Thursday, December 30, 2010

Madeline's surgery

Things have been so busy that I am just now getting around to updating you on Madeline. She had the FHO surgery (femural head osteo-something) on Tuesday and the doctor said it was very routine and went great. She's already up and moving around in the kitchen and trying to play with Tilly which is great news.

I've had 5 different foster dogs go through surgery to correct luxating patellas and I have to say that the incision site is MUCH less dramatic looking for this hip surgery than for the knee surgeries that I'm used to.
She'll need to recuperate for several weeks before she can be adopted to a new home and it will be 4 weeks before she is ready for her spay surgery.
Maddie has shown herself to be an amazing little dog and the better she feels, the better she gets. Someone out there will be getting themselves a very special family member. I can't thank New Rattitude team members enough for all they do to make expensive rescues like this possible. Thanks to Edgewood Veterinary Clinic for their continued support and for being so pro-rescue and giving us a great deal on the surgery. It was half of what 2 other vet offices quoted us.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Goodbye little Frizzers

Frisby just went home and while I am ecstatic over the incredible home that he went to, I'll miss the little lovebug. He remembered his new mom from when she came to meet him last week and other than a little confusion over why I wasn't going with them when he left, he seemed to be relaxed. The day of seeing them off to their new homes is the only part of rescue that I hate. It's worth dealing with the sadness though to know how many more lives will be saved because I have that open spot for a new dog needing a temporary home. Madeline is alive today because Frisby found a family and there was room for her to move in with us while she gets healthy. So have a great life, Mr. Fris-butt. We love you and can't wait to hear how well you are doing in your new home.

Madeline Update: Yesterday I took Madeline to the vet for x-rays so we could see what is going on with her legs. Right off the bat the vet guessed what was going on and x-rays confirmed that poor Maddie's right leg was out of socket and has been since she was attacked by that dog on December 1st. Because it's been out for so long, moving around, it will not stay in, even if they put it back, so the ball of the joint will be removed and repairs will be made. This will allow her to keep her leg and use it pain-free although she may end up with a slight limp. She also had a fracture to her left pelvis but that has healed and isn't seeming to cause her any discomfort. So this is actually good news - things could have been much worse and required special orthopedic surgery. This is a fairly common operation that can be done right at the vet's office, no specialists involved. It's actually the same surgery that another new Washington foster dog, Edward, will be having soon. Maddie's surgery is scheduled for this coming Tuesday.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Welcome, sweet Madeline!

We are happy to announce that sweet 8 month old, 10 pound, Madeline has arrived in WA after a 1 - 1/2 day drive up from Northern California. Troy met her transport in South Tacoma this morning and brought her home.

We are happy to say she is a sweet, well socialized girl with a nice even temperament, especially considering that she is in pain. A big surprise was that she is in heat and I believe is about 12-15 days into her cycle. Since she's been in the shelter, kept isolated since December 1st, I think we're safe. Still, we're not enjoying the mess. If she is as late in her cycle as I think then she only has about 4 or 5 days left of the bleeding.

The bad news is that she is not using her rear right leg at all and it is obviously uncomfortable when she lays down. She moves around on her other rear leg okay, even though it was obviously injured as well. Her story is that she was brought into the shelter on December 1st after she had been attacked by a large dog. The owners asked the shelter to put her down as they didn't want the vet bills. The shelter refused and tried nursing her back to health in the front office while they attempted to find a rescue spot for her.

There are an amazing amount of lacerations on her legs that are healing very well - most are just scar tissue at this point. She has an appointment on Tuesday to see a vet for an exam and to have digital x-rays taken so we can see what the damage is and the vet can create a treatment plan. I am crossing my fingers that it will be something that can be fixed without orthopedic surgery as that would be heavy burden for the rescue, especially since we have another WA dog that will be needing hip surgery as soon as he is healthy enough to undergo anesthesia. Watch for her and Edward (the other WA boy who has a broken hip) to appear in the New Rattitude Clinic soon.
At this point Frodo, Frisby and Tilly are just curious about who the new girl is but Nimh is having absolute conniption fits over her. Since I know Nimh will try to start humping her if I let her near poor Maddie we are keeping everyone very separate right now.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Adopt an Old Dog


"In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines ..." that is how all the books in Ludwig Bemelman's book series about the precocious Madeline begin. Well, it's not an old house in Paris and my rattie fosters would never be able to form straight lines but Madeline the rat terrier (named for the book character) will soon be joining us here in Washington.

Madeline was surrendered to a shelter in Northern California after she was attacked by a large dog. The 7 month old pup had a laceration on her inner thigh, abrasions, and was stiff and sore. The owners that brought her in wanted her euthanized but the shelter staff refused, saying that she should be fine with a little time and TLC. The owners left her and the staff kept little Maddie in the front office, working on nursing her back to health. As she recovered they called the owners multiple times, asking if they had changed their mind and each time the owners said to euthanize her. Since the owners where done with her and the shelter had no money for x-rays to check and see if there are any fractures to the bone that are causing her stiffness they began networking her to rescue groups hoping to find somewhere to send her where she'd get the medical care that they couldn't provide.

She was placed on New Rattitude's CA urgent list and that's where I first saw her. Catherine, the CA State Coordinator for New Rattitude found a ground transport that was driving from Ventura to Seattle, picking up urgent dogs for Seattle area rescuers along the way. Madeline will join 17 other dogs on the trek to Washington starting Saturday and we will meet the transport in Olympia on Sunday morning to pick her up.
So send healthy vibes to Miss Madeline and cross your paws that the x-rays don't show any serious breaks. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

You've gotta love those transport volunteers!

Just thought I'd share this awesome video showing the rescue of 76 dogs that were transported from CA up to various rescues in the Seattle area. It won't let me stream it here so here's the link.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Skipper is here!

The New Rattitude WA team has another new foster parent, Traci, and her 1st foster dog arrived in WA on Sunday the 12th.
Skipper's owner passed away and the 6-7 year old guy was spending most of his time in a crate after that. He was headed to a shelter but the owner really wanted to avoid that since a 6 year old guy doesn't have much of a chance in a shelter. A rescue spot was found for him and he arrived here on Sunday, seemingly enjoying his big transport adventure.
This guy is up for just about anything. He knows some basic commands, is well house trained, crate-trained, loves kids and other dogs and is an all around joy for everyone (except maybe cats - he LOVES cats but they aren't fond of his ability to chase and catch them.)
He's a Jack Russell/rat terrier mix and at 6 he's not even quite middle-aged yet. This guy is an excellent example of why people should skip puppies and look for a mature dude to add to their family.
Thanks to all involved in saving him.
Edward Update: Poor Edward's kennel cough has settled in and he's at the worst phase of it with lots of coughing at night and a runny nose. The good news is that he is now eating and not looking so gaunt. We just need to get him through this KC so he can be healthy enough to have his hip fixed.
Frisby/Nimh update: Frisby has a great application and will be meeting his potential adopter and their rat terrier Cooper tomorrow. Everyone wish him luck! Nimh is still looking for a home that is looking for a gorgeous tiny dog who deserves the title of Princess Nimh.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Poor Edward

On Sunday one of Washington's newest NR foster dogs arrived on a plane from Texas. His name is Edward and he was seriously underweight, had kennel cough, and had a limp. He went to his new foster home with one of Washington's new foster parents and we discovered he wasn't eating or drinking much either.
Off to the vet Carol, Edward and I went this morning to have Dr. Joe take a look at him and see what might be the issue. When his leg was checked the "crunchy" noise let us know that x-rays were a must. It was discovered that little one year old Edward has a broken hip. Thankfully the pelvis and leg are fine but the ball part of the joint has broken off and he will need surgery to fix things up.
For now he received subcutaneous fluids to get him rehydrated and some pain meds. On top of that the doctor gave him a bag of food that Edward seemed interested in free of charge. After being dosed with the pain meds he's started eating and drinking broth so Carol and I are ecstatic! The little guy weighs 7 pounds and should be more like 10 or 11. It's a bit frightening to see a dog that thin.
Anyhow, right now the goal is to get a little weight on him and to get him well hydrated. Once he gets a little healthier he'll have the hip surgery. Everyone keep the sweet little dude in your thoughts - and keep his foster mom Carol in your thoughts as well. Nursing a dog with a broken hip is a bit of an overwhelming assignment for your first foster. In spite of the pain he is happy and friendly and hasn't been snappy at all. I can only imagine how incredible he'll be when he feels good.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Craigslist: a terrier danger zone

I'm not an anti-Craigslist person. Quite the opposite. In fact I purchased a great, brand new West Elm bed frame and a canoe on the site and have sold a variety of items there. However, Craigslist can be a dangerous place for dogs. Like any anonymous type platform there are creeps out there waiting to prey on the unsuspecting.

