Monday, December 31, 2012

Looking back: Adoptions of 2012

As we wait for our first foster of 2013 to arrive, we thought we'd follow the lead of a friend's blog and review some of the happy adoptions of 2012 that we were a part of.  Thanks to all of the volunteers who work together to make these rescues and adoptions possible and of course, thanks to all of you who choose to adopt from rescue or a shelter rather than buy from a store or breeder.

Huckleberry was our first adoption of 2012.  Huck started out his life with a loud, active young family who didn't take the time to socialize him and from what we saw, didn't teach their young children to respect a dog's space. The only way he could protect himself was to snap and bite to get away. He was surrendered to New Rattitude by his Washington State family because due to his bite history and issues, it was likely that he would be euthanized if he ended up in a shelter. After several months and lots of rehab work, a very special couple was found who was willing to adopt this cute little guy in spite of the fact that he didn't at all show well when meeting new people. He's doing great and getting lots of socialization in his daily walks on trails and around the city of Mukilteo.
Huckleberry - Adopted February 2012

Cedar was a big beautiful calico coated Rat Terrier who came to us from a shelter in Los Banos, California. Ticks are a big problem in Central California, and can spread disease. Cedar had contracted one of these tick borne illnesses called Erlichia Canis. Luckily it is treatable and after several weeks on antibiotics she was feeling much better and ready for her home with a couple in Lakewood, Washington. Her new name is Coco.
Cedar - Adopted February 2012

Whidbey was an all around gorgeous and easy going boy from Southern California.  As expected he was adopted before we even had much of a chance to get to know him. However, we do get to see him occasionally at Seattle Rat Terrier Meetup group events and he's doing wonderfully.  Even better news - he got a new little brother this summer - another New Rattitude boy who was from a foster home in Central California.
Whidbey - Adopted March 2012

Wren came to us from Southern California where she had contracted a really bad strain of a virus and upper respiratory infection in the high kill shelter she had been in. The poor girl struggled through a couple rounds of different antibiotics before she was finally feeling better. She was adopted by a young couple in Seattle and gets to go to work each day with her mom, where she gets wonderful socialization. She'll always be shy, but she's definitely much braver than when she first came into foster care.
Wren - Adopted April 2012

Next up we have beautiful and active puppy boy, Quinault.  Quin was fun loving puppy who loved to snuggle.  He's now living with a family who does a lot of outdoor activities and he is loving his life in Eastern British Columbia. He canoes, swims, hikes, plays in the snow and goes to soccer practice with the kids and to work with his dad.
Quinault - Adopted April 2012 

Daphne was a dog who we really can't claim to have fostered but hey, we'll talk about her a bit since she was registered as our foster. She was brought up and stayed with a dog sitter for New Rattitude who lives in my neighborhood.  If I remember correctly, we were waiting to see who would next have an opening for a foster dog and Daphne ended up being adopted while still in her dog sitter's spot.  So I put together her go-home packet and vet records.  Now named Phoebe, she's living with her mom in Auburn, Washington. At first she had some trouble adjusting to all the kids who lived in her mom's apartment complex but with some work with a trainer is doing much better.
Daphne - Adopted April 2012

I love all my fosters. Some I love but am super happy to say goodbye to - mostly because my home isn't a very good fit for them due to the dog mix, schedules, space, etc.  But on rare occasions I foster a dog who steals my heart and I want to adopt myself.  Fern was one of those dogs for me. I love the larger Rat Terriers and Fern is about 18 pounds. But what made me fall in love with her was her grace and confidence. She's now called Lexi and was adopted by a lady in Delta, British Columbia and spends a lot of time with her mom with her mom at their family cottage located on an island nearby.
Fern - Adopted May 2012

Bo was first rescued by New Rattitude back in 2008. I honestly don't think he has a bit of Rat Terrier in him but once a New Rattitude dog, you are always a New Rattitude dog. So when his family decided to return him this year because they were moving, Bo came to be fostered at our home. He's a macho little guy and kept everyone chuckling with his tough guy exterior.  When first arriving he was pretty overweight, but careful portion control and lots of playtime with other dogs quickly got him down to a nice healthy weight. Bo was adopted by a lady in Tacoma, Washington and has become his new mom's sidekick, going just about everywhere with her. They live in a pretty dog friendly neighborhood near the theater district of Tacoma so Bo, now Marley (after Bob Marley), gets to go out for morning coffee with his mom and on lots of walks around the neighborhood parks.
Bo - Adopted August 2012

Samish is a sweet little character who came to us from a shelter in Central California.  He wasn't with us for long and quickly found a home with a retired couple in Maple Valley, Washington where he loves working out in the yard with new dad and stalking the fish in their koi pond. His new name is Sammy.

