Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tate's Adopted!

Little Miss Tate is now a Seattleite in the Greenwood neighborhood. Hopefully she will stop by Makeda and Mingus sometime to say hi - it's New Rattitude's official Rat Terrier (and lesser dogs :) friendly cafe'.

She now lives with two moms who love her and their other two dogs - a Rat Terrier and a Shiba Inu - greatly. Tate will look forward to lots of walks, play times and probably even some classes and goofing off time at the K9 Fun Zone!

While we will miss this little love who is such a friendly kiddo, we are happy to be back to our laid back pack of middle aged and elderly dogs which is much more our speed.

We will be taking a couple weeks off of fostering to attend our son's college graduation and then will come home to a new foster girl who is a big one - over 30 pounds, although she needs to shed a few of those pounds. Stay tuned for her introduction.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Selena Send Off

Today was the day that Selena headed east to her foster mom. I think she will be much happier there without a puppy tearing around and bugging her but I do feel bad that she has been shifted around so many times since she first ended up at the shelter. It's a lot for any dog to go through.

While with she seemed a bit depressed and I felt bad for her, always hanging out in the crate and avoiding the puppy. Today as I drove to the spot where I would hand her off for her transport east was the first time since she's been here that I started seeing her little personality. In the car (now with a healthy mouth) she initiated interaction with me and then rolled around on the seat, being silly and having fun. Yay!

It was a relief to see her starting to perk up. Hopefully she'll find her forever home soon and it will be the last time she has to move. With a peaceful, quiet, puppy-free home I think she will be the happy, silly girl she was meant to be.
Relaxing in the car. First time I've seen her so relaxed. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Selena Visits the Vet

Poor Selena actually had some teeth just dangling from her mouth. She would bark and then have to go through all kinds of contortions with her mouth to get her teeth somewhat back in place. Can you imagine how that must have been hurting her?! One actually fell out at home and I found it in her favorite bed.

On the way to the vet office - she was a bit nervous but interested in what was going on around her.

Anyhow, I was able to get her to see the vet right away and learned that she had class IV periodontal disease. She was anesthetized and had her mouth all cleaned up as well as having one incisor extracted. Another incisor fell out during the exam.

On the way home, still feeling the anesthesia

She's doing much better now although she still seems depressed. It is fairly typical for older dogs who have been in the shelter system for extended time and I'm sure that after a couple weeks in her foster home she will start to open up and be more willing to leave her bed. Even now I'm starting to see a few little signs that she is perking up. The good news is that she is starting to eat now - something that has been a struggle.

Tomorrow she'll be transported over the mountains to her foster mom in Central Washington. There she won't have to endure "Tate the Tiny Terror" always wanting to check out what she's doing. She'll be one of three senior dogs and won't have to worry about whippersnappers.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Fun at Puppy Class

Tate may be young but she is one smart little cookie and she really seems to love to learn. To me though, more important than the "sits", "go to mat" and loose leash walking is the opportunity to be in a new place, experience strangers and new dogs and lots of different things.

The drive to class was making her sleepy but she didn't want to lie down and miss anything

In yesterday's lesson we worked on "settle" which is the behavior of being able to say a cue - I chose "mat" and the puppy goes to a specific mat and lies down. Tate was great at sitting on the mat but this class she finally figured out the lying down part. Yay Tate! Unfortunately I was too busy with my treat pouch and clicker to snap a photo of the "down".

Another thing we worked on was a lesson in "shaping". Shaping simply means breaking down a behavior into tiny increments and reinforcing the dog at each incremental step until you've achieved the full behavior you are working on.  Beyond just being a great way to teach a more complex behavior it is a very fun game for the dog and human and strongly develops the process of learning for the dog since they are getting reinforced at a high frequency. The more you train the quicker they learn, since the process of learning is in itself a skill. And the trainer is getting reinforced by the dog's learning so everyone wins!

