Tuesday, April 30, 2013


My "weekend" is midweek and some of that time is spent getting chores done, especially after one of the foster dogs go home and we have crates to clean and put away, bowls to wash, etc.

Whenever I do chores I am supervised carefully and my supervisors bark if I slack on the job or forget to dust the treat jar. 

Frodo always likes to avoid vacuum cords and supervises from on high where he has a good view of the living room, dining room and entry way.

Langley wants to know if dogs need to "sit" for vacuuming and if so are food rewards involved, 'cause hey look, he's got a pretty stellar sit.
Showing off his calm, well mannered sit and getting nothing for his efforts this time

Once he found out there was no food reinforcers involved in vacuum time and it was more boring than anticipated he decided to watch the entry for Troy to come home. It was 3 hours before Troy was going to be home from work, but hey, Langley always likes to be prepared.
Hobbs still seems interested but Langley finds  has other things to concentrate on

Sweeping the entryway was pretty interesting to them though. Probably because it contains the door to the dog food closet as well as the cabinet with the treat can. Any activity in that space is worth watching.
Langley and Hobbs, supervising the sweeping of the entryway

When it was time to sweep the kitchen a rare thing happened and Hobbs and Tilly shared Tilly's favorite cat bed. I think Hobbs was a little worried so he stuck by Tilly for moral support.
Hobbs and Tilly sharing one of Tilly's beds

Glad I have such great supervisors to make sure I don't miss any spots.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Kasha's adopted!

First Hobbs, now sweet Kasha! In spite of Kasha's challenges with a mast cell tumor and the buckshot in her eyelid, her new moms still fell in love with her, willing to help her continue losing her weight and to watch her to make sure there are no future growths.

Kasha's new family has two other sweet, short little Rat Terriers and a senior Chihuahua who she'll be settling in with. She'll live on an island where she'll get to take daily walks on the beach, full of seaweed and seagulls and all kinds of other smelly fun stuff. We know she is going to love it!

Kasha's new home: Vashon Island; photo by danddsummers
So we wish for the most happy times from here on forward for Kasha and her new family. Congratulations to them all!

Kasha hanging out with Frodo. He will miss having such a laid back foster dog around

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sweet Hobbsie Finds a Home!

We've had Hobbs with us for quite awhile, considering what an amazingly sweet and super easy dog he is. I think his crooked little body must have scared a lot of people off. But he will think it's been worth the weight because my sweet baby boy will be joining a former adopter's home.

Remember Coho? She's now named Willow and is doing fabulous at her new home in Sammamish, Washington. In fact, she's made herself princess of the house. Her family decided she needed a prince to play with so we arranged a play date at an off leash park to see how they got along. Hobbs is pretty shy when he first meets other people and dogs but he and Willow hit it off very well. She gets to be the boss, but she is gentle with him and doesn't push him to hard and he felt safe and comfortable following her lead.

His family had some plans over this coming weekend so he'll stay with us for another week and then head to his forever home for lots of love, snuggles and play time with his new furry sister.

The best part? His new mom is great and sending me photos and updates so I'll still get to follow how he's doing. Yay!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Three New NW Team Fosters Arriving Today

The Rescue Railroad is rolling into town again and the Northwest team has three new foster dogs on this trip, one of whom already has an application!

The lucky boy with the app is Syzygy (sounds like "Sis-zeh-gee" to me when spoken - a name of a Washington winery).  He's just about 5 months old and was a stray boy in Southern California. We are told that he's just about as perfect as a puppy can be - sweet, well-mannered, smart, picking up housetraining super fast... Someone is going to get a wonderful new family member.  Syzygy will be fostered in Seattle, Washington.
The second dog arriving, Fae, is one of the four Barstow dogs that New Rattitude helped rescue. She's about 1-2 years old, is long and leggy, and weighs around 20 pounds. From what we hear she is goofy and playful but tends to get picked on a bit by the other dogs and is very shy when first meeting new people. Her foster parents will be helping her build her confidence and learn to be a beloved house dog while a home that is a good fit for her is found. Fae will be fostered in Bellevue, Washington.