Samish - Adopted November 2012

Neah's pretty recent so you should remember her well.  This beautiful youngster stole our hearts with her intelligence and great social skills around other dogs.  She was a wonderful dog for foster boy Langley to spend time with because while she loved to play, she was confident with him and not afraid to tell him to back off when he was getting too riled up. She'd been let down my humans quite a bit in her short 1 year life so she took awhile to warm up to fully trust us but she eventually got there and we really enjoyed the time she spent with us.  She is now living down in Portland, Oregon and her new name is Petunia.  We hear that aside from a few initial jealous scuffles, her and her furry brother Atticus are getting along great and that she's really grown to love her daily walks.
Neah - Adopted November 2012

Salish was the biggest Rat Terrier we've fostered and goodness, was she a special girl - special because she gained a little fame for being New Rattitude's 1,000th rescued dog, but also because she had a golden personality.  She was another one of those dogs who I would have loved to keep if we had the room for another family dog. Alas, we did not but that is probably for the better because in her new home she is going to get the wide open spaces and sports activity that this athletic girl will thrive with. She's now living near Lake Roosevelt in Eastern Washington and we haven't heard if she will be keeping her name or getting a new one - her parents haven't decided yet.
Salish - Adopted December 2012

Apple was our last completed adoption in 2012 and she headed to her forever home on Christmas Day.  This sweet young puppy who was about 6 months old started her time in the shelter by being dropped over a fence. She was listed to be euthanized but through the shelter's networking and a good friend of mine in Fresno, California, New Rattitude was able to save her and get her up to us in Washington for fostering.  She was such an easy pup to foster - great at her housetraining and super friendly with the other dogs.  In spite of being just a fraction of Salish and Langley's weight, that didn't slow this 7 pound tike down and she would throw her self off the couch on top of a wrestling match without any fear. She's now living in Seattle where she has 2 young boys as family members who are keeping her busy.
Apple - Adopted December 2012

In spite of 3 of our foster dogs staying with us for quite some time this year, and us being down to just one foster (Langley) for awhile as we worked through some of his issues, we still had a fair number of fosters through our house this year. We look forward to 2013 and hope that it will bring the special home that Langley has been waiting for as well as homes for the many other dogs who will be in our future.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Introducing Coho

This is a bit of an early introduction but I'm light on material these days with only one foster dog in the house.

Coho will be our next foster girl and she'll be arriving this Friday night.  She's about 3 years old and is said to be a pretty even-tempered confident girl which is always a nice thing with Langley in the house. 

Not sure of her weight but I think it is right around 10 pounds - and check out that whirly, twirly tail!

Even though she's going to arrive in 2013, she became a New Rattitude foster girl in 2012 so she's still part of our Washington theme with the names.  Coho Salmon, also known as Silver Salmon, are a native fish to our PNW rivers and ocean waters. They're also pretty dang delicious!  Luckily New Rattitude's Coho is much prettier than her namesake, though.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the announcement of our 2013 foster dog naming theme...

Friday, December 28, 2012

Bored, bored, bored

It has been pretty tame here without Apple and Salish to keep things lively.  Since Frodo and Tilly won't lower themselves to play, Langley has had to keep himself entertained.  In fact, all of the dogs are a bit bored the last couple of days and seem to expect Troy and me to entertain them.

They stare at me...
Frodo and Langley wondering if I have anything exciting planned
They stare at Troy...
Langley, waiting for Troy to come down for his evening walk
And sometimes they even stare at each other:
Frodo, stretched out on my legs and watching Langley chew a bone
I tried playing tug with Langley using the remnants of his Christmas snake and he was entertained for a bit, but I don't think my tug skills measured up to Salish's.

So we'll all be happy for a new foster dog to arrive and help increase the entertainment value around here.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A New Chapter for NR's 1000th Story

On Christmas Day, doing what Salish loves best - kickin' back with her people
You may remember me telling you about Salish's rescue and how she was New Rattitude's "1,000th Great Story". Well now she is moving on to another chapter in that story. We helped write the beginning and now we are entrusting her to another family to continue Salish's tale of happiness.  And we couldn't have found a better family or a better fit for this beautiful, big, athletic girl.

