I volunteer for New Rattitude Rat Terrier Rescue
Helping to find rescued Ratties in need their second chance at life in good fit forever homes.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sierra Makes Progress in Small But Many Steps

In my last post you read about how Sierra started swim therapy to help with her post luxating patella surgery. Another part of her therapy includes lots of walking and this is another thing she really enjoys. Sierra is always up for getting in her crate in the car and heading out to go for a walk. I hope you can see in the videos how she is letting her leg hang down while she walks and also she does a little air stepping. She still does not usually let the foot touch down, but this is progress from her first walks with us where she held the leg up much tighter to her side. We still believe that with swim therapy and walking and stretching she will be using the leg, we just don't know when, but we have faith it will happen.

I managed to get a couple of photos of her today too and out of the many that we took a couple came out pretty well.

This is a photo that demonstrates Sierra's mistrust of the camera. I really don't like seeing her this way, poor girl.

In this picture I was able to snap before she noticed as she was checking out the smells and sights on the trail. Such a pretty girl.
Foster dad managed to get this one as she stopped to check something out.

With so many spring sights, smells, and sounds everyone had a different idea on what to focus their attention on.
These videos are short as Sierra would be on to me recording her and so she would turn around and stop walking. I don't know how she knew I was recording as the video recorder is silent! Anyhow I think you will be able to see what I mean about her using her left leg as if she were walking with it but not touching the foot down. I am hoping that in the near future she will be using all four. That is our wish for her.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sierra Gives J Linn Two Paws UP at SplashDog!

As I explained in an earlier post our sweet foster girl Sierra is post luxating patella surgery and she just was not really progressing like we would like. This is not because the surgery was botched or anything, it is merely that she has dealt with the pain of her luxating patella for a good part of her life, about a year and a half, and because of that she has walked on three legs very proficiently and has a lot of muscle in her good rear leg. So when she has pain in her left rear leg she naturally wants to avoid that so she just continues to do what she has always done and walk on three legs. We have been working on stretching her leg but we needed help. I had heard of swim therapy for dogs before so I set out to find someone who did this kind of work within driving distance from our home. I am so happy to have landed on SplashDog in Edmonds, WA.

Today Sierra had her very first session and it was awesome! I had tears in my eyes for much of the time. J Linn the therapist has wonderful dog skills. Sierra who can understandably be a bit shy took some time to feel comfortable with this new place. J Linn did not push her, perfect. Once we had the paperwork filled out and had talked a bit Sierra went and sat on the pillow next to J Linn. I wish I had a picture but we are still working on camera shyness and I didn't want to give Sierra anything else she had to worry about.

The next thing was for J Linn to introduce Sierra to the pool and again, she did this with the utmost reverence, peace and patience. Nothing was forced, nothing was hurried. Sierra was so cute in her arms listening to her soft words and slowly getting more and more wet. The pool temperature is set at the perfect temperature for dogs and everything about the experience was relaxing and calm.

Once Sierra was fully in the water J Linn did some gentle palpating to feel her muscles and Sierra was fine with this. Then it was time to swim. And boy did Sierra show us! She was like a little fish. She did a few laps and then to our excitement she really started to use both her back legs equally. She did so well!

Later on in the day we took the dogs out for a walk and to our surprise Sierra's leg hung straighter and her foot was so much closer to the ground. The best of all......she took 4 steps on the foot. We had not seen her do this while walking before. Yay Sierra! We signed her up for 5 more sessions and are hoping to get her on her way to using that leg so that she can go to her forever home and be out of pain for good.

SplashDog can be found here.

I want to thank Sierra for letting me film her. She was not as worried about the video camera as the regular camera. (Also a big thanks to J Linn for letting me share video of her work)

In the above clip Sierra was doing so well going around the pool following Dave. When I was trying to video her I threw her off so she is trying to turn toward me. Sorry Sierra for goofing you up.
When Sierra was back out of the pool I wasn't sure if she would want to bolt or what. But she didn't! She went back around to look for J Linn. We think she really enjoyed her swimming today and we look forward to our next session in a week!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Sierra! Let's talk about Sierra!