For small dogs this can either be perverts looking for free animals to abuse or dog fighters looking for bait dogs. And yet still, I regularly see free dogs listed on the site. This in spite of the fact that Craigslist warns about the dangers of listing free pets.

Sadly, there are always going to be folks out there who have changed their mind about wanting the cute puppy they were so sure they were in love with a few years ago and since many people see their pets as just another household commodity they turn to Craigslist to rid themselves of them. There is another option for them though and I could use people's help to let them know.

If anyone out there has the time to do a regular search on the Seattle and Tacoma Craigslist pet listing for rat terriers, here is a polite E-mail that you can send them, suggesting New Rattitude's ReHome program. The ReHome program will list the dogs on Petfinder, Adopt-a-pet, and the New Rattitude Website as well as screen applications for the dog using our regular home screening, application process. However, while we look for the home, the dog stays with the owner which doesn't fill up a foster spot that needy shelter dogs are desperate for.

Here's a polite E-mail you can send. Remember, sarcasm and pointing fingers won't help get the dog out of danger. Yes, the owners are irritating but mostly just uneducated.

Just a heads up - it is fairly common for perverts or dog fighters
(looking for bait dogs) to look for free terriers on Craigslist. Because
of this it is very dangerous to list "free" dogs on Craigslist. The rescue
group has a great free program called ReHome that will help
you get your dog listed on Petfinder and their Website, and then will use their
volunteers to screen people who apply for the dog.

Go to to learn about and use this free
service. Even if you don't want to take part in this program consider
at least changing your ad to include a rehoming fee for the protection of the

Monday, November 29, 2010

Home for the Holidays!

For those of you who haven't subscribed to New Rattitude's E-newsletter I wanted to forward this announcement of the 2010 holiday fundraising drive:

Season's Greetings from New Rattitude! There's nothing we'd like more than to provide a home for the holidays for needy rat terriers. Going "home" can mean anything from providing a lonely and forgotten shelter dog with a nurturing foster home, to sending rehabilitated ratties to their new and permanent adoptive homes where they will be safe, cared for, and loved for the rest of their lives.

Without the generous help of our faithful supporters, New Rattitude would be unable to carry out our mission. Did you know that in 2009 New Rattitude rescued 271 dogs and incurred vet expenses of over $46,000? Our adoption fees do not come close to covering the medical needs of our foster dogs, much less other costs of operating the rescue such as dog food, transporting dogs from shelters to foster homes, purchasing ID tags and microchips, etc.

Would you like to help New Rattitude save more rat terriers throughout 2011? Your heart will feel warm and fuzzy knowing you've helped us provide secure and loving homes for rat terriers in need. You can do so by giving the "gift of rescue" this holiday season! Contributions of any amount--big or small--will be so appreciated. You might even consider making a gift donation in the name of a friend, relative, or coworker.

New Rattitude has been incredibly blessed again this year...a generous donor has offered to match holiday donations to New Rattitudeup to $1,000! That means your donation willgo twice as far. If you work foran organization that matchesdonations, you might even be able to triple your gift!

Watch New Rattitude's website to track the progress toward meeting our donation goal! Each $50 or $100 raised will light up a window in the Rattie Holiday House displayed on the New Rattitude Website and the face of an adorable rescued or adopted rat terrierwill appear.

When every window is lit up and 15 happy ratties are safe in their "home,"we will have reached our $1,000 goal and doubled all donations!

Tax deductible donations can be made through our website using Paypal, or a check can be sent to New Rattitude, P.O. Box 14064, Lansing, MI 48901.

Thank you to all our faithful followers who have supported us throughout 2010. We appreciate you
very much and so do all the New Rattitude foster dogs--past, present, and future--who find happy
homes with the help of your kind gifts.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Shop online and rescue dogs at the same time

Do you like to avoid the crowds and do your holiday shopping online? Well you could make some money for New Rattitude this season by using the Website. Go to the Website, choose New Rattitude (Lansing, MI is listed as the location) and then link from the site to hundreds of your favorite Websites like,, Gap, Crate and Barrel, Petsmart, Ebay.... Pretty much anywhere you might choose to shop is on there.

After you link to your favorite shopping Website from Goodshop, just shop and go through check out as you usually would. The companies then donate around 5% (but up to 30% at some sites) of your purchase price to New Rattitude. Easy huh? So anytime you shop online, go to Goodshop first so a little of that money will be given to the dogs. The other Website shopping program that New Rattitude participates in is iGive and it works the same way.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Pupdate

Our sweet foster girl, Kanga, has found a home of her own where she will join her excited dad and a 5 year old rattie brother named Scooter. As much as I love all my fosters, some are tougher to say goodbye to than others and Kanga is one of those. She fits so seamlessly into the pack, always happy and eager to please, and other than the occasional accident, an all around pretty perfect little gal who has wrapped herself around our hearts. The plan is for her to head home tomorrow. She will be well cared for and very loved in her new home though so I'm not at all worried about her future. Just a bit concerned for my heart. LOL

Mayzie La Dog has already headed for home and is doing great. She has a great array of beds and toys and is getting used to being an only dog. Already she has her new mom wrapped around her tiny paw. Good work, Mayzie!

After a summer of being at overload capacity we are finally back down to 2 foster dogs. As much as I'd love to pull another, I'm being good and keeping my promise to not pull another dog for myself until either Frisby or Nimh find a home. However, we have 2 new foster homes in the approval process right now that I'll be pulling dogs for. One was just approved and only needs to undergo the short training session before she's ready for a dog. I'm already cruising the State Coordinator's urgent list, looking for a dog that will be a good fit for her. Watch for an announcement of the new kiddo coming soon to WA.

The newest arrivals are 2 young female rat terriers from TX who are being fostered in our Auburn, WA foster home. Via and Mesa were pulled from a backyard breeder who was killing off his 25 dogs. Nine were rescued in time and these two are here in WA. They will need a quiet, calm home with people who understand their timidity and give them the time and space they need to learn that life can be enjoyable and people can be kind. Luckily they are young enough that they should be able to be rehabilitated.

And don't forget Doc and McLovin over in Yakima. They are amazing dogs. Since they flew through Seattle I have spent a few days with both of them and know they are great dogs. Frankly, I'm shocked that McLovin, a small, easy, house-trained, teeny-tiny guy, hasn't been adopted yet. Doc is also a great guy but has a lot of energy to run off and needs a home where he'll get the exercise and attention that he needs.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Busy, busy...

After a long dry spell without any applications we recently received 3 and although one didn't make the cut the other 2 look like great fits for Mayzie and Kanga. Actually, Mayzie's application is already approved and she will be heading to her new home on Saturday. Mayzie turns 1 yr old on the 23rd of this month and I think that a loving mom and new home are the best gifts this tiny girl could ask for.

Kanga will be meeting an applicant on Sunday and also meeting a possible rat terrier brother, Scooter. Since Kanga loves everyone, dog and human alike, I'm pretty confident it will go well and we'll be able to move forward. Nonetheless, everyone wish Kanga luck on Sunday afternoon. She's been through a lot with ending up in a shelter, staying for a week in a foster home, flying from Chicago to Seattle, and then 2 knee surgeries to get her ready to find a home. In spite of it all she loves unconditionally and even gave the vet a kiss after he was feeling her just operated on knee.

Frisby and Nimh are each still waiting for someone to find them and we also have a couple great boys, Doc and McLovin' in Yakima looking for a special spot so if you know of anyone looking for a new family member, point them our way.

We also currently have 2 new Washington state foster homes going through the approval process so that will mean even more dogs that I can tell you about. The poor volunteer coordinator is likely getting very tired of my impatient E-mails asking for updates on the status of the foster home apps. I can't help myself! We've got more rat terriers to save.
In the photo above you see Kanga, Frisby (front) and Nimh squeezed into a crate together. Although we have 3 open crates loaded with beds and blankets (including a huge 500 series crate) they always hang out like little spotted sardines in one of the small ones.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Where's the poop?

Scooping rat terrier poop can be a difficult job in the Pacific Northwest, especially the day after an autumn windstorm. Even under good circumstances those tiny little turds look very similar to the hefty slugs we Washingtonians are famous for.

Yesterday we had windstorms here with gust up to 60 mph. The result this morning is a yard scattered with a few thousand fir cones, also similar in size and shape of said rattie turds. Then to make it even more difficult there is a thin layer of fir needles covering everything. It is a "Where's Waldo?" hunt of epic proportions.

