July 2012 


Summer in the country



Naked on the Plains
It is true, nudity has come to the rural Kansas countryside. A striking couple has recently been seen on the sidewalks of Norton, drawing a lot of attention wherever they go. Oliver (Ollie) and Hadassah (Dassi) are the first American Hairless Terriers in this small western Kansas town, in fact they are the first hairless dogs of any breed here, so people are noticing them when they are out and about. As a first time hairless “mom”, I’m finding it has some distinct challenges as well as rewards.

The American Hairless Terrier's origins are unique in that the entire breed originated from a single hairless Rat Terrier female born in 1972. It was 10 years before she produced a litter of hairless pups and the breed grew from there. Because of it’s background, the AHT is very similar to the Rat Terrier and the coated AHT is almost indistinguishable from it’s Rat Terrier cousin. Unlike normal coated dogs, AHTs have sweat glands and will get occasional pimples that go away on their own. Rashes due to grass allergies are not uncommon. Other allergies occur as well. Regular baths are a must, to keep their skin in condition. Because of their lack of hair, they need protection from the sun. Sunscreen or a shirt is needed during summer outside time and when cold weather comes, they require sweaters or “jammies” to keep them warm.

Ollie and Dassi were born in Arizona then a year ago they moved to Kansas with their owners. When the family had a second child, they decided they were not able to give the dogs the time they needed so they looked for rescue to take them. Ratbone got the call and being the closest foster home, I agreed to take them. Being within 300 miles, ground transport was workable and I found that this pair loves to travel in a car. Dassi requires close supervision as she will run up to strange cars, hoping to go for a ride.

Dassi, who I call “NudeeBits”, is a 7 pound grey and white girl who spins in circles when she is excited, which is often. She also gives hugs, putting her paws on either side of my neck and pressing her head against my face. She does NOT like being left alone and will cry like a little puppy, separated from it’s mom when she can’t be with me. For more than a week, she and Ollie slept in the library because they would cry through the night, keeping everyone else awake. She is learning to allow some space between herself and me but every 30 minutes or so she has to come “touch” me, just to reassure herself that I‘m still here.

Ollie is a substantial (fat) boy at 19 pounds, a rather pink fella with grey/brown spots and a well established “farmer’s tan”, pasty chest and all. Ollie is less intense than Dassi, he really doesn’t run anywhere. He does like going for walks but because of some skin issues, this is sometimes hard for him as his feet hurt to the point he is lame. He does not like to walk on grass, gravel or sand, preferring smooth concrete surfaces, so walking with Ollie can be slow. Ollie scratches a lot and since he has no hair, when he scratches it leaves scratch marks and abrasions on his skin. Ollie also has some history of ear infections and he will probably need more vet care to get on top of these issues before he goes to a new home.

This cute pair will soon be ready for adoption and they will make wonderful companions for someone, probably someone with allergies to dog hair. With or without hair, the Rat Terrier is a fascinating breed and we at Ratbone hope to continue saving as many as possible. Any support in our efforts, through volunteering or donating, is highly appreciated and will help us attain our goal.

***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


Calamity Jane


Ruby Red



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Dogs are Consistent! (Part 2)

Consistency from Rover's point of view has to do with rules. If we don't let Rover on the couch, we need to be consistent and correct him every time he tries to get on the couch. Even if we've had a horrible day and are tired and just don't want to deal with it, if he's headed for the couch he needs to be corrected. Your dog will test you everyday, to see what your response will be. If you're consistent, he'll be happy and relaxed because he knows he has a strong consistent leader. If you let him get away with something because you're tired, he'll test even more. Why? He'll test more because you're not giving him signals that you're still a viable leader. If you leave the position open he'll apply for the job. He has no choice. It doesn't matter if he's the most confident dog or the shyest. If you are not showing him leadership, he WILL take on the role in order to ensure the pack's survival. That's when problems occur.

The really neat thing about consistency, from our point of view, is that it is one of the things that make dogs so trainable. If we direct Rover to perform a behavior and we are consistent for a while, about 5 weeks, his brain becomes hard wired and he'll perform perfectly over and over and over. We don't have to drill it in his head by spending hours and hours a day training him. We just need to have his attention and get him to focus for about 10 - 15 minutes a day.

Here's the bad news, we're people, not dogs. We, by nature, are not consistent, we really have to work at it. We can rewire our brains, but it takes practice, practice, practice. Is it worth it? Definitely! Rover has an endless supply of unconditional love, joy and companionship to share with us. If we're consistent our relationship will one of happy dogs and happy families. If we're not it's frequently filled with frustration and stress. The choice is ours as Rover will continue to be consistent no matter what.

Submitted by Terry Nickerson, Canine Behavior Therapist and owner of Bark Busters of Brevard. You can reach Terry at 1-977-500-BARK or visit her company's website at www.Barkbusters.com.

Ratbone Leaks

As we shared with our readers a couple months ago, one of our members has designed a special lamp which will be awarded to one lucky supporter of Ratbone Rescues. This will be the second Rat Terrier themed lamp designed and constructed by Susan Cadell, for Ratbone Rescues.

The lamp is nearly done and we will soon be announcing the details on how you can be in on the drawing for this beautiful lamp. We wanted to share a couple of recent pictures with you so you can see how the lamp is coming along and see how lovely the design and the colored glass is. The first picture is of a panel that was ready to be foiled. All the pieces are cut and fit together in a frame to be sure the fit is good.

The second picture is of a panel already soldered together but it won’t look good until the bright silver solder seams are patined black, which is the last thing that happens. The theme of this lamp is Rat Terriers on a dune at the Oregon coast. There are six panels, and the pattern flows from one panel to the other. The finished lamp will also have a “skirt”, which is a one inch strip that foes around the bottom of the lamp, completing the pattern and giving the lamp much greater stability.

