The week before King was to arrive, New Rattitude was contacted by a volunteer at a shelter in Oregon. The volunteer was a certified positive based trainer and she was hoping we could take a Rat Terrier out of the shelter and into foster care. This Rat Terrier had been in the shelter for over 3 months and was decompensating in the shelter environment. The dog was not showing well so her chances of being adopted out of the shelter were getting slim.
I contacted the volunteer and started asking question and not only did I get my questions answered, the volunteer also sent me a number of video's. What I saw in the video's was a dog who was stressed out and displaying maladaptive behaviors.
So, given what was going on with this dog - I wanted to make sure that King was an easy foster dog before we went into foster dog overload.
The great news was that King was super easy, one of the easiest foster dogs we've had over the years. The next step was for Brett and I to make a decision if we were up to taking on a foster dog that needed rehabilitation. As a foster home, if you are not committed to putting in the work to rehab a dog then you shouldn't foster that dog. This dog's main issue was being extremely reactive on leash when seeing/hearing dogs. When she was off leash with a dog she was rude in her behavior of greeting a dog. She would rush up on the dog and rudely sniff the dog while growling, snorting and posturing. It was clear that if the dog didn't appreciate this behavior there would be a fight that would probably end poorly.
By taking on this dog, there would likely be a requirement of a good deal of environmental management in and out of our house. There's also the possibility of us not being able to integrate this dog with Catty and D'light. Catty being the biggest concern since she too is leash reactive, will not tolerate rude behavior and she will fight if she feels threatened. Again, if a foster parent isn't fully willing to manage the environment for everyone then a dog with a presentation like this isn't a dog that should be coming into that foster home.
I'm always the one to worry and I was very worried about taking on this dog. My worry wasn't that she couldn't be adopted - lots of people want to have a one dog household. The worry was around all the work we would need to do to give her what she needs to be successful. I've been doing this long enough that I don't let my emotions be the dictating factor of taking in a foster dog. Brett on the other hand was on board to take this dog even with knowing what we would have to do if we couldn't integrate her with our dogs. After going back and forth many times in my head I decided I was committed to rehabilitating this dog as long as this dog wasn't reactive to people. We saw no indication of reactive behavior towards humans in the video's and the volunteer said she did well with people.
So, I was heading down to Oregon last weekend for a lure event with D'light and if we were going to take this dog in that was the time to do it. I contacted the shelter to let them know I was coming down to evaluate the dog and take her into foster care as long as she wasn't reactive to humans.
After meeting this dog I did walk out of the shelter with our next foster dog. The good news was that two days before I left for Oregon, King recived an super application which our amazing Adoption Coordinator was able to process the application in record time. Brett and King had the home visit over the weekend that I was in Oregon and King was heading home soon enough.
Say hello to Rediviva AKA Viva! She's a beautiful brown tri-color Rat Terrier who is 5 years old and currently weighs 19.5 pounds.
|Rediviva's shelter picture|
Her name comes from a wonderful bottle of Washington wine by Buty Winery called Rediviva of the Stones.
Stay tuned to see more of this sweet and misunderstood gal.