Blogathon 2010 – Service Rats!

me:  Can I take a picture of that?

Amanda:  I thought you’d be mad.

me:  If you thought I’d be mad, why’d you draw on your arm?

Amanda:  I didn’t think about it until after I did it.

me:  You have noticed my Sharpie obsession, haven’t you?

Amanda:  Oh…yeah!

me:  So can I take a picture?

Amanda:  Sure!  Do you want me to draw a watch for (glancing at my list) seven o’clock and eight o’clock and twelve o’clock…

me:  No.

(Stay tuned for contributions from my oldest daughter that she makes ON PURPOSE later in the Blogathon – ha!)

Remember when I gathered that list of other veterinary blogs I love?  I was trying to figure out what Riley and James has among all the veterinary blogs that is unique.  You know what it is? Rats! Pictures of rats!  Stories about rats!  Links to Carefresh Ask-a-Vet where we talk about…rats!  *sigh*  I love rats.

You have to admit, they are at the very least “interesting.”  Especially our silly hairless rats.  So even if you are not as in love with rats as I am (weird!) I thought you might be interested in learning about…


When I started becoming involved in this Blogathon, I started obsessing about service pets…more on that later (We have all day and all night, after all!)  I remembered hearing a story of rats that ran wires through walls so they could be connected to…something.  I will find the story for you and link it here.  In trying to find THAT story, look at this great story I DID find about service rats!  Rats are amazing!

African Giant Rats Sniff Out Land Mines In Mozambique Africa, they have CLICKER-trained (I love it!) rats to find undetonated land mines left over from their devastating civil war.  (They are a different species than our domestic Fuzzy-Wuzzy types, but still known by the common name “rat” so Wuzzy has decided that they are indeed related to her…)  The rats are very friendly, quick, accurate and entirely food-motivated.  They are also very focused – “Dogs…tend to get bored and run the risk of blowing themselves up.”

YAY rats!

More on these awesome “rats”…

Rats That Save Life and Limb

They even have their own website…


3/21/11  Whenever I find a fun link or information that relates to an earlier post, I usually tuck it into the original post that has come and gone, where no one will ever see it.  I realize I should stop doing that if I want my content read.  But sometimes, it is just satisfying to me to know that something exists…like SERVICE MICE!  If no one ever comes back to check if there are service rats (and friends) updates, I guess I am ok with that.  It is just going to make my whole day today better knowing service mice exist.  I suppose I should get better at sharing.  But how fun would it be if you DID check back here and find this?  I think I will put it here and just hope one or two of you see it.  And yes, some day I will move it to the “front lines” cuz it is just too awesome to NOT share!  These tiny guys are trained to recognize drugs and explosives and are being used in airport trials in Israel.  Awesome.



Clicking here will bring you to the webpage with information about Bradyn and an opportunity to donate towards the training of his service dog from 4 Paws for Ability. ♥

Tags: , , , , ,

5 Responses to “Blogathon 2010 – Service Rats!”

  1. Tamara says:

    Love it! All critters are important – even rats – and Service Rats…that’s just amazing :)

  2. Dr Laci says:

    Unfortunately, our hospital rat died a few months ago. She was VERY sweet, and we had a lot of fun with her. Hopefully she had fun with us too!

  3. admin says:

    I know! They are SO smart!Sorry about YOUR ratty Dr. Laci! I am sure she did love being with you. I’ll bet it was so fun for her to be in the middle of a busy hospital and with people who loved her.

  4. Jodi says:

    I always tell people that ratties are as smart as dogs. Your bomb-sniffing rat story proves me right. So :p to the people who disagree :)Oh, and I told my friend James that if he doesn’t stop telling me I need to “face my fears” and come play with his pet *shudder* snake, I will “rescue” its food and give it snake pellets instead (is there such a thing? There should be!). Let’s not talk about what its food is…

  5. Elizabeth Winchell says:

    I think the land mine sniffing rats are very cool. Have a friend who uses rats as service animals, and who really needs her animals quite small because they alert her when her spinal injuries are flaring up. She couldn’t possibly use anything as big as a dog for that. Unfortunately the law is changing to define “service animal” legally to mean only “dog.” There is no provision for dog-allergic disabled people who need an alternative service animal. Sign the petition to protest this unfair law.

Leave a Reply