Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Lizzy Does Rattiefest

Lizzy attended Rattiefest on Sunday and for the first time since we've had her she actually wore herself out. I guess two hours straight of running will do that to a dog.

A rare photo of Lizzy standing still

Lizzy (R) running

and running some more

and running some more

Here she is on the left hanging out with the crowd and seeing if treats are being handed out

There were about 35 Rat Terriers attending and at the end of the event we called up adoptees and talked about their new lives together with their adoptive families. At the end current New Rattitude fosters Sparrow, Lizzy and Cody took a turn as well.

Dexter, formerly New Rattitude's Royal, and his dad Bruce during the "Rat Walk"

Two of our 3 past fosters for 2015 were there as well. Remember Magill? His name is now Loki and he and his brother Frodo came over from central Washington to attend. He was as happy and friendly as ever!

And our sweet Rigby boy was there as well! His mom did a great job at keeping him from scoring treats that he might be allergic to. He sure tried to get some though. He knew where all the people with treat bags were and kept his eye on them.

Rigby getting the sniffdown from Pippa after just arriving

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Not Just Another Pretty Face

While Lizzy is about as beautiful a little terrier as you can find, a lot more than looks needs to be considered when shopping around for a dog. I always am a bit concerned when I have such a gorgeous, young, female foster dog because it brings out in a lot of applicants who are so focused on looks that they gloss over the realities of living with a high energy dog.

My plan for the morning - newspaper and coffee on the deck listening to the birds. Lizzy's plan - standing on my newspaper, drinking my coffee and barking at the birds

Don't get me wrong - Lizzy is a very nice little dog. While her constant movement can annoy other dogs, she is pretty respectful for a dog her age. But think of a stereotype of a terrier and you pretty much have a description of Lizzy. She is very smart and with a double dose of energy and wants her brain engaged at all times when she is awake. That means if you aren't watching and making sure she has lots of appropriate play options she will make up her own fun - carrying your shoes out into the yard to throw around, chewing on a pillow after she wrestles with it a bit, barking loudly and 
frenetically at the birds coming to the bird feeder. 

Lizzy wants to experience everything. Here she is sniffing a pot of seedlings before stepping in and munching on cilantro seedlings. 

She is also what we terrier lovers like to call a drivey dog. To many this intense need to move, move, move and hunt, hunt, hunt is a negative. To someone who loves to participate in dog sports with their dogs it is a sought after trait. And to successfully live with a drivey dog means their family spends a lot of time making sure that dog gets a ton of exercise and lots of brain engaging toys and activities. It's time consuming and necessary. For a terrier lover this time is a blast but for your average family it is a chore.

Octopus wrestling

Lizzy is not the cute house dog who peacefully naps while you are at work and then comes to snuggle with you on the couch when you get home. She is not the dog who can be left in the back yard unattended either. Lizzy is pure athlete in a beautiful long legged, lean, teenage puppy body who is confident and doesn't mind speaking her mind. She is a dream dog for terrier lovers. She is a nightmare dog for people just looking for a cute spotted dog with adorable floppy ears to keep them company while they watch TV. 

Wanting to go outside again and play with the flirt pole toy after she played so hard she made herself vomit after drinking water.
Pausing for a short moment on the couch to see if I was done with my email yet.
Personally, being one of those slightly masochistic terrier lovers I think she is wonderful and she keeps me both laughing and swearing on a regular basis. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Lizzy Meets Chima

As much as I joke about how bossy Chima sometimes is for the most part she is a very tolerant dog. In fact it is not because Chima is "dominant" or "bossy" that introducing new dogs to her in our home is more difficult, it is because she is insecure. 

Dog's show their insecurities differently and where some will cower or shut down, others will feel the need to guard the resources they feel dependent on (people, home, favorite buddies). 

There's a very easy way to keep introductions friendly with Chima though. I just make sure I have a treat pouch with me because she is so food motivated that her attention is focused more on the treats than the other dog. Of course I need to keep moving so she doesn't start focusing on guarding me and the treats from the new dog but after about 10 minutes of moving around and tossing her a treat for behaviors I like (sniffing the new dog politely, choosing to ignore rather than react to a puppy's rude behavior...) the novelty of the new dog wears off. 

Chima did amazing with Lizzy. While Lizzy is a complete spaz who has no clue where her body is in space, she also has some great social skills for dog her age which definitely helped her introduction to Chima. While she prefers to greet a dog face to face (not ideal since dogs often feel threatened by this) she also is careful not to stare or look a dog in the eye and her body is soft and wiggly, letting the other dog know this is not a signal of aggression. 

