April 2011 


Just Arrived


Mimi, a purebred Rat Terrier was owner-surrendered to the Arlington (TX) animal control shelter because her owner had a new baby. This 4 year old, spayed, vaccinated, housebroken beauty is a "smiler" and even in the shelter, when the cage door was opened, she worked up a crooked little grin. It was obvious Mimi was the much loved and pampered "baby" in her home before the fur-less baby came along. Mimi was placed into adoptions at the shelter because of her great temperament with strangers, but then, despite her apparent pampered lifestyle before coming to the shelter, she had not been given heartworm preventative and she tested positive for heartworm. This is often a death sentence in any animal shelter as they rarely have the resources to treat for heartworm. Many rescues will also pass on heartworm infected dogs as treatment is expensive. Because she was so sweet, the shelter hoped someone would come to her rescue so notice went out to all the Rat Terrier rescues - please save sweet Mimi!

Ratbone found a spot for Mimi in Oklahoma and offered to take her. She was transported to her new foster home and just last week, she started treatment to destroy the heartworms living in her heart. After the first injections of poison into her back, Mimi will have to remain quietly confined to a crate for 4 weeks, with limited, leashed walks to potty only (no play time). Mimi can not get excited or raise her heart rate, or she could risk a "worm embolism", which could kill her in just minutes. If she makes it successfully through the treatment, Mimi will then be available for adoption.

Why are "worms" such a big deal? What makes heartworms so much worse than those other worms dogs get, the ones your vet can spot in a stool sample? Well, it is thgat heartworms will, in all likelihood,KILL your dog if left untreated. Heart worms are about six inches long. They live mostly in the heart and the large blood vessel that brings oxygen-rich blood from the lungs to the heart. Adult male and female worms living in the heart produce thousands of microscopic baby worms which circulate throughout the body. These baby heartworms do not grow to adulthood in the dog where they were born. Before baby heartworms can develop further, they must live in a mosquito.

A mosquito bites the infected dog, sucking up baby heartworms. During the next month, the heartworm babies develop into heartworm "teenagers", a stage partway between baby and adult. Now, the mosquito bites another dog, infecting the new dog with teenage heartworms that are ready to become adults. After six or seven more months the life cycle is complete: new adult male and female heartworms are producing thousands of baby heartworms.

Early signs of infection include a cough, especially on exercise and early exhaustion upon exercise. In the most advanced cases where many adult worms have built up in the heart without treatment, signs progress to severe weight loss, fainting, coughing up blood and finally, congestive heart failure and death.

The cost to treat a dog who has heartworms ranges from $200 to $900+, depending on location. When possible, Ratbone will transport an infected dog to an area with lower treatment costs but this is not always possible. Once it becomes a Ratbone dog however, treatment will be provided, regardless of the cost.

For as little as $6 a month for a small dog... $72 a year - less than a third of what it cost to treat her... Mimi could have been protected against heartworm disease, and would not now be going through a painful and dangerous treatment. Ratbone is also currently treating Charli in North Carolina for heartworm. Two dogs starting heartworm treatment in April, two dogs who would now be ready for adoption had their owners spent the money to give them a single dose of preventative once a month. DON'T make this mistake with your pet, get your dog tested and started on heartworm preventative. This could save your pet's life.

The costs of rescue are constant, fundraising is ongoing as this is the only way Ratbone Rescues can meet the needs of the dogs in our care. If you would like to help us cover the cost of heartworm treatment for a Rat Terrier in our care, your donation would be greatly appreciated.

***Please be sure to include an e-mail address, so that we can send you an acknowledgement***

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



Ray Ray




Volunteer Spotlight Coming Back next Month

Have you heard? There’s something new in the canine human companion world and it is the Pet Spa! I know from listening to my mama and my granny that a spa is a wonderful thing and now I’ve learned that pet spas are becoming more common.

I know what you are thinking….the pet spa is just a fancy title for a boarding kennel. But, look again. Many are a new business model with pet stylists who bath, cut, groom, and administer treatments for “our” issues such as shedding.

The modern pet spa sells natural and holistic food and supplements as well clothing and toys. Some even have sets for doing glamour shots! I can hardly wait for my close up.

