Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Second Annual New Rattitude Northwest Rattiefest

Risha (up for adoption!) shows her moves
We held our second annual New Rattitude Northwest Rattiefest this weekend, and what a wonderful time! Our raffle raised $1,380 for our transportation fund to help save more ratties, and we got to see lots of our former foster dogs again! We had some folks stop by who hadn't heard of us too and got to check out our organization. I had so much fun and I am already looking forward to next year!

If you see your pooch below, please let me know who it is and I'll update the caption!
Dave reconnects with Tripp.

Foster parents Genie and Dave, with adoptive Mom Kris and Tripp!

The beautiful Loki.

Handsome Loki!
Phoebe (front) checks out the gentlemanly Loki. 

Sookie waiting for Momma to hurry up and come in!

Turbo (second from left) and Charger (far left.)

Phoebe and her Momma.


Tina-fey (now Suri), adoptive mom Jenae, Gem, and Sammy!

Sweet NR alumni Gem up front, along with Sammy (bandana) in back.

Sweet little Sookie.

Gem is such a sweet pea! Skittles (in blue) and Sammy (in red) are in back, and up for adoption!

NR Alumni Gus!

And look who showed up - my baby boy Inca/Skagit!!

Such a little ham, mugging for the camera!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Car safety - Part Three

This is a continuation of a discussion that started with Part One and Part Two

Since Elicia's horrific accident and the sharing of knowledge in the community, I have changed how my dogs ride in the car.

Previously my dogs rode in wire crates, which gives only minimal protection and can cause serious issues such as trapping them in a deformed crate or even impaling them on broken wires.
The old set up with wire crates. 
Each person needs to decide what set up works best for them based on finances, their dogs, car space, and general preferences. I decided that crates won't work as Ruff Tough doesn't make them small enough, and no crate small enough could be trusted in a crash.
The new containment system.
Instead I decided to go with Kurgo after looking both at Bergan and Kurgo products. The Kurgo products seem sturdier to me.

I had a further challenge though. Dogs cannot safely be left attached to their tethers unsupervised. They can get limbs tangled in the attachments and risk loss of circulation, skin abrasions, or even scare the dog. All three dogs would be loose in the car while I'm at work, but I needed to keep Lucia and my girls separated when I can't watch them.

I decided to try the Kurgo backseat barrier, hoping that it would stretch tight enough to deter the dogs from visiting the other side of the car.
Kurgo backseat barrier. Humor me and ignore that the dog isn't harnessed in!
Once I had my parts I started redoing the car. The harness attachments are supposed to connect to the child safety seat attachments, but I didn't have one up front that I could find. So instead I took a medium duty ratcheting cargo strap and wrapped it around the front seat, running it through the loop in the Kurgo attachment each time.
This left the cargo straps metal hooks exposed, and I feared in an accident they could catch an ear, eyeball, or even paw and cause serious damage. So I wrapped them in duct tape, which won't soften the impact but at least will hopefully prevent anything from being caught in the hooks.
However, after a few trips I realized  that the attachment is too long, and in an accident Lucia is likely to hit the dashboard. I started looking for other attachments, and settled on using quick draws, which are used by rock climbers. These are made to take huge amounts of strain - the ones below (Black Diamond) have a 25 Kilo-Newtons.
 These seem to be working much better. Lucia can still stand up and move around slightly, but she is limited enough that she can't cross over into my seat, and in the event of an impact she won't hit the dashboard.

The back seat ended up being much easier. I attached the harness attachments to the child safety seat hooks, tossed some extra blankets back there, and set up the Back Seat Barrier.

Empty seat.
The harnesses in action.
 The one modification I may make to the backseat is to add in another carabiner. Right now I have the Kurgo attachments loops through, but I may add the carabiner so that there isn't any folding of the attachment on itself or friction.

We have had great luck with this set up so far. No one has tried to cross the barrier, and Lucia rides so much better in a harness than she does a crate. It is wonderful to come back to the car and see the girls sprawled out across the seats, snoozing!

Of course sometimes they aren't snoozing....