Sunday, May 25, 2014

Torii has been adopted!

Again we have another amazing adopter! This one is for Torii and she's all set for a wonderful new life.  Torii's new mom adopted from New Rattitude a number of years ago and she adopted a hard to place dog.  Her sweet rattie boy had a wonderful life and sadly he passed away due to kidney failure.  We were thrilled when we found out she was interested in Torii! 

We've actually know of her interest in Torii for some time but, we wanted to sort out Torii's medical issues before adopting her out.  Her new mom was extremely  patient and accompanied us to our last vet visit for Torii - which as you read was a great vet visit.

Torii's new mom is a wonderful woman and she wanted to again adopt a hard to place dog and that's Torii.  Due to Torii's age, the fact that she is on anticonvulsant medication and she's still pretty touch aversive - this makes her a tough dog to adopt out.  And yet none of this dissuaded Torii's new mom. Pretty amazing if you ask me!

Torii's new mom is all about honoring & allowing Torii to be Torii.  She's excited to pick up on the work we started with Torii.  I have no doubt with time and patience Torii is going to do fabulous.  Her golden years will truly be golden!

So happy new life to Torii! Her adoption reminds us that there is often adopter out there for dogs with a variety of things going on for them.  We just need to be patient and good things will  happen!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Torii's vet visit

Torii has continued on anticonvulsant medication and to the best our knowledge she's been seizure free!  This is great news for Torii.  We headed back to the vet for blood work to determine the level of medication in her body and to do another senior blood screen panel.   

More fantastic news - her blood work is amazing and comparing it to her last two screens she's really made a ton of progress.  I'm guessing that a variety of things have brought about this great blood screen - getting the excess weight off her, not having humans grabbing at her/forcing her to do things (so a reduction in stress & anxiety) and getting on medication to help her body reach stability.

Checking out the exam room

Torii is very popular at the vet office and I LOVE Urban Animal!  They are very gentle and sweet with her and she is all about taking treats and going up to offer "touch".  Way to go Torii, you are an amazing rattie girl!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Brain game for Torii

Torii has frequently surprised me with how much she loves puzzles. Here she is in an earlier post of Torii and the kongs  As you can see, Torii excels at "brain games"! 

This is a strange looking kong!

You can see her trying to figure out the puzzle


She quickly figures out that flipping it releases the treats

And she's now a puzzle master - watch her work!

"That was a ton of fun!"

Monday, May 19, 2014

Torii's post bath photo shoot

Torii had a bath over the weekend and she did amazing!  All our work together around building trust is really paying off.  After bath time, Torii hopped up on the crate to dry off and relax - perfect time for some pretty pictures of this sweet girl.
Lovely Torii

"What's up foster mom?!"

Deep in thought

Watching the bird outside

One of my favorite pictures of Torii

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Torii's weight loss journey - Part 2

We are happy to report that Torii is now at her goal weight of 12.6lbs.  She looks great and clearly feels much better.  Torii motors around, she can get up and down stairs pretty quickly and her breathing has improved. She's also become a pretty spry girl earning herself the nickname "Busy" - she's such a terrier!

You saw in the post   that Torii likes broccoli.  She also likes diced up fruit and other veggies.  She certainly doesn't think she's been on a weight loss plan!
apple, blueberry, nectarine, peas, green beans, cucumber & zucchini

I give Torii a little less than 1/4 cup of chopped up fruits and veggies.  I give her a variety for a couple of reasons:

1) to give her choice of  trying new items - seems Torii likes everything!

2) I like her to try out different textures as that works her brain. I'm always looking for ways to mentally stimulate Torii and this seems to be a nice addition.

3) fruits & veggies are good for dogs and they help her to feels full
She chooses some cucumber


back to eating

Goal weight photo and Torii is feeling & looking great!

If you are wondering what NOT to feed your dog  here's a great illustration by Lili Chin 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Torii's weight loss journey - Part 1

When Torii entered the shelter in January 2014 her intake weight was a bit over 16 pounds. When I saw her mid February she'd lost a little weight but, she was clearly overweight. I was pretty sure that the extra pounds contributed to her uncomfortable looking movement of walking.  As you know Torii was adopted out of the shelter and then quickly returned.  She was placed in observation at the shelter for a number of weeks before she came into foster care with us. During that time she lost some more weight which was good for her overall health but, she still had some weight to loose.

Having extra weight on dog isn't good for any dog and here's a link talking about some of the Health Risks in Overweight or Obese Dogs  For Torii the extra weight impacted her breathing, she was lethargic, her mobility was affected and she had trouble getting up and down stairs. We also know that extra weight affects organs as well so, no doubt that was going on too.  

Physically, Torii has had a rough life and one of the best things we could easily do for her was to get the excess weight off her.  So, once Torii arrived into foster care, we began our plan of getting weight off of her little body frame.  

During Torii's weight loss she has enjoyed eating her meals out of kongs,  she's tried out a number of steamed & raw veggies which she thinks are amazing. We also use training treats and break those down into small pieces and she's perfectly happy with a small treat as you can see in this post Torii working on hand targeting.

Here's one of her meals - stuffed kongs, steamed broccoli drizzled with coconut oil


Working the Kong

"All done and it was fantastic!"

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A special gift for Torii

Back in April one of our foster parents met up with Girl Scout Troop 42263 in Burien, Washington. They spoke about rat terriers, animal rescue and fostering.  It was a great time for all and kuddo's to our foster parent who took the time to talk to this group providing education and a fun time with two cute NR foster puppies!  To see the blog post here's the link: Girl Scout Time

After the meet up, the troop made our Northwest foster dogs all a cozy bed and fun braided chew toys - a bed for each active foster home and a chew toy for each of our current foster dogs! Pictured are Troop members Olivia and Isabelle who made the delivery. Thanks guys!!