With Moon safely in her forever home it is time to tell you all about little Sierra. Here is her story. Sierra is another rescue from Central CA shelter system, and I believe she was a stray that no one claimed and her time was up as no one stepped up to adopt her, so she was brought into New Rattitude and our wonderful Lynn who finds these dogs and temps them and gets them to the transport van was able to pull her in the nick of time.

Sierra had a very bad luxating patella on her left hind leg. She is about 1 1/2 years old and it was so bad that she apparently never used the leg due to pain, poor thing. When she was rescued by New Rattitude she was given the opportunity to have surgery to correct this and get her out of the pain she was in. Because she never really used the leg the muscle has atrophied, that coupled with the post surgery tightness makes getting her to straighten the leg and put weight on it a real challenge. After all she has lived as a tri-pawed dog for her life as far as we can tell.

Our job is to help her gain strength in that leg and to also be the bad guys and keep working on stretching it, which is challenging because she doesn't like us to stretch it. But we have other ideas up our sleeve and so I will post about her journey getting used to being a quad pawed dog. Sierra really is a love and a gentle spirit as you will see in future posts about her budding personality.

One other challenge is she does NOT like her picture to be taken so I am going to have my work cut out for me. We'll get there though. Bear with me as so far I don't have a lot of pictures to show how adorable she is yet.

She loves to go for walks, she has logged 20 miles with is so far in less than a week.

Here is a good picture that shows the way she normally holds her little leg up.

Here is a video of her getting to know the pack, including Yoshi who was here with us at the time. She was super friendly and no one was concerned about her at all! She just fit right in.

Saying Farewell and Letting Go

Moon is going Home. As foster parents we are the conduit for these wonderful rescued ratties between possible death and their loving forever homes. We get attached to all of the dogs who's care is entrusted to us by New Rattitude and we don't feel we have favorites as each one is a song in the making. The dogs who come to us with little baggage are easy to let go of when it is time. We know they will forget all about their short stint with us and be happy as clams when they are united with their adopters and begin their happy new life. Then there are those dogs who needed more from us than a place to hang out until the right family comes along. Moon is one of those dogs. When she first arrived and was so terrified of everything new we weren't exactly sure how things would turn out. As you have read in previous posts, things are turning out just wonderfully for Moon. We also know she is bonded to us and she will be making one more transition that will rock her little world for just a bit. That is the hardest part. We have to let go and keep in our hearts and minds the fact that she will succeed. She will be ok. She will go even further with her forever mom that she even went with us! How exciting for her and we can't wait for the updates on all the cute things she does.

People often ask me "how can you foster dogs then let them go?". Believe me it isn't because we are heartless or have no feeling or emotion, it is because we believe in what we are doing. That we are a safe and calm channel for these scared and thrown away dogs to rest and get their bearings. We are that soft spot for them to be, and we have the home and time to give. I let people know that we do keep a piece of every dog with us in our hearts. And when one is adopted and goes "home" it opens up a spot for another dog to take a rest, to pause for a bit and catch her breath, to get cleaned up and some decent food in her belly, and some time to walk out doors and just be.

Because of a sundry of reasons there are many many ratties (and every other breed of dog) who are on death row right now. They are scared and dirty and hurting either physically, emotionally, or both. This knowledge is what keeps us going. This is how we can let go of these little beings of pure potential with a kiss on the mouth and a smile on our face. Seeing how happy the adopters are is also a wonderful joy. Many of them have lost dogs and are craving to have that companionship once again. Others are adopting a dog for the first time and are nervous and excited at the same time. I love to get the report from adopters who never had a dog before and how in love they are with their new family member and can't imagine a life without their new baby. Will we feel it when we say goodbye to Moon? Of course! Is it worth it to have fostered her even if it hurts to let go? Absolutely! And we will do it again and again and again.........

Moon scores with some of her favorite things to take "home" with her.

She loves the Fish toy with the eggs inside, she is the only one who gets the eggs out so she gets to take it home with her. What a rich personality this girl turned out to have.

Moon, New Rattitude tag #1085, that is, she is the 1085 rescued dog since NR began 4 years ago.

We love Moon's new found confidence. Love you baby girl, you're gonna do great!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

This House is a MESS!

