Monday, December 31, 2012

A trip down 2012 memory lane - part 2

This adorable 4 month old 4lb boy was a last minute rescue.  Our volunteer went into a not very large and crowded shelter to rescue a different dog and she then called our state coordinator asking of we were able to rescue this little boy as well as the other rattie.  We said yes and out came 2 pups that were to be euthanized within hours.  The shelters get a bad rap for how quickly dogs are put down but, really that's not the problem - the problem is that people need to spay and neuter their animals.  If that happened the shelters wouldn't be flooded to the gills with animals that have been tossed aside.
Champoux coming out of the shelter
Champoux aka Poux was with us for a short period of time and he was fantastic.  Poux's personality was to die for - full of love and he kept us laughing all the time. 

Champoux in foster care
Poux was adopted by a couple who was connected to our PNW facebook page.  They had joined our page watching for the right pup and once Poux hit the page they sent in their application. This was a great match knowing that Poux was going to get lots of ongoing socialization (which a puppy of his age needed) and a great set of parents and four legged sister to boot.  Poux gets, around - he goes to the beach, visits with lots of people and he has lots of playmates as you can see below.   This little boy is lucky to have found such an amazing family!

Champoux loving his new life!


Boushey who had been in a shelter for a while (he was a staff favorite which is always a good thing for a dog).  He was rescued and it was planned for him to go to a different foster home but, we needed a low key foster since Dandy had been returned to us.  Boushey being 7-8 yrs old we figured he would be perfect for our open foster spot and the move was made to bring him up to us.  While Boushey is 7-8 yrs old this boy has a lot of get up and go along with an amazing personality.  Boushey loves all people, is great with other dogs and was house trained.  I can't figure out why he was in the shelter but, I'm sure he was passed over because of his age.  This is sad and happens a lot, people think a 7-8yr old rattie is old and it's not.  Rattie's can live 16+ years.  Anyone that meets Boushey is shocked by his age - he's a good example of how amazing a rattie of his age can be!  Clearly his adopters thought so as he was only with us for a couple of weeks.

Boushey in foster care
If anyone ever says you can't teach an adult dog new tricks well, they've never met Boushey AKA Boo!  This boy has been very busy since being adopted - he mastered a positive based doggie class and he and his parents have been busy learning lots of new tricks and together.  Boo is a total ham and everyone who meets him loves him.  Boo often gets to go to work with his mom and as you can see he's a busy boy   How fun that his has his own blog!

Boo enjoying a trip to the San Juan Islands
Lucky Boo with his adoring parents!

I've been amazing this year with how many very young puppies were not going to make it out of the shelter system.  Again because of the overwhelming amount of dogs (puppies and adults) in the shelter, there just are not enough adopters. So many perfectly normal, well adjusted and lovable dogs just don't make it out.  I've heard people say "I don't want a shelter dog because something must be wrong with it".  What people don't understand is that the majority of the time there's nothing wrong with the dog.  What we are dealing with is an over population problem and lack of responsibility by humans.  This is no doubt why Kerloo found himself in a high kill shelter.  I'm sure someone got him as a cute puppy and then got tired caring for a pup so dumped him.  Everyone who meets Kerloo loves him - he's affectionate, well socialized and an all around awesome boy! 
Kerloo's shelter picture
Kerloo was like many of our foster pups - just a treat to foster!  He was easy going, did great with Catty and Dandy and liked being a part of what was going on.  Kerloo was with us for a very short time as we had a past adopter who was looking for a young rattie.  Once they heard about Kerloo they knew he was the boy for them! 

Kerloo in foster care
Kerloo is now Kirby and he's doing rat-tastic, and as you can see he loves his sister.  Kerloo and his rattie brother Hoagie (NR alum) are keeping everyone on their toes and there are many laughs in the house with two young rats in the house!
Kirby and his sister!
 As I've been saying, and you can see from Dunham's shelter picture there are a lot of dogs in the shelter system.  Back in May our PNW team began working to rescue dogs from shelters in the Central Valley of California.  We have a wonderful NR volunteer who goes into the shelters finding us ratties in need of foster care. Not a job I could do!  The poverty level in this CA area is extreme.  3 of their cities rank in the top 5 highest poverty rates in the nation – and dogs that end up in the shelters there don’t have much of a chance of making it out. We focus on that area due to the high euthanization rate at the shelters (different sources put the rate in Fresno at roughly 72%  - a little higher and lower depending on who you ask) and the large number of Rat Terriers that would die there without rescue. Read more about the Central Valley and its struggle with poverty here
Dunham's shelter pic
Dunham was a great foster and he was amazing with Dandy.  Dunham was the type of dog that was quickly able to adjust his play style and energy to the dog at hand.  He was one of the first foster dogs that Dandy actively sought out to engage with.  Again no big shock that Dunham wasn't with us for long - he received 5 applications in less than 72 hours.

