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.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Timken Hits The Town....Part 1 Visiting All The Best Pet Care

Timken has now been in our care as his foster parents for 6 months and two weeks! All along I have stressed the importance of working with Tim at his speed, sloooow. Well all that taking it slow is paying off. It is a fine balancing act when fostering a dog with some baggage on how fast or slow to work on his issues. The main goal is to get the dog ready  to be adopted and most importantly transition into his/her forever home with as much ease as possible while also being cognizant of not feeling in a rush and allowing the dog to go at his own pace.

In Tim's case as you know we have been taking everything super slow and at times we have wondered if we were going too slow introducing him to new stimuli and environments. Who knows? Maybe we have been too cautious, but when it comes to working with a super fearful dog like Tim I would rather be over cautious than under cautious. After all what is to lose in going slower than needed? There is a LOT that can go wrong when going too quickly and overwhelming the dog. Go too fast and we would have never built up a trusting relationship so he wouldn't be able to navigate all the new environments in the world, and could end up just shutting down more and or becoming more fearful, and worse he wouldn't feel like he could trust us to keep him safe.

Tim has made a shift. What we are realizing is that he has gone from a boy that new environments were truly terrifying to him, to a boy who is still anxious about new people and places but there is a curiosity that has crept in now and offers him a break from straight anxiousness. This manifests as him not shutting down when we encounter new things. Not going to Dave for quite so much reassurance as he has in the past, and his recovery time when we have been out in a new situation is much quicker. He is able to go into brand new experiences and face them without his tail tucked. What an amazing rattie he is!

We had not ever taken Tim into a pet food store. But we felt it was time to see how he would do. We chose to go to an All The Best Pet Care, rather than a big box store. All the Best is a great pet food store. They are very accommodating to their customers when they bring in their dogs for a visit. I love that I can go in and let them know that I will be bringing in a fearful dog and they will support whatever I ask them to do as far as giving treats, or not. I let the nice employee know that Tim was a bit nervous but I would appreciate him seeing if Tim would take a treat from him. If Tim didn't want it then we would just not push it. Yes we are still going slow, but we are challenging him more and Timken did Rattastic!

Tim before we go in. What the picture can't tell you is the noise level. Busy busy parking lot with lots of car noise. Tim can be sensitive to unfamiliar noise but he was doing ok, tail not tucked, although he was nervous, he was also curious.

Walking toward the doorway to the store. As far as we know Tim has never walked by a strip mall before.

He balked at the door but he did go in on his own!

Already there is something new to Tim. Not only is he in a store but there is a huge dog coming his way...

The dog was so sweet, he was so curious about Tim, Tim did a bit of an air snap at the dog and the big guy moved on.

Foster dad trying to get Tim into looking at toys...

Tim "kissing" Dave, this kiss is one of the ways Tim tries to settle himself.

Good news! Just a couple of minutes in and Tim is sniffing the rug. I had to wonder if he smelled us and even our dogs in that rug as we used to spend a lot of time doing adoption events in this very store on this very rug!

This is Big Dog's dad and an employee of All The Best. He played this offering a treat to Tim just right. Notice his head is turned to the side? AND notice Tim is taking the treat! A little Timken Lean there but tail is relaxed.

Tim anticipating those treats coming from that packet. It is good to note that Tim's leash is not being held at this point, he could move away any time he wanted to, but he chose to stay for more treats...

Even more relaxed now, he is done that shift I was mentioning, from nervousness to curiosity. "Can I have more treats please?"

"Thank you".....

I love this picture, I don't know if you can see the subtle difference but Tim is curious and he is intent on that treat and that is over riding whatever fear he might have of the new guy and environment. This makes me very happy...

A little closer....

...and the man even offered a little chin scritch and Tim stuck with it.

Then the man asked Tim to sit and Tim slammed his rear on the ground! Good boy!

He went to Dave for reassurance but instead of the usual climbing up on him routine, he stood for a pet and kept watching to see if more treats were coming. What a change from a previous post over 5 months ago when taking a treat from a new person caused Tim to completely shut down.

Everything was going well so we decided we better take a quick trip around the store and then leave on a good note.

Tim eating a treat I threw down by this little stuffed dog. He was a bit skeptical of the toy but he managed to take the treat, although as you can tell he wasn't real comfortable with it.

Ahhhh perfect, this nice lady was right near the door to go out and Tim got a see ya later treat! Love her tattoo :)

Walking back to the car, tail still not tucked, and he wasn't spiraling or going to Dave for reassurance.

