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For whatever reason, my girlfriend accepted some pet rats (3) a while back. Earlier this week, one went missing. The cats probably are the culprits. Actually, I blame Baby Bear--because he's a troublemaker, always being a spoiled butt, and so I blame stuff on him, including stuff he can't possible be the cause of. "Why is the car parked in the driveway like that? The oranges aren't in the right section of the fridge! This Bear is out of control!" But seriously, he probably is the reason the cage setup was askew.

Anyway, we knew it was still around. The cats and dogs had been constantly sniffing under and around furniture & such. After a couple days of her being unable to capture it, I said, "we're finding that stupid rat tonight. I'm not having it going to the bathroom all around the house." So, yea...I'm lifting up all the furniture and stuff while she's trying to get it. Our pointer mutt is very interested in what we're doing. I'm keeping him under voice command to resist going after it. The Chihuahua mix puppy has no idea what she's doing...just sniffing around & following the commotion. We eventually have it scurry over under a set of glass shelves, of sorts. PERFECT! I'll lift up the glass and she'll grab it. Simple!

Her: "WAIT! This is the shy one. I don't handle her a whole lot. I don't know how she's going to react. I don't want her to bite the heck out of me."
Me: "...one moment....okay, here are some winter gloves. They're really thick & soft. She shouldn't be able to bite you through those. Ready?"
Her: "Ready!"
I lift up the glass.
She reaches in.
Grabs it!
Me: "ARE YOU #!&@ING SERIOUS?"
Her: "I...I...she wiggled a lot."
Me: "Why wouldn't you hold her tight enough to keep her from escaping your hands?!"
Her: "Well, I didn't want to squeeze and hurt her!"
Me: Your hands have a full inch of fluffy cotton all around them! She would've been fine if you held her with SOME effort!"

Mega facepalm.

It then ran behind a large thing I have that I intend to try converting into a cool doggy resting thing (which the cats will probably steal anyway--Baby Bear already uses the 42" dog crate as his cave). Behind/nestled in there are a bunch of folded up cardboard boxes. The rat is hiding between the folded up boxes and staying out of reach.
Me: "alright...I'm going to just let the dog go for it. This has gone on long enough. The rat clearly doesn't even like you."
Her: "he's probably going to kill it..."
Me: "He might just spoke it towards you."
Her: "Fine."

I let him go in towards it. He goes. The rat approaches him?! This couldn't be easier! I don't have any real command for him to catch prey, as I don't hunt. Excitedly pointing to it did nothing. I even said "bring it!" which he normally is to grab what I point to, or the closest object if I'm not pointing to anything. But he wouldn't do it with the rat...
The rat and him touch noses and they just chill back there.
"SERIOUSLY?! What are you doing?!"
He just looks up at me, "Dad, look! I made a new friend!" Puts his head back down to nose touch the rat again. We're flabbergasted. The dog that catches birds out of the air. That snatched up some mole or shrew. That goes after rabbits & squirrels. That darted after a HUGE snapping turtle by the lake (thank goodness it was only 2 feet from the water...he closed the distance in a flash before we even noticed the turtle). That has an insane prey drive towards larger birds, such as geese, to the point we still don't trust him fully around them (moreso, I don't want to deal with potential 'clean up'). But the rat? Friends.

Me: "Why did I send the dog? This is a cat's job. Give me a cat!" Without thinking, I grabbed the nearest cat--our younger female--and put her back there. She's getting herself lost between the folded boxes. *sigh* I should've went and gotten my 13 year old female cat. The rat would've been taken care of in no time. That cat has brought home birds, mice, and even large rabbits--pretty darn good for an indoor kitty who likes to dart out through the door when you aren't extra careful of where she is. She's still at it and not letting age disrupt her hunting.

The younger female? Picking her or Baby Bear...terrible choice. They have twice gotten a hamster before, when cleaning out the tanks & keeping them in temporary holders. Just snuck in and snatched the hamster away. And that hamster was NEVER hurt. They literally stole it, carried it around in their mouths and never put the smallest cut or puncture on it. They would put it down and just bat at it without their claws. Growl at one another as they stole it from each other. I saw it 'exchange mouths' at least half a dozen times while trying to get it back. Terribly horrifying experience for the hamster, but it thankfully remained being friendly. So yea...why did I think to send in either of those two?

Eventually, it ran out from behind there and into the room where the rats' stuff is. We shut the door and scurried her back into her cage.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Great story.....and narrative.

You've got a wife and girlfriend ??? and herding rats is difficult for you?


SuperG
Wrangling up women is easy when you're this handsome and charming! >:)

'Wife' just made the title sound better (at least in my head it sounds better). But we're fast approaching 4 years together and with the pets we have...I pretty much have a wife and kids. :p
 

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Awesome story!!

I was housesitting once and the owner had been having a nice problem. Well I saw one out of the corner of my dart towards my big male Ike. I waited for him to get it, but no, he lay there head down as the dang thing moseyed across his paws and into the kitchen. Worthless he was. Totally worthless. LOL.
 

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That's hilarious! Had something similar happen w a snake when I was a teenager! Thanks for sharing!! :) :)
 

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Yeah well mice are just part of living in the country, and rats, well having the river in your back yard...

I should have known by finding rat poison both inside and outside the house when I moved in.

But yeah, when the weather gets colder the mice come in, only they aren't pet anything. And if you don't snag and kill them, they will have babies. Ew. Don't just capture them and take them outside, they will be back inside before you are. And don't give me the drive them 2 miles away -- then they just go into someone else's home -- that should be illegal. If they find it comfy to come in human houses, they get snuffed.