Spas – there not just for humans anymore.






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More Tips for Safe Travel with Your Dog


NO! This is NOT the way to have a safe and pleasant car trip with your canine friend. With spring upon us, you may decide to take a weekend trip to the mountains or spend a week on the road, visiting scenic locations or maybe just relatives. Whatever the reason, if you decide to take Fido on your travels with you, here are some hints to make it a good experience for all.

Car and Truck Travel

No matter how long or short the journey, your dog should be restrained. An unrestrained dog is dangerous to himself and others. He can become a flying projectile that can injure you, your passengers or himself.

Secure your dog in the back seat, (dogs riding in the front seat can be seriously hurt or killed if the airbags deploy) with a pet travel safety harness or car seat, or in a pet carrier fastened to a seatbelt. If you drive an SUV, install a pet barrier to keep the dog in the back area of the vehicle as well as securing him in his harness and attaching it to the hooks in the floor.

If you must transport your dog in the bed of a pickup, use a crate or carrier secured to the truck bed to prevent him from being thrown into traffic at a sudden stop or fender bender.

Do not allow your dog to ride with his head out the window. Road debris and other flying objects can injure his eyes or ears.

Before you set out on your journey and after arriving at your destination, give your dog plenty of exercise. This will help him be more relaxed and able to acclimate to his new surroundings.

When stopping for a break and before you open the car door; attach a leash to your dog’s collar so he can’t escape. Even the most obedient pet can become disoriented when traveling. Always use a leash to walk your dog.

On a long car ride, stop every four hours or so, to allow your dog to relieve himself (be sure to clean up after him), stretch his legs, refresh himself with a small drink of water, and help him understand that he’s going to another environment.

Watch for temperature extremes. Your car is like an oven under the blazing sun and a freezer in the bitter cold.

Whatever your travel plans, be sure to affix current identification to your dog. Better yet; have him micro-chipped, providing a permanent form of I.D. to help ensure he is returned to you and carry a recent photograph of your dog to make it easier for others to help you look for him if he gets lost during the trip. If your dog is prone to anxiety or motion sickness, check with your vet about tranquilizers or anti-nausea drugs for your dog.

These little steps could keep your trip happy and fun and ensure that everyone makes it home safely. Enjoy your travels in good company.

Well, if you haven't started making plans for it yet, you may just miss Ratbone Rescues 1st Annual South East Reunion. You could still make it but you need to hussle as it is coming up on April 30th at Dogwood Dog Park in Jacksonville Florida. Festivities will begin at 9:00 AM and wind down around 6:00 PM. If you are in the area, be sure to stop in as it will be a day of fun, food and fellowship with other Rattie lovers. There will be games, prizes and a hearty lunch of pulled pork BBQ or chicken, side dishes and drinks, all for just $10. Admission to the day's events is a new, dog related item which will be raffled off at the end of the day.

Follow this link for details on location, schedule, accommodations and to register: http://www.ratbonerescues.com/SE_reunion.php. There is still time to register! To register, go to the RSVP link near the bottom of the reunion webpage to send an email to Patty. Tell her your name and that of anyone planning to come with you. This will allow the organizers to know how much food will be needed.

Please plan on coming! We look forward to seeing you, your friends, your family AND your dogs at this day of fun and fellowship for people who share a love of Rat Terriers. Bring your lawn chairs and pop up awnings and help us make this a day to remember!

I got new toys!

I believe my mama felt sorry for me because my letter to the major toy companies went unanswered. You see, I told them about my experience as an e-columnist toy reviewer and I volunteered to be an official toy tester for their companies. Apparently they were not in need of my particular expertise.

They say that every cloud has a silver lining and I guess mine has two – my mama is now on several e-mail lists and signs me up to win drawings for oodles of toys and she has bought me several new toys while I wait to win the drawing (or a job as an official toy tester).

My first new toy is a KONG Pet Stix. It’s very much like a real stick only safer for us doggies that like to chew. There’s no bark or splinters – just stuffing if you manage to breath through its tough exterior. So far ours in intact despite Daisey’s effort to figure out what its made of. I prefer to play fetch with it.

