Sunday, February 27, 2011

Change in the pack

Lots of shifting around it happening right now but for good reasons - current fosters are going home and new fosters are being rescued. Skipper has found himself a marvelous home and left here this week for the comfy joy of being a spoiled only dog in Port Orchard. We miss the big goofball but are so happy that he found such a great home.

Remember Nimh? Well she has been back with us for a couple weeks of dogsitting while her new family was vacationing. We've enjoyed the little gal although I have a feeling she will be ready to go back to her new family on Tuesday where she can get more of the attention and worship she feels she deserves. Having to be one of a pack of 4-5 dogs is something she has determined to be beneath her now that she has moved on up to her new family. :)

The newest guy, Kermit, will be here until his foster spot at one of the other Federal Way foster homes opens up. We will miss him but have 2 other new dogs arriving and I'm sure that he will find the 2 dog foster home much calmer. He's very shy but will quickly warm up to people if they offer to give him cuddles. He also loves other dogs as long as they aren't too wild and has been having a blast with Nimh, Frodo and Tilly.

The weather hasn't been cooperating with our transport plans. Doc, who was in a foster home in Yakima, was scheduled to come to our house to be fostered today. However, Snoqualmie pass is bad and now we may need to wait another week for this energetic boy to join us. Doc loves to play and run and roughhouse which hasn't been a good fit for his Yakima foster home that has some delicate, elderly dogs. My goal is to do some training with him and help him center himself and his energy, all the while building up his confidence. This worked so well for Skipper and I know that it will help Doc as well.

Last but not least is a new girl who was spotted on a "last call" list for the Austin Texas shelter. She is a beautiful 1 1/2 year old girl who we will work to get transported over to Washington in the next week or two. The details are still being arranged but watch for info of this sweet girl soon.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Rescue Drama: Saving #A1181170

One of my volunteers jobs for New Rattitude is to coordinate rescues of dogs to keep our Washington state foster spots full of rescues. The job is called a "state coordinator" and I spend time filing through our group's listings of urgent dogs around the country and deciding which dogs would be good fits for different foster homes and which I'll be able to get transported to Washington. Each home has a different make up of resident dogs and each foster parent has a mix of skills so I end up being a bit of a matchmaker.

Because I am constantly scanning through the photos and write ups about dogs that are very close to being killed, I've tried to learn to compartmentalize things and not think of how many dogs I can't save and just focus on the few that I can help. It's much easier said than done and sometimes a little face grabs my heart and I really want to save a specific dog, in spite of the reality of not having room for him or her.

Recently a little dog named Happy in Los Angeles caught my eye. I didn't rush because I thought he had more time before being euthanized, and I didn't really have a spot for him but I kept checking back, hoping I could pull him. When I finally had a spot that could take him I checked on him and his picture was no longer on the site. Panicking, I checked with a volunteer at the shelter and discovered that Happy had been euthanized because the shelter was really crowded and he hadn't shown well in the shelter setting. I was crushed and felt like his photo was burned into my skull. Knowing how fast stuff like this can pull a person under, I focused my frustration on saving another Los Angeles dog.

A1181170 was a young adult, male rat terrier west of Los Angeles. I wrote down his number, copied his photo and then set to digging through the bureaucracy that is the Los Angeles Animal Services to get this dog out. After 4 hours of networking with local rescuers and volunteers a plan was in place and the shelter was ready to release him. Little A1181170 was a shy guy. He had been surrendered with 5 other rat terriers and all of them were quickly adopted. He was returned for being too shy and after being returned was unlucky enough to come down with kennel cough. The stress of the shelter and a bad case of worms was wearing him down and the kennel cough turned into a serious upper respiratory infection. His chances of making it out of the shelter were getting slim without a rescue group's intervention. Everything worked out for this guy though and our volunteer transporter pulled him this morning and drove him straight to our temp foster mom's vet. As a thank you, little A1181170 covered her with boogery kisses and hugged her close, obviously relieved to be out.

In total 7 volunteers in California worked with me for 2 days to get this little guy to safety. He still has a long road ahead of him. This week he'll rest up and hopefully the antibiotics will start to do their magic. Next week an airline employee has volunteered to fly down to Southern California and carry him back to Seattle in cabin. He'll spend a few days with me and then will travel to his foster home in Yakima, WA where he can settle in for awhile and heal up while he awaits his forever home. And I am glad to say he is no longer #A1181170. He is now Kermit the Dog or Kermie for short.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fix the Ones You Love!

Updates on the current crew

First off we have to tell everyone the great news. Nimh has found a home of her own and she is doing great! She now lives in the Capital Hill neighborhood of Seattle and is enjoying life as a city girl. Nimh has a rattie-chi sister that's even tinier than her and a 12 year old human sister who is really good at spoiling her. Congratulations Ms. Nimh on your new home.
The next news is on Skipper. We've continued working on training with him and he is doing great. He now spends most of his time upstairs in the living room hanging out with Frodo and although I can't say that they are best buddies, they do fine together. In the picture you see Skipper "uncorking" the squeakie wine bottle that he made quick work of. We're pleased to announce that Mr. Skippy has an application and his potential family is coming out tomorrow afternoon to meet him. Wish him luck - he'd sure love to have a family of his own.
Let's not forget Ms. Madeline. She continues to recover from her hip surgery, although she has had a little setback when something seemed to get pulled during her spay. We have her on an anti-inflammatory and some Tramadol for the pain and are hoping she will be 100% soon. Currently she has a couple people interested in her so we are just waiting and watching to make sure she will be healed up enough to head to a forever home.
Just a reminder - you can check out the latest on all the WA New Rattitude foster dogs over on Facebook - just look for the "New Rattitude - Washington State" community page. You should also "like" our National page while you're at it! Thanks everyone for your continued support!