She came to him at one
of her lowest moments: dirty, smelly, starved for not only food, but also
for attention, love and acceptance. Bart noted the outward appearance
of her, then latched onto those dark, intelligent, pleading eyes that stared
straight into his soul. And he was hooked. He
took the tiny, bedraggled Type B toy pup into his home and bathed her, dried her, fed her and comforted her ... and dreaded when her owners would show up looking for her. And they did. He explained how she'd come to him and he'd cared for her, not knowing where her family was. They thanked him and took her away; his eyes followed that puppy out of sight and, with a heavy heart, Bart returned to his life, never expecting to see the little rattie again.
Well, this little tenacious
terrier had other thoughts. Less than a week later, she showed up
again, in possibly worse condition than she'd been in the first time.
She saw Bart and danced around him in joy, knowing that she'd found the
partner she needed in her little life. This time Bart knew
the owners would come again, so he changed tactics a bit. First he bathed her, dried her, fed her
and comforted her. Then, he called animal protection services and explained what was going on and the condition this little girl kept coming to him in. Monetary fines were levied against the
owners, and restrictions as to what needed to be done to care for this little rat terrier that Bart was growing so fond of. These were paid once the people proved that this little purebred rattie was, indeed, theirs, and once again, she returned home with them. A week later she turned up at
Bart's and his heart somersaulted. She looked worse than ever. She was obviously kept outside - in Utah - no matter what the weather. Now, remember, this is a toy rattie, who only has hair for covering ... not a St. Bernard with her own coat!
Okay, this time Bart is mad. Really mad. He calls in the authorities once again and says he's ready to start adoption proceedings if her owners don't think they can care for her the way she should be cared for. The pup was obviously ignored as were all of her basic needs. Bart doesn't stop there. He calls on breeders of rat terriers, asks for help where ever he can, what should he do? Who can he turn to? I was quite lucky that he chose (by fate or whatever) to contact me, even though we are SEVERAL States away from each other. Bart, I said to him, you're wonderful to care about her. But, you've got it all wrong. You don't need anyone's help. The little rattie has chosen you ... all you need to do is believe in yourself and her and things will come together.
The authorities call the owners of the rattie and tell them they now have to pay for her to be spayed, all her shots to be caught up, and her kennel fee. The hours tick by. Bart is waiting ... impatiently. I am waiting ... impatiently. Before animal services is open in the morning, Bart's on their doorstep, waiting to sign adoption proceedings for her. The owners don't show up. I guess they figured she's not worth it. Little do they know, huh folks?
PS ... this story is true. Bart and Patches
do, indeed, live in Utah. And, he did, indeed, rescue this tiny Type
B tri-color little girl from a miserable existence. And Patches did,
indeed, steal Bart's heart and give him that special something he never
knew he needed! And me? Well, I've got two wonderful, new friends
for my heart!
Feeding: Feed 2 to 3 times a day from weaning til about 4 months. After 4 months, feed twice daily. Always provide clean, fresh water. No nutritional supplements are necessary when feeding a properly balanced food.
Housetraining: Take your pup outside immediately after waking in the morning, after naps, meals, and before being put to bed. Praise him heartily for his success. Use a unique command such as "potty" or "hurry up" each time. Indoors, keep your puppy in a small, confined area within sight or in a crate. Puppies generally will not soil their own sleep area. If your puppy has an accident, pick him up, take him to his elimination area and praise him if he goes. Never push your dog's nose into his own waste, shout at him or strike him.
Teething: Teething typically occurs between 3 and 7 months. If your pup is suddenly less interested in eating, his gums may be sore. Don't worry this is normal and does not mean that he no longer likes his food. Try soaking dry food in warm water for 10 minutes foefore feeding. If he stays off food for more than a few days, try feeding a softer canned food until he can eat dry food again. Or check with our veterinarian.
Chewing: Provide your pup with appropriate chew toys and praise him for chewing them. If your puppy starts chewing on something inapproprieate, say, "NO!" immediately after the misbehavior and every time it occurs. Make sure your pup is getting enough exercise and social interaction everyday. This helps to avoid destructive behavior. When you leave the house, leave your pup in a confined area with appropriate chew toys.
Obedience: Begin training your pup indoors in a controlled environment free of distractions. Use simple commands like sit. Practice the sit twice a day trying 3 repetitions of the command each time. As soon as your pup's attention falters, stop and try again later. Praise your dog by petting and stroking and or with puppy treats. Begin puppy training after your pup's final puppy shots usually around 3-4 months of age.
Follow your vets recommendation for shots and spay/neutering.