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 www.newrattitude.org 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
http://www.newrattitude.org/rehome.htm 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 Goodshop.com 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 REI.com, Target.com, 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.