Last but not least is little 6 month old Savannah who weighs around 12 pounds. She is the youngest of the four Barstow dogs and is said to be social and playful after she has a little time to get to know people. She's definitely a beautiful little girl and we are sure she'll find a loving home in no time. Savannah will be fostered in Yakima, Washington.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Enjoying the April Barkbox

Our 2nd Barkbox arrived today and the dogs are already making good use of some of the items. Some of the things in this box we already have or have tried so the newt toy and the GroomMitt pack will be donated to the items we are saving up for the raffle prize baskets for the Northwest Rattiefest in July.

It was a beautiful day on Wednesday and I decided to cut up some of the Etta Says Duck Jerky as the treats du jour for Langley's walk. I've used their freeze dried meats and livers for the dogs before but not the jerky and I really liked it. It comes in about 5" long softish rods of jerky and is perfect for cutting into tiny little training treats. If I hadn't been in such a hurry I would have cut the little rounds into halves. It was a tasty enough treat that all that was needed was a tiny bit to be a reinforcer.
Showing the full size jerky sticks and the little slices I used as treats on our walk: 1 stick equals about 25 treats
It's a tiny little treat but for my small dogs, tinier would be even better
I loaded a handful in my pocket along with some poop bags, harnessed up Langley and off we went.
Langley waiting patiently for his walk to begin
It must be such an annoyance for him when I make him be still for photos. I mean, we are on a WALK after all and he knows we should be moving.
I have to say this boy is turning into a spectacular walker. He no longer barks or comes unglued when passing people and even managed to hold it together when we passed a guy using a gas weedeater in his front yard. He did start pulling at that point but I don't blame him because it was really loud. The only time he got a little reactive was when an untrained Pomeranian off leash in a front yard came tearing out at us and then started up a game of keep away with his owner while we were trying to get away from them. The Pom was very much an ass and so I can't blame Langley for reacting to that. Oh well, sometimes on a walk, no matter how careful you are to avoid things, you just have to deal. Langley recovered quickly and we were off again, the little bits of jerky in my pocket helping to get constant check-ins from Langley and some very nice loose leash walking. Good work Langley!

Frodo loves balls so he got to have one of the rubber balls from the Barkbox. There is something about their texture that he just loves and he must have chewed on that thing for about 15 minutes. Unfortunately it is that annoying "under the couch" size of ball and Frodo loves a good game of rolling it under the couch (I've seen him bat it under on purpose) and then seeing if he can dig it out. And this ball glows in the dark so under the couch he knows exactly where it is. It's like they specially made it for his favorite game of Couchball. In the video you can see him enjoying it's texture. He could easily gnaw it apart but there's something about the texture that stops him. He's the same way about the Ruffdawg Peanut.
"My Precious!": Frodo prepares to bat the ball under the couch during a loud game of "Couchball"

Anyhow, it was a great day of sunshine, new treats and new toys for the kiddos. If you are interested in getting a subscription to Barkbox use this link and you'll get $5 off your subscription and the pack here will get an extra box to share amongst themselves.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Kasha's Surgery

It was a nerve wracking day yesterday as we waited to hear how the removal of Kasha's mast cell tumors went.  I first told you about them in this blog post last week. After a long weekend of waiting it was finally time for the tumor to be removed and the eyelid lump to be either assessed or removed as well.
When I put her harness on before we left she figured we were either going to the vet or walking that damned hill again and neither option was pleasant to her.
She was not excited about being back at the place where she had been poked so many times on her last visit and was clearly stressed by our arrival at the office. It broke my heart to leave her there when she was so upset.

By 3:30 pm I was back though, and picking her up. I never thought this would be good news but the lump in her eyelid was actually buckshot and not a tumor. While it is sad that at some point someone shot at this poor girl, if it had been a mast cell tumor it would have been very difficult to get the margins required to ensure that all the tumor cells had been removed which would give her a poor survival prognosis.
Incision under her left eye

The large lump behind her ear was removed and she's got a pretty long incision there to patch the ear back together. The tiny lump that I found a couple days ago on her left side was another tumor that I had just caught super early so that was also removed.
Ear incision from above

Ear incision from behind

Incision site on left side

Both tumors were sent to the lab for biopsies and we should hear back in 5-7 days about whether good margins were achieved, as well as whether the tumors are cancerous or not. Because she's young there's a good chance they aren't so we are crossing paws here and waiting for good news.