Tate loves shaping and is super quick. We started with her getting reinforced for just looking towards the balance disc. Then the criteria moved up to her having to touch the the disc. Next she had to put 1 paw and then 2 paws on the disc to earn her treat. This is an underinflated disc so with 2 paws its a bit wobbly and is a new experience for her.  I had planned on that being the end behavior but she quickly was putting 4 paws on so we kept working and ended up with her easily doing a sit on top of the disc. Go Tate!
Tate showing her end behavior of sitting on the balance disc

We also did an exercise where one puppy in the class got to walk over a bunch of weird new things while the other puppies worked on looking back at their people when distractors are around. At first Tate wasn't too sure about the sandpaper topped walking frame or the hula hoops but after a few seconds of inspection she figured out they were no biggie and they also had treats scattered on them so were worth a closer look.
Scratchy walkway

Hula hoops that rattle a bit when bumped

This photo is from another class but we did try a bit of puppy play time at the end but there's not a great match up of personalities in the class and we don't want to teach pups that other dogs are unpleasant. It's important to be very careful to match dogs together who have similar play styles. An intense player with a fairly timid dog is going to make the timid dog even more worried about other dogs.
Tate and Lucas sniff poor Gracie who is not having fun. Pups were all quickly distracted by their people after I took this shot to give Gracie a break.

I sure hope that Tate will get to continue training after she's adopted since she has such a fun time doing it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Tate The Tug Champion

We have this poor sad octopus toy that has lost most of its legs but weirdly the dogs find the legs more fun than when the toy was in one piece. 

The other day Tate played tug with Salinas although I think it was more Tate stealing Sal's toy. Sal was good natured about the whole thing though. 

Tate ended up with the leg, mostly because Sal was tired of the game.

Monday, April 11, 2016

A Visitor

This weekend I visited the PAWS shelter in Lynnwood to assess a senior Rat Terrier they had there. She needed dental work and with New Rattitude would be able to get it done right away so we wanted to help out. Her name is Selena and she will be fostered in Yakima but for this week she is a guest at our house until she has her dental work done - which happens tomorrow.

Selena at the shelter
Her favorite little bed at our house
She's a sweet little thing. Super tiny (just 7 pounds) and she loves people. She definitely does NOT love puppies though and I can't blame her. Her mouth is really hurting her and the last thing she needs is a puppy in her face, jumping on her and barking at her to get her to play. So we are doing our best to keep her comfy and in a Tate-free space until she travels to her regular foster home on Saturday.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Lazy Play

Salinas and Tate both love to wrestle and Chima and Frodo, the fun police, have resigned themselves to allowing it for the most part. They find a soft spot away from the wild ones and watch to make sure it doesn't get out of hand.

The other day Sal and Tate wrestled so much that they wore themselves out - they tore up and down the stairs, wrestling on two levels of the house - under couches and tables and chairs. It was like a little spotted tornado moving around the house.

Even after they were ready to rest and came and joined me while I read email on the couch, they couldn't help themselves. The wrestling match continued in the form of a lazy game of bitey face.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Here Comes The Sun

Here in the Pacific Northwest we are having a beautiful week of warm sunny weather and the dogs are all happy to restart their favorite past times of 1) compulsively hunting rodents during night time potty breaks and 2) sunning themselves on the deck.

Since we live near a large, forested state park and have Great Horned Owls and Barn Owls that occasionally visit our neighborhood little Tate has to be on a leash in the back yard after dusk so she doesn't get to join in on the crazy hunting sprees. She did slow herself down enough to sit down and enjoy the sunshine, both inside and outside.

Sal noting an intrusion by Tate

She decided she would allow Tate to chew on a stick near her
Sal quickly let Tate know that sunning was serious business and she would not tolerate wild puppies on the deck. Tate quickly figured out she had the option of lying down near Sal or else clearing out of there and for a few seconds she chose to chew on a stick near Sal.

Inside sunning has similar rules - no wild puppies near the sunspots but calm puppies will be tolerated. Chima let Tate stay in the sunspot since she wasn't moving around.