Having trouble reading this email? Click here to view in your browser. December 2010 


Many Happy Returns

Frannie Dew was brought into Ratbone care from a high kill shelter in Indiana in early 2007. She was adopted by a family in Massachusetts that November. Three years after adopting her the family contacted Ratbone about returning poor Frannie and we moved her to an open foster home in Albany, NY. Upon Frannie's arrival it was evident that she was in a considerable amount of pain. When her fostermom tried to touch her she would nip at her - not in an aggressive way, but to let her know that it hurt to be touched. Frannie's fostermom picked her up to bring her inside (Frannies missing a front leg, so it's sometimes hard for her to go up and down the steps), and her hand felt wet & sticky. She looked and there was blood and puss on her belly. Looking closer she found a huge, inflamed mass.

We arranged for Frannie to get right in with our vet, Doctor Bart. Adter examining Frannie he reported that she had a mouth fill of horrible, rotten teeth and a large tumor on her breast... and she was also positive for Lyme disease, as well has having crystals in her urine. Doctor Bart gave an estimate of $978 dollars to take care of all of Frannie's issues. Frannie has had the tumor removed, leaving her with a 4-5 inch slice in her tummy. She also had 14 teeth removed. Frannie came home on lots of pain medications and strong antibiotics. She is feeling better now, but is not yet 100%. We are awaiting the results of her biopsy. Frannie Dew is a great girl and is very loving and sweet. Please help us with Frannie's vet bill if you can.


Send check or money order to:
Ratbone Rescues
P.O. Box 3237
Seminole, FL 33775-3237




New York

New York

Rachel Spainhour and her husband Alan live in North Carolina with their two Rat Terriers; 5 year old Buddy and 4 year old Ratbone alumni, Jack. She loves all animals and was around a lot of breeds of dogs during her tenure as a veterinary technician. She favors Ratties because they have so many good qualities, she just can’t help but love them.

Rachel has been involved with Ratbone for two years and, while she has fostered, most of her volunteer efforts have been in transporting, shelter pulls, Happy Tails, and assisting with application processing. She really enjoys her volunteer time and being a part of the rescue process where she describes herself as “a small part of a huge picture.” Rachel feels she has learned a lot from other members and admires the other volunteers and the work that is done as a team. She feels the organization and implementation of ground transports is most impressive.

A diagnosis of terminal cancer for her first Rat Terrier, Dixie brought Rachel to Ratbone. She was familiar with the organization and enjoyed looking at the photos on the web site. She adopted Jack, Sue Carello’s foster, as a companion for her Rattie, Buddy, before taking in her first foster, Lady Bird. Lady Bird was a 15 year old, found as a stray after a snow storm and knowing she had zero chance of survival in a shelter, Rachel volunteered to foster her.

Her current foster, Gracie Mae, came to Rachel severely injured and emaciated. Now, with surgery and good nutrition, Rachel’s working on keeping an energetic 14 month old rat terrier from jumping. One trick that Rachel uses is to keep Gracie leashed to her so she can control her movement.

Rachel says it was the people who attracted her to Ratbone. She says it is a good group of people devoted to the dogs. The members put their time, their love, and their own money into the (fostering) process and when the dogs become a member of the family, they have the strength to give them up to a forever home.

Furry and Fabulous!
If you are reading this you probably agree that us Ratties are fabulous creatures and our fur is no exception. What we lack in length, we more than make up for with shiny petting-worthy fur. If fur isn't fabulous, here's a few things to consider:
  • How long as it been since your last fecal? My veterinarian recommends the test once a year to detect if a nasty parasite has found his way inside my beautiful little body. What you may not realize is that worms can cause dry, brittle, even lackluster fur and I know you don't want that!
  • Do you have food allergies? Ask your humans to try a different food, preferably one without corn or wheat. Do you have hot spots, running eyes, or itching? You may have an allergy and your fabulous fur could be restored through a change in diet.
  • Speaking of foods, some doggies benefit from a fish oil capsule or olive oil each day. We need fatty acids but you'll need to ask your vet exactly how much you need and check to see if your diet is meeting that requirement.
  • Make sure your humans do their part! Insist on regular brushing, which will mean less dog hair in the house for them, and that they use shampoos designed for dogs. Human shampoos are not formulated for us and may result in unsightly, dry fur.
Make sure you educate your humans to ensure that your fur is fabulous and able to protect you during these upcoming cold months.





