Monday, June 25, 2012

What's Dandy been up to...

Sweet Dandy has been working on feeling more comfortable in his own skin! Dandy has been on Fluoxetine (generic Prozac) for a little over 4 weeks and we are doing a lot of touch/massage with him.  In the month he's been back, we are seeing a positive difference which is very exciting!  When Dandy was with us before it took a number of months before we saw him in a full body stretch.   It's amazing how much we take for granted that a dog can feel safe and comfortable stretching out - with Dandy every time I see this I get excited for him!

Here are some pictures this last fall of how Dandy would lay - you can see his shut down, rigid, and uncomfortable position.

Here's Dandy this past weekend. Relaxed and seeming to be comfortable.  I do think the combo of medication and touch is really helping him to move foward.  We have another TTouch session this week which is very exciting.  It's still a work in progress but, when he's stretched out and relaxed he gets lots of positive praise along with treats to mark the behavior for a job well done! More on those stuffed toys later...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Boushey has left the house...

Boushey aka Boo, went to his awesome new home last night and we are so excited for him! It was a tough night (true for every dog in Seattle) as the weather was horrible and who wants to go outside to go potty in that downpour! But, no worries Boo did great and he's spent today hanging out with his mom's, getting comfortable with his new life. I really cannot express my joy with not only how quickly he was adopted (given his age) but to the couple who adopted Boo. This was a pretty amazing match and I know that they will all complement each other, bringing out the best in each of them.  When adoptions are this great, it really brings home to me how important it is to foster a rattie that otherwise would not have had a second chance!

Update:  I heard from Boo's  moms and not only is he doing wonderful, they have stated a blog for this awesome boy!  I'm just tickled pink with how wonderful he is doing in less than 24 hours!

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Teaser...

I've been working on play with Dandy and the tail teaser has been a good tool (more on that in a later post) but, Boushey loves the tail teaser as well! So much in fact that it has to "go to sleep" otherwise there's lots of obsessing going on in Boushey's rattie mind. The toy has come in handy with our rainy days as it can tire a dog out both physically and mentally. The trick is that the human has to be quick with the teasing and often I'm not nearly as quick as Boushey!

I'm not sure what is more fun for Boushey - the tail teasing him or the game of tug once he catches the tail! Boushey may be only 6.5lbs but this boy is sturdy and can give you a good game of tug!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The tornado...

We have a lot of interactive dog toys but, this one seems to be a rattie favorite.  It's call the Dog Tornado by Nina Ottosson. As you can see it's a lot of fun and great for the rattie mind!

Boushey was very curious when I first put the game down and was baffled how to get the game started with that white bone blocking the spinning motion.

I took the white bone out and Boushey got busy!  He did awesome for his first time trying the tornado

Catty was waiting patiently for Boushey to finish and then she was ready for her turn. This is one of her favorite games and as you can see she's a tornado pro!  The game comes with 3 plastic bones for added difficulty but, one foster pup thought chewing on the bones was more fun that playing the game so now we only have one bone.  Catty says really this is as hard as you can make it?!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Boushey says good morning...

Boo is happy all the time and he loves to show you this! This sweet, sweet boy is a great guy who is always up for some love, attention or playing ball. If you're having a tough day just call on Boo as he will quickly brighten your mood!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

You go Mr. Boushey!

So I told our state coordinator we needed an easy dog given we have Dandy and are pretty busy right now. Well taa daa - we were sent Boushey, by far the easiest foster to date and I was sure that with his age he'd be with us for a while - which would have been just fine. I'm happy to say I was wrong as Boushey has found his forever home! This fun loving, happy go lucky amazing rattie will be in hog heaven as he will have a couple who's sole focus is Boushey! Boushey loves people and loves attention and we really could not ask for a better home for him. Boushey will be attending class at my favorite dog school UCLA and I have no doubt he will shine and drawn more attention to why you should rescue a dog, rat terrier's and New Rattitude! Get ready Boo, you are in for the time of your life and we could not be happier for you!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

School is NOT out for summer...

Dandy and I are heading to class tonight at University Canine Learning center (a positive based school) and boy are we excited!  Back in January, we did private lessons with tonight's instructor, working on building Dandy's confidence and it was fantastic!  University Canine Learning center also advertises our foster dogs in their newsletter so we think they are pretty awesome!

Dandy will be working on increasing the “3 D’s” of training: Distance at which we issue commands, the Duration which he is able to hold position and the level of  Distraction he is able to ignore and successfully perform for me.  Since Dandy has returned to us, his recall isn't so hot and his prey drive is in overdrive so this will be super.  Dandy will be nervous so for the first couple classes we may just be watching, treating, watching and learning. The instructor knows us and let's us move at our own pace - did I say this in an amazing place?!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Kicking it up a notch!

Boushey loves this squeaky toy and to make things interesting, I stuffed it in this awesome toy and watch what happens!  Boushey may be 8 yrs old but, man he is young at heart!  He keeps us laughing ever day with his antics & adorable fun loving personality!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dandy's TTouch session...