Her and Chima took turns sniffing each other and Lizzy would pointedly "get interested" in something giving Chima time to sniff her butt. Chima would then reciprocate. I was impressed with both of them. 

That doesn't mean there haven't been some tense moments. Lizzy tends to throw her body around leaping and jumping and often landing on dogs nearby. Chima is NOT cool with that and Lizzy is quickly learning she needs to give her some space and she isn't allowed to attempt to steal a toy that Chima is currently playing with - all great learning experiences for a teen punk puppy with a double dose of energy. 

I predict more scuffles in our future but the dogs are always supervised and for the most part management makes those scuffles few and far between and the ones that do happen are teaching Lizzy some necessary social skills. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Lizzy Meets Salinas and Frodo

Lizzy is a high energy gal who never stops moving which means that my personal dogs are not her biggest fans. Regardless, introductions went very well with relatively little snarking considering what a wild child she is.

I am always a big propenent for slow careful introductions between dogs. First impressions count and if you are careful not to overwhelm the dogs you have a far better chance of the dogs developing a good or at least tolerant relationship.

To do this you need to know your personal dogs body language well and the history of how they react to newcomers. Each dog is different and that means you need to tweak introductions accordingly. As the human in the equation you have the responsibility of making sure that things are going well and if they aren't, stepping in and redirecting the dogs' attention. Letting them "just work it out" is not a responsible option. "Working it out" for the most part involves one dog getting bullied and another dog getting to practice and perfect their bullying - neither of those should be allowed to happen.

And if things aren't going well just stop for now. Keep the dogs separate for awhile until they can better tolerate each other and the newness has worn off. Try taking them for a walk when you have another person to help and start out the walk across the street from each other, slowly working up to the point where the dogs can walk side by side. Just remember that it is the dogs' behavior that sets the time frame of the introductions, not your personal introduction time frame.

Frodo and Lizzy, keeping things civil by not making eye contact

My dog Frodo can easily get bullied by hyper dogs that like to push other dogs until they will engage with them. He will snap a bit but if I don't intervene new dogs tend to push him around. So from the beginning if the new dog doesn't listen after he tells them to give him space. I start to intervene. In the video I let her be a bit of a butt to him initially because I want him to tell her to back off. If he hadn't done that then I would have stepped in and distracted her with a toy. After things calm a bit with Frodo and Lizzy starts to lose interest I bring out Salinas so all three dogs are out. Lizzy is now focused on Sal and Frodo takes off to a quiet corner to enjoy a bit of peace.

Lizzy doing a good job looking away to let Sal know she doesn't want to fight.

Unlike Frodo, Salinas can hold her own. New dogs learn very quickly that Sal likes her space and she doesn't mind them playing and being wild as long as it is at least 10 feet away from her. Lizzy tends to bark at dogs from a bit of a distance trying to get them to interact with her, which Sal is not a fan of and right now she just tries her best to stay away from Lizzy. After she had let Lizzy know she needed to back off, Sal had a nice roll in the grass to work out the tension of the introductions.

I rarely add another dog to the mix at this point because I don't want to overwhelm Lizzy and also the more dogs that are out there, the more likely the house dogs will join together and start to corner the new dogs so they can get their fairly aggressive sniffing in. NOT how we want to do things. In fact on the first day a new dog is here, Chima and Salinas never get to be together with the new dog in the same room because they are so close that they automatically team up and become the "mean girls". I love my girls but I also know they can be fairly rude to a new dog if they are together.

Stay tuned for Chima's introduction to Lizzy...

Monday, July 20, 2015

Welcome Lizzy!

Lizzy, our new turbo-charged foster girl, arrived at 4:30 pm Sunday evening which gave us plenty of time for all the new dog chores.

Lizzy waiting with Sparrow in the car for the final leg of their journey - the drive to their foster homes. 

Home we went and she immediately got a bath, which she wasn't too fond of.

Taking her bath

All clean and getting dried off

I don't think she's worn a collar much because she found that pretty weird and did a lot of scratching at it.
Checking out the plant pots

Next I cleaned her ears and then she was turned loose to run, run, run in the back yard. She explored everywhere, met the other dogs, and even climbed through the different potted plants on the deck to check them out and see if there was anything interesting worth snacking on.

Attempting to play with the other dogs

More coming up about her meeting the rest of the pack...