What wasn't difficult to find - in fact the 6 bRats ran straight for it - was the flat dead, rotting bird that blew out of some tree and into the upper landscaped area. Yuck.

I love windstorms but hate the aftermath.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Some positive things happening...

After several weeks of no applications for Washington New Rattitude fosters, and no open foster spots for dogs that were urgently awaiting rescue, I have some good news at last!

Sweet tiny Mayzie has a great application that is currently being processed and will likely be a really good fit for her. Also, a couple came to meet Frisby at the Petsmart adoption event and applied to adopt him. That will finally get us down to our typical fostering level of 2 fosters at a time which will be much appreciated by my husband and son. :)

Other great news: a couple really great applications in Western WA to foster for New Rattitude. To foster for New Rattitude you go through an approval process that is much like when a person applies to adopt a dog. That is followed by a short training session with our treasurer and then the person is assigned a mentor and is ready for their first foster. So I'm hoping that sometime soon I'll be able to be pulling some dogs urgently awaiting rescue for these new spots.

Many thanks to Julee for attending the adoption event and taking my fosters Kanga and Frisby with her. She developed some really great arm muscles thanks to Kanga being stressy and wanting to be held the entire time. Kanga is fit and trim but she still weighs around 18 pounds so she's not a light load. Thanks also to Julee for volunteering to help out with marketing our dogs - getting fliers posted in spots where good potential adopters are located. Because of the slow economy the number of applications for our dogs has dropped considerably and this extra publicity for them is going to be an incredible help.

So things are looking up. Mayzie has quickly healed from her surgery and has a new favorite past time - wrestling with Nimh and Kanga. She's still a bit of a fraidy cat with people but with the dogs and with me she has become much more playful and confident.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Mayzie had her surgery this morning and thankfully was able to come home with me after work this evening. Ends up the little gal had hernias on both sides so it was a good thing we got her all fixed up. She is resting now and still drowsy with the pain killer that they gave her.

The surgery isn't as invasive as a spay even though it has given her a lumpy, bumpy belly full of stitches earning her the current nickname of Frankenbelly. I'm sure she'll be back be-bopping around the house and wrestling with Kanga in no time. Kanga, in spite of her healing leg, loves playing with Mayzie so we have supervised play times to make sure things don't get out of hand and someone ends up blowing stitches out. Of course after this 2nd surgery for Mayzie she'll need to be crated for a couple of days before I'll allow the wildness to begin again.

Friday, November 5, 2010


Well, I got a second opinion from my regular vet clinic today about Mayzie's hernia and they said the same thing - watch and wait until next week. The good news is that she's acting more herself, has a good appetite, and is pooping normally which is a big relief. She'll go in on Monday morning for the surgery.

Until then she's going to work with me and hanging out in the playpen behind the counter. Lots of good treats there and people to oooh and aaaah over her which she seems to appreciate - especially the treats.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Keep sweet Mayzie in your thoughts

Mayzie came home from her spay surgery today and was doing fine and her incision looked great. A couple hours later I heard her vomitting in the back yard. When I went over and picked her up there was a large lump in her groin area. I ran her back to the vets and they have diagnosed an inguanal (sp) hernia. Unfortunately it wasn't caught when they were in there and she will need another surgery to repair the abdominal wall in that area.

The vet who did the spay said just to watch her and unless the swelling increases greatly that we can wait a week until she is healed up from the spay and do the second surgery. I'm really stressed though so I'm going to take her into another vet tomorrow for a second opinion. I don't want to rush things and have her undergo a second surgery so soon but I also don't want to end up at the emergency vet this weekend.

I'm taking her to work with me tomorrow and my boss (another rescuer) said it would be fine if I need to take time to get her to the vets.

Right now she is resting in a crate so I can keep her activity down, although she isn't wanting to move around much. She's still peeing and her tail is still wagging so that is good. There hasn't been any additional retching which is also good. Sheesh, I'm really worried about her and stressed out. Not sure how I'm going to sleep tonight.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Latest Pupdate

After having things calm down for awhile we've had a busy week again. Our newest foster girl Mayzie (was called Leah at the shelter) has arrived in Western Washington and she is a heck of a cutie. Little Mayzie is named after the character Mayzie La Bird from the book "Horton Hatches an Egg" but unlike Mayzie La Bird who is big and flamboyant, Mayzie La Dog is a tiny little quiet thing. Ms. Mayzie is 1 year old and weighs about 7-8 pounds. She's timid at first but once she gets to know her environment and people she is super playful and cuddly. Our guess is that she is half rat terrier and and half miniature dachshund. She has rattie markings and coloring but has the bowlegs and proportions of a doxie. Let me tell you this is one cute little gal.

Today she had a heartworm test and it was negative so tomorrow morning she'll be spayed and then she's ready for a loving person to swoop in and give her a wonderful home.

Other big events this week: Kanga had her second knee surgery yesterday and I picked her up this morning from the vet. She's doing much better than she did after the last surgery and already is using the leg a bit when out on potty breaks. So far she hasn't had to wear a cone yet which makes everyone happy but we'll put it on tonight at bed time so she won't chew on her leg wrap. Since she's done with her surgeries now I sent in the photos and bio to get published on Petfinder and Adopt a pet. She's been with us for quite awhile because of her knee problems so it will be tough to say goodbye when she finds her family.

And finally, our first rat terrier, the boy who made us fall in love with ratties, Frodo turned 5 years old on the 1st. For his gift he received a "Go Dog" roadkill squirrel that honks and squeaks and flops around, just asking to be attacked.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Happy birthday Trekkies!

Exactly a year ago today our foster dog (of just 2 days) gave birth to a gorgeous litter of 5 pups who grew to be fluffy little rat terrier/mystery dogs. This photo shows Dexter (then Dax) who was the last puppy of the litter to be born and was taken today on his first birthday and sent to my from his dad in Oregon. Here's a link to a photo of him about 30 minutes after birth, hanging with his mom.

Fostering a litter of pups isn't something that I'm eager to do again anytime soon, thanks to the sleepless nights, constant baths and seemingly limitless poop, their adventures with toilet paper, but it was an amazing experience that I will always remember. One of the greatest things was fostering these incredible little dogs who were a virtual blank slate without all the baggage that I normally deal with in the shelter dogs that I foster. Little fluff balls of love that no one has had a chance to mess up. Anyhow, happy birthday to the Trekkie crew and congratulations to mama Star on a job well done.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

When the heart can't say no

Everyday on Facebook and in my E-mail inbox I am inundated with photos of dogs that are about to be put to sleep - probably 50 or more each day. Furry face after furry face. So many that they start to blend together and no matter how much you want to say yes, you know that you just can't save them all. I scan the posts, sometimes not even opening certain E-mails when I know there is no open foster spot for them. You grow callouses on your heart and learn to focus on the reality that there is no room even if you want to save one of them.

Well yesterday that callous on my heart cracked and a face looked out from my Facebook page that was tough to look away from. I shut down the computer but came back to is several times and there she was. Still scared and still scheduled to be put to sleep today, 10/21, at 5 pm with 5 other small dogs. Even though all our permanent foster spots are full I decided to put some feelers out to see if someone would temp the girl until a spot opened up. Space was found and yesterday evening I decided to try and see if it wasn't too late for this girl all the way down in Los Angeles.

Well, I'm happy to say that instead of being euthanized today she underwent a spay surgery so she could be released to a New Rattitude foster parent down in Southern California. They'll pick her up early tomorrow morning and in the meantime I'm working on getting her transported to WA. I probably should have listened to my head and said no, but I'm glad that every once in awhile I let myself listen to my heart.

Friday, October 15, 2010

New Rattitude's 2011 Calendar winners!

The calendar contest winners were announced in this month's 'Tude News and let me tell you, the 2011 New Rattitude Rat Terrier Calendar is superb! Link to the winners' Webpage to see all the pages. Looks like my foster boy Jake was included in the October collage page with his sister and brother. I didn't notice any other of my fosters but I haven't looked through them super close yet so who knows.

Orders for the calendar are being taken now and will be shipped in mid-November. Pre-orders only pay $1 shipping for the $15 calendar! All proceeds from the calendar will be used by New Rattitude to cover the cost of caring for New Rattitude's rescued rat terriers. Go to New Rattitude's ReTail shop to order yours today.

Co-dependent dogs

Sometimes it is easy to think of two dogs as "bonded" when the situation is something more complex and less healthy. We've had Frisby and Nimh here in foster care for over a month now and when I first met them I was sure that it was necessary to adopt them out together. I kept them in the same big crate at night, fed them together, etc.