A Rattie mess!!!!!!

What happened? It looks like a rattie and toy bomb went off in here today!

Birdie on dog bed, then clockwise, Liza, Sage, Jenny Boo, Moon, and Skittles is visiting!
But where is Skip?????

You guessed it, with Blue, waiting for someone to play.
Sierra was on to me with the camera and all I got was this picture.

She is not making it easy to get pictures of her sweet little self. I was even trying to be sneaky. I will get some though.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Moon Shares Her Progress and Has Some Good News

We are so lucky we got to be Moon's foster parents. In just 6 weeks she went from a timid, fearful, and suspicious girl, to a silly, sassy, playful, loving, snuggly, and much more confident pure personality rattie girl. She allowed us the chance to hone our skills of developing a relationship with a dog like her. A relationship that had to be earned and one that was on her terms. It didn't matter what our time frame was to be, all that mattered was that we respect her time frame and day by day she rewarded us by opening up and giving to us her trust and rattastic personality.Her progress deserves lots of gold stars!

Housetraining- Moon has gone from relieving herself in the house at any time anywhere, to 95% reliability and as long as we keep her schedule she is 100%.

Pottying on leash-Moon has consistently gone potty while on leash on our walks. She used to hold it until we got home, sometimes for hours, but she now feels safe and comfortable to relieve herself when needed.

Car rides- Moon has really excelled here. She loves to go for rides and jumps in and out of her crate with ease, and she will now allow us to reach into her crate to leash her or pet her with no reactivity.

Basic manners-Once I taught her to sit for her meal, she now waits patiently in "her spot" in a sitting position for me to get to her with her food dish.

Meeting new people- This is huge! Moon is still hesitant but with a few treats she will warm up to new people pretty quickly, where before she wanted to bolt or air snap.

These are just a few of the many places Moon has made progress, what a smart and brave girl she is!

Moon relaxing in the sun.

And now for the good news!Moon has been adopted!
Moon caught the eye of a wonderful woman, who loves her sleek but strong beautiful self and also who specifically likes to adopt dogs like Moon who need someone who will understand that she will need to earn her trust as we did. As I spoke with this woman I knew in my heart she was the mom for Moon and the more we talked the more excited I got that Moon would have her perfect fit forever home and we would never have to worry about her. Moon's name will be Fawn and we think this fits her to a T as Moon looks like a small white fawn and has other attributes associated with a fawn.

Once Fawn and her new mom bond they will go everywhere together. Her mom travels all over to do out doorsie things and also to Blue Grass Festivals where she enjoys photographing all the happenings. Fawn will have a big brother who is an older lab who is also a therapy dog and she will have a younger fur cousin who is a miniature Australian Shepard. Fawn will also get to sleep in bed with her mom, something that will be such a treat for her and will surly cinch the bond for the two of them. Nothing but happy tails ahead for our sweet Moon girl.

Moon in the first 24 hours

I can hardly remember her being so scared

Look at her now! What a difference.
She leaped across the stream from where Dave is standing, I was only able to get her touching down.
Silly girl, she loves to chew on tails.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

There's a New Dog in Town. The Crazy Dog Town That is Our Home.

Please welcome Sierra our newest foster doggie! I will have more on her story later but wanted to give you a look at her first few hours with us.

Yoshi, Sage, and Birdie greet Sierra in a very nice way.

Sierra is thinking she might like a pet from this nice man at some point. Skip certainly seems to be enjoying it.

That's a girl...so brave.

Dave sits on the dog bed and Sierra gets some more pets. Yoshi never turns down an opportunity for a snuggle.

I'm scared foster dad but this does feel nice.

And she made it onto the footrest of the morning chair. She has only been with us overnight so this is wonderful progress for this unsure girl.

Introducing a New Fashion Craze.....Moonwear

This morning Moon decided to model her new line of fashion and of course Dave made a wonderful model for her. She is simply calling it, Moonwear.

Moonwear can be worn as a shoulder ornament...

...or a sash combo neck warmer....

....legs and head can be positioned in different ways depending on your mood...

...Moonwear can also be worn as a belt or tummy warmer. Moonwear has no limits, and you can wear this design for years to come.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Moon is Such a Player!

