Meet the “Rat Pack”

While Olive and Twiggy were still here, I got a message from a friend who had a friend type of message…well they had a friend and they had dogs they wanted to surrender. Being I had an “out there” connection I felt like maybe I should volunteer to help with these dogs. I said I would but also said, I wouldn’t take them until Olive and Twiggy were placed as they were a lot of work. I even gave myself 24 hours of time without any extra dogs here…but then came the “Rat Pack”.

They are all some sort of rat terrier. In the front was Pepper, middle Wisser, and in the back a nameless pup.

They came to us because the owner’s life circumstances changed and she couldn’t afford to have six dogs in the house. So she picked these three and surrendered them to Heart Animal Rescue.

It turns out that Pepper and Wisser are siblings…both are full Rat Terrier breeds. The other nameless guy is a pup who is 5 months old. He is Wisser’s puppy. Wisser bred a Puggle that was in the house and this pup is the result. The lady actually explained that she had two litters last fall and was able to find homes for the rat terrier pups and the other puggle/rat terrier pups sold but had this one left. That’s the nameless pup.

Everyone is puppy-pad trained and hasn’t been outside much in their lives so one of my biggest jobs with having them here is to get them to transfer from puppy pads to outdoors. Imagine housetraining three dogs at once.

When we…

get surrenders in we try really hard to give them a little updo to give them a fresh start and make them a little more adoptable. That and provide a whole lot of vet work. Here is Miss Peppa. We lost the Pepper name trying to give her something fresh and fun close to her real name but just a little updo. Peppa fits her so well. She’s energetic and fun. She totally fits the name Peppa.

She has improved by leaps and bounds with house training. I’m so impressed with her. A family is really going to have fun with her. She’s getting along great with my dogs. She was okay meeting my grandson Carver but didn’t do the best when we had lots of grandkids here. I think they were overwhelming…but I can totally understand her thinking they are overwhelming. The kiddos overwhelm me too.

When the owners dropped her off, I asked if there was any chance she could be pregnant. I was told no…whew I thought.

I later came to realize she was currently in heat! Well, that made things a little challenging. I immediately had to make a plan where she couldn’t be with either of the boys. Granted, the pup might not be able to do anything but I didn’t want to risk it. So Peppa had her own kennel and then got to hang out with my dogs as long as she was good with going to the bathroom outside.

The boys each got their own pen.

I really have enjoyed Peppa and even have gotten in a tiny bit of stitching time with her. Peppa already has a home lined up. She gets her vet work done on Wednesday and will go to her home on Friday.

Next up is Wisser. Pronounced Whiz-zer. He got a name updo too. I just didn’t know if anyone would be attracted to that name as I know many guys who will say “I’m going to go take a whiz” meaning going to the bathroom. I just wanted him to have a name that didn’t suggest pee. So I did a little googling and put in a rhymes with option. The name Caesar came up. It’s not a perfect rhyme match but it’s close. Honestly, I don’t know that he even knows his name. I did change it to Caesar. He likes being a leader so it’s a fitting name.

I don’t know Caesar quite as well as he’s had to be in the largest kennel to prevent Peppa from being bred and he does live up to the name Wisser a bit. He’s doing pretty good transitioning to outdoor bathroom use but his aim on the puppy pads in the house needs a little more perfection. He has a wide spray angle.

Also, he did go to the vet on Monday and was neutered. Sunday overnight was TERRIBLE for me. He barked and howled most of the night because he didn’t understand his circumstances AND there was a female in heat in the house. He wanted to breed her! Monday night went MUCH better. I actually took him to the vet Monday morning and more or less begged them to neuter him for my own sanity.

He’s a changed man and is much sweeter. He’s going to take a little training. I think lack of food was an issue at the house he came from. When I feed him, he doesn’t just eat. He hides his food and is overly protective of it. This is something that often happens to puppy mill dogs. Food scarcity is a real mindset for dogs and alters normal behavior. It’s something that can be worked through. He just needs an understanding human.

He wasn’t the friendliest when we met someone walking…but again, not terrible and something that can be worked with. All in all, with the right person, I think Caesar can excel and be a great dog. He does love people and loves snuggles so that’s the awesome payback with him. He might take some work but there is love and appreciation from him in return.

Caesar has also already found a great home. It’s in Missouri though so we have to work on arrangements to get him picked up. It’s a bit more of a challenge but we can do it. The extra time he might have to spend with me and the extra paperwork is worth it to have him in the perfect home for him.