However the longer we had them, the more I realized that it was more co-dependency than anything else that formed their bond. Both dogs had been together for a month in the shelter and according to paperwork they had been surrendered together as well. Nimh has a strong personality and is bold and a little high-strung. Frisby on the other hand is somewhat timid and shy. When together Nimh bossed Frisby around constantly and then when she felt threatened would look to him for a reason to keep barking at something.

After talking with friends who had seen these behaviors before I started working on splitting the two up to see if they could handle it. The first night I made the mistake of trying to go cold turkey and after several hours of barking and whining gave in. Talked with someone on New Rattitude's behavior modification team and then tried again. First it was separate wire crates set right next to each other. Next, we slowly moved the crates a little further apart each morning and by night time they were used to the wider distance. Now the crates are across the room from each other but still mostly in line of sight. After they get used to this I'll start easing the crates so they are no longer in each other's sight.

All this moving apart has made a big difference, especially for Frisby. In the past he didn't do anything on his own and mostly followed Nimh around to bark at whatever she was barking at. Now he explores on his own, and just this week started playing chase and doing rattie runs around the backyard. BIG PROGRESS!!! Nimh isn't barking like she used to and is learning to play with the other dogs without trying to constantly boss them around. She loved to wrestle with Elvis but now that he's been adopted has decided that wrestling with Kanga is pretty fun too.

Another thing that has happened during this process? House-trained!!! Crate training works and no dog is too old to be house-trained. These 4 year olds had never been house-trained but now they run for the door when it's time and as long as they are kept on a schedule we don't have any accidents. Yay!!!
The photo above shows Frisby, Nimh and Kanga enjoying some snuggle time on the back of the couch. They are our current 3 foster dogs.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Elvis has left the building...again

As many of you know, sweet Elvis, a boy we first fostered back in June, was returned to us about a month ago. Honestly, he was the last guy that I thought would be returned but I was glad they didn't keep him if he was as afraid of them and their home as they said.

None of the fear aggressive issues were seen here but I did see problems with leash aggression due to high levels of anxiety when he was near a street.

Tonight he went to his new home and I'm crossing my fingers that all will go well. He got pretty stressy during goodbyes and was being somewhat alpha with Pearl and tried to start a fight a couple times. It's not behaviour that I've ever witnessed with him but I can tell he was ramped up and the best bet will be for him to be kept separate for awhile until he settles and feels safe enough to just be himself in the home and then there won't be an issue. His doggy sis, Pearl (was called McMuffin with New Rattitude so you may remember her), is as easy going a rat terrier as you'll ever meet so I think she'll forgive and forget his bad manners tonight.
In this photo you see Pearl watching as Elvis desecrates her beloved Skinneeez squirrel. He then went onto growl at her when she tried to take the squirrel back. She really was quite tolerant of him but a girl does have limits. So send calming thoughts to Elvis and Pearl and their parents as they work on integrating this nervous little guy into their household.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Need your help

As many of you know, our 3 Washington foster homes are stuffed full of dogs right now and unable to take anymore but there are so many dogs that I see daily, with very little time before they are put to sleep. Pictured is Oso, a five year old goofball rat terrier who was dumped at a shelter in California. He's labeled as a beagle-Chihuahua but looks pretty rattie to me. Whatever he is I've got nowhere to put him and will try to cross my fingers and hope he makes it out.

The most common excuse for not fostering is that people think that it will break their heart to care for a dog and then have to give it away to someone else. It will. But each time it gets easier and with each new foster dog you will realize that there are so many more out there that need you more that just one dog. Each one is deserving of love and care and the chance for a loving home. By making the sacrifice of letting your heart break a little, you will save lives. If I had kept Smudge, my first tiny little foster in December 2007, the other 50 dogs that I fostered after him would not be alive.

The second excuse/myth that I'd like to debunk is that you can't afford the vet care of a foster dog. The fact is that New Rattitude will cover the vetting of your foster (some limits and pre-approval of non-core vet care), they will reimburse for flea treatment, pay a food stipend... There will be some expenses but they are minor and also can be written off of your taxes since New Rattitude is a non-profit organization.

Final excuse is not knowing what to do. New Rattitude has a team of people to help mentor new volunteers, a state coordinator to answer any questions that might come up, and all kinds of great people willing to help you with any questions you have and to support you when that sweet dog that you save is able to go home.

If you'd like to learn more about fostering for New Rattitude check out our fostering page.
Photo of Oso is by Mia Anelli Photography - a lady who takes portraits of dogs in desperate need of rescue at the East Valley shelter in Van Nuys, California. Photos are then shared on Facebook and other spots in hopes of finding rescue spots/homes for them.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Still crazy...

We've now reached a new level of craziness here with 8 dogs at the house. Last winter when we fostered Star's litter of pups we had 9 in the house but at least with the pups the mess was contained to as far as they could toss their poo through the wires of their ex-pen. The 2 extras aren't fosters - we're dogsitting some friends' dogs and to give them credit they are easy dogs compared to any of the other 6 in the house. Actually, individually none of the dogs are difficult dogs but when you put them together in this big of a pack it makes life difficult.

Nimh and Elvis both have possible adopters so at least there is hope for a calmer household in the future. After they go home we are going to try to keep it to 2 fosters at a time for awhile to give ourselves a break after the crazy summer of foster overload at our house.

Kanga is a month past her surgery now and although she still lifts her leg to walk, she uses it fully when playing with Elvis. I'm thinking she'll be ready for surgery number 2 in another 4 weeks.

I decided to split up Frisby and Nimh because although they are bonded, it is more a co-dependent bond that tends to bring out the worst in both of them. Nimh likely has a home but Frisby will still be looking. He's a cute little 11 pound guy who is a bit anxious so should probably not be in a home with kids or large dogs. He loves to snuggle and is great with people as long as they aren't wild, crazy and loud.

Well, that's the latest. Happy October to you all!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The latest from the hound house

Sweet Lucas found a great home and was handed off to his new family on Sunday. I just E-mailed them to see how the transition was going. This sweet little guy can be a bit growly in new situations but he found a hardcore dog family who will happily give him the time and space to get used to his new family. His 12 year old Jack Russell Terrier sister should keep him in line if his new mom and dad are too soft with him though. :)

Since Lucas went home we had room finally for Elvis to join us. He had been staying with an adopter after being returned because of being overly fearful in his new home. He's doing great here and has been acting as a physical therapy assistant for Kanga. When she plays she forgets to hold her leg up and Elvis always wants to play. Kanga is happy to join in and gets regular sessions of using her leg. It is really speeding up recovery.

Frisby and Nimh are continuing to work on housetraining so they do spend a lot of time crated which is kind of a bummer. They went to work with me one day last week but Nimh wanted to be held all day so it didn't work very well. Even though she is 8 pounds she thinks she's a pocket dog. They are hilarious together and so cute and tiny. If you know of anyone who might be willing to offer this dynamic duo a loving home, point them my way. Their image event album can be found at I can't take any new fosters until I find a home for at least 2 of my fosters because we are so full right now.

Oh - don't forget to enter your photos in the New Rattitude Rat Terrier Calendar contest! They are accepting entries until 9/30 over at

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New Rattitude's Rat Terrier Calendar Contest!!!

Starting on September 15th entries will be accepted for New Rattitude's 2nd annual calendar contest. Last year's calendar was incredible and I'm guessing that there are some more stunning photos out there waiting to be entered in this year's contest. Here's how it works:
Winning photos will be featured in New Rattitude's second annual calendar, which will be on sale in early November. 100% of the proceeds from the photo contest and calendar sales will go toward the rescue and care of needy rat terriers.
Entries for our 2011 New Rattitude Rat Terrier Rescue Calendar are being accepted September 15-30th. Entries must be purebred rat terriers or close mixes. They don't have to be rescue dogs, but let us know if they are! Submissions must include at least one rat terrier, but may include other rat terriers too. No humans may be in the photograph. Other animals may be in the photograph, but preference will be given to photos that are primarily focused on rat terriers.
The entry fee is $2.00 per submission, or $5.00 for three photo submissions, $10.00 for six photo submission, etc. Only entries of digital photos submitted electronically will be accepted.
Photos will be judged by the New Rattitude Rat Terrier Rescue Calendar Committee panel of judges. Winners will be announced no later than October 15, 2010. All winners will be featured in New Rattitude's 2011 calendar and receive a free calendar! The top prize-winning photo will also win a $25 Petsmart Gift Card! Calendars will be available for sale by early November.
For more information on how to submit your photo and the contest rules and guidelines check out the contest Webpage at

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Great Butter Debaucle of 2010

Troy had prepared a delicious dinner of corn on the cob, and an Asian sesame chicken salad. I was in the living room and he just stepped out of the kitchen for a minute. When he came back into the kitchen there was Lucas, standing in the middle of the table looking at him. Well, at first all we could think of was "ick! dog on the dinner table!" Then Troy said, "wait a minute, where did the butter go?"

