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.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Timken and Co. Relax After A Long Walk In The Sun

Today was one of those gorgeous Northwest days. Sun, blue skies, and white puffy clouds. What better way to enjoy a day like today than with a long walk with the dogs. There is nothing like a house full of Ratties after a long walk. Oh and a Min Pin :)

Birdie couldn't get much more comfortable...

Liza says "leave me alone mom!"

Ummmm mom don't you mean a Min Pin and Ratties?

Liza in her usual position under the blanket Can you see her?

So sweet, Timken and Jenny-Boo on the big dog bed.

Nice they could hang out together.

I love to see Tim in such a relaxed mood....

Tim after I called his name, "Yes foster mom? You called me?"

Yup a long walk in the sun is a good thing for getting the wiggles out.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Experimenting With Timken Part 1

Working with Tim on his confidence and trust issues with humans and environmental stimuli is somewhat like an ongoing experiment in a way.  We go about introducing him to new situations/people and then observe how he handles each encounter. Trying the best we can to figure out if he is ok with the new thing and we can continue with that situation or that he is not ok and we need to back off a bit so he can be comfortable as much as possible while he is still working through getting used to the new situation or thing. It is a balancing act all the time for us and for Tim!

We are still experimenting with the Tim and Kyjen Tail Teaser. It isn't that he has to play with the Tail Teaser for any reason. It is just something to work on with him and something we are able to gauge his progress with something that makes him very nervous. The last time we played with him he did a tad better but in reviewing the videos it struck me, " He still is very skeptical and although he is showing he is getting more curious about it maybe the rattle in the tail attached to the cord was freaking him out?" So I went about taking the rattly tail off the cord and tying one of his favorite toys to the end to see if this helped him relax a bit and maybe even want to explore it and play/tug with it.

In this video I experimented with the bunny suspended in the air. You can hear a dog growl and then bark  in the back ground, this was my dog Skip who was letting me know the UPS truck was going past the house. This threw Tim off but he did manage to get a sniff in.

Here Tim gets really brave and even takes the bunny and tugs a bit with me. But then when I raise the wand in the air he is a bit skeptical again, you can see how sensitive he is. I will need to keep the wand low until he really gets comfortable with this. I do like that he is more engaged with the toy now that the rattly tail is not part of the equation. He might be ok with that in the future.

Just throwing in a cute picture of Tim with an egg baby. He does love his egg babies :)
Stay tuned!  Experimenting with Nosework to come......

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Tail Teaser Progress With Timken

The tail teaser by Kyjen has been something that Timken has not been a fan of. It isn't unusual to have foster dogs who are nervous around brooms and things with long handles, you just never know what experience a rescue dog has had in his past with certain household items. It was a cold snowy day so the perfect time to get out the toys and play with the dogs.

 Here are two previous blog posts on Tim and the Tail Teaser:

More Tim and Sybil

What I Mean When I Say Timken Has To Go Slow

Here are the most recent pictures and videos showing the progress Tim has made with playing with this particular toy. We think he is doing fantastic! Here is a nice sequence of pictures showing Tim getting more and more comfortable.

Note: the toy he is looking at is the one that looks like a white and tan tail to the left of the picture and it has a black cord connected to it. Timken keeps his distance from the tail but tail is relaxed and so far at this distance no Timken Stretch (blog post on this to come)

Then came the Timken Stretch...he does this when he is not sure of something. Looks like a playbow but it isn't in this case.

Tim says hmmmm I trust foster dad but not quite ready to get too close to that thing.

With it on the floor he does a half stretch but does manage to take a close sniff.

Looking a bit more confident now. More curiosity coming through. Good!

Now Vespa (center) had started to play with it, so now it is being moved and Tim is skeptical again.

But he relaxes a bit and doesn't move away. This is progress for sure!

Here is Birdie showing how she likes to play with Tail Teaser. She gets really crazy and once she catches it you feel like you have hooked a King Salmon! I like how Skip is with dad just watching the show. :)

Here you see Tim is still nervous but he does hang in there. He starts by going away from the whole scene but decides to go to foster dad and hang out with him while Birdie gets crazy playing. Then he decides he will move farther away again.

Here is Tim looking pretty ok to watch the Tail Teaser move very slowly. But he isn't quite ready....

