Monday, August 15, 2016


I introduced Luke and Leia in the last post but there wasn't a lot of details about the personalities of each dog so let's get to know Luke today. 

Luke is a handsome dog who loves to snuggle and hang out with people but who needs the time and space to get to know people at his own speed. He lacks confidence but makes up for that in snuggle skills.

Many of the dogs that come through our foster homes have not gotten the life experiences that they needed as puppies and end up very worried about anything new to them for the rest of their lives. They lunge and snarl when on leash because they are afraid of unknown dogs and know the leash takes away their ability to safely avoid a confrontation. They may even snap when they feel cornered and when humans don't pay attention to their body language. 

They can move past a lot of that fear but it takes time and also help from their humans. Luke is this kind of dog. At home in situations and an environment he is comfortable with he seeks out attention and enjoys hanging out with his people and the dogs he lives with. But if you throw new people or situations at him - house guests, rearranged furniture, home repair people, etc. he need his person to give him a safe place to hide out so he can avoid the scary stuff until he feels ready to approach things at his own pace. If his fear is ignored and he is forced to stay in the situation that frightens him behaviors may occur like snapping or biting that could have easily been avoided. 99% of the time he is an easy, happy boy. He just needs his people to set him up so that percentage can move closer to 100%.

Sweet Luke is looking for a home with low key, relaxed parents who are willing to let him take things at his pace. When he is allowed to have a choice in how he approaches a new situation he quickly relaxes. He was fine with Troy and I on the first day. By the 2nd day he felt like he could come downstairs and hang out in the same room with all the dogs and Troy and I. At first he thought that was way too many people and dogs in one room so I just let him stay where he wanted to be - upstairs on a dog bed in a crate - and the next day he decided to venture downstairs to see what he was missing out on. Now he loves the couch down there so much it's tough to get him to come back upstairs!

Luke needs a kid-free, cat-free home. Kids just add too much movement and noise for his liking. He loves to chase cats so kitties would be very unhappy when he is around. 

In the right home Luke is an easy, quiet, undemanding family member with great house manners. But in a home that's not a great fit, he is a different dog and is pretty miserable. So this time round we are hoping to find a home where he will be loved and cherished for the great dog he is.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Introducing Luke and Leia

Luke and Leia were first rescued by New Rattitude back in 2012. About 3 weeks ago their adopter had contacted New Rattitude about returning them and was going to use New Rattitude's ReHome program. In ReHome instead of the dog coming into foster care and filling up a foster space the owner continues to care for the dog in their home but we list them for adoption and do our adoption screening when applications come in. It's a win for both the dogs and us in that the dog doesn't have an extra transition they have to deal with and we can use our foster spots for dogs currently at risk in the shelter.

Four days after we were told they were going to be enrolled in the program we were surprisingly contacted by a shelter to let us know that they had two of our former foster dogs in their care. Luke and Leia had been taken to a shelter. Much scrambling took place to find foster spots and then Seuss was adopted, leaving an opening here for a new dog. So on the 13th I drove to Bremerton and met a volunteer who brought them from Port Angeles to transfer them to New Rattitude.

Chima meeting Luke
So far things are going really well. Introductions with my crew were super easy and there has been no snarking from Luke and Leia and just a bit of the expected corrections from my dogs. They have learned to let new foster dogs know from the beginning what they will and won't tolerate and Luke and Leia have been very good natured about things like Chima's rule that butt sniffs cannot last longer than 3 seconds and Sal's rule that under no circumstances will any dog be allowed to hump her without hell's fury being unleashed upon them.

Chima meeting Leia - both girls had really great body language and loose, waggly tails.

Of course we are in the honeymoon period so it is likely as they learn that they are safe here and start to relax we might have a few behavior things to work through but for now it's going well.


Coming up I'll tell you a little more about each of them but for now the basics are that both dogs are now about 9 years old. Luke weighs 26# and should be about 23# and Leia weighs 24# and should weigh closer to 20#. Neither of them should live with cats. While we don't have their paperwork they appear to be purebred Rat Terriers and have docked tails and upright ears. Stay tuned...

Leia and Luke making themselves at home

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Seuss is Adopted!