These three NR dogs (Dunham, Ursa & Catty) won the March page in the 2013 New Rattitude Calendar contest!
Dunham has been doing wonderful in his new home - he mom is often at home with him, he gets to go all over the place visiting people and other dogs.  Best of all is that he and his very shy/nervous four legged brother are best friends.  Dunham's brother Oliver is now a playing fiend since Dunham has arrived - good job Dunham for helping him!  Sounds like a pretty great time for both boys!

Dunham plays hard and sleeps hard!



Sunday, December 30, 2012

A trip down 2012 memory lane - part 1

In our second year of fostering, we've fostered and found amazing homes for 16 dogs this year!  In our first year we fostered 7 dogs so we really kicked it into gear in 2012.  We've had ratties of all different colors, sizes, personality and ages.  Here's a look back at these sweet pups, each of them touched our lives and we were happy to play a role in helping them.  As you can see it takes more than just a foster parent to help rescue these dogs so, I'm forever grateful to all the volunteers (in and outside of NR) who have helped so much with the goal of saving a dogs life!
We actually fostered Jasper back in 2010, he was 1 of 15 puppies that New Rattitude rescued from a midwest puppy mill. At 4 months he was considered to old to be sold so he and the others needed rescue or they were going to be destroyed. To read the amazing rescue story check this out
Jasper right of transport 5/10
 If anyone ever needed a reason to not purchase a puppy from pet store,  they need to look no further than Jasper.  He was anxious when he came to us at 4 months old and we figured a lot of that was due to his age and his limited life experience.  He was adopted by a wonderful lady and Jasper was never away from a human for more than 5 hours. Sadly that was too much time away for little Jasper's brain and his anxiety became worse and developed into a full blown very severe separation anxiety.  I do believe that his severe anxiety is due to inbreeding on top of bad breeding and probably environmental factors during his first months of life while living in a puppy mill.  Despite Jasper's adopter trying all that she could to help Jasper it wasn't enough and he was returned to us in the fall of 2011. 
Jasper in foster care 1/12
Jasper really struggled with being back in foster care due to our schedules. We tried medication to work on his anxiety and it did nothing to ease his anxiety.  Given we were not a good foster spot for Jasper the plan was to move him to another foster home, a nice retired couple who were already fostering with New Rattitude.  After about a week his new foster parents decided to adopt Jasper.  Jasper's parents are both rarely gone for more than a couple of hours and Jasper has blossomed in his now furever home.   Jasper is a wonderful little boy who just needs a lot of human presence and I'm forever grateful to his parents for adopting this little boy who really needed them.
Jasper at home 10/12
 Notice how softness in his face compared to the top two picture. The top pictures are of a stressed out anxious dog and this one shows what finding him the right home did for Jasper's mental health!

Pixie was in the very large Los Angeles County animal control system and we had to move pretty quickly to rescue her as time was up for this young gal.  It was actually a huge ordeal - when we agreed to take her we found out that she was really sick with an upper respiratory infection and likely wasn't going to recover.  We reached out to one of our CA NR foster parents who was able to work with the shelter to move Pixie to a smaller shelter where she could be treated and held until we could find a "temp" spot for her as she was to sick to come up on transport.  Pixie was a lucky girl to have so many people advocating to save her - after being moved to the smaller shelter and getting some medication in her system, our CA foster parent "temped" Pixie for almost 2 weeks getting her better so she could get up here to us.  She was still pretty sick and ground transport wasn't an option for Pixie.  Our state coordinator reached out to an Alaska Airline flight attendant that she knew and that flight attendant flew Pixie in cabin up to Sea-Tac.  Thanks again to so many volunteers who worked tirelessly to get Pixie to Washington!
Below is Pixie's shelter video
 Pixie was a real treat to foster, she did great with Catty and has a great, gentle personality!  As you can see Pixie is also beyond adorable and always ready to give a kiss or snuggle.
Pixie in foster care

Pixie was adopted pretty quickly which isn't a shocker as she's an amazing gal.  Pixie is now Olive and she's doing wonderful and her parents love her very much.  Olive has completed basic doggie school and we've seen this cutie at many of our rat terrier meet ups.  Her best friend is her sister Hazel who is a big sweet cat.  Such a great life for a wonderful rattie!
Olive on TV - her mom sent in this picture of her and she was pet of the week!