Last up is the puppy…
He is 5 months old. I’m told he is a Puggle/Rat Terrier mix. For those wanting more, that means a Pug, Beagle, and Rat Terrier mix. The owner didn’t bother naming him.

I’ve named him Slinky…like the dog in the Toy Story series. I started out wanting to name him Archie but another foster picked that name for her dog. Then I picked Odin and Kalissa said, no I like that name if we ever have another kid…I thought about naming him Maynard but ended up with Slinky.

When he came he was painfully shy. He cowered a lot…most of the time actually. That reminded me of a toy slinky…Then I remembered the cute dog in the Toy Story movie series and loved his character thus the name Slinky. He cowered so much that I was afraid he was abused. When he was out of the pen he would hide. I found myself crawling on my hands and knees trying to catch him. He was hard to catch. I transitioned to keeping a leash on him when he was out and about. After a while, he’s gotten better and doesn’t hide as much and lets me catch him. WHEW.

The funny thing is, once I would catch him, he was all about snuggles. He’s super snuggly and likes to bury his face into my neck. Below we tested him to see how he’d do with kids. He actually did great. He’s young so still has plenty of time to mold. The other two dogs were not really fond of kids.

As of my writing this, Slinky doesn’t have a home. He was just recently listed so that really isn’t a surprise.

As the days, really hours, that go by with him, he’s letting his true self shine more and more. He loves other dogs. He likes romping and playing with them. For a while, he was so painfully shy that I thought he might need a special home and might even have special needs…but now I think his only need is love and patience. The name Slinky still fits. Now he is fast and speedy just like a Slinky toy going down the stairs.

House training isn’t going as well for him…it’s really no fault of his own. I learned that the dogs were rarely ever outside. So it’s hard for Slinky to know what to think of outdoors…and then he has no idea why we’re going out. The noises are loud and different. There is so much to take in that the last thing he thinks of is relaxing enough to pee.

I am going through Puppy Pads a lot with these guys. If anyone wants to donate some, HERE is the link to the page I put together for the needs of the rescue I work with.

I just love the picture of him below! I’m so proud of him for going outside and being brave.

Slinky and Peppa go to the vet on Wednesday. It will be a quieter day and I can focus some good attention on Caesar. I know he’ll love that. I will too. It’s hard with three that all need attention plus my two dogs!!

So, that’s my “Rat Pack”…my latest fosters.

I always say I learn something with each dog I get in. This time around I’m learning to deal with dogs in heat. I’ll happily not do that again. I’m learning about transitioning from puppy pads to outdoors for training. I’m learning about painfully shy dogs. It’s all good and in the end, will make me a better foster in the future.

As always, the HEART Animal Rescue page can be found HERE. Feel free to put in an application to adopt Slinky.

9 thoughts on “Meet the “Rat Pack””

  1. You are a God-send to these poor pups! Slinky’s face melts my heart. We lost our last rescue to lymphoma in 2016 – a 14+ year-old beagle named Daisy Mae. Hubby says no more pups for us with 10 grandkids and all their dogs – we get our furry fix when they visit. Keep lovin on them!

  2. The foster dogs are so lucky to be able to start their transition with you. I hope someone chooses Slinky soon, he looks and sounds adorable.

  3. Cynthia from Nebraska

    In my experience it is much easier to potty train a dog if they are around another dog who is already potty-trained! I swear our first dog potty-trained the second, who wanted to do everything she did! If you can’t let them out/walk them with one of your own dogs, then second best is to do it right afterward, and right by where your dog did her business. I love your pup stories.

  4. Judith Fairchild

    Wow! You do have your hands full. I like seeing you handle a crowd of grand children and dogs. Training dogs can be as hard or easy as it is with youngsters. Praying for you all.

  5. What a houseful you have had! Glad at least two of them will go to new home. I’m sure each dog you foster is so different in some ways. You are so smart and catch on so fast with them. I was chuckling about you chasing dog on your hands and knees. No fun for you, but funny for those of us who are reading.

  6. Rat terriers are such wonderful, intelligent dogs. The first dog I had as an adult was a giant Doberman (named Caesar) and after we lost him we needed a smaller breed dog who would be good with children. Rat terriers were perfect for our family. We got a boy, Pep, 25 years ago. After a few years we added a girl, Petunia, known as Tunie. They were a joy. We just lost our sweet little alpha female a few days before Christmas. I hope your rat pack will find love and happiness in their new homes. Bless you for all you do. You are my hero!

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