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Submitted by Terry Nickerson, Bark Buster Behavior Therapist and Trainer

With Christmas upon us, everyone is busy getting ready for the holiday; there are decorations to hang, food to prepare, presents to wrap. Sometimes in the chaos we can overlook important issues for our four legged family members. Take a moment to make sure your faithful companions are safe this year with these little tips.

Decorations are not playthings.
Keep your dog away from holiday plants, many of which are poisonous, such as holly, mistletoe, poinsettias and amaryllis. Also, be sure all potpourri is out of your dog’s reach. Snow globes may contain antifreeze, which is extremely toxic to dogs. If there is an antifreeze spill, send your dog out of the room while you clean up the liquid. Dilute the spot with water and floor cleaner to ensure your dog does not lick the area later. Keep electrical wires and batteries out of your pet’s reach. Chewing or biting anything electrical can cause him shock or burns. Don’t leave lighted candles unattended. A lit candle knocked over by a curious dog can burn your dog or cause a fire.

Christmas trees can be hazardous
Anchor the tree to the ceiling or wall to prevent it from tipping over. Hang breakable ornaments near the top of the tree where dogs cannot reach them. Not only will you preserve your delicate ornaments but you will avoid a variety of injuries broken glass can cause. Avoid putting tinsel/icicles on your tree. If ingested, tinsel can twist in your dog’s intestines and be deadly. Don’t let your dog drink the Christmas tree water. The water may contain preservative chemicals, which can trigger severe indigestion in dogs. Even plain water can become stagnant, breeding bacteria that can cause nausea or diarrhea in a dog who drinks it.

Help your dog feel safe and relaxed.
Most dogs get excited when guests arrive. Plan ahead if you know your dog gets overly excited or fearful with a lot of commotion going on. To help your dog be calmer, exercise him prior to the festivities. After 30 minutes of walking or playtime, your dog is more likely to be relaxed or want to nap. As a general rule, don’t allow the dog to greet unfamiliar guests since the unusual activity can cause him extra stress. Dog’s stressed by unfamiliar events typically pant more, so keep your dog’s water bowl filled with fresh water. Give your dog a break from the hubbub by putting him in his crate or a quiet room with his doggie bed. Allow him to rejoin the festivities after guests have arrived. You might want to put up a doggie gate, so your dog can watch the festivities, but won’t be into everything or annoying your guests. This way he can also go and lie down and snooze in his bed when he’s tired.

These few little precautions take only minutes but can help make your holidays safer and happier for all your family members. Wishing you all safe and Happy Holidays!


Toy Review by Eddie & Daisey
Eddie and Daisey here! We’re back again to review of our favorite type of toy – the plushie! What Rat Terrier doesn’t like a plushie? You can play tug with them, play fetch with the skin family, or if you are like Daisey, you can desqueak and destuff them, leaving a fun flat toy that is easy to toss about, not to mention mounds of fluffy white stuffing all over the house. Our favorite brand of plush is Plush Puppies by Kyjen.

Eddie - My first PP was the hedgehog Homer and it is still one of my top 5. It is the perfect size for holding in your mouth. My mama says it throws like a football so we have a blast with it.
Daisey - It’s a challenge, these are pretty tough, but if you keep trying you can get the innards out of that thing.

Eddie - Another staple from PP is the squeaker mat. No matter where I grab it I can make enough noise to get my mama to stop whatever she is doing and play with me. I have the hedgehog character mat because my mama says it doesn’t show dirt as bad when I drag it outside.
Daisey - There is nothing funnier than trying to see Eddie get that toy through the dog door.

Eddie - My newest toy is the Invincible. I love it! It has loud squeakers and basically the body is made entirely of squeakers instead of stuffing so sis leaves it alone. I think she is afraid of snakes although I tried to tell her the green ones aren’t venomous.
Daisey - That thing is a big toy! I don’t like snakes so I will leave that green monster to Eddie although it looks like a good candidate for a future game of tug.

Eddie - While I don’t play much with the Fire Hose toys, I am glad my mama keeps them around for the more voracious fosters. She will put up my favorites for safekeeping and we play with tough toys like the Fire Hose toy. It’s a nice shape and size for fetch.
Daisey - I like the Fleecy Clean Tug & Bone because I can put it between my papa’s feet and play tug with him and it cleans my teeth at the same time! Mama likes it because we can’t tear it up and make a mess. I’m hoping for Christmas mama can find us the Fleecy Squeak bear.