In spite of having to deal with 3 separate incision sites, Kasha is charging around the house like nothing has happened. She's a tough little dog and it takes more than tumors and buckshot to stop this girl. As I write this she is stretched out beside me on the couch, her favorite spot, and I feel lucky to have my sweet lapwarmer back at home, safe and sound.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Skype Night

Our son is studying chemical engineering and math at the University of New Mexico so each week we Skype with him to stay in touch. He actually meets many of our new foster dogs this way as they have two laps on the couch to choose from so love taking on lap warming duties while we talk.

This was Kasha's first Skype so at first she was wondering what was going on. She quickly figured out it was pretty boring and involved no food so wasn't worth watching.
"Hey, what's going on?"
"Do you know what's going on?"
Frodo showed her the ropes of what Skyping is all about
And Kasha totally understood
For a dog, Skyping is all about the warm laps available
Hobbs has been here since mid February so he is old hand at Skyping and knows exactly what to do: you grab the cosiest blanket real estate and kick back for snooze time.
Sometimes his eyes were open
Sometimes his eyes were halfway open
Most of the time his eyes were all the way closed though
And then sometimes he had to hide his face cuz some lady wouldn't get the camera out of his mug so he could sleep in peace

Monday, April 22, 2013

New Rattitude NW Team Tries TTouch

Four of New Rattitude's Northwest foster parents attended a Lori Stevens taught Tellington Touch seminar yesterday at the Northwest School of Animal Massage. We had a great time and learned so much! I am still letting it all sink in and will definitely be practicing both the touches as well as the body wrapping techniques for now. It was an intro class and I can tell that I have barely touched the tip of the iceberg as far as all the information there is about how this style of training/bodywork can help the foster dogs in our care. I think the thing that struck home most with me was some of the leash walking tips about how to better communicate with our dogs while walking with leashes. Langley will probably want to give Lori a big ol' slurpy kiss of thanks for that nugget of knowledge.

New Rattitude foster parents attending the seminar were Candace all the way from Amity, Oregon, Julee from Seattle, Blair from Everett and me from Federal Way. More importantly, NR alum D'Light not only attended but he starred in some of the bodywork segmants of the seminar. Also attending were current New Rattitude foster dogs Gramercy and Cody. Cody had some amazing breakthroughs during the groundwork segment that had all of us in tears. This boy has come so far! Read more about his journey at Merry Paws Training and Fostering.  Gramercy has his own amazing story, as does D'Light and you can read about them over at A Day in the Life of a New Rattitude Foster Dog.

Enjoy these photos and video from the seminar.

D'Light has regular TTouch sessions with Lori so he is an old pro and helped with demonstrations
He found all of us staring, photographing people a bit unnerving though. Can't blame him!
Here's Blair and Candace practicing touches with Lori
Gramercy was pretty relaxed after he got to be a test subject for some ear touches
Then it was outside for some groundwork. Here's D'Light and Julee
Gramercy was pretty interested in what his foster mom was doing out there with his foster brother
Cody made some wonderful breakthroughs during the groundwork portion and his face/body language relaxed for the first time in his 5 months of foster care! We were all pretty excited for him.

So lots of great learning and fun was had by all and we left excited to learn more!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Not So Serious Side of Kasha

For the first day or so with Kasha I found her to be a bit serious. She loved people but at times she would sit and just looks so serene and aloof. Not for long though.
Kasha striking one of her contempletive poses

If you spend much time with this girl she'll start to talk with you, play, wrestle and show off some pretty crazy antics.

Last night she decided to try to scratch her back while getting a belly rub. It was pretty funny to see her flopping around like a white and black seal, complete with the groany, barking seal sounds. As she relaxes more I can't wait to see what other fun little behaviors she'll start to show.

