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June 8th, 2014

I decided to try to create a blog everyday to document Watsons life, since he is only 5 weeks old. I will also be documenting Darwin, who is estimated to be around a year and 3 months. And this way, his previous owner will be able to easily access updates. Its good to note that Dawson and Watson are the same rat.
On this day, I woke up early and could not be more excited to pick up my new rat. The day before, I drove to several different towns and called 8 Petsmarts to find the food Dawson eats. I could not be more devoted. My boyfriend and I set out to the city, but he decided to take a "shortcut" so we arrived there 20 minutes late. Then, it turns out that I got the address wrong, so we drove around for an hour before we realized what happened. When we finally got it right, we waited in the lobby until Dawson and his owner came down. When she took him out of his carrier, I could not believe how tiny and soft he was. His owner gave me a baggie of treats and variety food (thank you!) as I paid the rehoming fee. I instantly fell in love with him. On the way home, he instantly fell asleep and slept the whole way home (1.5 hours).
I thought it was hilarious that he slept on one side of the cage, and had his little ear smooshed up against the wall.
We finally got home, and I set up his temporary cage next to Darwin, my adult rat who has been living alone. I did this so that they could see, smell and start getting used to each other.
For the most part, I let him alone to adjust for the first day other than petting and holding him for a short time. Even though he had a hammock and a hide, he chose to sleep in the corner. So I put the blue shirt from the carrier on the hammock and it became his new favorite spot. Darwin showed extreme interest in Dawson.
June 9th, 2014

On this day I decided to rename Dawson to Watson. He is named after James Watson, famous for his findings of the Double-Helix nature of DNA. (Darwin is named after Charles Darwin, famous for his work in the theory of decent with modification. I plan on naming all of my rats after scientists.). In the morning, I allowed Darwin and Watson to meet for the first time after I played with them both separately. I placed them both in the bathtub for neutral territory. I was surprised to find that Watson wanted to be all over Darwin, but Darwin, being 3 or 4 times his size, was terrified. He sat in the corner and shook while Watson seemed content. Darwin defecated, and I knew he was very scared because he only does that outside of his cage when he gets a bath, which he hates. So I put my hand near darwin to calm and pet him and he grabbed onto my arm and tried to scurry up. I took them both out and put them back in their cages, along with treats to calm and reward them. I left them alone for several hours, played with them separately again, then put them back in the bathtub. This time, Darwin still stood still, but he allowed Watson to try to groom him. He also did not defecate the second time, which I found encouraging. Darwin was a pet-store rat that was alone in his habitat because the only other rat they had was attacked by his former cage-mate who had since been adopted. So Darwin has been alone for a while and im assuming that he doesnt really know how to react to other rats. I have faith in him that he will progress quickly though, since I got very lucky with him and he has never been skittish or shy before. The rest of the day was pretty typical. I will post for today when the day is over
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