Daisey - I also like the Funny Fleece. Sometimes I tear them up right away and sometimes I play gently and fall asleep holding it between my paws. I’m told it brings out my nurturing side.

Eddie - We got the Huck ‘Em Nylon fetch toy but we’re both afraid of it because the first time my mama threw it she got too much muscle behind it and somehow managed to whack both of us with one throw. Daisey walks around it if it falls out of the toybox.

Daisey - We are both writing a letter to Santa for a Hide-A-Squirrel because it looks super fun and what Rat Terrier doesn’t love to get hold of a squirrel? Mama likes the looks of it because it is a puzzle and she thinks it will keep us occupied. Hmm! We'll see. Happy Holidays everyone, catch you again next edition.

I adopted Charlotte (AKA Jill) almost 4 yrs ago and she's accomplished so much... from a performer with Ringling Brothers Circus, doing Flyball, Agility & Frisbee around the country, she's also performed with K9's in Flight and also enjoys dock diving. Her latest accomplishment... a Toyota commercial with Victoria Stilwell, soon to air during Animal Planets "It's me or the Dog"!

I found Charlotte at Ratbone Rescues while I was on the Ringling Brothers Gold Unit Tour. My Rat Topper loved her, and she liked him as well. I knew Charlotte was going to be a project, she was only about 4 months old and was afraid of everything. When I first tried to get her out of her crate, she tried to bite me, screamed and peed all over herself. So I just put the crate on the floor at my house and waited for her to come out on her own. Her curiousity gave her the courage to come out and meet all of us. Topper really helped her with her fears, and I used a lot of treats to encourage her to walk on leash. She had serious issues with kids, but now she tolerates them - and I don't put her in any uncomfortable situations, that's for sure.

Some of Charlotte's accomplishments include working on the Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey circus (performing for 2 years at their preshow); doing Flyball and hoop tricks; she also covered some spots in my main dog act, doing Agility and Frisbee. She performed every day for 25 days in the Medora Musical in Medora, ND as part of the Extreme Canines, and this summer she displayed her leaping ability in the "Mutts Gone Nuts" & "K9s in Flight" shows. In both shows I get to announce that I adopted Charlotte from Ratbone Rescues. I'm very happy to say that she has a special place in my heart and my family!

Thank you,
Gail Mirabella


Yappy Endings… Ratbone at Work!
Ratbone Rescues saves Rat Terriers in need. We foster them in our homes, train them, get them vet care then pass them on to their forever family when they are adopted, but this is not the end of what Ratbone does for the dogs we rescue.

Ratbone sends every adopted dog to their new home with a Ratbone ID tag and a microchip. We maintain an 800 number for emergencies and that number is on our Ratbone ID tags. We also register each adopted dog with the microchip company in the new owner's name, with Ratbone Rescues as a backup. Purchasing chips and tags and maintaining the 800 number is an expense to Ratbone and a few months ago, member Vickie Carmichael, took on the task of ordering and dispensing the tags and microchips and answering the 1-800 calls. In times like these, when money is tight, there were moments when she wondered if it was really worth the expense but after a couple of lost dogs returned via this process, she is convinced this is money well spent.

Most recently a call came from a woman in Maryland who found a dog outside a busy shopping center. The dog was wearing a Ratbone tag so she called the 800 number. Vickie found the dog's listing by ID number but initially there was some confusion as to who adopted the dog due to multiple dogs with the same name. This is why it is now stressed to foster moms the need to come up with unique names for their new fosters. The chip company was able to verify who the owner was but the phone number was no longer valid. Vickie then noticed the dog was logged in just above a very sweet pup named Cameo who was adopted by Ratbone volunteers Janie & Phil.

Janie was contacted to see if she knew anything about the littermates of her beloved Cameo and luckily she did! Janie looked through old messages on RT.com, a Rat Terrier related chat board, trying to find a phone number for the owner. When she couldn’t find it there, she asked another RT.com member who suggested trying to contact her via Facebook. Sure enough, there was a wall post saying the dog bolted out onto a busy street and the family was desperately searching for her. Janie sent a message through FB stating the dog was found and within minutes the owner called. A short time later she was able to collect her dog. Lucky for them because the good Samaritan and her Jack Russell were quickly growing fond of the little lost Rat Terrier. Thanks to Ratbone proceedures, volunteer teamwork and the internet, this story had a "yappy ending".


Ratbone Rescues is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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Ratbone Rescues, Inc.
P.O. Box 3237
Seminole, FL 33775

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