Friday, April 19, 2013

It's Nice to be Missed

Yesterday when I left the house to run errands Kasha and Hobbs weren't happy. I was downstairs and they were crated upstairs and this is what I heard as I got ready to head into the garage:

The heartache! The sorrow!!  And my personal dogs Frodo and Tilly slept through it all.

I made it up to Hobbs and Kasha in the evening though when they got lots of couch time and belly rubs which seemed to make it all better.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Good News and Bad News

In her crate and ready to head to the vet's office
Today Kasha and I took a trip to the vet office to have her microchip inserted and also to update her DHPP vaccination since her last one was in 2010. It was going to be an easy visit - no need to see a vet since she saw one in CA for her health certificate - and then I'd pop her on the scale to see what her weight was.
There's a slight shadow of a waist, starting to form on Kasha

The good news is that this girl who arrived at the shelter weighing 20 pounds when her owner surrendered her is already down to 18 pounds, 4 ounces. Good work, Kasha!  We'll continue her daily walks and her food portioning and the vet said that our goal of 14 to 15 pounds is excellent for her. She said that she'll be a svelte little muscly gal at that weight.
Kasha says "HEY, it's rude to take pictures of a girl's butt!"

While I waited for the vet tech to come and get Kasha for her vaccination she sat on my lap and I noticed a marble sized lump behind the base of her right ear. It was in a section covered in black fur so didn't really stand out well. Crud. Lumps and bumps are always worrisome so I asked the assistant at the front desk if there was any way that she could squeeze Kasha in to be examined by one of the vets. They made room for us and in just about 10 minutes we were back in the room.

Kasha also has a tiny little bump on her left eyelid that I've been watching and thought might be a tick bite. The vet checked her heart (all good) and then felt her all over for any additional bumps. Thank goodness we were just dealing with the two of them. Dr. Vicky was pretty sure they were cysts but said that eyelid cysts that sit on the inside of the lid like hers did sometimes don't resolve themselves and she worried that surgery might be needed for it. Steroidal eyedrops were prescribed that will be given 3 times daily and the cyst will be reassessed in a week.

Applying pressure to the aspirated lump
The larger lump behind her ear needed to be aspirated just to make sure that it was indeed a cyst. So I waited for her in the waiting area and soon they brought her out with some gauze I needed to hold on the ear to keep some pressure on it and stop the bleeding. Kasha was not happy with this and she wiggled and squirmed and groaned and threw her coat so that we were a wiggling cloud of white dog fur. Below is a video of what she sounded like during this ordeal. After the bleeding stopped she explored the office, sniffing things politely but quietly, friendly and interested in her surroundings.

Sniffing what her foster mom calls "junk food"

Greeting a Doodle named Mocha who was a polite gentleman
Then the vet came out to talk to us and unfortunately the news wasn't good. The lump behind her ear is not a cyst, but instead is a mast cell tumor. At this point it is not known if it is cancerous or not but the vet says due to the feel of the tumor and Kasha's age she is pretty sure it is a stage one tumor which has a great prognosis. The tumor will be sent in and checked after it is removed next Tuesday. If the lump on her eyelid has not reduced in size by that time, it will need to be removed at that time as well so think good thoughts for this sweet girl who has had her share of bad luck recently. We'll keep you posted.

If you'd like to learn more about mast cell tumors, here is a great video by Dr. Karen Becker.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Talking Up a Storm

Kasha loves to speak her mind. Sometimes, like in this video where I'm leaving for work and she is crated, she is doing a bit of whining to voice her complaint.

But a lot of the time it is just Kasha telling you something in her special Kasha way. There are grunts, moans, grrrrr's, little mini howls and all sorts of little vocalizations. Her different types of talking have all been super cute so far. What a girl!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sleeping Beauty

I came downstairs this morning and saw what appeared to be a large red slug in a crate.

But then it started to wiggle and a nose popped out.  Then a head popped out.

Not a slug, just a Kasha, getting her beauty sleep!

She loves to burrow under the blankets and sometimes she will stand up with them still draped over her like a chunky little ghost. We loves this cute little character!