September 2011 


HMM! Wish I had a cool mustache



At this writing, it is early morning, September 11, 2011, the 10th anniversary of 9/11. For the past week TV programming has been full of stories about that historic day and it's aftermath. Millions of Americans will forever remember exactly what they were doing that morning in September, 2001 and for the rest of their lives, many will feel an ache in their heart when they recall it. Americans pulled together that day and heroes emerged from clouds of dust.

One tiny little hero, special to the hearts of Ratbone members, was Ricky, a Rat Terrier Search And Rescue (SAR)dog from Washington. Ricky, who lived with the Linker family, was not a shy dog. He jumped, ran, chewed things up and fetched until day's end, although he would not give up the ball. He could bark continuously, for what seemed like hours. But when people were trapped and dying, these were the traits that put Ricky in demand. At two years old, Ricky could climb ladders, run complex patterns on command and differentiate between the living and the dead. On June 17, 2000, Ricky attained his Basic Level certification after proving he could search through piles of concrete at a site half the size of a baseball field, finding three victims in less than 10 minutes, unfazed by bulldozers, jackhammers, cats in cages, and dirty laundry, set up as distractions. Even so, the carnage at the World Trade Center site pushed Ricky's abilities beyond anything he'd ever experienced.

At 17" and less than 18 pounds, Ricky would not let his small size deterred him from his duties at "the pile". In fact, his size, compared to most SAR dogs, worked to his advantage. Ricky was able to squeeze into holes that other dogs and robots were too large to navigate. Ricky and his trainer, Janet Linker of the Seattle Fire Department, searched the ruins for ten September days, helping to locate the bodies of several victims. "There were a few situations where we had to climb underneath metal beams, and the space just kept getting smaller and smaller," said Janet, who worked with Northwest Disaster Search Dogs.

Janet and Ricky worked closely with another SAR pair, Kent Olson and his Golden Retriever, Thunder, fellow members of NDSD, to locate several victims in the rubble, among them a firefighter and a policeman. The two dogs' abilities meshed well, Ricky could wriggle into tight spots that 64 pound Thunder could not manage, and Thunder, a more experienced dog would verify Ricky's finds. When Ricky found a body, he would signal by standing very still, looking at his handler intently with his fur standing up; Thunder would confirm the find by lying down as his signal to his partner. Rescuers then knew exactly where to dig. Both dogs' signaled a "live find" with a bark, but unfortunately they never had the chance to give that signal.

On Sep. 29 after almost two weeks, Ricky and Janet were called off the job and returned to their home in Auburn, Washington. Ricky has been retired from SAR work and now spends his time being a loving member of the Linker family. The nation owes it to Ricky to always remember the work of he and his fellow Search And Rescue dogs. These amazing dogs and their handlers deserve a place in history for all their efforts in the days following the attack on the World Trade Center.

We at Ratbone Rescues THANK Ricky and all the other rescue workers, human and canine, for all they did for America and we REMEMBER those who died that day and in the years since, in defense of America.


North Carolina


Darlin Blinkie



Don't forget, the Ratbone Rescues 2011 quilt is now waiting for it's new owner. This lovely holiday themed quilt is more than a warm, cozy cover for your bed. It is also a work of art and love. Each block was designed and created by someone who loves Rat Terriers. That alone makes it collectible.

To see more pictures and learn how this beautiful quilt could be yours, go check out our quilt pages.


After “stalking’ the Ratbone website for years, Jamie Clasen finally found her home remodel finished and her school schedule conducive to adopting a rat terrier. But, she didn’t stop there - she also signed up as a Ratbone volunteer. That was two years and many fosters, transports, and shelter pulls ago. In addition, Jamie has been a State Coordinator for Ratbone for six months.

Jamie is not new to rat terriers; she grew up with them. According to Jamie her father wouldn’t have any other breed and that interest stayed with her into her adulthood. Her first experience of rescuing a rat terrier was after receiving a call from a friend that a shelter was going to put down a rattie in 12 hours. She drove a hour to the shelter, still unsure if it actually was a rattie since many people confused Rat Terriers with Jack Russell Terriers in her area, to find a growling, unhappy rattie. When Jamie said she would take the dog the woman working at the shelter tried to talk her out of it and said he was a nasty dog. The dog, later known as Buddy, starred at her with distrust all the way home and was very unhappy to find a man (Jamie’s husband) also living in his new home. They later discovered that Buddy had been abused by a man.

Jamie recently undertook a huge fundraising effort for Ratbone by hosting a Longaberger basket bingo. She found volunteers to purchase some of the baskets, others purchased items to fill some of the baskets, and others helped publicize and run the event. The participants had a great time and the lucky ones left with a very nice prize.

Jamie has lived in Maryland all of her life. She and her husband enjoy fishing and crabbing from their boat. Jamie also enjoys crochet. She is an RN, works with young stroke victims, and is only two classes away from her master’s degree.

I hope everyone had a summer filled with fun and excitement. I had a marvelous summer because for the first time ever I got to go on vacation! And, it was special because it was a “dog vacation”.

My mama, pappa, Eddie & I packed up and drove from Florida to Kentucky. We got chewies and new toys to keep us occupied on the long trip. In fact it was so long that it took two days so we spent the night near Atlanta with our cousin. Our cousin bought dog toys in anticipation of us coming for a visit so we were perfect houseguests.

When we got to Kentucky we stayed in a hotel at night but mostly we were at our friend’s house on a lake. It was so fun to meet the other dogs and people and enjoy the warmth of summer and friendship.

We went on a ride on a pontoon boat, we swam in the lake, and we napped on a hammock with our mama. I got to eat potato salad!