German shepherds, though, are pretty much worthless about them. Once I opened the fridge, and there was Mickey, staring out at me. I shut the fridge. I call Arwen (this was years ago). I set her up in the study door way, where she can look right in the fridge. I opened the fridge to reveal Mickey again. She looked at me. Get it! She looked at me again, and clearly communicated that that was not in her job description.

Mickey ran out of the fridge across the dining room and under the buffet and hutch.

Outside, Arwen caught a brace of rats. Inside she wouldn't even go after a mouse.

Jenna was no better at this. I caught one of the buggers with my broom and called her over, she came. I let the mouse drop, Get It!!! Get It!!!! Jenna looked at it, and looked at me, "you're joking, right?"

And then there is Babs. Poor Babs. Babs is a very mothering creature. I must've gotten a mouse shortly after she gave birth in my house. Well a couple days later the small hairless mice came forth one by one. Babsy actually did catch one, she brought it up into the bed and was mothering it. "Eh! no!!!"

Yes, GSDs are not mousers.

Frodo got one when I lived in the place next door to here. I saw him jumping like a nut and rearing up and pouncing, and I was curious and went over there, and there it was a mouse, a live-un. I grabbed the broom and swished it outside. I hoped that his near-death-experience with the huge GSD would prevent his desire to be inside my home from overcoming him. I think maybe Monster Kitty got him in the end.

When I first moved, Arwen was about 6 months, and I lifted up a dog house outside, and there was a litter of mice underneath. I put it down and called the dogs, Frodo and Arwen. I lifted the dog house, they both grabbed one. Frodo killed his and dropped it. Arwen took hers around back. I lifted the house five or six times until Frodo had dispatched them all. He was a good mouser. Probably the working line part of him.

I can't imagine having rats as pets. But then I took the little girls home yesterday, and last night I brought home their two parakeets and their fish to take care of. I told my sister that she needs to get a pet I know how to care for, like a German Shepherd. She wasn't buying it. So now I have The Barking, Chirping, and Swishing Menagerie on South Denmark Rd. I had to stop and sleep on my way home so I wouldn't kill people. And then I had to drag all the cages and tanks in. The Distilled water was from the fridge, so I had to set that in the tank, and leave the fish in the small tank until that could settle.

Finally, this morning I got the fish situated, and the birds woke me up. The kids call them Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. I think their names are Peekachu and Raichu. I've never had a bird before, and they aren't trained, so if they get out of the cage, they will never be caught. They'll just poop on everything until they die. Shudder.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I can't get past rats wandering around your house.
Just the one for a day or so.

Remind me to never live anywhere near where Selzer does. Too many rat encounters. My girlfriend would try to house them all. I think we have a mouse or two? I don't even know anymore. She has problems. "This little guy needs a home. What's just one more furry little thing in the house? We already have food & supplies."
The animal shelters aren't helpful either. "Normally 5 is the limit for cats/kittens to foster...but you guys do such great work with them, so...here's a few more. Can you take two more? A pregnant cat just came in, if you're interested." And that's how we end up having 10-15 foster kitties at a time... We're getting close to no more foster kitties in the house. Down to...6 now! Hopefully our boy isn't too saddened by when we get down to none. He likes to just plop down and let kittens climb all over him. He SWORE he was the father of a litter of kittens a cat had.


Rats make decent pets. They're better than hamsters. Just not as cute. Very sociable little buggers & rather smart. Look on YouTube & you'll see well trained ones--better trained than some people's dogs! Parakeets? No thank you! Birds aren't something I'd like to have. Thankfully my girlfriend isn't fond of them either. You wouldn't have to worry about those things pooping all over, though, your gsds would probably take care of them. Although, someone I used to often see at the park/lake had a big female gsd and said she also had chickens at her home and--ugh, drawing a blank on the dog's name...right on the tip of my tongue, too--she would just herd the chickens (only killed one by accident, when one wasn't cooperating and she mouthed it to throw it in place). But I know for sure my boy wouldn't allow for any bird being free in our house. He probably wouldn't even be able to rest if there were caged birds inside.

Maybe he would catch outdoor rats, though? I would like to think he would get them if it was an outdoor, random rat that was running. When she first brought home these ones, they were placed somewhere which he could easily see them & get close to the cage. He'd sniff, sniff, sniff and even bark at the cage. I assumed he wanted to eat them... Maybe prior to moving them to their current location he had been scolded too many times by his mommy about bothering with them. Maybe he knew the scent of the escapee and knew not to hurt it? Or maybe the barking was him being a whiney cry-baby, wanting to greet them...
 

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I have a rat phobia. I would rather pet a lion than touch a rat. Don't know why, I think it's because I saw a movie when I was a little kid where some guy was tied up in an abandoned building and he was left for the rats to eat him. What a horrible way to go.
 

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I had pet rats as a kid.They were smart little guys.They knew their names and would come when called.The only tricks they knew were climbing up ropes and jumping from one object to another.Exciting.What people didn't like about them was their long tails.Hamsters are cute,rats are creepy:)
 

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I have a rat phobia. I would rather pet a lion than touch a rat. Don't know why, I think it's because I saw a movie when I was a little kid where some guy was tied up in an abandoned building and he was left for the rats to eat him. What a horrible way to go.
The Bone Collector? That was fairly recent, but yeah, that movie sucked. The idea that the guy was left for the rats to kill by eating him was really beyond crude.

When I was a kid there were the movies Willard, and then Ben. I can't remember Ben so much, but Willard had tons of rats and I think he ended up killing people with them. Again, it was a long time ago...
 
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