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Getting Ready

When there's a new foster dog coming to the house you have to be prepared so this afternoon I've been busy getting things ready.

First I get a file folder going with a form to log all her vet info and care info on and to hold her shelter paperwork. I get a collar ready with her New Rattitude ID tag and microchip tag on it.

Crate's all ready

Then I clean out the crate that I used for foster dogs, put in fresh blankets and some toys.

Bath station all ready

Next I get the bathroom ready for her bath. I set up the dog tub on non-skid mats so the dog won't slide around. Then have the shampoo bar and a dog towel at the ready. I also set out the diatomaceous earth, a natural type of flea powder that kills fleas mechanically instead of chemically. Once she dries from her bath we'll need to get the DE on her as well as the Mad About Organics Flea and Tick treatment - an essential oil treatment that I use a flea comb to apply. While she may not come with fleas, Central CA has ticks really bad so the sooner we get treatment going, the better.

Finally I prep the car: a clean crate with fresh towels in the bottom of it, her collar to put on her as soon as she arrives, leash, my treat pouch, poop bags and some water and a water bowl.

King and Lizzy on the road this morning on their transport - very wiggly as they start out their day

Now we just wait for her to get here. We'll be heading out to meet her transport at 4:30pm. Thanks to all the drivers who got her here. I know traffic was bad.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Traveling Rats

New Rattitude has 3 foster dogs on a transport this weekend that originates in Fresno CA, overnights in Medford OR and then will finish day 2 in Federal Way WA. It is a 900 mile drive that is done in multiple legs of 60-100 miles by the wonderful volunteers of Gettin' Em Home Transport. This non-profit group dedicates themselves to helping shelter dogs by making it easier for rescues and adopters in the Northwest to rescue dogs from CA in shelters with high euthanasia rates.

Lizzy and King kick back in a crate

All the transporters, transport monitors, people sending and people receiving dogs are included in a Facebook message so the volunteers and rescuers can follow along and see how the dogs are doing. Not only does this provide invaluable information about how the dogs are with strangers and other dogs, it's fun to see photos of the trip.

Everyone getting double tethered into the vehicle. L to R is Nymeria, Lizzy and King with Sparrow hovering above them all

Definitely some work getting 4 dogs doubled tethered - especially when 3 of them are puppies

These photos are from Day 1 of my new foster dog Lizzy's journey from Fresno to Medford. In them you'll also see the other 3 dogs on the trip: King, a NR dog fostered in Seattle, Sparrow, a NR dog fostered in Yakima, and Nymeria, an adopted German Shepherd puppy who will be meeting her adopter in Oregon.

I think the terriers have worn Nymeria out. "Too much crazy!" she says

All the dogs are doing great and we have learned that Sparrow is quite the licker and never stops moving and Lizzy has been described as Loco Lizzy. Hmm....  I think we have an overdose of energy in this batch of foster dogs. Although King sounds like he's not too much of a wild man.

Sparrow and Lizzy

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Introducing Miss Lizzy!

We are excited to introduce to you our newest foster dog - Miss Lizzy!

Lizzy is named for a Larry Williams song the Beatles covered in 1965 on their Help! album: "Dizzy Miss Lizzy".

An ACT rescue volunteer saw some people stop their truck alongside a road and then pull a dirty, greasy, young terrier from the back of their pickup truck and put her on the ground. The volunteer pulled over to see what was going on since it looked like the people were just leaving the dog. They told her that didn't want her anymore and then left.

Lizzy with an ACT volunteer

The volunteer brought her into the rescue shelter and because she was a Rat Terrier mix they contacted us to see if we had a spot for her. ACT is an all breed rescue in Fresno that does great work not just in fostering and adopting out dogs but also by finding breed rescues to take some of the dogs they are working to save as well.

How could we say no?

So we raised our hand to take in Lizzy as our next foster.This cute gal is about 9 months old and weighs around 14 pounds. She'll arrive on Sunday evening and we can't wait to meet her. Stay tuned for more posts as she settles in and we get to know her better.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Gus is Adopted!

Little Gus found himself a great family in the Greenwood neighborhood of Seattle - a neighborhood that has quite a few New Rattitude dogs adopted into it. He'll have two human siblings to keep him busy and parents who are very excited to welcome the little guy home. He'll get tons of attention and love and they have friends with young dogs so he will get to have puppy play dates as well.