Now, one would think that a dog would make a mess of eating off the table, throwing around food and leaving tell-tale traces they had been diggin' in. Not Lucas. He quickly went about his work with precision skill. The stick of real butter was missing but there was not a trace of butter on the table or floor. The dinner plates looked untouched, and yet, he's a dog! There's no way he sat up there with that food and didn't eat something.

Because a stick of butter isn't healthy for anyone but especially not when you are a 13 pound little dog we had to get Lucas to vomit up his prize or risk the possibility of a bout of pancreatitis. A teaspoon of peroxide was administered (NO IPECAC for DOGS! It is dangerous) soaked into a bagel and then we waited 15 minutes. Then a second piece with a 2nd tsp of 3% hydrogen peroxide. Then we waited another 20 minutes and realized the peroxide was old and it doesn't work unless the bottle is really fresh. As soon as Troy left for the store though, up the butter started to come, leaving the kitchen smelling a bit like a movie theater lobby.

Anyhow, the next day all is well and Lucas is back to 100%. But just a tip for all you dog folks out there, especially those with chow hounds like mine. A fresh, unopened bottle of hydrogen peroxide is a must have for your doggy emergency kit. Replace it 2 times a year to make sure you always have this on hand.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A crazy couple days of rescue

I really need to post to the blog more often so I don't have these huge posts to keep things up to date. Since I last reported we have had 5 new dogs arrive in WA and the big news is that 2 of them already have possible homes! Two arrived on Sunday and then 3 more flew in yesterday during one of the busiest rescue days I've ever experienced.

So here's a bit of info about our new crew in WA and I'll follow that with updates on the dogs who were already here.

Kanga: Kanga came from a Milwaukee shelter that is very low kill, however because of her luxating patella she was deemed unadoptable and scheduled to be euthanized. In stepped our WI state coordinator who pulled Ms. Kanga and fostered her for a week or so until we could get her transported down to Chicago for the flight. She had her first surgery yesterday and it ends up she had no groove for the patella to sit in at all! Not even a shallow one. That problem is now fixed and in 4 to 6 weeks she'll be ready for the other leg to be fixed. Special thanks to Edgewood Veterinary who always does such a great job on these surgeries and who are incredibly rescue friendly. We love you guys!! Kanga is shown in the picture above.

RJ/McLovin: This little 10 pound boy came from a rural IL shelter and is a little heart-throb. SOOOO cute! Poor boy had been in awful conditions at the shelter and had urine burns on his paws and worst of all, his testicles were like one big open sore. The shelter had reported that he didn't like to be held. Well would you like it if a person was holding you and squeezing your bloody McNuggets? The sores are already starting to heal and he will soon be neutered. This morning I drove him to his Eastern WA foster home where he'll get some TLC. It looks like one of Jett's overflow apps is interested in him so he should be able to go home in about 2 weeks when all the paperwork is done and his vetting is current.

Doc: Doc is a young, excited, big goofball of a boy. Although he can be wild, he does settle and will look at you with his big brown eyes and give a kiss. He came from South Bend IN and had been listed on New Rattitude's urgent list for a couple weeks. He also was shown to one of the apps who had been interested in Jett and may have a home with them.
Frisby and Nimh aka "The Dynamic Duo": Frisby and Nimh are rat terrier/chihuahua mixes who were surrendered together and have been together their whole life. This 4 year old pair does everything together, often in unison, and are very well behaved. Mr. Frisby is 10 pounds and is tan and white and Ms. Nimh is 8 pounds and is tan. Because they are so bonded our goal is to adopt these two out together. They came from a shelter in rural southern IL.
Okay so that's the new crew. Here's news on the old crew. Quimby has a great application and if the home visit goes as well as the interviews have will be going home this weekend sometime. She was spayed yesterday and came home in the evening. Today she has all her gumption back so we are having to keep her crated so she won't overdo it. McMuffin was adopted by a couple who had originally applied for Jett. I brought her back to the west side from her Yakima foster home and she will go home this evening. Lucas is meeting up with a possible adopter this evening. If all goes well he'll go home when they are back from vacation in a week and a half or so. Little Fleck, the 5 mo. old puppy from Stockton CA is available for adoption still.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Run for the Ratties Lure Coursing Event

New Rattitude's Midwest team will be putting on a very fun event in Kenosha Wisconsin that will benefit New Rattitude. The lure coursing event will include a delicious lunch, a store selling New Rattitude's ReTail items and more. Why am I telling my mostly Washington state readers about this? Well you can donate money so a New Rattitude foster dog will get to join in the fun and run the course. If you haven't heard about lure coursing, it is a rat terrier's dream sport. Check out to learn more about this fun sport.

Anyhow, for every $5 donated a foster dog will get to run the course along with the other dogs with paying parents. All money raised will go towards the vetting expenses of our rescued rat terriers. To learn more about the event or donate check out the event Webpage at

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Same old same old

Not a whole lot new going on since I last posted. Quimby is still with us and still growing like a weed. Not sure how her app is going to work out so I think I'll be needing to put her on Petfinder soon. She's almost 3 months old now and will be spayed on the 1st and then will be all ready to go to her forever home.

Lucas is still waiting for a good home. He's a sweet little rattie/doxie guy - about 4 years old and really loves lap time and hanging with people. He does fine with the other dogs but gets a bit overwhelmed by Quimby's rambunctious nature.

Jett has a great application and everything is a pass so far. Sometime today his home visit was done so I'm guessing he'll be ready to go home next week sometime.

The old guy who I wanted to rescue ended up being picked up by his family, which wasn't necessarily a good thing as he was showing a lot of signs of neglect. Well, the shelter in that small town knows that if he shows up again at the shelter as a stray that he has a spot with New Rattitude.

Currently in the works is a pull and transport of 3 rescues from high kill shelters in the Midwest. Kanga from Wisconsin was labeled unadoptable because she has luxating patella and was scheduled for euthanasia. I've fostered 4 dogs with New Rattitude so far with this congenital defect and after a quick surgery they bounced back to 100% very quickly. So 1 year old bouncy Ms. Kanga will be fostered with us and we'll take her in for surgery and have her here recuperating with us. The other 2 dogs will be males as right now there are about 5-6 males who are very urgent in IN and IL shelters. Unfortunately we only have room for 2 of them so whomever has the least amount of time left before their put to sleep date will be the ones chosen. The 3 new kiddoes will fly to WA from O'Hare on either the 30th or the 31st of August.

McMuffin, who we had with us for awhile and who is being fostered in Yakima now has a very good application and I think she will be very happy with the couple who have applied. Oh, and 2 - 5 mo. old pups from a high kill shelter in Central CA were rescued and are now here in WA. The boy on the west side of the state has an application and will probably go home next week but Fleck, his brother, is still waiting for a good home.

So I think that's it for this week for the latest WA rat terrier rescue status report. :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The weekly pupdate

After just a week of fostering here in WA, handsome Mr. Jett has not one but 2 apps interested in him. The first folks who applied will be coming to meet him tomorrow night. He's such a sweet guy, just a little insecure since he's been through so much in his life. With a little time to adjust he will make an incredible family dog.

McMuffin is in her Yakima foster home and doing much better health-wise. She's keeping busy investigating their gopher and mole holes and has proven herself to be quite the huntress. No squirrel is safe under her watch.

Little puppy Quimby is growing like a weed and keeping everyone laughing. That girl ended up with a double dose of personality. What a goofball.

Lucas, the rat terrier/dachshund mix, will be arriving on Monday. He's being transferred from another foster home that is in an area without many adopters. Hopefully this sweet, young, easy going guy will have better luck in Washington. He has the body of a doxie but the head and spots of a rat terrier. Pretty dang cute.

The latest news is that I am in the process of trying to rescue a senior rat terrier, about 11-12 years, and get him to WA to be fostered. His put to sleep date is Saturday so we are crossing our fingers that everything will work out for the transports. We will also have some other dogs coming to WA to fill several open foster spots at other foster parents' homes so stay tuned for who will be heading to the Evergreen State in the next couple weeks!

Thanks to those of you who are watching our foster dogs for us while we go camping. We love our fosters but camping with our own 2 dogs in our tent is more than enough.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Remember Poppy?