Little Moon has been with us for 6 weeks now and boy is she blossoming. She has gone from a timid girl carrying her tail between her legs most of the time, to a sassy and goofy girl who loves to play around. She loves to try and catch our hands, she loves to do rattie runs in the yard, she tries to get Skip to play with her all the time on our bed, and she also loves to play with toys! She is really lightening up and it has been so fun to watch her.

Moon loves to get her kibble from the pickle.

Silly girl trying to get me to play the hand game

We got this cool squirrel toy and I would put the squirrels in and then later in the day they would be out and a few of the dogs would be squeaking them so I never knew who was taking them out in the first place. It was Moon! I caught her in the act the other day. Here is how she gets them out.

It was the same story with this toy. This fish has eggs inside that have to be taken out. I would see the eggs around the house and yep you guessed it, it was Moon all the time who was "fishing" them out.

Yesterday Moon and Yoshi were up to something in this tree. I think it was the fact that a gray squirrel had been running up and down it. This little clip shows how inquisitive Moon is when you get to the end you can see her trying so hard to get Skip to play with her, but all he wants to do is have me throw his ball. :)

Here is Moon showing her stuff. She did this at the dog park and she also loves to do it at home. She likes a dog to chase her and then she turns on the moves. She is so fast I can't even keep up with the video camera. Moon can fly.

And lastly, here is Moon playing on our bed with Skip. She loves to play with Skip and he is nice enough to indulge her once in a while.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Moon Glows

Seattle is in her normal spring cycle of rain, rain and more rain, with little spots of sun thrown in. In Snohomish where we live and are in the convergence zone we get even less sun and more rain, but there was a short period of time on Saturday where we did have a spot of sun and the dogs in the house quickly found their sunspot to keep them warm. Sunspotting is one charming aspect to having dogs in the house as far as I'm concerned.Moon with her pretty white coat and pink ears just glows in the sun.

Such a pretty girl with glowing ears.

Yoshi aka Landau who is visiting

Sage enjoys the sun so much he didn't run from the camera.
L clockwise, Skip, Liza, Moon, Sage

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Moon Has Houseguests! Landau and Sunbeam Come For A Visit

Moon got a chance to meet a couple of our past foster dogs, Landau now Yoshi, and Sunbeam now Izzy. We are petsitting Yoshi for 10 days while his family is away. Yoshi actually was here in our home when Izzy was here so there were reunions all round with humans and dogs! Yoshi hit the jackpot with his forever home and his people are really missing him. His dad who works from home and spends so much time with Yoshi on walk breaks and teaching him tricks was having a hard time saying goodbye, and who can blame him, Yoshi has brought such joy to his new home with his rattiness and lovin's. His mom cooks him all sorts of healthy snacks to fill his little tummy that never feels like it gets enough. She has gotten really creative and he gets shredded apple that is soaked in a little hot water for a healthy apple juice treat, he gets pieces of banana and other fresh fruits and veggies. He is clearly the center of their universe and we could not be happier for him. He and Moon have enjoyed playing together and then of course there is lap time too.

There is that face I so love.

Meeting Moon for the first time, there was quite the dance going on.

It's a dog thing, you wouldn't understand.

Bitey face, oh yeah!

Yoshi is quite smitten with the gorgeous Moon girl.

Yoshi and Moon play and Birdie gets in on it too.


Next Sunbeam, now Izzy, got to spend the night last night while her mom and dad went to a show. Her mom was also having a tough time saying goodbye, even for one night. Izzy is her parent's baby and they adore her. She is the light of their life and her mom told me she can't imagine her life without Izzy. She even texted me to tell Izzy good night for them last night. With Izzy being a returned pup, you can only imagine how happy this made us.Her mom reports that her SU/EU is very minimal and is not a problem at all. Good going Izzy! All she needed was some patience and time and her mom and dad are giving her that and being rewarded for their good work.

It was so nice to have all the dogs together again and they all had overlapped in our home at one point or another so all knew each other from before.

Izzy remembers the potty treats are kept here.

A kiss for mom and dad

Izzy has grown so much! Those ears are almost all the way up!

Moon and Izzy share a toy.