Friday, April 22, 2011


Currently I'm in working with New Rattitude to arrange the transport of the next 4 dogs who will be fostered by 3 of our WA state foster homes. Typically we rescue dogs from shelters where they have reached the end of their hold time there and are scheduled to be euthanized. Sometimes we take owner surrender dogs so they can avoid a stint in a shelter they might not survive. These dogs we are taking in because they are overstock.

One of New Rattitude's Midwest state coordinators was contacted by a rescue group that specializes in rescuing dogs from large commercial breeders. The group gets these breeders, aka puppy mills, to surrender the "stock" that gets too old to be sold. Typically these dogs are killed but sometimes they will be released and this is one of those times.

So what does overstock typically look like? Most of the 15 plus dogs being released to New Rattitude are 12-16 weeks old so beyond the age that most stores want to buy. Also, females are more popular and can also be kept on as additional breeding stock so most overstock dogs are going to be male. Pretty sad right?

To learn the facts about puppy mills be sure to check out this document by the Humane Society of the United States. And spread the word. I'd like to think that most people out there, if they knew the reality of where store puppies came from, would turn to their local shelters and rescue groups when they choose to add to their family.

Pictured is Poppy, a former foster pup about the age (but likely much larger) than the 4 boys who will be arriving in WA in another week. We won't have photos of the new boys until the date that they are released.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hanging with rescuers

I'm back from my wild Rat Terrier Jamboree adventure and once more sighing in wonder at the energy and dedication that my eastern and southern rescuer friends put into New Rattitude. It's an emotional thing, rescuing dogs. You see a side of people sometimes that you really don't want to know about when you take a hurt and broken dog into your home. But Jamboree is a chance to see a side of the rescuers that you don't hear about. I see people who give more of themselves that I could ever give and watch in awe as they give some more.

Honestly, I can't be that unselfish. I know the line where I will go into overload zone and do my best not to cross it and to make sure that the volunteers that I work with don't cross it. But non-profits survive because of the folks that will always go a step further and I honor them for it, even if I can't be that person.

This year what I most took away from the Rat Terrier Jamboree, is that New Rattitude is made up of an incredible array of people: the touchy-feely people, the laid back, the uptight, the doers and the talkers, the easy going and the control freaks.... When focused on individually it can make a person a little crazy but mix it together and be amazed and the miracles that happen.

So I left feeling not so full of myself but also more clear about where my limits are. Also more clear is that I have a support system out there that, although a little irritated by me at times, they have my back. Once again I feel refueled for another year of rescuing little spotted dogs with attitudes.

Pictured is Nugget. Her mom is a rat terrier and dad was something a bit bigger. She has the most laid back temperament I've ever seen in a puppy and was the best girl ever at Jamboree. Even the old crabby dogs didn't seem to mind her goofy exuberance since she had good manners for a pup. Nugget is being fostered in Indianapolis. Here she's busy keeping her foster mom's seat warm for her.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Off to Tennessee

It's that time of year again! The annual Rat Terrier Jamboree is taking place in Sweetwater, Tennessee and NR's WA state adoption coordinator and I are flying to Atlanta and then making the 3 hour drive over to the tiny little town of Sweetwater. It's a beautiful area near the Smokies and should be wonderful to get a dose of sunshine after the long, wet, gray, fall-winter-spring that we are having. I'm prepping the guys on how to prepare dog meals in my absence and what constitutes "regular" potty breaks for them (dogs not guys). I'm sure that everyone will be fine as they managed the last couple years. Especially since Doc and Chicory are pretty easy as far as foster dogs go and they feel comfortable here so should manage fine. I'll be back in a few days with photos and tales of all the fun.