Last year we had a really rough summer. Sweet Callista, a dog we rescued from Dallas, came to us with distemper and exposed 3 puppies. Callista, and the puppies Bugsy and Kewpie had to be put to sleep when the disease moved into their brain, but Poppy survived with only a mild case of the disease. It was definitely our family's darkest hours of fostering and I considered quitting at that point because of the emotional toll it had taken on us. We perservered though and since then have been blessed to have rescued another dozen or more dogs.

Her adoptive family just sent me this great video of her that celebrates her first year with them. Enjoy!

Animoto video - Poppy: My cute dog

Jett, Quimby and McMuffin

The dogs arrived from Georgia and everyone is doing great now. Poor McMuffin, who is actually heading to her foster home in Yakima tomorrow, has a whole host of shelter health issues that we are getting under control - ear mites, conjunctivitis, finishing treatment for a respiratory infection, skin issues and bloody stool. In spite of it all she is friendly and playful and some family is going to end up with an absolutely amazing dog once we get her all healthy.

Jett is such a sweet loving guy - about 5 years old and 18 pounds. He doesn't do well with big dogs or with any alpha male dogs but has been getting along great with our personal dogs. He is playful without being hyper, is housetrained, and loves snoozing on a lap. We are pretty fond of the guy.

Quimby is more cute than pictures can show but my lord, she's a little fireball. I took her to a friend's house who has a husky and a golden retriever and both dogs were a little perplexed by this tiny little bouncy thing with very sharp teeth. Maggie, the 1 year old retriever, played with Quimby until both of them were too exhausted to stand and could just bat at each other without actually getting to their feet. I'm guessing that she'll be the alpha of whatever house she ends up at. She is full of terrier 'tude. Jett likes to play with her but sometimes I'll see him walking along, tail between his legs with Quimby hanging from his cheek by her teeth. We have to watch her because the other dogs aren't the type to put her in her place when she gets too rough. Where's Franny when you need her?! LOL.
The photo above shows camera shy Jett and NEVER shy Quimby.
Lucas, a rat terrier dachshund mix, will be arriving on this coming Monday. He has a dachshund body but a rat terrier's markings (white with tan spots) and is great with dogs and people but afraid of children.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Empty nest...for 2 days

Our three fosters, Elvis, Gatsby and Emma, all went home in the last three days so now we are down to just the 2 house dogs. It is so calm! I can't say it's quiet since my personal dogs are louder than any foster I've ever had, but there is less movement as Elvis and Emma aren't staging regular wrestling matches in the middle of the living room.

On Wednesday we have a 2 year old girl arriving from Illinois - Jessie - who we'll have until Saturday when she heads to her foster home in Eastern WA. Then after a quiet weekend we'll welcome a load of 4 dogs at Sea-tac Airport on Monday the 2nd. One of those dogs, a 1-2 year old girl named McMuffin, will also head East to Yakima after spending a few days with us. The other 3 will be staying.

The plan was to just foster 2 dogs and all was working as planned. Jett is a 5 year old male who is being returned by his adopters because him and his pugly brother do not get along. The issue seems to be more on the pugs side but since the pug was first then Jett will be the one leaving. He'll be transported from his home in Virginia to Atlanta where the flight to SEA originates.

The other dog will be Tippy, who was pulled from a particularly awful shelter in Louisiana. She has been being fostered in LA but since that foster home has too many dogs right now and can only temp Ms. Tippy she will be heading here. Tippy will be ground transported from her foster home in LA to Atlanta.

McMuffin, the female heading to Yakima, was just pulled today from a high kill shelter in Georgia. When the New Rattitude volunteer went there to pull her from the shelter there was another rat terrier who had been recently dumped. This little gal was just a baby, likely around 8 weeks old, and it is always extremely risky for dogs of that age to be in shelters because their immune system isn't mature. The NR volunteer pulled her from the shelter and figured she'd find some place that could squeeze a cute little pup in.

Since the plane was already booked to be flying 4 dogs for New Rattitude and we only had 3 thanks to a transport falling through I decided we'd find room for this little girl. We're kind of looking forward to having a baby in the house again (1 is so much easier than a litter of 5). We've named her Quimby after the Beverly Cleary children's book character "Ramona Quimby".

So watch for photos coming soon of the new load of fosters winging their way to Washington. In the meantime, here's a picture of little Quimby at the shelter. She's safe at a temporary foster home right now.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Deiab pupdate

I just heard from one of Deiab's moms about how he's doing. This guy was the middle pup in Star's litter of fluffy rat terrier mix pups. Poor Star - none of the pups look even remotely like their rattie mom, but boy are they cute.

Deiab has learned how to swim and loves swimming out to fetch sticks. He's a very well trained pup and his moms really love his goofy, loving personality.

Isn't he looking good!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Speuter day

Gatsby and Emma are at the vet's office today for their speuter surgeries and various other things and it is so quiet at home with only our personal dogs and Elvis here. Emma and Elvis are usually wild and crazy together so he's a bit bored I think.

Gatsby will have his weird rear dew claws removed - well, at least one set. It's so strange because he actually has 2 dew claws on each of his rear legs - one on the side and another on the back. They will take the back ones off for sure and the side ones only if they are completely unarticulated. They are pretty floppy - we'll see.

Emma is also having a heartworm test. Cross your paws for her. It's really expensive to have HW treatment done in WA state since there aren't any heartworms in Western WA. Since heartworms come from fleas and she was so flea infested I'm a bit worried. We did discover that the fleas gave her tapeworm so that was treated this week. Poor girl. Both dogs will have their microchips inserted as well and I'll pick them up this afternoon.

Elvis' app has been approved and the contract sent and he'll be heading home early next week when his new family is back from a camping vacation. Both Gatsby and Emma have great apps in Seattle and all that is left before approval is the home visit.

Already we are thinking about the who to save next. Right now New Rattitude has several foster dogs who are needing to switch foster homes for various reasons and I will probably be getting one of them. I'm also looking at an owner surrender in GA - the lady lost her home and is trying to avoid taking her dog to the area shelter, which is a notoriously bad one. As you all know, things can change a thousand times before the flight actually leaves the ground with dogs bound for WA so we'll see what transpires.

Congrats to Emma and Gatsby for quickly finding very wonderful homes.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Meet and greets

Lots of foster dogs meeting and greeting yesterday:

Gatsby met the guys who have applied to adopt him and he really took to them, which is a big deal for shy, nervous Gatsby. It looks like this may be a good match for him.

Elvis met the other half of the couple who has applied to adopt him. I think that Elvis will really enjoy life with their active fur-girl, Roxy who loves to play just as much as Elvis does.

Emma came to work with me for the last few hours of the day to greet people with her permanent underbite grin. She was a big hit and a couple people have expressed interest in her.

And last but not least, Miss Prairie's adopter picked her up and she left for a home loaded with toys, soft beds, treats and love. Have a great life our sweet little Prairie Dog.

The pack is thinning a bit and I am breathing easier - 4 fosters is definitely overload at our house.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The gangs all here

Well, most of them, anyhow. Prairie is being babysat at her honorary grandma's house while this house of crazies settles down. She has a very good application and should be heading for her forever home this coming weekend.

The plane load of New Rattitude critters arrived yesterday and the cargo workers were practically begging us to take them away. Nervous from the novel experience of a plane ride the three of them were barking up a storm. They settled right down once were in the car though.

Getting them on the plane was a bit of an adventure for our IL volunteer. She had one of the boys, Gatsby, with her but the other 2 dogs, Emma and Munch, were being transported from their shelters in Western IL to our volunteer and arrived just an hour before she had to get them on the plane. Imagine her surprise when Emma, who was expected to be 15-18 pounds was 25 pounds! Since she didn't have a crate large enough to fly Emma she had to purchase one from the transporter and then rush all the dogs to O'Hare. In addition to being a big girl, poor Emma had a horrible flea infestation.

Luckily I was forewarned about the fleas and was able to talk a customer at work (also an adopter of one of my dogs) to run down the street for me to the vet's and pick up a Capstar. I was leaving for the airport from work and wouldn't have time to get to a vet. Capstar tablets are used to kill all the fleas on a dog within 30 minutes and then are supposed to be followed up with Frontline. At the cargo facility on our end we gave her the Capstar tablet and then as soon as we arrived home Troy gave her a bath while I fed our dogs along with Munch, Elvis and Gatsby. Emma then ate and with a full belly and flea-free she was feeling MUCH better. Her and Elvis chased each other all over the yard and soon Munch and Gatsby joined in and it was a wild blur of spotted dogs.

