From Our Readers

     Thought you'd get a kick out of this.  Today I decided that the fencing needed a little repair along the bottom seeing as Angel gets under like a little frog.

     Well after I pulled the rusted old fencing off of our fenced in yard I gathered some Chicken coop wiring we had around the garden.  Well I doubled that and put a stool under my butt, and proceeded to attempt to repair and secure the get-away attempts of Angel.  I turn around to pull the fencing towards me and hold it up to the fence with my foot and here is Angel spread eagle like a frog trying to get out of the unprotected area I just took apart to escape out of the yard.  I caught her body half way under the fence and yelled hey where are your going, and she was still going to proceed to go under that fence to go on the other side. But mother here grabbed her belly and pulled her
back under the enemy line. She sees Max, my other Rat grab one of my garden gloves and she prances over slyly and grabs the other one, starts to prance away with it and then darts under a tall pine tree so no one else can get her glove. She would make an excellent trapeze dog.  Flys through the air with the greatest of ease. Angel totally trusts me and will come as soon as I call her.

     Precious, yet another Rat of mine is precocious, will eventually come to see what you might be yacking about but won't give in to what you want unless its what she wants and when she wants it.

     Now Max, He aims to please like Angel but he wants to be your buddy has to be by your side all the time.  Had to get under the side trees to watch me fix the fence while I was doing it and would nudge me once in awhile to let me know he was still there watching and pretending to help, help steal all the tools I was working with! Great family in competition with each other. Can't wait to give mom kisses at night when I put them to bed.   What more could I ask for.

Susan & Dan

     We have had Carter for a year now.  I would recommend a Rat to anyone.  He is easy to care for, loving, cuddly, playful, loyal, etc. But, I would also warn, that the first year is a lot of work.  I have a friend who rescued a Rat, a male the same age as Carter.  We would talk about our Rats, and it was like we were describing the same dog.  They went to Dog School together.  Her dog (Cody) was the only dog Carter has shown a real interest in.  They definitely take a lot of discipline, patience, and a constant reminder of whose boss.  But at a year old, Carter matured greatly.  He still does bad stuff.  But, now he stops when we say no.

Patty Kopeloff

     My wife and bought our first rat in July.  At first, I was not as enthusiastic about getting a little "foo-fooey" dog.  Boy was I wrong.  Out little Bella is awesome.  First, she was a breeze to house train, two months and I can count the number of accidents on one hand.  Most were my fault by not taking her out when she gave the 'sign.'  Obedience training is a little difficult.  She is really smart.....too smart sometimes.

      My wife is having a little harder time training than me.  She has some moments where she just does what she wants.  She is really protective of us when we are outside, even at almost 4 months old.  A ridge of hair on her back that runs down her spine stands up when she gets alert.  Its the funniest thing to see this little 12 lbs terrier start to bark and the hair on her back stands up....and her bark-when she does, it sounds like she is a 20 to 30 lbs dog. Real deep and scary-until she comes prancing around the corner.

     Bella waits up for me to come home every night.  If I am running late, she knows and whines a little till papa gets home.  I fell in love with the little turd in about 5 seconds. Anyway, I just wanted to drop a line.

Shawn Bergman- a new and permanent rat lover.

      I bought a black and tan rat terrier 2 years ago and I live in Arizona.  Just thought you might like to hear she is doing fantastic. Rather spoiled.  My male and her get along very well.  She lets him know she's the boss.

     Whenever I am sitting on the couch and Astro (my male) is next to me, she will squeeze her way next to me not giving a damn if Astro was occupying that space first.  Astro is quite the gentleman.  He will not accept a treat unless Halley gets her treat first.  It's amazing!!  He's friendly with everyone.

     She is more cautious, but once she is comfortable, she is your best friend.  She is still quite the eater.  I can't leave any food out because she thinks she should finish it.  She has killed her share of white winged doves and sparrows this year.  I remember one morning I heard a terrible squawking noise and looked outside to see what was going on.  Halley was chasing a crow, (and the crow was just as big if not bigger than her) and the crow was unable to get airborne.   We managed to save that bird.

     Yes we love her very much.  I would like to get another someday.  I will send some pictures of her soon.  She's GREAT!!!!

Monica Alexander

Canine Einsteins
A Look Inside Your Dogís Amazing Brain

     Ever feel that you and your pet share some sort of mental telepathy?  It may be more than just a case of human-canine bonding.

     According to medical researchers, the brains of a person and a dog share a great deal in common.  Studies have shown that the nerve cells in a dogís brain work the same as those in a human brain.  The chemical composition in the canine and human brains are very similar, and the patterns of electrical activity are virtually identical.

     The structure of your best friendís brain is also closely related to your own neural floor plan.  For example, the area controlling vision is at the back of the brain, and the area governing hearing is at the side by the temples, in both dogs and people.  The sense of touch is centered in a thin strip running over the top of the brain in our canine companions and us.

     Just as it does in humans, the brain of a dog often keeps busy by dreaming when the rest of the body is asleep. There is a special structure in both the canine and human brain that keeps us from getting up and acting out our dreams when we are asleep.

By the way, you can tell when your dog is dreaming, because his breathing will become shallow and irregular. If you look carefully, you can see a dreaming dogís eyes move behind the closed lids. This is happening because the dog is following images in his dream with his eyes. Puppies spend a much greater percentage of their sleep time dreaming than adult dogs do, and small pooches dream more often than big breeds.  (A toy breed may dream once every 10 minutes during sleep, while a Great Dane might spend 90 minutes between dreams.)

     Back to the subject of brains -- although we share much in common with our dogs, there are also a lot of cerebral features that distinguish us from them.  In proportion to total brain size, the dogís cerebral cortex, the curly area that controls higher intelligence, is much smaller than
ours.  However, the amygdala the part of the brain associated with emotions, is four times more prominent in dogs than it is in people.  That may be why our canine friends have an uncanny ability to get us in touch with our feelings!