Pet of the Day

October 19, 1997

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Bella, the Pet of the Day
Name: Bella
Age: One and one half years old
Gender: Female
Breed: Rat Terrier
Home: Sumas, Washington, USA
   Bella is my helper, I am disabled and in a wheelchair, and Bella brings dishes into the kitchen so I can load them into the dishwasher, she picks up and brings me dirty clothes so I can throw them into the hamper, she picks up anything that's not supposed to be on the floor, ie: newspapers, towels, and brings them to me. Everyone gives her pop cans and she takes them to the kitchen to put into the recycle bin. If my husband or son wants the remote control for the tv she takes it to them and vise a versa, if I want it she'll bring it to me. Every evening around 10:30 p.m. Bella takes my socks off my feet without being told, which is the most amazing thing is that Bella does not have to be asked to do anything, she always seems to know what needs to be done. Bella can retrieve the frisbee, catch a ball, with her paws and mouth, she can jump quite high and can walk a little on her hind legs. She is something else, everyone who sees her in action, wants one just like her. (Bella is pregnant in the photo.) Oh, yeah and Bella puts her toys away before going to bed....

    My husband and I taught her everything, and being a Rat Terrier she was even easier to train, she loves to please.

    Rat Terriers are basically like a Jack Russell, but I think a little bit more friendlier and more of a family dog, whereas a Jack is more of a one person dog, they are both great hunters, a rat has shorter, cleaner, not so wirey hair, so they do tend to shed less. A rat has beagle which gives it the scent qualities and also seems to calm them down and make them not so hyper whereas the Jack is a little more hyper.

    The rat has longer legs (usually) although you will see some shorter legged rats, once you breed a short rat with a long legged rat you'll never be able to get the short legged blood out of that rat, the long legged rats are becoming more and more rare because people who don't know about or care about the breed, mix the two. The rat gets their long legs from the Italian greyhound which is were they also get their speed.

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