Her new family, who live in Eastern WA, were visiting their daughter in Seattle for the holidays so we drove Salish up to the Queen Anne neighborhood to hand her off. When we met them she quickly relaxed and before we knew it she was stretched out across her mom's lap with her new double polar fleece blankie, sleeping off the stress of the 45 minute car trip. 

Introductions to her new brother Jackson, a large terrier mix, went well after a quick walk side by side to help them get used to each other and as you can see in this photo their daughter sent me, she has made herself quite at home.
Salish and her mom, dad and their daughter's Rat Terrier Rudy, a NR alum
Salish, enjoying some of her new toys

Before we left Salish's new family gave me a bag filled with blankets, homemade dog cookies (which Langley, Frodo and Tilly can say are delicious), and some canned peaches picked from their tree.  They had also read this blog and saw how much the dogs love to chew on antlers so her new dad went on a hike, found a naturally shed antler and cut it up for our future fosters to chew on.

New blankies, treats and antlers for future fosters and peaches from their tree for us!
In a few days Salish will head east with her mom and dad and furry brother to her new home by Lake Roosevelt. There she will get daily walks along the beach, hikes and cross country skiing with her dad, and maybe even some canoeing on the lake. The property and wide open spaces are everything this muscly girl could have dreamed of. And on top of that her parents are newly retired so she'll get a bunch of attention. So have a long and wonderful life, sweet girl. We love you and can't wait to hear how your happy story continues to play out.

Property where Salish's new home is located, overlooking Lake Roosevelt

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Day Happenings

All of the dogs received bones stuffed with pureed bully stick to keep them busy on Christmas and there was lots of excitement about their bone present.  Of course everyone wanted to try everyone else's bones but there were no scuffles. 
Langley enjoying a bully stuffed bone by Barkworthies

Frodo supervised as usual.  Don't feel bad for him that he doesn't have a bone or antler though because he had stolen a few of the other dogs' treats and stashed them downstairs with his bone where the other dogs don't get to go.  He's just supervising in case he can snag another one left unattended and add it to his illgotten treasure.

Then, after breakfast and a morning of fun, it was time to say goodbye to sweet Apple.  We packed up all her go home goodies and food and blankie and vet records, and drove over to the mall where we were meeting her new family for the handoff. 
Checking out Apple's go-home bag

She knew something was up and was a little nervous but I'm sure by the time she's home and has a few gets a look at all the new goodies that they have for her she'll  perk right up. The boys were pretty happy and even though you could etll they were excited they were calm and gentle with sweet girl.  Can't wait to hear back about how she settles in.
Apple and her new family, sans dad who managed to escape my camera
Stay tuned because Salish heads home next...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

"Paws" to Celebrate

This year New Rattitude hit a very exciting milestone: rescuing our 1,000th Rat Terrier. For those of us volunteering for the group, it was a pretty revitalizing event that spurred us on to work toward that 2,000th dog milestone.
Salish and Apple: NR rescues number 1,000 and 1,010
As you may know, New Rattitude is a very fiscally responsible, 501(c)3 designated rescue group, that has even earned the right to be a GuideStar Exchange Member.  Our adoption fees are kept as low as we can to help with finding families, however, the costs of caring for the dogs, especially their required vetting like spay surgeries and vaccinations, exceeds the adoption fee.

For the most part we depend on fundraisers and the generosity of our supporters to help us continue the work we do, giving new, happy lives to thrown-away dogs.  Each December throughout the holiday season we have a holiday giving campaign and this year the goal was to raise $5,000. I'm happy to say we are very close to that goal as we enter the last week of this holiday fundraising campaign.

Can you help us meet this goal? Even $10 would help us - that would pay for a Rabies vaccination!  Any amount is greatly appreciated.  Head over to New Rattitude's Website to learn more about this great fundraiser.

I'm sorry to come begging on Christmas day, but the New Rattitude's mission of rescuing homeless pets is a great thing to beg for. And hey, if you give this week you can deduct it from your taxes!

Thank you so much for all your support for this great cause!

