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.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Getting To Know Nash Part 1

Nash was rescued by New Rattitude from a shelter in Tulare, CA. We don't know his story up until now. So we are learning and observing as we go along. Here is how it went on his first few days with us and what we have observed so far.

1- He definitely likes to chase cats and so his forever home will need to be a cat free home. He is pure terrier and has a significant prey drive so this is not unexpected and good to know! We want to make sure our pups find good fit homes so all this information is very valuable.

2-Nash has not had the best of nutrition before coming to foster care. His coat along his back is like sandpaper and he is underweight, he is also getting over a cold. But he is getting the best of food and supplements now and so this is just temporary, he will be shiny, soft, and healthy and at his ideal weight in no time!

3-He gets along well with his foster siblings and here are some videos of him getting to know the pack.

4-He plays well with other dogs and here he is with Birdie our youngest female playing. (Birdie loves all the male foster dogs and she has been very interested in Nash)

5-Nash is curious and didn't even shy away from the lawnmower but rather followed along. This was still his first day with us so pretty cool he felt comfortable to do this!

In closing so as to not make this post too long, I will leave you with a picture of the cute little Nash resting on the dog bed near my desk.

As you can see Nash on the first day, still settling in. He wants to close his eyes but just not sure yet.

You can see his little spine and he is all curled up tight. You will see his progress in foster care as he settles in and learns he can trust us. I know his body language will follow.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

SiERra gEtTInG SilLy

Little Miss Sierra is the kind of dog that sort of stays in the back ground. We would describe Sierra as subtle and reserved, but just recently she is starting to kick it up a notch and her silliness factor has gone up quite a bit. I mentioned in an earlier post, she has this darling personality like she is always pleased about something that only she is privy to. No doubt she is giggling about us, her silly foster parents, who try to speak her language but must fall short and the translation comes out comical.  It is darn near the cutest thing ever and we are pleased she is feeling comfortable in her surroundings for this unique side of her to come out with us.

Sierra has been with us since April 12th, and she is becoming much goofier in our home now. In just the last few days she has discovered toys that squeak. She gets this pleasure out of taking them in the other room away from the action and then all we hear is "squeak squeak squeak" then she will run out and sometimes even do a rattie death shake of the toy, then run somewhere else away from us and "squeak squeak squeak". All the while she will have this little smile on her face. She is such a great little dog!
Here is Sierra standing on foster dad's lap, she was really trying to play with him rather than just snuggle.

Silly girl, she was trying to get something he had in his hand.

Still trying to get something he had in his hand.

These are the toys she loves and she drags them all around including in and out of the house. The sock things are totally worn out and she drags them behind her and can still find the squeakers inside, squeak, squeak, squeak.
These are the most coveted and they all squeak!

I don't have a picture of her playing with the toys, but you can  just imagine cute Sierra playing with these toys with an impish grin and you will hear a far off squeak, squeak, squeak, in your mind.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Nash Which One is He Most Like?

We weren't sure which Nash vehicle would represent the little guy best until we got him home and could get to know him. Just a fun post about his namesake the Nash automobile.

Which Nash auto represents this darling boy you ask?

When we first picked Nash up from his two day transport we think he felt a bit like this poor car. A bit worn out and tired. His coat was lack luster and he needed an overhaul in foster care.
How about this one? No he is a bit sportier than this one and not so boaty.

How about this one? No....not quite....
Definitely not....

OK now we're getting closer, cute. little, sporty....

Oh yeah this is it. The Nash Metropolitan reminds me of our foster Nash, cute, sporty, fun, solidly built, catches the eye, and just plain adorable.
Yup Nash is all those things wrapped up in a 10 lb little bundle.

Just a cute video about the Nash Rambler...

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sierra Learns To Sit For Her Meal

I have found teaching a dog to sit for her/his meal is the easiest way to introduce the "sit" cue. This is how I achieve a sit for a meal. First of all I don't even start doing this until my new foster dog has been with us a few days or like in Sierra's case a couple of weeks. Training is a wonderful way to build a relationship with a dog but a lot of times new foster dogs like Sierra aren't even comfortable sitting in front of me in the beginning. Here is another foster parent's wonderful post about this very topic. Sit Happens: Adjusting Expectations.

I feed foster dogs in a private room. This way they can eat as slow as they want and they don't have to feel like my dogs are bearing down on them trying horn in on their dish.

When I felt like Sierra and I had a good realtionship I kicked it up a notch and had her do a sit before I put her food dish down. The first few times it looked something like this.

