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Dr Pepper (RIP)

Dr Pepper
Origin: Animal Care Rescue Centre
Born: 1 June 2010 (estimate)
Died: 24 September 2012: Aged 27.5 months
Cause of death: Breathing difficulties, shutting down - PM showed abscessed lungs and pneumonia (PTS)
Colour/variety: Black hooded dumbo
Health: Gut surgery at 12 months following stomach cramps - very large encapsulated internal abscess removed. Some respiness and hind leg weakness from 22 months, losing weight and generally slowing down.
Weight: 381g
Temperament: Excitable puppy on acid! Lickiest rat *ever*.
Nicknames: Dr P, Pepper, DP, Peps, Puppy-Rat, Pepsi-Cola, Ratman

24/09/2012: Pepper was definitely a heart rat, and it's going to take some time before I can write about his passing and how incredibly much we miss him.


Dr Pepper is our first ratman! He is pretty much a male version of Dicey, exterior-wise. He was handed in to the rescue as a lone male and I decided to take him in and have him neutered so he could live with the girls. I don't advocate unnecessary surgery/GA as such but I couldn't bear to think that he might be rehomed to live alone for the rest of his life. So he came to us and we are extremely glad that he did. He is an awesome little character, a total dude! He's bouncy and exuberant, an ecstatically happy fella who will crawl his entire body in pleasure and excitement and gallop up and down the back of the sofa between us. Very affectionate and licky and really craves company. We obviously had to keep him on his own for the first few weeks and it was clear just how socialised on humans he was. When the time came to do intros with the girls, we expected an easy straight-forward intro with him bounding happily around, enjoying finally having ratty friends to play with. Instead, we had to watch an excruciatingly terrified little man cowering in a corner of the intro cage, screaming defensively whenever anyone came near. It was horrible to watch just how alien his own kind had become to him. The girls regarded him with bemused aloofness and mostly left him to it, although Tesla and Dicey stepped in a couple of times to assert their authority. He'd rise up and fluff up because he was just so scared. When I put down a plate covered in thinly spread yogurt for them to share, he dared only take a few licks before withdrawing to his corner again. It was awful to watch him go through this but we knew that in the long run he would be so much happier with company so steeled ourselves through this heartbreaking part. And sure enough, it did pay off. On the 5th day they finally started sleeping together and it's been pretty plain sailing since then, every cage upgrade has gone without hitches and most importantly - Dr P is very happy. He is still extremely licky but the intense, frantic licking (that could make your finger sore because he just didn't stop) has ceased, and his primary companions now are his cagemates, as it should be!

Pepper has been to three rat shows and has done well in Agility and Curiosity. Despite being the most overwhelmingly loving rat at home, he is a little wary of strangers and consistenly refuses to show off his loveliness to others! Critiques and more info can be found on the Shows page.


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