My mom named him. Pudge was the rat that brought my attention to the rest of the rats. He was the biggest one; my dream rat. The size rat that I’ve always wanted! He’s also pretty pudgy. This boy hasn’t missed any meals.
Monthly Archives: September 2013
Pip is the other original rat. He and Ciel are much smaller than the other four, but I think they use that to their advantage especially when it comes to the best sleeping spots. A couple times Pip has found a nice comfy place on the back of one of the other boys, usually Pudge (see next post) or Kieran since they’re the biggest of the six, though Faust and Felix make nice mattresses as well…or so I’ve observed.
I wanted a black, male Shih Tzu for some time so I could name it Kieran. The only problem is I won’t be able to get another Shih Tzu for quite awhile and also, Shih Tzu that start out black rarely are black by the time they reach adulthood. So, I decided that I’d settle on the next best thing and that’s a black (or really dark brown) rat. He does have a bit of white on his tummy. I do believe that he’s what is known as a Berkshire.
Felix is the other twin. Until I noticed that Felix had black on his arm and Faust didn’t, I wasn’t even sure that I’d be able to tell them apart. The only problem is I have to look at them from the right side. Their left sides look pretty much alike.
Faust is one of the “twins.” He and Felix are almost identical except Felix has a little more black on his right leg than Faust does. As of yet, I’m not quite sure of Faust’s personality, but I’m eager to learn what he’s like.
Ciel is one of my two original boys. He’s blind in one eye. Actually let me rephrase that. He only has one eye. Apparently he was born like that. It doesn’t stop him from exploring and getting in trouble though.
So…I decided to go by the OKC Animal Welfare Division today. I wasn’t looking for anything or anyone special, I just had a day off and felt compelled to visit the shelter. This particular shelter is a very nice shelter. Most of the animals, especially the kittens or mothers with puppies, have suites rather than cages and people can go in and play with the animals. For the ones who have to be in cages, there are three rooms designated for people to take the dogs out of the cages and play with the dogs to see if the dog is compatible with their lifestyle. However, there aren’t just dogs and cats at this shelter. They sometimes get exotics in and there is a special room for exotic animals. This is where my tail…er tale begins.
As I was walking toward the dog area, motion caught my eye and I looked in a room and saw two large aquariums with rats in each one. I assumed one held males and one held females. After a short wait, one of the shelter workers (or volunteers) retrieved the key so I could go in. I was immediately drawn to the male rats, not simply because I have males, but because of the size of a couple of the males in the aquarium. Mind you, I’ve always wanted a large rat which is the reason why my colony consists of males rather than females.
After little deliberation, I decided that I wanted to adopt two of the males. Their adoption price? $1.00 each. I didn’t adopt them right then, though. I glanced at the kittens in their suites and then looked at the dogs. I wasn’t drawn to any, except two Shih Tzu who had just come out of spay/neuter surgery, but since my husband won’t let me have another Shih Tzu, I didn’t pursue them any further than to inquire when they were ready for adoption.
Then it was time to adopt my rats. I couldn’t find two dollars in my purse so I had to use my debit card. A couple workers and I laughed about how people rarely use cash anymore and how cash is always the first thing spent in our purses. After signing some paperwork, I chose my two rats and drove home.
No, my story doesn’t end there.
I put the rats in one of the ferret cage while I went to get an aquarium from work. I know actual rat cages are better for them, but until I can order one I settled for an aquarium. While paying for the aquarium, I thought about the other two male rats that I left behind. “Monday,” I told myself. “Monday I’ll go get them.”
So I returned home knowing that I wouldn’t get them Monday.
I put the new boys and my boys in the aquarium together. I expected them to bicker or something, but they immediately sniffed at each other and groomed each other. Positive sign. Even more positive was that the aquarium would hold six rats.
Yep, I fished five dollars from my tip jar and drove back to the shelter to get the other two boys. They weren’t surprised to see me again. They were happy that the boys were going to a good home. If I had two or three more cages and money to spay/neuter my rats, I would have walked out of there with the females too.
When I got home I added the two boys to the rest. Everyone groomed each other and piled up for a nice nap. The new boys are so much bigger than my boys, but they all act as if they’ve known each other their entire lives. Below is a picture of a pile of rats. Sorry it is kind of hard to see, had I taken the lid off the rats would have scattered.
The six posts after this one is an up close and personal look at each of my boys. Enjoy…
Out of boredom, I took Haley and Shaffer out front so Shaffer could roam around and Haley could play fetch. Neither dog did much of either task I’d thought they’d do and eventually Shaffer rested on the front walkway and Haley on the porch.
Around that time the neighborhood children appeared riding their bikes. I marveled that kids these days still enjoyed playing outside and I realized that there is hope for the future generations. Well, I hope there’s hope. Only time will tell.
While the kids rode back and forth in front of our house, I realized that though my dogs watched the kids with interest, neither one made any attempt to chase after the kids. They were perfectly content to just sit and watch. Once Shaffer did jump up because a child ran by, but with a quick correction, he immediately settled back down; once again content to watch the children play.
As I though about these dogs, I realized that I have “perfect” dogs. Okay, so they’re not perfect-perfect, but they are really good dogs. For the most part they have no behavioral issues. They know multiple commands. They go to bed when it’s time. They come when called (well Shaffer does, Haley has to figure out if she gets a benefit out of it). Yeah, my dogs are a bit spoiled, but I really can’t complain about them…well except Shaffer’s jumping the fence, but I’ve come to over look that.
Several people have come into the salon and described their dogs as crazy. One lady even said her dog was a “crack baby.” I’ll admit, that little guy was active, but he was super sweet.
This might sound a bit self-righteous, or at least like gloating, but the more I’m around other people’s dogs the more I appreciate my dogs. I appreciate Shaffer’s “do nothing” personality. I like Haley’s stubbornness. I’d even write fondly of Molly if she were living with me right now (she’s staying with my mom for a few months).
I couldn’t ask for better dogs. I’m used to them and they’re used to me. If it were only my dogs and me I think my life would be a lot less stressful and a lot more harmonious.
Until next time, find a kid with rollerblades and see if they’ll let you pull them down the street.