What a great experience all in all. Just goes to show that time is always on our side. Great job Tim and I bet the next time we visit he will even be more relaxed and maybe even a little excited to go in to see if there are any more nice people inside to get a little treat from.
Stay tuned...lots more pics and video of Tim Hitting The Town! Tim wants everyone to know he is ready to go to his forever home. Click here to put in an application and see if Tim would be a good fit for your family.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Tim Is The Best Garden Buddy Part 2 Bee!

I was still wandering around enjoying the new growth of the plants in the yard and taking a few pictures just for fun when I looked over at Tim and noticed he was very intent on watching something in the grass.

This is what I was taking a picture of when I first noticed Tim staring at the grass. This is one of our hosta's new spring growth. It is so pretty!

I used my zoom to catch this shot.

Using his teeth to taste or attack something...

Maybe pawing the thing is a good thing to do...

Tim is super focused!

Look into my eyes....

Is anybody down there???

Oops Timken, don't you know bees are practically an endangered species right now? Sorry Bee!!!!!

About an hour later I noticed Tim exhibiting some of the body language he uses when he is nervous or anxious. Tail tucked  and that play bow position that isn't a play bow.

He is in a modified Timken Lean, I didn't know what was wrong.

Holding his paw up and tail still tucked...

Ahhhh I see he is licking his paw....tail really tucked, poor boy.

Yup he got stung. It wasn't by Bee in the first picture though, he had gotten up close and personal with a wasp. Ouch! I saw it in the grass near him taking it's last breath of life. Timkene likes to hunt small flying things but I hope he learned that bees and wasps are best left alone.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Timken Is The Best Garden Buddy Part 1 Recall

It was a glorious day today in the Pacific Northwest, well at least in our neck of the woods, and getting out in the yard is always something we love to do. Tim rocks as a garden buddy. He will keep himself occupied for hours checking out all the nooks and crannies of the property and of course he is great at checking in to see what his people might be up to. He is never far away for long. I like to take the opportunity to practice his recall with him, and he is awesome at coming when I call him. As long as he can hear me, he will come running full speed to get his treats and some loves. He really is such a great boy!

While I was out taking a picture of the bleeding heart Tim came and found me....

Hi foster mom, whatcha doin'?

I decided to record Tim and his recall for you to see how awesome he is doing.

Stay tuned for Part 2, Timken meets Bee...

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Timken And Neon Taking a Last Walk Together

I have a feeling many of you are wondering how Tim is doing with Neon gone from our home and in her furever home yesterday. Well I think he is a bit perplexed. Last night and this morning he did a lot of pawing at me and went to Dave for a lot more reassurance. This morning he missed not running full speed down the stairs with Neon and out the front door together to go potty. Instead he went down the stairs and then stopped at the door and hesitantly went out, then he did an about face and came back in and then started pawing me.

So I think Tim's forever home needs a good fit dog companion and this is good info to have! Initially I wasn't sure if fostering a puppy would be ok for him, but he really took to her. She was just so tolerant of his awkwardness and she spurred him on to play. He did good when we fostered Sybil as well. He is fine with our house dogs but they are not puppyish anymore and although they all get along well with no issues, they just don't engage Tim in the same way as a young dog does.

Here are pictures of our last trail walk together a couple of days before Neon, went to her furever home.

Neon and Timken on the rocks near the stream we all have to cross.

Neon is not so sure rock and stream jumping are for her.

Skip getting ready to jump across.

Neon says ok I'm DOing IT! I missed the midair shot but she did make it to the other side without falling in.

Tim saying, forget you guys, I am not going to do it!

So we waited and waited. He has been here before and been carried the other times. But we decided to give him a chance to do it on his own. Again I missed the shot, but....

...here he is on the other side. He got tons of kudos for doing it himself!

Hmmmm the dogs wonder what these things are. There is some work that is being done in the area so some novel things for the dogs to sniff about.

Tim took a little time, but he did go up to the weird thing.

Liza says, come on you guys! Enough of the picture taking, let's go!

Tim, Neon, Jenny, and Skip. Of course Liza is out front scouting as usual. Min Pins don't want to hang out with Ratties!

Time for pets foster dad...

Eh hem Neon, leashes are not for chewing silly girl.

Tim and Neon explore a pile of sand. This was one of those circumstances that Neon got Tim to do something he wouldn't have done on his own.

Another crossing.....umm foster dad, do you think you could give me some help here?

She did make it across but I missed the shot, then the camera went away and the rest of the walk we just enjoyed each others company.