Visiting with Olive & her parents at a rat terrier meet up

We found out about Darby by the CA foster parent who temped Pixie.... Darby was also in the very large Los Angeles County animal control.  The numbers at that shelter system are staggering, hundreds upon hundreds of dog and cats are euthanized due to lack of shelter space.  Darby's only way out of this shelter was rescue only - because she was blind. My husband and I decided we would rescue Darby and gave the go ahead to get her out and up to Washington.  Here's where it got complicated...  When dogs come into the shelter they scan them for a microchip, when dogs go out of the shelter they scan them again.  There was no chip detected when Darby was brought in but, when our volunteer was checking out they found a microchip.  The shelter called the person listed on the chip and left a message.  By law the shelter cannot release the animal for 10 day, giving the person that time to come and pick up their dog.  The problem was that Darby was coming unglued in the shelter.  She was screaming with all the noise and decompensating quickly.  The volunteer found some information on the person Darby was registered to was able to make contact with them.  What we found out was that they got Darby as a puppy, she was born blind which they didn't know at the time and they eventually got tired of dealing with her since they had a number of small children.  They gave Darby to someone "a while" ago and had no idea how to contact that person.  Our volunteer explained all that was going on and begged them to drive to the shelter to sign paperwork "releasing" Darby so that she could get out of the shelter and up to Washington.  Fortunately the people did this and Darby was sprung!  Darby is roughly 3-4 yrs old.
Darby leaving the shelter with the volunteer

Our main challenge with Darby was that she and Catty did not get along so they had to be separated at all times. Another struggle for Darby was that she was noise reactive so being fostered in the city was rough on her.  Outside of this two issue, Darby was wonderful - super sweet, full of personality and highly functional despite being blind. 

Darby is the reason I started blogging - I needed people to see all of Darby and what she was capable of.   The blog is the reason Darby (and many of our other foster dogs) have been adopted.  Using this tool I can show and talk a lot about the dog and an applicant/adopter can see the journey the dog has been on while in foster care. 
Darby in foster care
When Darby's dad applied for her we were so excited we could hardly stand it.  We had no idea at the time how amazing he was going to be for Darby.  Darby is now living the live of a country girl in Sequim - she goes all over the place with her dad and rattie brother "Butch". She's a well adjusted non reactive dog thanks to the hard work from her dad.   I honestly don't think we could have picked a better home for this full of life rattie girl.  Darby is a pistol and that's one of many reasons her dad adores her.

We went out to visit in August - in the center of the picture is Darby "keeping watch"
Here's Darby doing what she does best, rolling with life and having a blast.  She loves to sit in her spot on the ATV while they canvas their 30 acres (her dad rescues horses)!


Tiny Celilo was what is a common theme for many of our foster dogs.  A young (she was 8 months old) stray pup in an overcrowded shelter who's time was running out.  After the shelter drama with Pixie and Darby I was happy that we were drama free with getting Celilo up to Washington.

Celilo's shelter picture
 Celilo was a pretty under socialized little gal who did a lot of fear barking.  Celilo also had a good dose of crate anxiety, she was not fully potty trained and was a baby gate climber!  Once she realized we were ok it was all loves and kisses but, there certainly was a warming up period.  We quickly realized that she needed a special kind of adopter.  Someone who would be patient and do a lot of work around socialization.  Lucky for Celilo that person came along pretty quickly!
Celilo in foster care

 When we went out for the home visit and it was about what I expected -  no touching, some growling all fear based and directed and her future mom.  This however didn't scare of Celilo's new mom and I was over the moon that this little gal found such an amazing mom. 
Celilo is now Pinkie, living on Vashon Island with her loving mom.  Pinkie struggled at first but, her mom just kept taking it day by day and before long Pinkie was head over heals in love with her mom and all the people who were giving her yummy treats.  I'm happy to report that Pinkie is now a poster child for an under socialized fearful dog turning into a well socialized, confident little girl.  Thanks to her mom Pinkie has learned and believes that humans can be good to her and that life is pretty amazing. These are clearly two very special gals that were meant to be together.

Pinkie loving her mom and life!



Saturday, December 29, 2012

This post is for Mr. D's fan club

We often try to buy at least one loud obnoxious toy for my niece and nephew - knowing my sister and brother in-law will enjoy the noise (hee, hee).  Well this year looks like there's a case of turn about is fair play!  Check out the new toys...    
"I love this plastic chicken"
At first I thought no problem, D hates loud squeaky toys and since there's no food in it, Catty also won't be interested. As you can see, my sister is the one laughing now! 

While this toy is beyond annoying, I find myself smiling that D can have fun with a toy that even a couple of months ago would have been too scary for him!

"Mine, mine, all mine!"

Meet the laughing koala bear

"Who's laughing now?"

Friday, December 28, 2012

Yippy, Balboa has been adopted!!