As you can see in the photo, Emma is a bit of a mutt. We are calling her an honorary rat terrier. She has a wire coat that will be beautiful now that the fleas are gone and her hair will start thickening where she was chewing on herself. Her ears are floppy and it looks like before she became a "stray" she had recently weaned a litter of puppies. She has quite the underbite and all her bottom teeth show when she is relaxed so it looks a bit like she is making a face at you.

Gatsby is a brindle patterned rat terrier and looks like he might have a little Boston terrier in him. He's incredibly thin so we are feeding him a puppy food three times a day and trying to get some weight put back on him.

Munch was transported over the mountains to his foster home in Yakima. He is a pure-bred rattie and is hilarious. He's all crazy puppy and has much more energy than he does coordination. What a fun, wild little guy.

In the photo you can see Emma, playing in the back yard with Elvis.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Lots goin' on

So we are starting July off with a bang (no fireworks pun intended) and there will be 5 new dogs flying into our 3 WA foster homes this weekend. Thanks to the WA foster parents who are going into overload to make room for these great dogs. Summer is what rescue people call the dumping season. All those Christmas puppies that seemed such a good idea end up at shelters and then you have the people who are planning a long vacation and decide they don't want to bother paying the money for boarding (trust me, this is very common) - whatever the excuses, the animals come into the shelters in droves. I am so impressed as I see the New Rattitude volunteers and other groups working together, sharing transports, networking, doing all they can to rescue as many of these forgotten dogs as possible.

Tomorrow evening the first three fosters will be flying into WA from Chicago. These one of the little guys I've already told you about - Gatsby from IN who was a stray, half starved from his time on the streets. Then we have Munch, a 1 year old pure bred rat terrier who has been in a Southern IL shelter since April. They held him longer than the usually hold since he was so young but due to lack of interest in him he was out of time. Thankfully the shelter works hard to find rescue groups to take their dogs. The other dog is Emma, a very mixy and hairy and adorable terrier who was also in a Southern IL shelter and was scheduled to be put to sleep earlier this week when the IL New Rattitude State Coordinator begged them to wait while she worked her magic. Munch will be heading to a foster home in Yakima where he will hang out with their pack and NR foster girl, Tellie. Gatsby and Emma will be staying here with me. Yep, we have an overly full house right now. However, Prairie has a very good application and I believe she will be heading to her forever home very quickly. She'll meet her new dad on Saturday morning.

Then, on Sunday a flight from Austin TX will bring 2 more dogs to WA. Hirf is an 8 week old rattie mix puppy who has a touch of demodex mange that we will treat. He'll be healthy in no time and ready for a new home then. The other dog I don't know as much about but her name is Bambi and she is under 2 years old, and is a terrier-Chihuahua mix (heavy on the Chihuahua as is the norm in TX.)

So welcome the new crowd to Washington. Hopefully they'll find great homes quickly and we'll be able to save a few more this summer.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Well, we are full up right now but I couldn't say no to this little guy who was scheduled to be put to sleep either today or tomorrow. We'll find a way to squeeze him in and I'm sure that Elvis will love having another youngster to play with. All of the other dogs just get irritated when he tries to play with them.

Gatsby (was called Shack in the shelter) was a stray for who knows how long and when he was found he was starving. His ribs, spine, hips, all jut out from his body but he is otherwise healthy and VERY happy. He is one of those dogs who seem to grin when they are happy. He is about 1 year old and very playful once he gets to know the place he's in and know that he's safe. His coat has very beautiful brindle markings, I hear, and you can see in the photo that he has radar dish ears that never miss a thing.

Right now he is being temped by the New Rattitude person who pulled him for me, Jessica, until he is ready to be flown to the Seattle area. We look forward to meeting the little guy.
Gatsby was one of about 10-12 rat terriers that were urgent this week. I wish we could save more of them. If you know of anyone who might be interested in fostering, let me know. New Rattitude covers vet bills, flea treatment, and even a stipend for food. All we need is your time and TLC.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Elvis and Prairie

Well, we are back from vacation and Elvis and Prairie did great with their dogsitters. Both dogs are super easy, house-trained, etc. and I'm guessing that as soon as they are listed on Petfinder the apps will start rolling in for them.

Elvis loves attention so I'm hoping to find him a spot where he won't have to spend a full 8 hours alone each day. The best home for him will have another dog in it as he loves the company of other small dogs. Not too fond of big dogs, though.

Prairie on the other hand would do fine with or without other dogs in her home. She is a lap dog, through and through, and it would be awesome to find this girl someone who is retired and will be able to spend lots of time with her. She loves Elvis and actually likes to use him as a bench to sit down on so she doesn't have to lay on the cold floor.

Both kiddoes are house-trained which is a lovely break from what we are used to. As much as we love them though the summer dumping season has begun so I hope I'll find good homes for them soon as I have a long list of other dogs who are in urgent need of rescue. As usual we have lots of desperate dogs and no foster spots open. sigh.

If you know of someone who would be willing to foster let me know. Through fundraising and adoption fees New Rattitude is able to pay for the vetting, heartworm preventative, flea treatment, and even a stipend for food. We just need folks who have the time and energy to love these dogs until a spot is found for them.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Franny's happy ending

I am happy to announce that after a year in foster care our sweet girl, Franny, has found a furever home. This short little rattie had a rough start to her life but will now be settling into a wonderful home and the hurt of the past will just be a bad memory.
Her life started about 5 years ago in a southern Indiana puppymill. She lived there as a breeding bitch for about 4 years until the mill was shut down and Franny found her way into rescue. She spent about 3 months in foster care in Indiana at which point she was transferred to WA where she had a better chance at adoption. And she was adopted here - twice. The first adoption never really went through because Franny attacked the lady's dog at our house when she came to pick her up. The second adoption lasted 5 days. Franny was very panicked and it was discovered that she couldn't be around cats due to her high prey drive and she found their large (very sweet and calm) basset hound intimidating. After that it took over a month to get her calmed down and back to how she was before she left.

Franny had reactive aggression. Aggression seems a strong word because she never bit, but just sounded pretty vicious and scary when she was frightened. When we had new fosters in the house her reaction was to kick butt now and ask questions later. Her idea being that they couldn't attack her if she got them first. Eventually with desensitization she would get used to them but it took a couple weeks.

We decided that we needed to find Franny a home with people who were over-the-top dog lovers but didn't have any animals - not easy to find. But finally, 9 months after she came to us, we found the perfect spot for her. No dogs, no cats, no kids - just 2 parents for her that love to go for walks, live in a neighborhood full of squirrels and gardens and trees - great for sniffing. They have experience with dogs that have anxiety issues and are dedicated to helping Franny relax and feel at home with them.

As a foster parent you always want to feel like your foster dogs are going to a place where they will be cared for as well or better than they were with you. In this case I believe that Franny will be even more comfortable and will get plenty of love and more attention than she did with our wild pack. With so many new foster dogs coming through our house it was stressful for Franny to deal with them. Also, our family's schedule is pretty varied and it was tough for her not having the consistency she thrived on. In her new home it will be just her - Queen Franny - and I believe that is exactly what she needs.

Thanks to her new mom and dad for giving her this chance at happiness and thanks to all the New Rattitude people who helped her along that road from puppymill breeder to loved family member.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Finally: new dogs arriving tomorrow

Wow! There is all kinds of exciting things going on. First and most exciting of all is our girl Franny has an application. Not just any old app but a really great app that I think would be an incredible home for our little lowrider foster. They are coming out to the house to meet Franny on Sunday and we are super excited.

But before then there is a TON of rescue work going on. After 3 weeks of planning and organizing we finally have not 1, not 2, not 3 but 4 (yep that's right) 4 rat terriers flying into Sea-Tac airport from Chicago. The dogs are actually from all over the Midwest and even one from Tennessee. Two of the dogs will stay with us - I'm crazy but not crazy enough to take 4 new ones!

One girl, Cedar, is actually flying to her forever home. She was fostered in Wisconsin and was driven down to Illinois tonight. Her new parents will meet us at the airport to take their new baby home to Bellingham.

Girl, number 2: Tellie was an owner surrender to a high kill shelter near Sweetwater, TN. She was temped for two weeks by one of our Tennessee foster homes and then hitched a ride on a transport of 5 rescued rat terriers coming north from Louisiana on Tuesday. She is a very sweet 2 year old tri-color girl and weighs 12-13 pounds. We will keep her with us until Sunday when we will drive over the mountains to meet her foster mom who will take her to her home in Yakima.