I took Dandy to his first TTouch session and it far exceeded my expectations! The practioner is also a positive based dog trainer so we kinda got a 2 for 1 deal which was cool. She spent the session building trust with Dandy, letting him move at his pace.  We do have homework to work on his confidence - this includes working towards putting "eye contact" on cue. Also using treat/retreat to relive pressure and to reinforce Dandy wanting to come to us for contact. On the touch side we will work up to doing slides (gently stroking) his ears, mouth and whiskers. We are also petting/stroking him with the back of our hands.

On the car ride home Dandy fell asleep and over the past couple of days we have seen a visual difference in him feeling more at ease. Way to go Dandy, we are all moving in the right direction! Here's Dandy relaxing after his TTouch session as you can see he's relaxed and stretching out. More often than not, he's usually curled up on a ball or in a rigid not so comfortable looking position. We are looking to more relaxed days for sweet Dandy boy.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

What's that squeaking...

It's Boushey and wow does he love this toy!  It's always a great feeling to watch a dog having such a great time, clearly he's loving life!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

New boy in town...

Meet fun loving Boushey (Boo-Shay)! He arrived last night and he was full of kisses and loves right out of the crate. Then it was off for a walk with Dandy & Catty of which all three were super. Once we were back home he wanted to play, play, play - someone forgot to tell him he's 8 yrs old!! I'm guessing Boushey is going to settle into foster care pretty quickly and with his good doggie manners and the fact that he's house trained we are all excited to have him join us!

Boushey is named after the Boushey Vineyard located in the Yakima Valley AVA and lots of amazing wine comes out of this vineyard and since Boushey seems to be pretty amazing himself, it's a perfect match!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Out come the boxes...

Dandy restarted nose work last night and he LOVES it! We did this with him back in October and clearly he hasn't forgotten what to do. This is a great way to build confidence, get the mind moving and it reduces his anxiety. What we are doing is super simple, very basic, it's tons of fun for Dandy and he's happy to relax when we are all done.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Dandy goes to the vet

When Dandy first came to us back in October he was pretty much a psychological mess all fear & anxiety based. He was unable to come near us for a number of days, he would stand in the corner shaking and would submissive pee when he was over his threshold. Eye contact was not possible for a month or so and then it was hit or miss depending on his worry. For Dandy all his fear and anxiety he directs internally at himself and then his body betrays him by playing out what is upsetting him. It was heartbreaking to watch and what he needed was space, time and acceptance for where he was that hour in the world. Some days were better than others but the great news was that as time went on he had way more good days than bad.  We were in awe of him and the progress he made in foster care, it was amazing how far he had come in a pretty short amount of time.  When Dandy was adopted in February he did struggle initally in his new home but, everyone knew this would happen based on how sensitive he is to change and the history of his first 3 yrs of life.  When Dandy came back to us last month, he hadn't backslid too much which was great for him.  Hoever, it was clear that his worry & anxiety was still causing him a lot of daily discomfort. In wanting to do whatever we can for Dandy, we took him to a vet who has a lot of experience with anxiety in dogs to see if we could find some relief for Dandy. We started him on Fluoxetine and we will check back in with the vet in a month to see if notice any changes for our sweet foster boy. I'm also talking to a T-Touch specialist so stay tuned for how that sorts out.

This is Dandy when he came to us in October 2011

This is Dandy today - sweet, sweet boy!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Dandy's relaxing afternoon

We took Lilo to her new mom yesterday, yeah for them!!  Then once we were home had a nice relaxing time hanging out with Dandy on the deck. It wasn't the nicest day but, Dandy was game with getting lots of loves and pets. Dandy is a very gentle soul who struggles more frequent than not, with feeling that it's ok to seek out and receive attention. A lot of our work with Dandy is letting him know that he is an important being who we want to give positive attention to. We do this with treats, lots of talking to him and tons of touch/petting. Dandy has responded well in the months we have fostered him and we are continuing to look into and try different things in working with him.

Dandy doesn't do well with people getting to close to his face, so we let him initiate it move away based on what he feels comfortable with

He needed a break from being too close & that's ok, he still gets pets & us talking to him telling him what a good boy he is.

Feeling relaxed

relaxed but curious about the crows

He's able to give another go at looking face to face with me - what a good boy!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Celilo has been adopted!!

Yippy, Lilo has been adopted! Lilo is an amazing sweet heart of a girl but, I was concerned about how quickly she would be adopted due to some issues that have come about in foster care. Lilo has a good deal of crate anxiety and severe enough that she needs to be left lose during our working hours. She also isn't potty trained so, she needed a home where someone was around a lot of the time since crating isn't an option for her. Lilo is also is pretty skittish around everything new which leads me to believe she's had very little exposure to the world prior to foster care. While she's come along way in a month, she has a ways to go. Because of this she needed a home that was willing to take the good with the bad in the socialization department. When I found about her new mom's application I was jumping for joy! Lilo's new mom adopted a rattie from New Rattitude many years ago and sadly her rattie passed away. She decided to start looking at the New Rattitude website on the same day that Lilo's bio appeared - it was love at first sight and a more than perfect match for both! Lilo's mom is an amazing lady who is retired. She loves to go on long walks and is more than excited to work with and love little Lilo! We went out for the home visit and meet and greet and it far exceeded my expectations. I couldn't be happier for both Lilo (now Pipperino AKA Pip) and her new mom, as both will enrich and compliment each other! Way to go tiny gal, without a doubt you will be a very loved, cherished and well adjusted little girl!