And he's been adopted by an amazing guy who is excited and ready to pick up where we left on with Balboa's socialization.   While Balboa is a very loving little boy, he gets worried in new situations and with new people.  Because of that he doesn't "show" well.  When we met his new dad, Balboa was pretty scared but, his dad gave him lots of space and didn't push him to interact.  It's pretty amazing when an applicant wants to adopt a dog they can't touch at the meet up! After we left the meet up we were keeping fingers crossed hoping this adoption would work out for Balboa.  We knew this was the kind of adopter that Balboa needed.  I cannot tell you how excited we were when we heard that this super guy wanted to adopt Balboa. We have no doubt that with time and patience, Balboa is not only going to be a well socialized boy but, he will fall head over heals in love with his dad.  I always tell adopters that we strive to fit the dog to the adopter and vs. a versa.  This is certainly true here. Balboa needed a special kind of human to adopt him and we are lucky to have helped play a very small part in Balboa's rescue journey of finding the right adopter for him. 

So we can't wait to hear about updates for this sweet little pearl colored rattie and his dad.  There's sure to be lots going on and with each adventure Balboa will continue to grow into the well socialized boy we all know he can and wants to be!

We are very happy to report that because Balboa's new dad chose to adopt rather than buy a dog,  he created the space for another dog to be saved. Each applicant who adopts has saved two lives: the one they adopt, and the one that gets to move into that open foster spot they created by adopting a rescue. So Balboa goes home tomorrow and that means space for us to rescue and foster another throw away rattie.  
Happy new life sweet boy - may you world be full of toys, bones and love!

Here's a peak at our next boy Gramercy. He (and Reynvaan) will be arriving January 4th.  I cannot believe how much he looks like our Catty girl.  Gramercy is a type B rattie, said to be about 2 yrs old and around 13lbs. We are very excited to meet this little boy!

Gramercy named after a great winery in Washington State

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Busy day

I have a very full day with no time for much of a blog post but.... make sure to stay tuned for tomorrows post as I have some amazing new for two very special dogs.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

One last adventure before heading home

Before heading back to Seattle, the boys had one last romp around the property.  We had two very tired ratties who are now back to being city boys!
Looking for birds...
or moles

"I'm on it!"

Lots of sights and smells

Balboa wonders where the squirrel went...
One last run for the boys

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Balboa meets my 2yr old niece & a bunch of strangers

As many of you have gathered, our main goal with Balboa has been socialization and exposure.  Yesterday this sweet boy experienced my dog crazed niece Olivia.  Olivia is very respectful of dogs (her family fosters for New Rattitude as well) so we knew this would be a excellent kid intro for Balboa.  As expected Balboa was pretty nervous but, he was trying really hard to be brave. 
Not only did Balboa meet my niece but, there were also 5 new strangers and he did remarkably well.  There was lots of new noises and new smell and Balboa was cautiously curious with all the new experiences.  Balboa did get pretty nervous when my niece and nephew were running around but, that was to be expected.  We monitored Balboa and did give him some timeouts in his covered crate. As you can see from the video's he was a real trooper and while he was worried, he certainly wanted to be around what was going on.  With ongoing structured and supervised exposure and socialization, Balboa is going to be an amazing little rattie!
Balboa meeting Olivia.  I think he was more worried about all the noise than Olivia.

Taking treats but, oh the noise!
  "I kinda like this treat machine, expect when it starts dancing."  One fear bark and a back away was how Balboa reacted to the unpredictable behavior of small kids. Better than we expected!
Lots of people, noise and activity but, Balboa did pretty well.
Taking it all in while sitting on foster dad's lap


Presents for the pups!!

Look, it's the toys they picked out at the store - it's like they are brand new.  As you can see both boys (and Catty) like thier new toys!
I love them both!

Well maybe this one I love more...

or this one - who know they are both a lot of fun!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas comes early with a yummy treat!

Do you think the dogs were excited for tracheas? 
Balboa holds his with both paws

D goes into downward dog to work his!

Catty just gets down to chewing!

Does someone else have a bigger one than me??

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Having a rat-tastic time!

True to Balboa, once he has a good experince, he adapts and really enjoys himself.  While I think Balboa has spent a lot of time living outside, I dont' think he's ever experinced all the trees, moss and twigs of the Pacfic Northwest.  As you can see this boy is born to live in our climate!

 Brave Balboa taking the lead to explore!
Balboa was the first one on this huge rock
Both boys taking in the view
watching for birds
D sees something
 Balboa off to see what's out there!
 Up the hill the boys go...
 and then down the hill!
Too many sticker bushes
Despite the rain, the boys exploring the summer garden
 Lets do it all again!
Balboa was tired but, was trying to help while foster mom wrote this post!

Happy, sleepy boy!