Thursday, May 29, 2014

Rescue Railroad: Two New PNW Foster Dogs

We have two new foster girls arriving in Pacific Northwest foster homes this weekend and they are both beauties.

Java Bean


Java Bean and Fajeta are 2-3 year old Rat Terriers who were two of several Rat Terrier females that were brought into the shelter as strays together. They are beautiful standard sized Rat Terriers in the 18-22# range and are fun, playful girls.

Java Bean will be fostered in Amity, Oregon and Fajeta will be fostered in Gig Harbor, Washington.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Beloved Ball

Ellsworth has found a couple JW squeakie footballs in the bottom of the toy bin and decided they are absolutely amazing. He carries one everywhere and even slept with one of them last night. Another funny thing he did is when offered a treat he tried to get the treat into  his mouth without letting go of his football.

Happily he doesn't feel the need to nonstop squeak it but he sure likes to have it close by. Here are some photos from yesterday of Ells and his ball.

Wondering why he has to be on the other side of the gate from me

Keeping his football close while he eats breakfast

Sad because I made him keep his ball inside

Ahh, he has his ball again because foster mom caved and let him run back inside to get it
While it's super cute, I'm always careful when a dog at the house gets strongly attached to a toy since that can lead to some resource guarding. So far with Ells we haven't run into that problem but the other dogs are also not at all interested in the footballs. Ellsworth hasn't tried to guard food or lap time with me from other dogs but that doesn't mean that he wouldn't guard his beloved footballs so I'll just be sure to watch everyone while they are hanging out together.

Friday, May 23, 2014

More Ellsworth Burrowing

I know I've posted photos of Ellsworth burrowing under blankets before but he is just so cute when he does it that I had to post some more.
Hmm. Well, where could Ellsworth be?

How is that comfortable, Ells?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Ellsworth and Chima Wrestle

Chima is not too sure about Ellsworth. Both of them want to play but when Chima initiates play it is so abrupt that it startles most dogs and when Ellsworth wants to play, Chima gets overwhelmed fairly quickly.

Ellsworth (back) and Chima

Chima has been turning into the fun police every time that Ellsworth gets the zoomies in the living room so I was starting to think that they'd never try to wrestle.

Yesterday though they finally played! I caught about half of it on video. Love Chima's little Judo move of sidestepping him and slapping him with her paw as he sailed past. Chima was a little overwhelmed after about 30 seconds of this and ran under the table and I distracted Ellsworth so she could have a break but I'm happy that Ells finally got one of the dogs to play with him.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ellsworth the Burrower

We have discovered that Ellsworth, like most Rat Terriers, loves to burrow under blankets. And when there wasn't really one available? Well, he figured it out. Here he pulled the throw blanket off the top of the couch.

Where's Ellsworth?

There he is!

Chima always likes to get in the photo. She knows that occasionally photos mean I'll start handing out treats.
He loves all the blankets down on the couch in the rec room and regularly wraps himself up there. In fact last night I panicked because for once he wasn't right with me and I couldn't see where he was. I look over and all the blankets on the couch seemed to stand up  and then move off the couch. Finally a cute little head popped out as the blanket heap headed across the room after I called his name.

Ells with his favorite pile of blankies

Monday, May 12, 2014


LOVES playing with balls. Squeaky or not, squishy or hard - he doesn't care. He has a weird way of playing fetch though. As soon as he sees you with a ball in your hand, he perks up and goes on alert, crouching and ready to take off.

After I throw the ball he tears off and gets it but then he gets very matter of fact about making sure to take the ball somewhere away from me so I am not so careless about just tossing it around. He will then set it there and go back to what he is doing. Sometimes he will see me coming and decide he needs to move it again but eventually I get the ball and the whole thing starts again.

Right after I threw the ball in the video above, Ellsworth went up on the deck and I was distracted and doing something else. When I looked back to see what he was doing, he had found a comfy spot on a chair and this time, had decided to keep the ball safe with him.

None of the other dogs have ever thought to jump up in the lawn chairs and Chima was interested in how he did this.  She stood and looked at him for a bit and then looked underneath the chair and sniffed him. I think she was impressed.

Chima sniffing Ells from under the chair

It was a pretty day and all the dogs enjoyed some much needed sunshine.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Ellsworth and Frodo: A One Sided Bromance

Ellsworth is a dog who likes to have a pal. He feels safer that way but he's also just a playful dog, even at 10 years old. He seems to prefer male dogs. In this house I can't blame him since the girls are not to be trifled with.
You can tell from Ellsworth's ears and him looking away that he's not fully sure of Chima's motives for jumping up next to him on the couch. This time she was just photobombing but Ells was smart to question her.