His new brother let us know that they have a camping trip in the works too - Gus will LOVE a camping adventure. Especially since it will be near the beach and he will get to splash around and search for stinky things.

This little guys story is one of those great rescue stories - a really nice dog with a wonderful temperament who never would have made it without the help of rescue. A big thanks to New Rattitude for footing the bill to save his life not once, but twice as he battled parvo and then battled a condition that was a result of getting so many IV fluids during his parvo treatment. His bill was exorbitant and New Rattitude still has over a $1,000 to raise to meet their fundraising goals for Gus. If you can help go to www.newrattitude.org/clinic.htm and scroll down to Gus. There's a button there that you can click to sponsor him.

Gus at the emergency vet in April

A big thank you to all who came together - volunteers from 3 different non-profit groups - and helped with the rescue, medical care, fostering, transportation and adoption of this special dog. Have a great life little man!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Gus Wants to Play

Sometimes Gus wants to play with the big kids and does not take their hints that they aren't interested. This morning Gus  wanted Chima to play with him so bad. He stood over the top of her as she napped, occasionally gently nudging her snout with his foot trying to get her to bite at his leg. He had been trying to get this method to work for a couple minutes and Chima valiantly ignored him. While I don't want my dogs to have to put up with constant pushing, I also want puppies to learn what "no" looks like from another dog and what happens when they don't listen. Natural consequences are the best teachers in life and as long as the other dog isn't getting hurt or overly harassed and I know the dog won't hurt the puppy I will let the situation play out as long as I am carefully supervising.

I know Chima and she will put up with a lot from puppies and I also know that she she does that long slow "look away" like she does in this video, she is giving the puppy their last chance to take a hint before she snarks at them. I tried to back Gus gracefully out of the situation but he moved back for more and learned a good lesson - when a dog tells you "no" you need to respect the "no". 

Gus said "point taken" and moved away to play and roll around by himself. Then later he decided that it would be good enough to just play next to the big girls, even if they refused to wrestle with him. Good boy, Gus! 

Playing with one of his chews while the girls nap in the sun

Last night the girls actually let him lie on the couch with him which is a sure sign that he has been learning how he needs to behave when hanging out with them.

Chima actually let him lie on the couch right next to her

And of course sidekick Sal wasn't too far away. This is her "could we put the camera away?" look

Friday, July 10, 2015

Where's a Pup to Nap?

Gus does not like it when the other dogs sniff around his crate. It's something we've been working on with him since he gets a little growly if the other dogs walk by when there are any good toys or chews in his crate.

What is funny though, when it comes time to take a nap, Gus prefers Sal's crate. In fact if he is relaxing in her crate and I go downstairs with the other dogs he doesn't follow. He'd prefer not to interrupt his comfortable nap. While he likes the Molly Mutt beds downstairs it is Sal's bed that he wants the most.

Good thing for Gus that Chima and Sal don't mind little cranky puppies sleeping in their crate.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Gus Visits Makeda and Mingus

Waiting patiently - we had to make a stop at the REI flagship store and Gus and I waited in the garage while Troy ran in to pick up his race packet

We had to run some errands in Seattle and to take Gus to meet potential adopters. Since the adopters live Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood we decided to stop in at a Rat Terrier hot spot - Makeda and Mingus Cafe.

On the "red" carpet at Makeda (photo by Prashanthi Reddy)

Waiting while the humans chat

Introductions with Mingus

Thanks to Mingus being such a superstar the Greenwood Neighborhood has become a Rat Terrier hot spot. New Rattitude has several adopters who were referred to us after meeting Mingus. In fact there is a Facebook page for the Rat Terriers of Greenwood - The Greenwood Rat Pack.

Snuggles and kisses for Prash

As usual Gus was an amazingly polite and easy going little guy, meeting the owner, Prashanthi Reddy and her Rat Terrier Mingus (a New Rattitude alum) and then just kicking back and waiting patiently while we ate.

"Hey, any of that cookie for me?"

A little bored but quiet and patient - not common traits in a Rat Terrier puppy!

Gus stopped and got his picture taken on the Makeda Red Carpet and then sat politely while we had tea and delicious cookies. Besides the great coffee, beer, wine and food another reason to stop by is that Makeda and Mingus is a dog friendly restaurant. How cool is that? They have dog treats, water bowls and your furry friend is welcome to join you inside. So if you are in the neighborhood be sure to stop in. It's located on N 78th Street at the intersection of 78th and Greenwood Ave. 153 N. 78th Street.