1. I walk in with her dish and stand there holding it, not making eye contact and just wait. At this point Sierra was moving around getting excited and wondering why I was just standing there. She even got up on the couch then she went to the ottoman and sat down. That was good enough for me, so I quickly marked that sit with a "yes!" and put her food dish down and walked out and closed the door behind me.

2. The next meal I did the same thing, Sierra did a similar thing and jumped on the couch then back down then bounced her paws off me, then finally she did sit. "yes!" and the dish went down

3. Next meal Sierra didn't jump on the couch, but she did stand and stare at me for a while. Then she did a "sit", I said "Yes!" put the food dish down.

4. Next meal I could tell she was going to sit right away so I said "sit", boom she sat right down, "yes!" reward.

5. Sierra knows exactly what to do and she now runs along with me and runs into the room to "sit", and boom she gets her meal.

The next step will be for her to wait a bit longer and for us to start working on her waiting for me to let her know she can "break" and start eating, but right now we are just going to work on the basic sit.

Here are a couple of videos of her doing this. The first one is me recording myself and her and the second one is of Dave walking in to feed her. In that one you can also see her use all four legs as she gets really excited to get her meal.

Sierra sits for her meal

Sierra sits for her food 2

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Nash is a Heartbreaker!

Meet our newest foster boy Nash

He is relaxing on foster mom's lap after his bath. He had a long transport up to WA from CA and he is taking it all in stride!

Nash has the cutest face and big brown eyes.

Nash says thank you to everyone who played a part in saving his life, he almost didn't make it out of the shelter alive but he is safe and sound now thanks to New Rattitude.

Running free in the grass in his foster parents' yard.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sierra and The Mona Lisa

What does Sierra have in common with the Mona Lisa? I have been thinking of how best to describe little Sierra and her cute personality. Then I thought of the Mona Lisa and the question that is always pondered "why is she smiling?". This seemed like a good segue to describe her to you.

Sierra is a pretty quiet rattie. She hardly ever barks and she doesn't go looking for things to bark at like some of the other dogs in my house :) She could so easily get lost in the shuffle as she is not demanding or in your face like some dogs are. I worry as her foster mom and I know that she needs to be adopted by someone who will make sure to give her attention and not just sort of forget about her as she likes to hang back and observe what's going on  much of the time.

BUT to think Sierra is boring or not a fascinating dog would be so far from the truth because like the Mona Lisa she has this intrigue, and yes it looks like she is smiling at times. Her lips get caught on her teeth and she will be looking up at me with a full toothed smile! It is a cutest thing you have ever seen.

Sierra's smile.

The other thing she has is a twinkle in her eye. You know how there are some charismatic people who have this twinkle that you are just drawn to? Sierra has that. She can give a side glance like a person would do. She has this look in her eye sometimes like she has in inside joke with herself and she isn't telling anyone else what she is thinking. But if you go pick her up and give her some love, she will share her secret joke with you in the form of a lick right on your cheek. I LOVE this about her.

I melt when she looks at me like this

And just when I think she is not paying any attention to me, like when I go upstairs for something, she will get down from her favorite chair and quietly run up the stairs behind me and while I am walking she will nip gently at my pant legs letting me know she is on to me going into another room. If I turn to talk to her, she has this little impish smile that just tickles me and makes me laugh.

Sierra looking up at foster dad

Sierra is not a rattie who likes her picture taken. It's as if she already knows how cute she is and is good with that. She doesn't need any silly blog posts written about her with her picture plastered around for everyone to see. She is good with who she is. Who is Sierra? She is a dog who likes her space when she first meets new people and situations, but if you give her that space and time to get to know you, she will let you into her secret world where she gives you knowing sideways glances and if you're lucky you will see her toothy grin. And then when she really trusts you she will nip at your heels to show her affection and to say, "I accept you and want you to know it".

Sierra happy to be on the porch looking out even by herself.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Pixie Girl Has Been Adopted

 Pixie is one lucky girl. She is going to be living in Bend, OR with her mom and dad and her rattie fur-brother Jasper! Pixie will get to go camping and have a huge yard to play with Jasper in. She hasn't even gone home yet and she is already loved and adored. Friday is the day when she makes her final transport to her forever life. We couldn't be happier for this sweet, silly, little hoarder girl. What will we do with our selves when all our shoes and towels are right where we put them? We will think of Pixie every time remembering her game of "these shoes have legs" and just smile because we will know she is "home" where she will always be loved and safe. Happy Tails Pixie.

Pixie's shelter picture. When I saw this I knew I wanted her to be our foster dog.

This is one of my favorite pictures, she is so silly.

Pixie has such a gentle spirit. She is a love bug and wants to be connected to people so bad.