Girl, number 3: Tiny Prairie (named for both where she came from and the Thomas Pynchon character of the same name) was a stray who ended up in the animal shelter in Joliet, IL on March 31st. Thanks to her being so cute and sweet she was able to make it all this time without getting put to sleep, in spite of the fact that the shelter was overcrowded. However, they couldn't hold off forever and it was getting near the end for her. Thankfully our Illinois foster mom was able to pull Prairie and she will be fostered here with us. Prairie is about 5 years old, weighs about 6-7 pounds and will be needing a dental and possibly knee surgery during her time with us. Can't wait to meet her.

Boy, number 4: Elvis is a short little 1 year old (I think) dog who was found running along a busy highway. After almost hitting him someone was able to catch him and took him to the shelter. This scared little guy and 2 other ratties brought in around the same time almost didn't make it out. They were scheduled to be put down but New Rattitude talked them into stalling for a day so we could get a volunteer out there to pull them. The female was adopted but Elvis and another boy, Simon (now Captain), were pulled for New Rattitude foster care. Simon will head to Ohio soon. Elvis is sweet, quiet and a little timid. He is a teddy rat terrier so he has those short little lowrider legs like Franny does. We'll be fostering him but I'm guessing a cute little youngster like Elvis won't last long. The photo shown above is of Elvis.
So tomorrow the dogs come in, Friday Prairie will be spayed and have a dental, Sunday morning we'll take Tellie to Eastern WA, and then Sunday evening Franny will be meeting her possible adopters. Lots of great stuff!
Oh - another great rescue story - Our foster mom in Yakima had a stray little rat terrier that was found on the Yakama Reservation surrendered to her and she will foster this tiny, young girl for New Rattitude. Her name is Winnie and she is very sweet. She is white with unique brindled spots and face. Look for her soon at in the dog house section of the site.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The latest

So sweet little Tess has come and gone. She was only here for 2 weeks before heading to her loving home! We still have Franny but it will be another week before our next foster arrives.

Washington has 3 fosters coming from the Midwest and South next week. Two females will be fostered by our Yakima foster mom and a male will stay with me. We are planning some vacation time in June so getting someone to stay at the house with the dogs has taken some doing. Actually, the new foster will be watched by a previous adopter and then someone will stay with Franny, Tilly and Frodo and watch the house for us.

Right now I don't have photos of the new WA kiddoes because we aren't totally positive which will end up here but as soon as we have pics they will be posted. They are scheduled to fly here on on Thursday the 3rd so the Midwest team better get moving and find us the 3rd rescue we need! It shouldn't be hard because unfortunately this time of year is what us rescues call the dumping season. Sadly there are always plenty of dogs to choose from at the high kill shelters.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

VOTE...but not for New Rattitude

New Rattitude is in a great place financially right now and we thought it would be nice to put our votes for the bi-annual grant contest towards a sister rat terrier organization, Rat Terrier ResQ in Arkansas.

So each day go to , click to give, then click on the "vote today" link. Choose Rat Terrier ResQ as your shelter and Arkansas as the state. Repeat on every computer you have access to daily.

Thanks so much, guys!

Monday, May 17, 2010


So, I've been a bit slow posting about little Tess' arrival in WA and now she already has a good application! Ends up little Tess is house-trained and extremely social with both dogs and people. She's just about as close to perfect as they come and I'm really happy she got a chance to pick out her own mom.

I took Tess to work with me on Saturday and that morning a customer came in who always checks out my latest foster. She picked up Tess and it they both just knew. She held Tess for about 45 minutes, making herself late for an appt. and Tess whined when she put her down. I can't be happier that Tess picked herself out such a great home. Plus, they are close so I'll get to see her occasionally!

I took little Miss into the vet last week to check out the lump on her side and also her knees (she pulls them up sometimes when running in the back yard. Happily her knees were fine - no luxating patella. The lump was a foreign object, likely a small bit of buckshot was the vet's guess, knowing the area that she originally was from. He said it doesn't seem to be bothering her so it can just stay in. So now that we know she is healthy she'll be going in for her spay surgery this week and will be ready for her new home when all the paperwork is out of the way.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Home Visit needed in Bellingham!

I'll post an update about the fosters later, but right now I wanted to check to see if any of you folks in WA have any dog crazy friends up in Bellingham? We need a home visit done to check out an applicant for a New Rattitude foster. Anyone out there who can help us out?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Tess and the power of online networking

Wow. Who would've thought that Facebook networking would work. Well, yeah, millions think it works but I'm not that social. However, about a month ago I finally was talked into joining and have learned once again the value of online networking.

A friend of a friend of a Facebook friend posted a photo of a dog in Henry County, Georgia who only had a few days left before euthanasia. It just so happens that my foster Quixote has a great app and will be going home soon so I have a foster spot open. I E-mailed the New Rattitude Georgia team to see if someone would go and evaluate her and possibly get her on a plane to me here in Washington.

Happily, this morning one of our volunteers who lives near the shelter pulled her and took her to a temp foster home in Atlanta. They then took her to the vet and had her vaccinated, microchipped, heartworm tested and a health certificate written up so she could fly. She will be put on a plane in Atlanta tomorrow and we will pick her up at Sea-Tac airport in the evening.

She is 7.2 pounds, loves the other dogs at her temp foster home, does well on a leash and wearing a collar and so far seems to be house-trained. She loves all people and has a great temperment. The only thing we will have tested is her rear knee, just in case she has luxating patella since she pulls up one of her legs on occasion.

So welcome Tess to the New Rattitude family.

UPDATE: Claire won the inspiring stories contest and is one step closer to getting her cataract surgery, thanks to the $1,000 prize.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Vote for Claire - round 2

(Copied with permission from NR's Facebook group page)

As you all know, our Claire was recently entered in the Inspiring Rescue Stories contest. The entries have now been narrowed to the 10 with the most comments and/or YouTube views and Claire is still in the running!!!!

Second round voting started on April 15. Because many of us attended the Jamboree this weekend, we didn't get this announcement out as soon as we would have liked. As a consequence, Claire is WAY behind! The first place dog has 177 votes and poor Claire only has 5 votes.

But we'll fix that, right???? Please tell everyone you know to go to InspiringRescueStor; and vote for Claire! Voting doesn't end until April 30, so there's still plenty of time for us to win.

The Inspiring Rescue Story with the most votes will receive over $1000 worth of prizes, plus 15% of the profits of the book NEW LIVES. The Second Place winner will receive an additional 15% of the profits from the book sales.

We need Claire to win so that money can be raised to cover her cataract surgery. New Rattitude can do this!!! Post everywhere.. ..with your help Claire can leap to the top of the results list. Spread the word -- VOTE FOR CLAIRE!!!! Here's the link to the voting page

Monday, April 12, 2010

Almost time for the Jamboree!

Only a few days left until Rat Terrier Jamboree time and I'm SOOOO excited. Even the nasty overnight plane ride that I'll have to take to get there Thursday morning isn't getting me down. It's all part of the adventure.

Little Vivi (see her pics on Flickr) will be catching a ride home with me from the Jamboree. I wasn't going to take in anymore fosters until we are back from our vacation but since Vivi is a young pup she will be adopted long before we leave. Vivi (named after a character in the book "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood") is a sweet little 10 week old girl who started out her life in a puppymill and from there ended up in a pet store. She was purchased from the store by someone who hadn't done their homework because when baby Vivi wasn't immediately house trained she was dropped off at an animal shelter. The shelter employee told the owner that they should probably stick to stuffed animals in the future if they didn't want to deal with dog pee.

The shelter notified New Rattitude and she was pulled by the Indiana state coordinator who is temporarily fostering her until Jamboree. I will take delivery of little Viv at the Jamboree and happily this year I will actually have a rat terrier with me and not be the "lady without a dog".

The photo above is from last year's Jamboree. Newman the dog is discussing the merits of the cow vs. the dog bottle buddy toy with his mom at the New Rattitude ReTail booth. I'll be working the booth again this year so stop by and say hi. For more photos of last years event and to see day by day photos posted of this years event while it happens, check out the SE Rat Terrier Jamboree Website.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Mr. Q is the lovingest dog ever! Although he can be a bit cranky about his feet being touched (someone must have quicked his nails badly - they are all black so easier to cut off too much) this guy just loves to snuggle. If a lap isn't available he will just curl up on top of someones feet.

We have had some clear weather and he and the gang are loving play time in the back yard. He loves to explore and chase Frodo around and especially liked playing with foster pup, Jake, before he went to his new home.

Quixote has an application so we are crossing our fingers that it will be a good home for him. Hopefully they will want to meet him this weekend. If things work out he might go home before I get back from the Rat Terrier Jamboree in Tennessee next week. I'll likely be bringing a foster puppy back with me on the plane so this might be a good thing. :)