He then miraculously gets closer and is really inspecting it but there was an noise by another dog in the back ground that made him decide to abort his gaze. I just know one day soon he will be chasing and killing that crazy tail. Stay tuned...........

oh and check out our cat Theo! He has some new digs. Because Tim sometimes chases Theo and we need to keep Theo safe, we made him his own little section where he can perch and watch everything that is happening from a safe distance. So far he loves his new area.

Here you can see he is x-penned in and he has a secret way to get in and out that the dogs haven't figured out yet :)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Timken Visits Tolt River

We decided to take a nice walk today out on the Tolt River in Carnation. This was Tim's second visit and today we went closer to the river and over lots of rocks. He was nervous about some of it, but then he relaxed as he found out there were a lot of wonderful scents to peak his interest.

I don't know if it was the sound of the river, the newness of the area or the rocky terrain but Tim was not quite sure about things initially.
Finding a good smell helped to get Tim interacting more with his surroundings...

Back up on the trail Tim was just fine, he is used to this terrain as he walks on trails 3-6 times a week!

Here Tim, Skip and Liza are checking something out together.

Skip and Liza love to be by the water.

Skip looking cute :)
Someone before us made a wonderful piece of art out of some rocks from the shore,

Tim feeling more relaxed on the way back.

 Timken and his foster family wish you...
...A Happy Valentine's Day!

There is no doubt about it! 


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Timken Enjoys The Warm Sunshine

I caught Timken relaxing in a sunspot on my chair. What a beautiful boy.....

Hi foster mom, I hope it's ok if I am in your chair.

I really am liking this warm sun and I think I am getting drowsy now...

This really is relaxing.

Go ahead and get a picture from another angle, aren't I a gorgeous rattie specimen?


I was trying to get a good picture of Tim's heart shaped spot, you have to cock your head to the right to see it. :)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Timken's Confidence Meter Takes A Jump!

Timken leads us on his journey. His journey is one of going slow. Being patient. Celebrating the small successes. Celebrating the milestones, and being there when he opens up with more confidence and trust with us. I hear you, this all sounds so sappy, but if you have ever worked with a fearful under-socialized dog before you will understand exactly what I am talking about. If you haven't I hope you can empathize with how hard Timken has worked to get to where he is in just 4 short months.

Once Tim started to get comfortable with us in our home we knew we had to expand his horizons so we have methodically gone about slowly introducing him to new places, stimuli, and people. The slow part is key because in our minds we want to set up and create every new experience for him to be a small success so that he will continue to trust that we will do our best to protect him and honor where he is in his confidence and progress.

One of our goals has been to make several visits to our chiropractor's office off hours and just go in and visit with Tim in tow. Our chiropractor and his wife have become good friends of ours and they are very accommodating to helping us socialize our foster dogs. They are gentle and kind and animal lovers like us. They also are not pushy and this is exactly what Tim needs to expand his view of the world of humans and to feel safe. Here is our first visit to Dr Ray's

We had another visit this afternoon and Tim was on fire! He was excited to go in, he ran right up to check out our friends, he took treats from them both and he played with toys in the waiting room like he does when we are home. He even played tug with Dr. Ray! Tim has just started feeling comfortable really tugging with me so this was HUGE!

Here Tim sits for a treat from Mary, tail wagging. Skip is hoping for a treat too. LOL what a blur!

Tim was having so much fun he was comfortable enough to play with his toys. He was the star of the show showing everyone his rattieness and chasing, shaking, and killing his toys with an audience.

But best of all was when he felt so comfortable that he could play tug with a new person! This was so wonderful to witness. I can still remember a time where if Tim was holding on to a toy and I just reached out to touch it he would drop it and scoot away. Timken you are our hero buddy. You had 4 people all joining in celebration for your progress today!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Tornado In The House!

One of our friends gave us a cool interactive food toy called the Tornado. Timken wasn't sure what to think about it at first but he is getting braver by the day and once he found it held a food treat he decided he better take a closer look.

In this video you can see Tim is skeptical and also distracted as the other dogs were letting us all know that they were ready for their turns on the other side of the door. Whines, and scratches and all. :)

Tim is so cute, he really is interested in this thing and the food it holds and I love how he gingerly approaches it. As opposed to my dogs who paw at it scoot it around.

Getting more comfortable, I love that he is pawing a little now to try to get to the food.

The Timken Stretch....

Getting more comfortable to get his snout all the way in....

I think he did really well for the first time with such a contraption! Tim just amazes me at how far he is coming in his bravery and rattiness!