so here it goes. New Rattitude's Webmaster, Bethany, alerted me to a forum thread over on about a dog who was likely going to be surrendered to a shelter in southwest WA or northwest OR. It seems a person had read about him on an online Jeep forum and had tried to convince the person to get Cosmo (then called Buddy) into rescue, to no avail.

The people who had Cosmo had adopted him 6 months ago from a shelter and he had been the model dog up until 2 weeks ago when he nipped at their 5 year old. No adults were around and they said it was out of character for him but the decided to return him to the shelter nevertheless.

We learned he had ended up in Warrenton, Oregon at Clatsop County Animal Control so I contacted someone there and asked if they release dogs to rescue organizations. They had Cosmo listed as a corgi-mix (huh?) but it was obvious to people who have been around rat terriers that he had some rattie in him so we started to try to find him a foster spot. I had an open spot since our foster Buzz can't fly to us until his sarcoptic mange is finished being treated so we told the shelter if he was still there in a week we would find a way to transport him up to the Seattle-Tacoma area.

Well, New Rattitude's 'Tude News editor, Susan, had also been reading the thread over on and she happened to have an old friend who lived near Warrenton who might be willing to help us out. She was contacted and agreed to pull Cosmo from the shelter. Even better, she happened to be going on a kayaking trip to the San Juan Islands over the weekend and could drive him all the way to Federal Way from Warrenton for us. Talk about luck!

So on Friday, Mr. Cosmo arrived in Federal Way and we took him home. He is such a sweet dog - very quiet and not at all demanding. He gets along great with the other dogs and has the most hilarious habit of "singing" along when music is playing. The shelter papers say he's 7 years old, however, from his teeth, eyes and no gray in his coat, my guess is more like 5 years. He weighs about 18-20 pounds (guessing).

We also discovered that he was having some type of allergic reaction and had red sores all over his belly. The vet at the shelter had sent an antibiotic that he is taking and my guess is that this is a grain allergy. We see this a lot at the pet store where I work. I feed grain-free dog food and supplement with fish oil, so we will see if things clear up. I know that he probably nipped at the little girl because she tried to pick him up and touched one of the sores. He's very protective of his belly which looks to be extremely uncomfortable right now. I'll take him to our vet tomorrow to double check about my guess as to allergies.

I try to keep him in a t-shirt to keep him from licking the hot spots too much. Phoebe, who has a little dermatitis on a spot on her back is also wearing a red tee and since she is also black and white, she looks like Cosmo's mini-me. ( )
Everyone has settled in well and the pack has been very accepting of Cosmo although for once Frodo has decided that he is the alpha and is bossing Cosmo around a bit. Cosmo takes it in stride though and backs off whenever Frodo throws a fit.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Phoebe's illness has developed into a full blown cold and she is hacking away and has stopped eating. Connie, a NR volunteer in Florida, has a great recipe for dogs who stop eating and are underweight as a quick way to get them to eat and gain weight. Well, it is working and she is gobbling the stuff down and seems to be perking up.

Her cough is still bad but I just bought some oil of oregano geltabs to help clear up her congestion.
Her tail is up and wagging now though, and she joins in play time every once in awhile so I think she is on the mend. At only 4#, it was scary to have her stop eating.

Tomorrow morning our next foster will arrive, a 7 year old black and white rattie male, and we will be full up again. We are still trying to decide on a name. I think we'll wait until we meet him and then decide.

For the next two weekends we will be participating in New Rattitude's Nationwide Garage Sale. Over the month of May people have been throwing garage sales, selling items on Craigslist or eBay, and then donating the money to New Rattitude. Every participant gets their name thrown in a drawing for a prize and then there will be another prize to the person who raises the most money. This weekend we will try to sell the large items on Craigslist and then next Saturday we'll have a garage sale with the rest of the stuff. Garage sales are always a pain, but it is worth it to lighten the load and raise money at the same time for a great cause.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Phoebe arrives!

Little tiny Phoebe arrived in Washington today and I'm sure this sweet little gal will have a home in no time. She's a playful, 5#, 4 year old chihuahua-rat terrier mix. She's painfully thin and has an eye infection and what sounds like the beginning of kennel cough. We should have her healthy in no time though. With some good food, a trip to the vet, and some supplements we should have her ready for her forever home in no time at all.
The name Phoebe continues with our space theme for 2009 foster dog names. Phoebe is a moon of Saturn which was named for one of the titans. Although she's not "titan" in size she definitely has a titan sized personality.

I've been busy getting her foster file set up with her paperwork, picking out a pretty collar for her, registering her as a New Rattitude dog and creating a foster care log for her on the computer. It's been over a month since our last foster arrived here so I was so excited for the happy work of welcoming a foster to New Rattitude's care.

Next week Buddy will be heading up from a shelter in Warrenton, Oregon but he will likely be fostered in Kirkland with only a temporary stay here. Buzz is still getting over his sarcoptic mange in Texas and will be heading our way in early June.
BTW, don't forget to be voting for New Rattitude, Georgia over at . We are in 2nd place for the state of Georgia and really need everyone's help to pull ourselves into 1st place.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Coming soon...

So while we wait for Mr. Buzz to be ready to fly, we are getting ready to welcome a tiny little female rattie who will fly to us from Dallas. She was a stray in Arlington, TX, found with both of her ears full of ticks and very underweight. Her shelter name is Minnie, but we will probably pick another name for her.