Handsome Mister Seuss is adopted and will be heading to his new home tomorrow. We are definitely going to miss this well mannered gentleman. I wish all foster dogs were as easy as he has been.

Seuss' new home will be with a young couple north of Seattle who have been waiting until they had bought a home to bring home a new furry family member. He will have a fenced yard for playtime, a dog walker for midday walks when mom and dad are at work and might even have some Nose Work classes in his future. Seuss is an A+ sniffer so we think he'd be a superstar at Nose Work.

Sniffing an interesting smell at the Rattiefest meetup

We can't wait to hear how he is doing after settling into his new life. Congratulations Seuss! We are going to miss you.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Shopping With Seuss

Seuss loves a car ride and gets so excited when he gets to ride around. Getting out of the car and going new places can make him nervous though so we take things slow and keep visits to new places short.

Snuggled into the doggy car seat and ready for the ride

Over the weekend I needed to pick up a small paintbrush at Home Depot and since dogs can be in the store I decided to bring Seuss along.

Waiting with Troy

Checking out a pallet loader driving up the center aisle
While he was a little nervous about all the activity going on around us and the strange sounds and smells, he did great during our short visit and earned himself a fish skin stick after we left the store.

Waiting patiently at checkout

Friday, August 5, 2016

The Brave and Dirty Hunter

Like Chima and Sal Seuss is a bit maniacal about his hunting. Get the three of them together and watch out! Because it's not good for dogs to stay amped up in intense prey drive mode for long periods of time I try to limit how long Seuss hunts, however when he's outside with the girls it's guaranteed they are going to go crazy.

Seuss, wondering why I keep calling him to me when there are rodents to be hunted.

We have an unfortunate situation with 2 of our 3 neighbors having lots of brush and crap in their back yard providing rats a place to nest. And when the rats venture into our yard via their passageway under our shed it brings great delight to the large pack of terriers waiting for them in our yard.

The shred, AKA rat passage where the dogs love to dig

I regularly have to do perimeter checks of the fence because all of them will dig to get under the fence if they see a rat scoot under. And their favorite place to dig is under the shed that I worry might completely topple over at some point if the foundation is undermined much more.

The manure bags that Seuss opened to check for rats

Apparently Seuss sniffed the rodents around several bags of steer manure I had stacked near the shed. The result was a very stinky and dirty nosed dog who had the sneezes.

Dirty nosed dog
He's all cleaned up now and I've learned my lesson. I no longer get to run into the house for coffee when the dogs are out hunting.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

2016 Northwest Rattiefest Meetup

It was the 6th annual Rattiefest on July 24th and this year Seuss attended as my terrier date for the event.
Seuss (photo by Isabel Herbruger)

Rattiefest happens each year on a Sunday in July and give adopters and foster parents a chance to chat and more importantly - to see dogs that we fostered after they've blossomed into beloved family members.

our former foster girl Hartley (photo by Isabel Herbruger)

Some that attended are quite elderly and some are newly adopted but all of them are clearly the pride and joy of their families.

our former foster boy Rigby (photo by Isabel Herbruger)
This year Seuss, now nearly 30 pounds, was the largest Rat Terrier attending. He probably was at least 10 pounds bigger than the next largest. At times it was comical to see him hanging out with a pack of 10 pound dogs begging for treats, towering above them and looking more hound than terrier.

Seuss hoping for a treat with a crowd of little Ratties

Many of the little dogs were nervous around him and he did get snapped at a lot but he was always a gentleman about it and just wandered off to see if someone else wanted to hang out with him and play.

Seuss smooches New Rattitude volunteer Diane who was visiting from California

Seuss and me - he was leashed for bit when he was getting a little excited about the two Labs in the fenced area next to our area

Because we get there early to hang up signs and are the last to leave Seuss was there nearly 4 hours and by the drive home he was exhausted and ready for a nap.

Snoozing on the drive home

If you  are interested in attending a future Rattiefest be sure to follow our New Rattitude - Washington State Facebook page since we announce the event there.

To see more photo of the event go to the 2016 Rattiefest Album. This year Isabel Herbruger was our photographer and she got some great shots! All but the last photo in this post are by Isabel.