Sunday, August 25, 2013

Awesome, Amazing Rat Tricks

A short video showcasing a handful of incredible rat tricks performed by my five talented rats:

Suki (Brown Agouti Berkshire Dumbo Rat)
Famous (Pink-Eyed Himalayan Top-Eared Rat)
Raven (Black Variegated Berkshire Dumbo Rat)
Shadow (Black Mismarked Irish Top-Eared Rat)
Paris (Russian Blue Berkshire Dumbo Rat)

My rats are taught with positive reinforcement and clicker training.

Most of the tricks in this video are performed by Suki, Famous, Raven, and Shadow, since Paris had undergone surgery during the time this video was filmed (you can read about her surgery in an earlier post).  She will be back in action again soon.

I hope you all enjoy. :)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Prayers for Paris

I would like to provide an update on Paris, one of my rats, to those of you who do not follow our photos on Flickr.

As some of you know, Paris celebrated her second birthday on Canada Day (July 1st), making her a "senior citizen" now in the rat world.  I had made it a habit of mine to examine her daily for lumps, since mammary tumours are especially common in female rats her age.  Last week I discovered a small lump growing in Paris' left axilla, a popular location for these tumours.  I booked an appointment with her vet to have the lump surgically removed.
By July 31st, the day of her surgery, the lump had already grown to be the size of a grape.  I was amazed at how quickly it had grown in the span of a few days and was relieved when the day had finally come for it to get removed.

I am thrilled to say that her surgery went wonderfully!  The vets were awesome and did a fantastic job working with her.  I could not have asked for better.  Everyone loved Paris when she was there and showered her with attention.  And while I know she enjoyed being in the spotlight, I could sense that she was also anxious to be on her way home.

On the car ride back, Paris stretched out on my lap and fell right asleep.  I can imagine how long of a day it must have been for small animal like her.

Paris has now embarked on her road to full recovery, and I hope that the road is short.  Some people cannot understand how or why I could love "a rat" as much I do her.  When I look at Paris though, I don't see just "a rat".  I see a loving, beautiful soul.  I see my companion.  I see my best friend.  I love her beyond measure or description, and I believe it is one's own loss not to know or understand that kind of love.

Thank you to all those who have sent Paris their well-wishes.