Lots of wonderful beds and toys!
And look who's enjoying her bed...

"Is this for me?"
"This sure is soft"

"And cozy"
"It's rat-tastic!"
"I love it!"

Many thanks to Girl Scout Troop 42263 for you generosity and kindness to our foster dogs!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Royal has been adopted!

And Royal's new dad is a very special guy! 
Royal's new dad adopted a very hard to place New Rattitude dog named Langley. Sadly Langley passed away and in his honor the "Langley Fund" was created and is funded by his dad.  The purpose of the fund is to provide consultation & assistance to foster dogs struggling with behavioral issues in foster care.   Given what was going on with Royal's indoor noise anxiety we took advantage of the Langley Fund and Royal's life has been positively impacted.  Many thanks to Royal's new dad for his generosity in creating the Langley Fund. 
Royal's new dad inquired about Royal and after talking back and forth, then a great visit to Orcas Island - Royal had himself a spectacular new dad. I really could not have dreamed up a better dad and home for Royal. His new dad is gentle, kind and has experience with anxious rat terriers. The bonus in all of this is that his dad lives on 4 + acres and 1 acre is fully fenced.  So, Royal will have lots of room to explore the outdoors. Royal's dad is semi retired, spends a lot of time outside working in his garden and having a buddy around is going to be amazing for both of them.
This is a dream home for Royal - the sweet and amazing rattie who is going to be loved, understood and cared for.  He's going to be a busy boy as there are lots adventures awaiting him and they will also be participating in a number of positive based training classes.
Happy life to you sweet Royal and to your new dad.  You are both amazing and we look forward to hearing about your progress and adventures!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Royal's big adventure

Royal and I had a date on Orcas Island and in the 15 years we've lived in Washington, I've never been to the San Juan Islands. So this was adventure for both of us!
We arrived early for the ferry as I did not want to miss it.  Next one was in 5 hours out and that would have been bad for a variety of reasons.  So, we arrived early, I parked my car in line and out we went to explore.
So much to smell!

Royal isn't interested in the view or of the ferry in the background

"This is pretty cool foster mom!"
Oh and D'light came along since one of his favorite things in the world is going for a car ride.  You'd never guess that when he came to us back in 2011 that riding in a car was an awful experience for him.
Royal says "Lets go! There tons of cool stuff down this path!"

Royal having a super time with so much to take in!

Royal doing great and D'light's terrier button of "I want to get that bird" is turning on.

We started walking back up the hill and D'light is in full terrier hunt mode.  

"I will get you even if you are not in this grass"

Crazy D'light - when he gets into this hunting mode it's a challenge to reel him in!

Royal stays close to me and wonders what D'light's problem is!

"I don't see anything..."

Royal tries to help D'light out but again - no birds in the grass!

Royal tires of this nonsense and he's ready to go up the hill  

Tall grass is no problem

"Where's Royal?"

"I'm here foster mom"

"Here I come!"

Monday, May 12, 2014

Off to Nose Work we go - Part 2

Here was week one Royal tries out Nose Work and if you watch the video you can see that while Royal is working, his body is pretty tight in movement due to being nervous in the environment.  

And Royal at week two and what a difference in Royal - notice no belly band on!

Royal doing great and then what's that?  It was hot this day and there was a fan going in the class.  None of us noticed it but, Royal did.  The great news is that he was able to hear and see the fan and then keep working.  Good job Royal.

Still working and there a noise that the box makes has he sticks his head in.  The noise is from his body touching the box.  He recovers well and moves toward the "find" which is food on top of a container.

And more good work - the box that startled him, he was able to go back check it out, move on and find the container with the food.

Royal ready for more Nose Work!

Both Torii and Royal have done really well in Nose Work!  Many thanks to our amazing instructor Erica for giving each of them what they need during class to be successful.  I would say both dogs have an increase in confidence because of Nose Work.  And both dogs had fun doing what dogs do - searching with their nose and locating the find.  Way to go you silly ratties!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

How's Royal doing?

Royal has been on anti-anxiety medication for a couple days shy of a month.  The medication in conjunction with force free training and counter conditioning/desensitization has been working really well.  When we are home, Royal is no longer wearing belly bands and he's generally more relaxed and comfortable in the house.    
Good looking boys!
One thing with recording our foster dogs is that we can look back to see their progress.  The below videos are of Royal 1.5 weeks into our care. You can see how he would startle with different noises in the house and my body movements towards him.  I've never experienced a dog that was so scared of the noise in the house.
 Royal startling 1 - he was uncomfortable with my hand movements and of me tossing a treat and the treat hitting the floor.
 Royal startling 2 - he's uncomfortable with the squeaking of my shoe.
Now fast forward to yesterday and he's a different dog!   You can't see me but, you can hear me and I am moving around in a very animated way.  Royal says no problem and joins in!

Look at his tail position - it's not tucked or hooked which has been typical in the house.  

And more fun times!  Silly rattie boy and I love how he calms himself down quickly and goes into that beautiful sit with lovely eye contact.  Royal is a dog that connects very deeply with his person. And yes, Royal loves to go for walks.

Ready to go
Lovely Royal
So, Royal still needs ongoing work with his indoor noise sensitivity but, he's now on a great path forward.   I have no doubt with ongoing force free training, counter conditioning/detestation & medication Royal is going to blossom into an even more amazing boy!
I personally think Royal is an amazing dog.  He's taught me a ton and reminded me that every dog is unique.  I will always be grateful with how he has touched my life and that we've made progress helping him to be all he wants to be.