Such a happy girl....

Here is Jasper, Pixie's new soon to be brother. Handsome boy!
And because Pixie's parents chose to adopt that opens up another foster spot in our home to help one more rescued rattie. His name will be Nash and he will be here in the next few days. As always I am grateful every time we adopt one more rattie into their forever home. Help spread the word about adoption, it is a concrete way to be part of the solution.

Nash our next foster boy

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sierra is a 3 speed Rattie with Overdrive

1956 Dodge Sierra
My husband mechanically restores vintage Chevrolet cars and trucks, mainly 40's and 50's but he also has worked on as early as the teens and also some 60's muscle cars. What does that have to do with Sierra you ask? Well nothing really, except that I am using some auto terminology that I think fits Sierra to a Tee.

Sierra has finished her last swim therapy session and she has been getting more and more use out of her post surgical leg as she builds muscle and confidence that it in deed actually works! I can't say enough about the time she spent with J Linn at SplashDog. This was so beneficial to her as just us trying to only do stretching with her, which she didn't like, we weren't really getting the desired rehab. Sierra needed to not just stretch but to actually use the leg in a circumstance, like swimming, where she didn't really have much choice and this also was key in building her muscles too.

She is just so conditioned from over a year of having pain in the leg and compensating for that by not using it that to walk on all four paws is not her default method. But what I want everyone to know is that this is not a hindrance whatsoever for her. In fact she is very adept as using 3 legs and can do and go anywhere as if she were a true tri-pawed gal.

The other day she and Pixie got to running rattie runs, and Sierra began using her 4th leg and as she did she got faster and faster and it was if she had a 3 speed transmission with overdrive, making her 4th speed, or 4th leg, giving her extra super powers! She could really take it up a notch and cruise. It was such a beautiful sight! She did this off and on for about 15 minutes and she ran circles, lines, and even did some super fancy maneuvering. It was raining and I didn't have the video camera but I decided to run in and grab it and see if I could capture it even if just a little. I managed to get a small bit recorded of this resilient rattie girl. I also got one other recording of her on another day running across the yard to me on all 4s.

Sierra runs on all fours I

Sierra runs on all fours II 

Sierra runs toward me on all fours

All that running around makes for one tired little girl...

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Pixie is such a Puppy Girl!

We were told that Pixie is 1-2 years old but we really think she is a year or maybe a little less. She has puppy teeth (adult teeth but so sharp and clean :) and such a puppy personality. She can be quite awkward and doesn't know her own size. She tried to get on top of Dave's chair back when he was sitting there and she almost fell off the chair! She was at it again today with her hoarding antics. She just makes us laugh all the time!

So just to let you know I put all these shoes where they go but Pixie went and found them all, including a hand towel that she pulled down from the towel rod. Oh and now she has a toy too.

Look at that puppy face!

Sweet girl snuggling with my hiking boot.
Later in the day I gave Pixie a bully stick to chew on. She had a new grouping of items from the house.

She was into towels this afternoon...she has three of them.

Pixie says it's Pickle Time!

Pixie might look like she's all grown up but she is such a puppy at heart. Even though we went for a long walk she still was looking for something to do when we got home, so out came the pickle!

ok, could you get that camera out of my face? Can't you see I'm busy here?

Maybe if I lie down I can get at the yummy treats inside

This is my Pixie with the Pickle glamour shot.

Maybe I can suction the treats out by sniffing really hard!

ok now I'm getting serious...

Watch me on my videos getting busy with Mr Pickle!

Pixie and the Pickle 1

Pixie and the Pickle II

Pixie and the Pickle III


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

These Shoes Have Legs

I will admit, I do leave my shoes around the house. I should put them away where they go in the closet and that way I would always know where they are when I go to get them...but what fun would that be when Pixie is around? When she gets adopted I will sure miss her game of "these shoes have legs". How boring it will be when my shoes are right where I left them.

Pixie says "I'm innocent, this is the way I found these things". Foster mom's garden shoes from the front porch, foster dad's walking shoe, and Skip's ball "Blue"

This morning when I went to grab my sandals I found one here in the TV room.....

One here in the living room...

....then as I was taking a picture of this shoe with legs and then went to grab my sandals again....

...they both miraculously in a period of a minute or two ended up on the same couch!

This is how the garden shoes looked when I went out this morning...

...here is the other one...

...here is where Dave normally puts his shoes....

...and this is where I normally put mine. (don't know why the camera took a sideways picture but you get the idea)

So Pixie as long as you are with us I hope you will continue to play our game "these shoes have legs". After all isn't that what we love about Rat Terriers?