What's unfortunate though is that the object of Ellsworth's affection is Frodo and Frodo is notoriously snobbish to new foster dogs. That doesn't keep Ells from trying though. He regularly checks in with Frodo to see if this is the time he won't get snubbed. Poor Ells. So much hope mixed up with a dash of obsession.
Ellsworth: Hey Frodo, whatcha looking at? Whatcha doing? Wanna play?


Ellsworth: Okay, I'll just wait right here until you're ready to play. How long do you think that will be? 15 seconds? 20 seconds? Any guesses?

There was some progress today though. Ellsworth dropped into play position and then bopped around on his belly with his nub wagging at full speed. Frodo actually started to play with him and there was a bit of chase however, it only lasted about 2 seconds before Frodo got nervous and ended things. 

Keep trying Ellsworth. He'll learn to love you.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Let's Eat!

One thing that I like to do when dogs seem stressed initially, is to use their meal times to work their brain a little. Instead of just chowing down out of a bowl, I put Ellsworth's food in what is called The Green. This is the original but they now make a smaller version.

The Green not only slows down his eating but it makes him really focus on how to use his snout, paw, and tongue to flick the kibble around the blades so he can get to it. And it has been shown that when the brain is in "seeking" mode like this, the part of the brain that causes stress reactions shuts down for awhile.

Ellsworth immediately got the hang of it and seemed to enjoy it and stay engaged. Good job Ells!

Chima, checking to see if Ellsworth missed any crumbs after the green was set up on the hearth.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Meeting the Girls

Yesterday Ellsworth spent some time meeting two of his foster sisters, Salinas and Chima. He was a bit nervous and rightfully so, since Chima isn't always the most welcoming of dogs. We spent a few minutes together and then Ells got to spend some time chasing a ball (a favorite activity of his) to run off the stress.

He and his foster brother Frodo are doing great together, although Ells has tried to hump poor little Frodo a few times. Frodo let him know right away it wouldn't be tolerated. Now that Ells is neutered that behavior should start to fade.

The sniff circle - Ells better get his sniff in fast before Chima notices him

Doh! He's been spotted.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Settling In

It was a busy, busy weekend so Ellsworth is still feeling a little shell shocked from all the change in the last few days. He's been bathed, met the house dogs from a distance and even spent yesterday at the vet getting neutered. Now that we've got some of that stuff out of the way we can start to settle into everyday life and give him a chance to see that he's safe and can relax.

He's pretty overwhelmed and still doing lots of pacing but occasionally he'll kick back and rest. At bedtime he is sad to be in his crate and lets out long, mournful howls to let the rest of us know he is not happy with the crate situation. Lucky he gives up on the whining after a few minutes and then starts back up at 5am to let us know he still would like to be out of his crate. Happily the sleep pattern seems to adjust quickly for new foster dogs so we're hoping he'll wait until 6 tomorrow.

But even with his stress level being high he was able to finally kick back and rest on a dog bed we have in our rec room while we watched TV. Even better, he came over to the couch and jumped up to be next to me, falling asleep with his head resting on my leg. Not bad for just two days into a new home!

For now we are waiting to introduce Ells to Salinas and Chima since his current pacing and stressiness will make them uneasy and I want introductions to be a positive thing. He's met Frodo already and they are fine with each other and he and Tilly have sniffed each other approvingly through the gate.

We'll keep you posted as we learn more about this stunningly handsome guy.

Lots of sniffing and peeing going on in the backyard

Meeting tiny Tilly
Hanging out on a dog bed in the family room
And finally, snoozing on the couch with Troy, Frodo and me

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Rescue Railroad: Two Dogs Arriving in PNW Foster Homes

We introduced Ellsworth yesterday but there's a second kiddo arriving tomorrow in a Pacific Northwest New Rattitude foster home.

Meet Malone! Malone is a 8-10 month old, 11 pound pup who is as sweet as he is cute. New Rattitude was contacted by the shelter about him when his hold period was over and he needed placement.

The good news is that Malone already has an applicant interested in him so if all works out and he seems like a good fit after his two week hold period, he'll be well on his way to a new home. He's being fostered in Amity, Oregon.