My second new toy, and current favorite, is the Nylabone brand Snuggle Juggles. Yes, I finally got one and I love it! It’s big but it’s light and soft. I like to play fetch with it and alone-time play with it. Daisey like to hold it in her mouth and fall asleep – she often does that with stuffed Sherpa type toys.

That’s all for now but stayed tuned for next month when I will do a pictorial on before and after toys.

Til next time, Eddie

Khloe was a sweet 10 pound, 3-year-old, Teddy-style Rat Terrier. In early 2008 she was picked up by animal control and taken to the shelter, where they noticed she was limping; they took x-rays and discovered a badly shattered pelvis. Shelter personnel were amazed that Khloe could even walk, because her pelvis was broken in almost too many places to count. Because of the nature of the breaks and the lack of other visible wounds (like road rash), it was felt that her injuries were the result of being beaten, rather than being hit by a car. Even so, Khloe was an incredibly sweet and loving little guest at the shelter, so they contacted Ratbone Rescues to come and rescue her. Crate rest and limited activity served her well, and she recovered completely after several weeks. Khloe was adopted by Diane & Israel Gonzalez in March 2008.

Recently Khloe's adoptive family wrote to Ratbone;
"We just want to thank the wonderful people that gave us our wonderful dog and companion, Khloe. Khloe was found in Melbourne Florida with a fractured pelvis. The wonderful people at Ratbone rescued her, and the rest is history! She is now a snowbird, and spends her winters in Florida and her summers in New Jersey. She is a truly loving dog and a wonderful companion.

Thank you again, Diane and Israel Gonzalez"

Don't you just love a Happy Tail? If want to share the "Tail" of how you adopted your Ratbone Rescues dog, please send your Happy Tail to: TheBarker-owner@yahoogroups.com

Note from the Editor: In this edition of The Barker, we are bringing you an unusually long story, which you will not regret reading. Although the ending of this story is not light and "happy" this is truly a story of a "Yappy Ending" and demonstrates the dedication and determination of Ratbone member, Susan Cadell and her husband, to making life better for one more damaged and broken dog who would have definitely died in the shelter if not for them. I am unable to read this story without crying, my hat is off to you, Susan and Robert. I hope you all enjoy this beautiful story of one little Rat Terrier.

by Susan Cadell
Mad Max came to us through a phone call from a local animal shelter. The shelter worker, who knows me as a Rat Terrier rescuer, told me that a vicious Rat Terrier had been found as a stray. The shelter worker who brought him in had to corner him and use the pole with the loop on the end to bring him in. They thought he should be put down immediately but wondered if I wanted to see him just in case.

I immediately set off for the shelter. I was shown to the kennel in the farthest corner of the shelter. Back in the corner, behind an impressive set of fangs, crouched a lovely male Rat Terrier. He was large, adult and well muscled. I kept talking to him from outside his run. He would snarl and show his teeth. I kept talking. Slowly, I let myself into the kennel. He lunged at me, but he didn’t bite me. I took a good look at this impressive, lovely animal. The hair on his neck had been worn off as if he had been chained. There was also a deep gouge, as if a tight wire had cut into his throat. His nose had been broken. I looked into those wary eyes and realized that someone had taught this beautiful dog to fear and hate humans. We sat there, the two of us, barely two feet apart. The dog could have attacked me at any time but he never did. He snarled, he showed impressive teeth at me, he even lunged at me. I reached out slowly. He grabbed my arm, it hurt, but he did not tear into me. He snarled like he was about to rip my arm off, but he didn’t. Slowly I managed to get a harness on him, upside down, but it held and together we left that shelter. I never even slowed down to sign the paperwork, just hollered out that I was taking him into rescue. Then I called my husband and told him to get our other dogs outside as I was bringing in a wild one.

Mad Max as we named him, lived in the laundry room behind two baby gates, one on top of the other, for two weeks. We fed him, gave him water and talked lovingly to him. We couldn’t pet him but he quit lunging and he loved the food. He would accept juicy little treats from us through the baby gate and then growl at us.

