Thursday, July 31, 2014

Rescue Railroad: 4 Foster Dogs Arriving Soon

The Pacific Northwest foster homes of New Rattitude will have 3 dogs, in addition to our Serra, who will be arriving this weekend.

No need to shout out your oohs and ahhs - Berrie's ears are big enough to hear how much you all love her. This sweet shy girl was running out of time at the shelter but will now be hanging out with her foster parents' pack in Bellevue. Our guess is that she is about 8 months old and weighs around 10 pounds.

Another girl who will be joining Berrie in her Bellevue foster home is Plum. Little Plum is just 9-10 weeks old and weighs about 4 pounds. She's a sweet little Chihuahua/Terrier mix who we were contacted about by the shelter supervisor. The shelter was overly full and they wanted to get her safely out of there since she was so young and puppies can be more susceptible to the illnesses that are common at shelters. She's doing great though and we can't wait to meet her.

And last but not least is sweet Jade. This gorgeous chocolate tricolor girl is about 2 years old and weighs an estimated 14 pounds. She had run out of time at the shelter which struggles in the summer when so many strays are picked up. We're sure that she'll find a home in no time! Jade will be fostered in Gig Harbor, Washington and you can follow her at

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

New Arrival!

Our house guest, former foster Hartley, is heading home on Friday just as our newest foster dog arrives.

The new girl's name is Serra and she's about 1 1/2 years old and the guess on her weight is 14 pounds. She's said to be super sweet! She'll be arriving late Friday night.

Serra is named after the American Minimalist sculptor Richard Serra - my favorite sculptor. His massive steel pieces just swallow you up and always feel like two pieces to me - one seen from afar in its entirety and a completely different one down on the ground walking among the parts. 

Richard Serra

Matter of Time Installation, 2005; Guggenheim Museum Bilboa

Intersection II, 1992-93; MoMA

Wake, 2003; Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle Art Museum

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Musical Dogs: An Update

There's been a few changes in the last 24 hours. Ends up that one of the California New Rattitude Foster parents has been looking for a Rat Terrier and is thinking that Cricket might be the one. So Cricket is going to stay in California and be fostered there instead of going to Oregon.

Then Hopper, who was going to be our foster boy is instead going to be fostered in Oregon. And just to make things a little more confusing, the transport got postponed a week so Skipper, Hopper and Seven won't be arriving until the night of the 25th.

Not having a foster dog (other than Sal) will be nice for our house since we will be dog sitting a very special dog for the next two weeks while her parents are on a vacation. Remember Hartley? I thought you did!
Hartley relaxing in her new home

When she was adopted her family was very conscientious and let us know about a special vacation they had planned that was happening in the near future. Because they seemed like such a perfect spot for Hartley we let them know that we'd be glad to have her visit for two weeks while they were out of town.
Another cute photo of Hartley in her new home

With Hopper going to Oregon that means we won't be so overloaded with dogs while Hartley is visiting. So it all worked out!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Rescue Railroad: 4 New Rat Terriers in PNW Foster Homes

Along with Hopper there are 3 more Rat Terriers who will be arriving soon in New Rattitude Pacific Northwest foster homes.

First up is Cricket. She had been living on a ranch in the Central Valley of CA. Her brother, another Rat Terrier, was killed by a coyote and the family didn't feel that she was safe any longer and looked for a rescue spot for her. Cricket is a gorgeous, 5 year old, 12 pound purebred Rat Terrier. She is house trained and good with other animals. She'll be fostered in Amity, OR.

Seven is about 2 years old and 11 pounds and his cute little stubby legs and goofy antics will keep you laughing. He was picked up as a stray by animal control and had run out of time at the shelter. Seven will be fostered in Seattle, WA and you can follow him on his foster mom's blog at

Last but not least is this cute little active puppy named Skipper. He's about 6 or 7 months old and weighs around 7 pounds. Skipper loves to play and is a confident little guy who is always up for an adventure. He was a stray picked up by animal control and in spite of his cuteness and the shelter featuring him on Facebook he didn't find a home. We're sure he won't last long here in WA. Skipper will be fostered in Yakima, WA and you can follow him at

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Introducing Hopper!

Later this week our newest foster dog will be joining our motley crew. Hopper was rescued from the shelter after being picked up as a stray by animal control. He's a handsome chocolate tricolor Rat Terrier who is about 1-2 years old and our guess at his weight is about 12 pounds.


Hopper at the shelter
We don't know a lot about him yet, but can't wait to get to know him!

Self Portrait, 1925-1930
Hopper was named for the American artist Edward Hopper who was best  known for his spare oil paintings portraying Hopper's view of urban life. He also painted in watercolor and was a print maker and in his early career made a living creating illustrations and cover art for magazines to make ends meet.

Nighthawks, 1942

Hopper and his wife, Josephine Nivison bequeathed their entire collection of over 3,000 works to the Whitney Museum of American Art. His pieces are also held by New York's Museum of Modern Art, The Des Moines Art Center, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Chop Suey, 1929

Monday, July 14, 2014

Saving Maile

Over the last 4 days there was a bit of a rescue drama going on with a former Pacific Northwest New Rattitude dog. Maile, who was adopted as a young puppy in early 2013 and adopted to a family in Western Washington had been picked up in a suburb of Boise Idaho, running along the street. She was wearing a collar with a rabies vaccination tag but no id tag. The shelter was able to track her New Rattitude foster mom down through the rabies tag, since she was the one who had taken Maile in for her vaccination.