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Puppy for Christmas

I have been known to rail against the idea of people giving dogs as gifts. So many times we get parents who insist that their child is going to do all the work and the dog will be a lesson in responsibility. Poor dog! Or a grandma wants to adopt a puppy for a grandchild, or someone emails us that they "just need a dog by Christmas - any available dog will do."  So you can see why I got a little skeptical when the applicant wanting to adopt Apple said that she was going to be a Christmas surprise.

But if a person is going to give a puppy as a gift, this family is a great example of doing it the right way.  Their decision wasn't made overnight - they'd been considering what kind of commitment a dog would mean for several months and checking into information on breeds, etc.  Their kids were in school and far from the grabby toddler stage that can be tough on a dog. They understood that they were the ones who would be fully responsible for care of a dog and this wasn't something that you depend on a child to take care of.  Great, thoughtful parents who wanted to give their boys the pretty spectacular gift of the experience of growing up with a dog.

We even got to take Apple with us on the home visit and she met the kids under the guise that I was a friend of their aunts, who happens to work with service dogs, and needed to test Apple to see how she was with kids. I clandestinely did the home visit while they played with her and they proved to be gentle, sweet boys who will be really great with this tiny but rambunctious girl.

Apple's t-shirt to wear home on Christmas Day
And I left, really happy for Apple's future, and excited about how surprised the boys would be when they learn that Apple will be joining their family.  She'll head home to them in the afternoon tomorrow, after the initial hubbub of Christmas morning and I couldn't be more happy for her. Have a great life, sweet girl!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Time for the Thundershirt

Change is tough for for a lot of dogs and for Langley, it's tougher than most. While most of us celebrate these changes to routine - family visiting, time off work, lots of excitement - for the furry members of our family it really can get to be a bit much.

The addition of holiday decorations was a bit unsettling for him, and the new dogs (Apple and Salish) in the house was exciting and fun but sometimes a bit too exciting. I think the final straw for him was our son arriving home - something that made him crazy happy - but "crazy" nonetheless.

I could see he was getting stuck in the anxiety so today, when the girls started in on yet another round of wrestling, I put his Thundershirt on. For most dogs the Thundershirt just takes things down a notch, but I've recently discovered that for Langley it is extremely relaxing.  He comes over and will lie down next to me and chill - a concept that I formerly believed was not a possibility for him.

The Thundershirt works by applying even pressure on the body, much like swaddling a young baby works.

So after he got his shirt on, he played a bit with Apple and then climbed up next to me on the couch to just hang out while the girls wrestled on my other side.

Then, I decided to go downstairs and work on my laptop. I figured I'd try to take him with me and see if the calm continued. It did and he enjoyed another full 45 minutes of chill. 

It's a great tool for anxious dogs and if you're interested, you can read more about it and why it works on their Website.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Seven Pounds of Tough

Apple is a tiny little girl but she has no clue how small she is. In fact she tends to rule the roost, even though Langley and Salish are much, much bigger than her.

One of my favorite things about her tough act is her growl. It's impossible for a 7 pound dog  to put out a growl that does anything but make people chuckle, but she tries so hard. 

In this video she was especially vocal, so I thought I'd share it with you. To make it even funnier, she gets so wild in her play attack of Salish that she falls off the couch.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Rainy Days and Antlers

Apparently rainy, gloomy days are perfect antler chewing days.  The girls had settled down on the couch with antlers while Langley fluttered about in his oh-so-Langley way.  At first, Salish was hoarding both of the antlers but Apple managed to steal one from her and for awhile they chewed away in peace. 

But then Salish starting thinking she wanted both antlers again.

And then Langley decided he wanted to join the crowd and see what was going on.

After a couple scuffles broke out I decided that it was time for some quiet crate time with their antlers so they would leave each other alone, and also so I could get some stuff done around the house.  Salish gave a sigh and then went back to work on her antler.

Langley sat on his antler and nervously tried to decide what was going on and if I was going to give him a food toy.

Apple had one of the primo forked antlers in her crate that was just her size, however Apple decided that antler wasn't nearly big enough and started pawing at the huge elk antler that I had set atop her crate. Laughing, I decided to let her have it, even though it is almost half her weight.  Undaunted, Apple set to work. Notice in the photo that the antler is nearly as long as she is?