One day I came home and my husband had Max on his leash and was sitting in the living room feeding Max Spanish peanuts. I was amazed. Max snarled at me, and Robert said “Now Max, we don’t do that anymore.” That was the turning point for Max. It took months, but slowly Max learned that we would not hurt him. He seemed to have a special relationship with my husband. My husband was also what I considered a “wounded warrior” after two very difficult tours in Viet Nam. These two damaged males recognized something in each other.

Slowly, Max began to exorcise his demons. He would have horrible dreams, crying out as if in pain, flinching as if he was being beaten. We wanted to touch him and cuddle him but learned that it was not wise to disturb Max when he was having these dreams. He would wake snarling ferociously if we touched him. Gradually, we learned that he was all sound and fury but would not actually hurt us. Then we began touching him, rubbing him, comforting him and slowly, he responded.

In spite of Max’s aggressive stance toward other dogs, he accepted and was accepted by our other Rat Terriers almost from the beginning. As a foster home for Ratbone Rescues, our two dogs had seen a lot of injured, scared and ill treated dogs come to foster with us, get better and go on to new homes. They knew the drill. But, Max became one of the family. We almost put him up for adoption at one point, but he and my husband had forged a strong bond and I knew somehow that we were the first people Max had ever loved. If we let Max love us and then we gave him away, we would break something inside of him forever. So Mad Max became the third forever dog in our home and was allowed into the sacred family bed that was off limits to foster dogs.

One night, I was working into the late hours. Everyone had gone to bed but me and Max, who never went to bed until everyone was where they were supposed to be. I suddenly remembered that I had not deposited a rather large check and that my bank account would bounce if I didn’t. So, at 2 AM, I quietly slipped Max’s lead on and we crept out the door and drove to the automated banking machine. I left Max in the car with the window open a few inches. As I was trying to fit the deposit envelope into the poorly lit slot, a man came at me from around the corner of the building. I panicked. I sensed that I was in trouble but suddenly, there was Mad Max in all of his old ferociousness, snarling and lunging at the man. I have no idea how Max squeezed out of that barely open window but both Max and the intruder disappeared around the corner of the building. Max came back almost immediately, running up to me and jumping all over me. We just hugged each other and got the heck out of there.

Max has been with us for some time now. He is still not a dog that trusts strangers. No one walks into our home without an invitation. He will never feel safe in this world. Only within our little family circle does Max relax and allow the playful, loving clown he was born to be emerge.

I like to think that Max’s story is just beginning. As I write this, Max is laying at my feet. I am once again burning the midnight oil and Max will not retire for the night until all of his people are where they belong.

I wrote Max’s story a couple of years ago. Max is no longer with us. During a terrible snow storm, Max became very ill. Fearing that he had pneumonia, I called our vet and talked him into opening the vet clinic for us. My husband drove us to the vet clinic in the snow and ice in his four wheel drive pickup. Max sat quietly between us, struggling to breathe. Max was diagnosed with pneumonia which was curable but he was also in heart failure. At best, we could keep Max with us for a few more months with proper care and medication.. We treasured every day with our aging old warrior. Apparently, by then Max was 13 or 14 years old. He had always been such a powerful presence in our home that we had thought he was ageless.

We took Max to the beach one last time. Max had always loved the freedom of running free on the beach, peeing on all of the logs and dashing around with a goofy grin on his face. If strangers got too close to me, he always ran to my side, keeping a close eye out until he felt that the danger had passed. But this time, Max simply trotted quietly at my side. My husband and I decided to take Max back to the vet to see if there was anything else that could be done to prolong Max’s quality of life. Unfortunately, there was not. So Max died quietly in my arms. I didn’t let anyone else hold him as I cuddled him close and told him how much I loved him as his life slipped away.

There is not a day that goes by that Robert and I do not mention Max. He was such a huge presence in our lives. He was the pack alpha and he ruled firmly. Every dog that tried to usurp him was calmly and immediately dealt with. Max never drew blood but he was never challenged twice. The other dogs in our home understood that something had happened. When I came home without Max, I placed his harness on the floor. All the dogs checked it out. Ashley quit eating for two days. Tibbs kept an eye on the door but slowly, they accepted the fact that the pack leader had moved on.

We will always love our old warrior and are grateful for the wonderful things that he brought into our lives. Fare thee well Max. You were loved.


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

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

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