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 rat-terrier.com about a dog who was likely going to be surrendered to a shelter in southwest WA or northwest OR. It seems a rat-terrier.com 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 rat-terrier.com 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. ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/7248979@N08/3540905546/ )
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.
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.
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 www.theanimalrescuesite.com . We are in 2nd place for the state of Georgia and really need everyone's help to pull ourselves into 1st place.
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.
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.
Our family fosters for "New Rattitude Rat Terrier Rescue." This blog keeps a record of the wonderful dogs that we foster and of our current ratties' progress on their road to adoption.
Be sure to join us on Facebook. "Like" us on the New Rattitude Northwest community page to follow the NR foster dogs of the Northwest as well as hear about local Rat Terrier events and training information.
New Rattitude is an all volunteer group so any donation you make will be fully used to rescue and treat a rat terrier in need. Donations can also be mailed to New Rattitude at P.O. Box 14064; Lansing, Michigan, 48901. Thanks for your assistance. Woof woof!