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