About Me

I was born and raised in NJ, and have been an animal lover all my life. In about 1998 I got my first rat - she was a PEW from a feeder bin. Her health was bad and her temperament wasn't great. I soon began the search for a breeder, and found one in my area. I adopted my first pair from her - a champagne and a silver fawn. I got many rats from this breeder over the years, and many were retired breeders or adults. I learned about color, type, genetics, and breeding from this breeder, and eventually bred a few litters myself. I named all of my original rats after X-Files episodes, and also named my rattery Paper Heart Rattery after an episode - in case anyone is wondering where the name came from :)

Several years later, I had plans to get married, and my husband was in the army. I knew that we were likely to have to move overseas, I decided not to get any more rats until we were settled in one place permanently. My rats grew older and eventually passed away, and within a couple years I was "ratless." We spent several years living in Germany, and came back to NJ for good in 2006. Shortly after, I started my search for rats!

At that time there really weren't any breeders in my immediate area, and I realized that if I wanted to have quality rats, I would need to breed them myself! So I started my search for breeding stock from other breeders, and Paper Heart Rattery was reborn! It took nearly a year to get my foundation stock, but it was well worth it! My first litter was given X-Files names (PH Pilot, PH Pheonix - episode titles) in the tradition of my old rats.

I run the rattery with the support of my husband. He likes the rats and enjoys playing with the babies. I also own several dogs, and train and compete in schutzhund and herding. I also dabble in other sports like Rally-O, agility, earthdog (with my terrier), and dock diving. My dogs are bred to work - and the busier they are, the happier they are. I have trained dogs for rescue and also started dogs for police departments.

Some of my other animals!

My German Shepherds

SG Kessy Schh1 HIC BH OB2 TT AD Kkl2 RL2 RN

Djenga HIC, BH, TT, RL2

Madina BH, AD, CGC, HIC

My Jack Russell Terriers

Gizmo TT RL3

Cricket - the puppy :)

I train and compete in several venues with my dogs. I train Kessy in Schutzhund, Rally-O, and HGH-style herding. Kessy excels at everything she does, and she charms everyone she meets. My other two GSD's are mostly retired from working - Djenga because she has hip dysplasia, and Madina because she's happiest just being a pet! There are lots of great places nearby to go hiking and swimming, and I try to get out with the dogs a few times a week to keep them (and myself) sane!

Having terriers around rats is always a challenge. It makes life a little more difficult because I have to be careful NEVER to allow them near the rats. They were bred to hunt and kill things and that's what they would do if given a chance. It's become habit now to be extra careful with the terriers around. Gizmo a great little dog and is incredibly smart and willing to learn. He is an amazing obedience dog and he knows many tricks. He has a wonderful personality, and is a sweetheart. He competes in racing, go-to-ground, agility, obedience, and lure coursing. Cricket is my newest addition - she was born in June of 2011, and has a bright future ahead of her! She is a little girl with a big attitude :) But she is also very smart and I think she will grow up to be a great dog.

My dogs are 100% raw fed - no kibble for them!

TicTac is a handsome 7 year old siamese who loves to sneak into the rat room if he can! He doesn't do anything - he just sits and watches them! He has quite the personality and even my husband (who is NOT a cat lover!) adores him. When we are eating dinner, TicTac will jump into an empty chair at the table. He will just sit and watch, following the conversation, and before long we end up turning to him to say something, like he's another person at the table. TicTac has a bit of an attitude and loves to get into trouble. He's not allowed in the basement or attic, but if he hears the door open to either, he comes running and will slip in if we don't watch him carefully. I'm not sure whether it's because he hears mice in there, or whether he just wants to be where he shouldn't!

More Pics!

Kessy, Madina, and Djenga

Kessy at the nearby state park

Madina when we lived in GA

RIP Beau the siamese. We adopted him as a senior, and learned soon after that he was mostly blind. He was the sweetest cat ever, and just radiated happiness. He loved to crawl up under the covers while we were asleep and would curl up against us, and he knew when it was "TV time," he would come running to sit between my husband and I on the couch. He adored affection and would purr like crazy at a simple word from us. He had 2 great years with us before his kidneys failed. He is greatly missed.