It was a little scary at first because we spent our days on a boat dock so there was water under the structure but we quickly gained our sea legs. Same was true of our boat rides – the first time was a little disconcerting but the second time my brother Eddie hopped up on the back of the boat and was ready to go! Who knew senior rat terriers could adapt so quickly?

I can hardly wait until next summer’s adventures but, in the meant time, I will leave you with a photo of First Mate Eddie shoving off from Herrington Lake in Kentucky. Ahoy!


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Halloween brings thrills for children but it can bring unwelcome chills for dogs - from oddly dressed strangers at the door, to unusual commotion in the neighborhood – all packed into one night. Dog owners can do little to control external stimuli, but can protect their dog by observing the following tips on Halloween.

  • Don't leave your dog outside – Bring your dog inside where it's safe - even if you have a fenced yard.
  • Keep your dog restrained. Put him in a separate room, away from the front door, to limit his excitability, aggression and chance of running out the door.
  • Check your dog's ID tags - Be sure identification tags are secure on your dog's collar. Just in case.
  • Reassure your dog - The best thing you can do for your dog when he is feeling unsettled is to act as you normally would. Don't over-reassure your dog by giving him an unusual amount of attention, you can inadvertently tell him there is something to worry about.
  • Let your dog get used to your costumes. Your dog may see family members as strangers with their Halloween costumes on. Before the kids put them on, allow your dog to sniff the costumes. Keep masks off while your dog is around.
  • Keep the "treats" away from your dog. Many candies, especially chocolate and some chewing gums are toxic to dog. They can result in a mild tummy upset, vomiting and diarrhea, even death.
  • Watch candles, excited or agitated dogs can easily knock over a lit candle or pumpkin. Be sure those items are out of your dog's reach. Consider a battery-powered "candle".
  • Think twice about dressing your dog in a costume. Some dogs might enjoy it but many don't. Experiment first to see if your dog likes being in a costume. If he shows resistance, don't do it.
  • If you take your dog trick-or-treating with you, be prepared at all times. Dogs do not understand that a person jumping out at you will not hurt you. They may think they need to protect you by acting aggressively. Neither children nor adults in costumes should approach a dog without the owner's consent, and only with their mask off.
Have a safe and fun Halloween and keep it the same for your dog.

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

Ratbone Leaks

This year's Northwest Ratbone Rescues Reunion and Rat Terrier Rally will be held in the beautiful Northwest at Champoeg Park near Newberg, Oregon on October 7, 8, and 9, 2011. The event will begin on Friday night at 7 pm with a bonfire and marshmallow roast. Saturday will be full of events and races. There will be a BarBQue lunch at noon, all you can eat for $10.00 each. After lunch, the fun and games resume until evening, when we have a huge raffle drawing and a pot luck dinner. Sunday morning, we all say our good-byes until next year.

This was a great event last year, people had fun and this is going to be even better, lots of fun for both humans and Ratties. The cost of admission is a raffle prize. Bring a light jacket, a folding chair and your Rattie! If you have an RV or want to camp out with us, come Friday night. If you are coming for the day, show up on Satuday morning and spend the day with us. But whatever you do, do come out for a wonderfully fun time.

If you can attend, please RSPV to Susan Cadell at 503 707-1981. See ya there!

Happy autumn everyone! I've had such a busy summer that I just haven't had the time to share a review of my new toys. I visited 4 new states but I'm going to let Daisey share that story with you.

This month I would like to tell you about my Swingin Safari Leopard, by Multipet International. It's my "it" toy right now. When I first got it my mama checked out the company because she likes to make sure that my toys are safe and she did not recognize the name. Turn out that Multipet is the maker of the famous Loofa toy.

Swingin Safari animals come in four styles – elephant, monkey, giraffe, and leopard. They are all ultra soft plush toys with extra long arms and legs. Each arm and leg contains a squeaker because who doesn't love a squeaker? The long arms & leg with the weight in the body make this a perfect toy for tossing and swinging. I like to play tug and retrieve with it and so far 3 out of the 4 squeakers are still working.

My sister Daisey hasn't destuffed or desqueaked it yet. I'm thinking that's because it's kinda big at 22" long. It could be because it's really soft and she likes to cuddle with the softest toys and not destroy them right away. Or, it could be the result of the toy fighting back – the arms and legs are long enough where when you give it a good shake, they can swing back around and bop you!

I am very glad that my Swingin Safari Leopard has lasted for a couple month (so far) because I'm really enjoying it. My mama gives it a thumbs up for being a bit large for getting out the dog door so not only has it stayed clean but it hasn't gone missing in our backyard jungle.

Final rating: A thumbs up from Eddie, Daisey, & humans.

Fonzie is a wonderfully, sweet little boy born at 9:27 AM in Georgia. His mama, who was rescued from a kill shelter there, was thought to be pregnant when she left the shelter. Sure enough 2 days after joining Ratbone, his mama gave birth to two beautiful babies. Fonzie was born as his mama walked across the kitchen floor after breakfast.

He was a complete surprise to his temporary foster family and his mama. He was born without any tail at all and was just as adorable as can be. When he was six days old he made a long ride with his sister and his mama from Georgia to their new foster family in Florida. With only Fonz and his sister at the milk bar they grew very quickly but Fonzie is still a small boy. He has been adopted by a wonderful family on the Gulf side of Florida. They are totally thrilled with Fonzie and say he rules the house, all six pounds of him, at 14 weeks of age. He will always be a small dog, his mama is only 10 pounds. Fonzie a real sweetheart, he loves to give kisses and to be cuddled close. Can you have a "Happy Tail" if you have no tail? Well, Fonzie probably thinks so.


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

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