Maile as a puppy in foster care; Spring 2013 and (below) is a video of her litter arriving in foster care January 2013 

Several of us worked together to track down her adopter using Facebook, the adoption contract, and a cell number we finally found. We heard a fairly common story - the couple had split up, she had the kids and he wanted to keep their dog. After the divorce he had bounced around in different living situations and somewhere along the line Maile was left with relatives in Idaho who quite possibly weren't happy about being saddled with a young, energetic terrier. The adopter was raising her kids on her own now and couldn't afford a dog so she signed owner surrender paperwork, making Maile a New Rattitude dog again.

Leaving Boise, ID: Resting up for the first leg of her transport

Now I'm sure about now many of you are enraged and angry that this poor dog ended up neglected and alone. On Facebook I regularly see people forming virtual vigilante mobs and they get wrapped up in the emotion of a sad story where once again a family pet ended up getting the short end of the stick. People love to point out how they would never do something like this to their personal dog and many a self righteous soliloqy is spewed into social networking land. You know what though? I find that spewage just as useless and selfish as the original act of neglect.

Saying goodbye to Levi, who drove the first leg of the transport
No person thinks that they will end up in a situation where they have to rehome a pet. No one. As a rescue coordinator I hear some pretty horrible situations where people are completely distraught over finding themselves unable to care for their animals. I would love to think that I will never be that person, but until you've lived the situation you just don't know, so leave the judgement at home.

Meeting Candace, who drove the 2nd leg of the journey - over 200 miles!

Settling in for the drive from Baker OR to Goldendale WA

What good does that kind of negative energy do for Maile? While I sure wish her adopters had made better choices for her, it does no good to get worked up over that now. How does anger and judgement keep the situation from happening to more dogs? So step away from the keyboard and do something about it. Be the person who DOES care. Go to the shelter and volunteer to bathe and groom dogs, volunteer to drive a rescue dog to a better situation, help a rescue with their database programming or Web design, donate some money to a reputable animal group... Being angry on Facebook isn't helping anyone.

Just finished with leg 3 which Becky drove and taking a walk in the park before loading up for leg 4 with Troy and I - Yakima WA to North Bend WA
So here's part two of Maile's story. This is the part that I think deserves to be talked about, valued, and shared. Because as soon as the Pacific Northwest team of volunteers heard about the situation they stepped up to the plate. Her former foster mom was busy on the phone talking with the shelter, keeping them updated as a plan formed, trying to contact the adopter, getting the right paperwork done so that we once again had official ownership. Volunteers networked with friends and family in the Boise area and a plan slowly came to be. By Friday evening, about 24 hours after we first learned she was at a shelter, we had a volunteer to go to the shelter and pick her up and overnight her at their home. We also had a foster home for her (her former foster family will be fostering her), and 4 drivers lined up (with even a couple back up drivers!) so that Sunday morning she would start her 500 mile road trip from Boise Idaho back to Western Washington. That's a lot of people who dropped what they were doing, put away their laptops, cancelled weekend plans, and made sure that a little dog was safe and cared for.

Getting reacquainted with foster dad Andrew in North Bend before heading to her foster home

THAT is what is exciting. The rescue is the event that emotions should be poured into and posted about on social networking sites. A bunch of everyday people stepped up and made sure a sad ending turned into a happy new beginning. They didn't do it for pats on the back or how much attention it might get them. They did it because it needed to get done.

After her 500 mile trip she is HOME!
So next time you see that emotionally manipulative post, screaming from the computer screen about victims and victimizers, and the armchair rescuers are busy spewing anger and hatred, resist the pull to join in. Step away from the electronic devices and find a way to make a positive contribution because anger and self righteousness is something we indulge in for ourselves, not for the dogs.

It goes without saying that I want to thank all the folks who helped get Maile to safety. The animal control officers who got her out of the road and who took the time and effort to find who she belonged with. There were many people beyond the actual drivers who helped us brainstorm a way to get her back and made phone calls for us so thank you to all of you. A big thanks to Bev for springing Maile from the shelter, overnighting her, and buying (and donating) a nice new crate for her to ride West in. Thanks to Levi for buying her a harness and leash for the road along with some treats and toys - because what's a road trip without snacks, right? And then thanks to Levi, Candace, Becky, Becky's dad, Cassie, Troy, and Andrew for driving and Cindy and Andrew for fostering her.

Saturday, July 5, 2014


Hartley's adopted! Toady she joined her new family of a mom, dad, and a kitty sister. We are sure that Hartley will love not having to share her humans with other dogs and since she likes cats, she'll enjoy Bella the cat too.

We won't have to miss her for long though - her parents have had a big trip planned so Hartley will be back in two weeks for a two week stay so we'll get some more snuggle time with the sweet gal.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Look who has relaxed around the other dogs!! When Hartley first arrived she was a bit growly with the other dogs, especially Chima. However, now after a few weeks she has relaxed and is doing great with them.
Chima came over and plopped herself down next to (and almost on top of) Hartley

HOWEVER: If I had not been so hypervigilant about watching their interactions together and had not regularly given all the dogs breaks from each other, I would not be posting this. If I hadn't been so careful initially there would have been regular snarking and fights. Those fights would reinforce for Hartley that other dogs are scary and need to be kept at a distance.

At first Hartley wasn't too sure about the arrangement but after making sure I was still close she laid back down and relaxed

Instead her experience has been that they aren't that bad. They like to run and play and she likes to run and play so she might as well join them. She's still a little growly when playing, but I've discovered that she is talkative when she plays so that kind of growling is okay.

Hartley (front) and Salinas: As long as Hartley is closest to me, she is okay with the other dogs snuggling up to her. 

So often people mess up the chances of their dogs getting along because they just dump them together and then expect them to be best of friends. It takes time to build a relationship - for humans and dogs alike - so we need to do our job as caretakers and make sure the journey to that relationship is a pleasant one.