Now everyone is napping and I'm getting things done - happy times for all of us.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


It's always a shock to the California dogs when they arrive in Washington. So many strange plants to sniff and the horrible (to Rat Terriers) rain that they are forced to step in and get their feet wet when they have to go outside for potty breaks.  Apple is great about tearing outside, getting her job done and then running back up to the sliding door.  Salish is still in that early state of shock though, tiptoeing across the spongey, squelching grass, sniffing the moss and ferns and lichen, and shivering in the cold.

Salish, Frodo and Apple, not wanting to leave the deck

As if the wet wasn't bad enough though, the last couple days have brought cold temperatures, high winds and even a little snow and sleet.  No one, especially this human, was happy about it.
Checking a fern to find out who was the last to pee there (answer: Frodo)
The wind brought down a lot of small branches the dogs feel the need to inspect each and every one
Apparently it wasn't too cold to play though as Apple and Salish had time for some chasing (and Frodo had time for some barking) in the back yard.  At the very end of the video you see Salish fly onto the deck. Who needs steps when you're a muscley dog?

I was ready to go inside where it was warm and I said out loud to Salish "So Lishee, what do you think of this weather?" This was the look that she gave me. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sit, wrestle, sit, wrestle, sit...

I always like to start doing some positive training with my foster dogs and get them used to clicker training before they head home.  Little Apple has been working on this and does a great job with "sit" and is starting to master a "spin" trick. She's so smart that she'd easily know a lot more if she had a human around who was a bit more consistent with her training sessions. Now Salish is starting her training and has joined Apple during "school" time.

As usual, our short little training sessions can get kind of wild since I'm bad about training one dog at a time. Our house has an open floor plan and doesn't work very well for separating dogs. When I do train 1 dog it ends up with 1 dog working and 3-4 dogs barking and complaining that they want to work too.

What I hope for in a training session is something like the above photo: calm, focused dogs, earnestly sitting and watching me for cues.

What I get is more like this though.

Or even this.

But that's okay by me.  As long as we are all having fun and learning then it's all good. A great training session should always feel like fun for the dog and the human and this one was definitely fun.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Wrestling and Racing: Salish Settles In

Sorry if all the wrestling posts are getting a bit boring, but I personally can't get enough of watching the dogs wrestle and play so politely. Since I've had my share of socially inept foster dogs, when I have a batch that get along well I can't wipe the grin off my face.

Salish has settled into life in the suburbs without missing a beat.  Her and the other foster dogs, Langley and Apple, have been enjoying three way wrestling matches and terrier races which are hilarious.  Like Langley, Salish is a silent wrestler, but Apple (perhaps to make up for her tiny size) loves to growl and trash talk when she joins in, as you can hear in the first video.

I still closely supervise play sessions since the size difference between Apple and Salish is so great, however, they seem to be doing fine together. I get worried that someone will squish Apple when they wrestle but she's a tough little broad and definitely holds her own during playtime. In fact, sometimes Langley, who is 3 times her size, gets a bit overwhelmed by her tough 'tude during wrestling matches.

Both girls have good applicants interested in them so I'm guessing their play dates are numbered.  They are making the most of their time together though with lots of wrestling, racing, and the occasional nap thrown in.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Double arrival: Salish and Hunter are home

We had a couple arrivals this week so this has been a great weekend for fur and family.

Salish discovered a great antler to chew on
Salish Salish, our newest foster girl arrived late Friday night and she has immediately stolen my heart with her big dog feel, beautiful athleticism, and her all around easy going, loving temperament.  Langley immediately loved her and his nervous play stage was over within a couple of hours which was a record for him.

Couch wrestling with Apple

Apple, in her completely fearless way, immediately started up a wrestling match, oblivious that at 7 pounds, she was a bit outmatched by 25 pound Salish.  No problem, though. They kicked back on the couch for a lounging wrestling match.

We're very happy to have Salish joining us. She had to wait an extra couple weeks to come up here from her temp foster home but it meant being able to save Apple, who was about to be euthanized, so it was worth it. Now that she's here, we can't get enough of her.

Langley could barely contain himself when he saw Hunter
The second arrival was our son Hunter, arriving home from University of New Mexico. While all of us, dogs included, were very excited to have Hunter back with us for his semester break, Langley was the most excited of all.  Langley absolutely adores Hunter and each week when we Skype with him, Langley will cry until he gets to come and sit in our lap and watch the computer. It starts as soon as he hears Hunter's voice.  They took a nice long walk together last night and Langley was in heaven.

All the dogs came to join in the greeting