Be sure to check our next newsletter for details on the lamp give-away.

I'm a rescue dog foster mom in Oregon. I've been with Ratbone Rescues for years, during which many memorable dogs have passed through my home and my heart. Many have found wonderful forever homes and a few have never left my home. One of the permanent residents is tiny little Susie, an older 6 pound American Hairless Terrier, who will live with me forever due to an unfortunate tendency to dash across the room and attack the foot of every stranger entering the house. She isn't all that good with strangers outside of our home, either; so, we have Susie, who we call "the Alligator" because her jaws snap away as I hold her safely in my arms so she cannot commit an atrocity on a visitor's shoes.

Susie is not one of those pretty little dogs that everyone falls in love with. In fact, she is so ugly that I have given up on taking cute pictures of her. I think she is adorable, but in that way that only a "mother" can love. She has a body like a brick with a little undersized head, a pointy little nose and jackstraw teeth (what few teeth she still has) sorta sticking out of her mouth. She has spindly little legs and if you look at her from the back, she looks like an armadillo. She is the color of old black mold with splotches. If she isn't wearing a tee shirt, you can't see her standing in a shadow. Naturally, I adore her!

Another of Susie's little quirks is that she eats dog beds! Thanks to our Secret Santa, we got a few doggy beds for Christmas. The dogs were thrilled to have beds again since Susie had eaten her way through many of the old ones. Susie has now evolved her bed eating routine, she spends her day running around the house collecting ALL the dog beds in the house. She starts in the bedroom and pulls a dog bed across the carpet and into the living room where she stacks that bed on top of one in the living room. Then she goes off for another bed. Eventually, Susie has collected all of the beds in the house and sorta gotten all of them in a pile in the living room. This process takes her all day. Once she is happy with the pile, Susie climbs up on top and starts chewing on the top bed. She fiercely defends her pile by snarling her little garbled, raspy snarl at any dog that looks longingly at it's bed. By then its dinner time and the bad, nasty foster mom feeds the dogs and puts all of Susie's dog beds back where they belong. This little drama takes place every day at our house.

Until recently, we also had a stunningly beautiful, 35 pound Decker Giant Rat Terrier, Duke. Susie decided Duke was her buddy, which seemed to puzzle Duke but he was very tolerant about it. He could have crushed her if he wanted but he was always careful not to hurt the little bug. It really was a case of Beauty and the Beast only the Beast was little tiny Susie. Duke decided the only way to keep his bed was to stay on top of it while Susie tried to tug it down the hall. Duke would lay on top of his bed and while Susie snarled and tugged and huffed and puffed and then tried to chase Duke off so she could have the bed. But Duke would hang in there, looking at her with a puzzled frown on his face, like he just didn't get it at all. Duke never hurt Susie, he was endlessly patient with her obsessive behavior and eventually Susie would give up and go for another bed. Eventually Duke would have to leave his bed to go outside, then Susie would run in the bedroom to grab Duke's bed and fulfill her stacking dreams. Who needs TV? Just watching the daily bed stacking drama is enough for me.

Beau Chien means "beautiful dog" which describes Beau. He was just a leggy pup when he came to Ratbone Rescues from a shelter but he had an elegant look about him that inspired his name. Beau was a sweet pup, very gentle and easily bullied by tiny Bill but a willing follower in Bill's mischief. When Beau experienced his first winter, he made it clear that he had no use for cold weather or snow. He also thought rain was something to be avoided at all costs. This made it difficult when it was "outside" time. Beau would go out but as soon as he sensed inclimate weather, he would retreat back inside. When forced to go out to potty, he would run and stand in the dog house, watching the door, waiting for a sign that he could come back in. He did figure out pretty quickly that if he ran and pottied quickly, he could come back inside so after the initial attempts to avoid the weather, he would do what he was out there for.

When an app came for Beau, it was like the rescue gods had smiled on him, his potential home was in southern California. The application was approved and Beau was picked up around Christmas time and made the trip home with his new mom. In his new home, he met his new "siblings" both dogs and cats. At first he seemed to be settling in but after a few weeks he began having problems with the cats and Beau almost had to return to Ratbone. Fortunately, our volunteer behaviorist, Terry, with "BarkBusters" was able to give some advice and after more observation, Beau's new mom realized it was another dog, who she had taken to foster, starting the problems with the cats. The foster dog was rehomed and Beau quickly settled down to the sweet dog he was meant to be.

Beau's mom had this to say: "Beau has adjusted and is at peace with all the members of the household even the cats. He seems VERY happy with his new home and has taken to joining everyone else in my bed at night. He has a great time at the dog park and found a few buddies to run with. He is fast...very fast. I'm thinking it might be time to take them to the beach next time it gets into the 70's. I want to thank everyone for helping me adopt Beau. I love him to pieces! He's a shy one but is slowly letting me in. He started jumping into my lap and licking my face...I love that. He's come a long way and it will only get better with time. Beau hates the cold, even here so he wears a jacket for the chilly nights."

In May, another update came with more great news for Beau:
"I want to let those who were involved with Beau's adoption know that we are moving to a big house with a yard. Beau and his 3 "siblings" get a yard finally! Beau is the big silly guy and we all love him so much. He has really come around to being a part of the family, cats and all! Thanks for all your help. We wouldn't have made it without you."

Yeah for Beau! A great ending to his story, another Happy Tail!


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

Ratbone Rescues, Inc.
P.O. Box 3237
Seminole, FL 33775-3237
© 2002-2010 Ratbone Rescues, Inc.