She looks to be a Chihuahua/rattie mix because of the shape of her head and the angle of her ears, but you can't always tell from photos.

She was spayed, has her shots, and tested negative for heartworm so the goal is for her to fly to Seattle this weekend. I'll keep you posted about how things turn out.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Things are pretty quiet here thanks to only having our two dogs in the house. We had just thought we would be able to get Buzz (pictured above) here from Austin when it was discovered that he has sarcoptic mange which is contagious to both dogs and humans. The result is that he has to have a 14 day quarantine while he goes through treatment so he won't be able to catch his May 9th flight to Washington state.

In Dallas they were able to save a rattie last minute since they know they have 4 open foster spots in Washington state. Arrangements are being made for her vetting and then flight to Washington so it looks like we will be without foster dogs for at least another week.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

2009 Southeast Rat Terrier Jamboree

Well, I'm back from the Jam and boy was it ever fun. After working with these "virtual" friends online to save dogs for the past 2 years it was great to finally meet them in person and I can't wait to see them again next year. At the airport Levecke and I listed the states that we met people from and other than us Washingtonians there were folks from Florida, Minnesota, Kentucky, Texas, New York, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Maryland and Wisconsin.

The Washington team (Kathy, Levecke and I, pictured above outside a Tennessee Cracker Barrel) flew on Southwest airlines so we couldn't bring any dogs with us or transport any fosters home, unfortunately. However with 100 plus ratties running around the field at the event there was always someone who was willing to hop up on a lap for a snuggle.
The event is put on by the Yahoo group, Southeast Region Rat Terriers and boy do they do a great job. The entrance fee to attend is only $3 to the KOA for the entire weekend and then an item for the raffle that benefits New Rattitude. That raffle made over $1,000! New Rattitude directors also threw a lunch on Saturday that benefited NR. There was also a "guess how many tennis balls fill the crate" game, a microchipping booth, and our ReTail booth that raised money for rescue so I can't wait to hear the grand total that was raised.
Friday was a laid back day where the event is set up and people and dogs meet and greet each other on the huge mowed field temporarily fenced for the 100+ rat terriers running around. That evening the SE group hosted a barbecue dinner and New Rattitude's Jaime and Neil from Wisconsin hosted a campfire and treated us to delicious Wisconsin cheese. Saturday was the busy day. Most folks arrived Saturday and the field filled up with every variety of rat terriers imaginable. There was a flyball demonstration by Jaime and Neil, obedience trials, terrier races, and an agility course. The raffle was held as was the NR lunch of pulled pork sandwiches, pasta salad, chips and goodies. All the NR folks and a few others ended the day with a dinner at a nearby Southern style restaurant and another campfire at Jaime and Neils.
Sunday was for clean up and goodbyes. The NR contingent breakfasted at The Dinner Bell and I tasted grits for the first time. It was sad to say goodbye but I was ready to get home to the guys and my own furry duo. We are still foster-free right now but should have a 1 year old male we named Buzz arriving in the next week or so from Austin, Texas. Due to the cost of flying dogs it has been difficult to fill up the WA foster spots lately. There are so many being put down in the South and Midwest and yet we can't get them here. On occasion rattie rescues happen in Washington (like Abby and Rocket), but there just aren't that many rat terriers here. What there is, is a high demand for small dogs so it's sad that we can't get the ones here that are being put to sleep elsewhere. Sigh. If you know of anyone who works for an airline and would be willing to help us fly dogs with their cargo discount then be sure to let me know. Or, if you are travelling somewhere and would be willing to carry-on a dog then let us know that as well. Transport can be almost as costly as vet care if we don't network to find ways to get around the costs. Okay, enough whining.
Next year you should consider joining me for a trip to the 2010 Jamboree. You haven't seen anything until you've watched a field full of rat terriers playing chase.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Quick Update

On Saturday both Sally and Abby went to their forever homes leaving us foster-free at the moment. It is SOOO quiet here. Well, that's an exaggeration since both of my personal dogs were the barkers of the bunch, but you get the idea.

The timing was perfect since I'm getting ready to fly out to Tennessee this week for the "SE Rat Terrier Jamboree" which is a great get together of rattie enthusiasts which benefits New Rattitude. There will be agility contests, flyball demonstrations, raffles, shopping, and lots and lots of cute spotted dogs. I'm really looking forward to meeting so many of the people that I work with daily via the Internet as we all work together across the country to rescue dogs.

When I get back I'll be sure to post photos and let you guys know how things went.

PS: Don't forget to keep voting in the shelter contest for New Rattitude, GA! We are in 1st place for the state of Georgia but it is close and there's a long ways to go before the voting is finished. We won the state contest once, so let's do it again!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Spring Sniff-fest

After a couple really miserable days of cold downpours the sun has broken through and it has been beautiful here in Western Washington. The cherry blossoms, daffodils and early tulips are blooming, leaves are budding out, and it smells beautiful - that indescribable smell of spring.

The dogs have been oh-so-happy that they don't have to go out and do their business in the rain. I've been letting them out more often and there have been some great romps in the back yard, but mostly there has been sniffing.

I took the camera out thinking I could get some good pictures with the warm sunlight, but it was not to be. I couldn't get the dogs to look up from their sniffing long enough to get a good shot. Something about the rock path was especially enticing and they spent lots of time turning the rocks with their snouts sniffing at whatever might be underneath.
In this photo you see the backs of the girls, Tilly, Sally and Abby, sniffing their way along the path.