Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tales About Tails and Companionship

Dogs have been a part of my life from my earliest memories.  In my opinion, my home is not complete without a dog living in it. Dogs are built-in friends, home security systems, and similar to having permanent young children.  There is no such thing as empty nest when you have a dog to care for.  While I don't think every family should have a dog, as they are huge commitments of time, energy, and resources, I can't imagine myself in a home without a dog.

Daisy was my companion for years. She was an intelligent and spunky Rat Terrier. When she suddenly passed away, I was devastated. It is still hard to talk about her and I'm glad that I had written about her and her favorite toys before she became ill.

I'm not completely sure what made me choose her at the pet store.  In large part, it was the way she sat and looked me right in the eye while the other puppies jumped around and barked.  It was only after I brought Daisy home, as a tiny puppy, that something seemed more familiar about her than it should have.  One day something clicked and I started to dig through the very old family photographs that I had hoarded over the years.

The author at 3 years of age
There they were, the little dogs of my young childhood. I cannot tell you whether these dogs were Rat Terriers or Toy Fox Terriers. But clearly, there they were in photo after photo, the little white and black dogs with me, my pigtails, and barefeet.

Ratties fit best with active families. These dogs need exercise and mental stimulation.  If you are looking for an accessory dog that is only interested in lying on your sofa and riding around in your purse quietly, a Rat Terrier is likely not the best choice. Some websites state that Rat Terriers need 30 minutes of exercise every day.  Our Daisy required more daily stimulation and exercise than a mere half hour. 

These dogs come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some have long legs and some have short legs.  I prefer the long-legged variety, called Type A. The short-legged and longer body type are called Teddy Roosevelt or Type B.  Rat Terriers come in three different sizes; toy, mid-sized, and standard.

Before adding any dog to your family, make sure that you are ready for the commitment.  All dogs deserve your time and attention every day.  If you decide on adding a Rattie to your home, please do your homework first. In some ways, having a Rat Terrier is like having a full-time toddler. However, if you are ready for this level of supervision and interaction, I think that you'll find that your Rattie is the best dog you've ever had.

For more dog stories and dog blogs, check out this dog blog hop every Saturday on Dog Pawsitive Tidbits

PAWSit Hop Saturday


  1. How sweet. Rat Terriers are great dogs for the right family. Thanks for sharing more information about them for those interested in these charming little ones.

  2. What fabulous puppies and excellent suggestions you have shared with us today! It is wisdom in action to know a lot about any breed before you bring them home. They do need to fit in well with your own lifestyle.

  3. I love this family picture of you in pigtails with your dog, what a treasure! Full-time toddler is right, ha! Yes, it is most important that we make sure we will make the time to do right by a family pet before taking on the responsibility.

    Unfortunately, I know that dog loss pain all too well. But of course another dog helps for comfort. I hope to read about your new dog too!

    I do hope you link your dog post up with PASWSit at Dog Pawsitive Tidbits, Dawn Rae. You and Daisy would be a great addition to the blog hop!

  4. Adding a pet the family is a huge decision. We adopted our first dog ever (we've had cats before) from an elderly family member. She's been a part of our life for 3 years now. The dog is quite old, and yes, it's a huge commitment, and not one to be taken lightly. We've raised a lot of kids, and raising a dog falls into the category (not entirely the same of course) as that. It's not something we plan to do again, but our doggie is a huge part of the family now; she'll be the only little hound to grace our home.

  5. We've had Malachi for going on 4 years now. He's closing in on 12 years old.