My Pet Dumbo Rat Rowan’s Very Special Easter Gift!

Two week old rats, photo by Maria Offin PhotographyI don’t usually blog about things going on in my personal life or even the fact that I’m a big animal lover, but to be honest, this is just too special to not share with you!

For those of you who don’t know, I have a six-year-old, female Goldendoodle named Scully (after Dana Scully on The X-Files, on which I was an extra way back in 1994, Season 2, Red Museum episode) and two rats.  I’ve had pet rats since May 2009 when my then six-year-old niece and nephew, who are twins, Erika & Ethan, convinced me that I should get some so that they could play with them when they came to visit me. As a child, my father let my sisters and I have all kinds of pets, and my sister Karen has quite a few for Erika & Ethan.  I love mammals so I went for it.

On January 23, 2013, I bought my 5th pet rat (they only live for

Dumbo rat Rowan
Rowan the day before she delivered.

about 2-3 years +/-), a beautiful white & black hooded Dumbo and called “him” Rowan. I thought Rowan was a male as that’s what I asked the staff for at The Pet Store in Kingston where I bought “him”.  The Pet Store in the Cataraqui Town Centre does not separate its baby male and female rats, which is very irresponsible, and apparently not all of its staff know how to tell the sex of a rat either.

Two weeks later I decided that Rowan needed a friend and on February 7, 2013, I bought a male Fancy rat and called him Lestat (both names are from Anne Rice novels).  Rowan and Lestat lived contentedly together for a while until one evening I noticed Lestat mounting Rowan.  UH OH!!!  I had my suspicions that Rowan wasn’t a boy and sure enough, she’s not!

On Easter Sunday, Rowan delivered 11 baby rats, which are called “kittens” or “pinkies” (that a Facebook friend commented looked a lot “like marzipan” and I have been keeping a photo diary of their

11 pinkies born on March 31st.

development ever since.  I’ve learned all kinds of things about baby rats that I didn’t know before.  For example, those tiny white bands across the pinkies’ abdomens indicate that they were nursing and had received their mother’s colostrum, which is very important.

Rowan has been a superb mother and has nursed all 11 in her litter to good health.  There are six blonde & white hooded ones that look like their dad, four black & white hooded ones that look like their mom, and one mostly white female with black specks on her head that’s unusual and the runt (I’m keeping this one and call her Claudia.).  They are now two weeks old and have just opened their eyes. They’ve grown so fast and are super cute!

Yesterday, Maria Offin of Maria Offin Photography came over with her three children to decide which babies they would like to adopt into their home as their new pets.  They picked two beautiful male youngsters, one blonde hooded and one black hooded and they’ll be able to take them home in a little over two weeks time, once they’ve been weaned and can eat solid food.  My nephew Ethan’s friend Jason and his mother Holly and his sisters came over to pick out two wee male ratties to be their new pets too.  There are seven males and four females in the litter.

Maria is an excellent photographer and she took these wonderful photos of Rowan, Lestat and their family that I just had to share with you.  Please take a look at her Facebook page and LIKE it if the spirit moves you.

The good news is that I’ve found loving homes for all of them but one, so far! I’m going to keep at least one of each sex so that they can be companions for their parents who can no longer live together in the same cage.

This has been an unexpected but absolutely wonderful experience and I highly recommend rats as pets, especially to people who live in apartments and don’t have enough room or time for a dog or cat. Rats are very smart, sociable and sweet and make for excellent companions!

You can learn more about rats and other interesting rodents in The Rodent Reader Quarterly magazine, published by my friend Mil Scott, who has been a superb source of inspiration, encouragement and support to me and thousands of other rat lovers.

Rowan rat
Lestat and one of his progeny
Lestat and one of his progeny
The Offin Family’s Choice
Claudia, the unusual runt that I will keep!
Scully says hello to baby “Elvis”
Philip with a handful of rattie love!
Philip with a handful of rattie love!
A bundle of Easter love
A bundle of Easter goodness
Rowan's Rogues
Rowan’s Rogues

Paying Artists Who Walk

I’ve worked with the dynamic, talented and spirit-filled Sue Kenney and whole-heartedly believe in compensation for artists so I want to pass along this information from her to you.

“As you know, I’m passionate about walking and I’m writing today because I believe you will be interested in supporting artists in a creative way. Artistic creativity has played a significant role in culture across the centuries, yet today we are asking artists to create without compensation as their work is downloaded or viewed on-line for free. We need to be more creative about the way artists are compensated.

A story published in Ripley’s Believe It or Not explains how Beethoven was once commissioned to write music by three Austrian noblemen. Rather than pay him for the composition they paid him to walk every day from sunrise until noon, because they believed if he walked he would create a masterpiece and as we all know, he did. Casual research indicates that most artists walk to be more creative and this story solidified the idea of a correlation between walking and creativity. Vision One was born. One step, one idea, one artist can change the world.

Vision One Walk is an awareness and crowd funding campaign to raise money to create this foundation. To show our commitment and raise awareness, a group of 3 artists including myself will walk from Tobermory to Collingwood, Ontario over 20 days, covering 425 kilometers along the Bruce Trail from September 9-29, 2012. We will arrive in Collingwood in time to be part of a Culture Days event. Using the Indiegogo fundraising platform, we are excited to be launching a campaign on September 1st, that runs for 45 days. Each donor will receive a “gift” of gratitude and be a part of the creation of something very special.

So, what can you do?

1. Like.        See Facebook… 

2. Share.     Follow and Retweet on Twitter…

3. Donate.   As little as $10. Every penny counts. – Note: Campaign starts September 1, 2012.

We still need some volunteers to work on media and publicity, Social Media, administration and we welcome people who like talking to potential sponsors. Feel free to give me a call or drop me a message if you can offer something.

Thanks in advance for taking the time to learn about Vision One Walk and for all your support along the way. We’ll be sure to keep you updated too!

Love and light,

Susan Regan Kenney
Inspirational Speaker. Coach. Pilgrim.
Author of Canadian best-selling book My Camino
twitter caminoperegrina
705 8264641

Barefoot Healing: A Workshop with Sue Kenney

Would you like to discover the healing powers of going BAREFOOT? Not only will you improve your balance and flexibility, there’s a possibility you can help your body to heal itself.  In the book EARTHING, Clinton Ober talks about how grounding can contribute to a natural healing process. Our bodies are electrically conductive and the influx of negatively charged electrons received through direct contact with the earth neutralizes positive free radicals and the result is that it reduces inflammation in the body.

Wearing shoes has cut us off from this incredible gift the earth has to offer. Learn how you can integrate this forgotten component of a holistic approach to everyday life. It’s organic and it’s right under our feet!


Date: Sunday, July 8, 2012
Time: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Place: The Waterview Space, 125 Dunlop St. E., Barrie, ON
Cost: $95.00 plus hst in advance ($105.00 plus hst at the door) or by donation.

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE – book now to avoid disappointment as there are only 15 spaces available!

For more info call 705-826-4641 or email

Sue’s Bio

Sue Kenney is a storyteller and the author of the best selling book, My Camino. As a pilgrim, she has walked the Camino de Santiago in Spain 9 times covering over 4000 kilometers. Sue began her barefoot journey in July 2011, wearing minimalist footwear. One month later she kicked off her shoes and she’s been researching and studying the physical, spiritual and healing effects of being barefoot ever since. Today Sue can be seen walking/running barefoot, even in the snow. Sue led a group in May 2012 on the Camino and walked all 225 kms barefoot.

Bookworm Literary Productions Releases an Adventurous Work of Fiction by Brian Howald

For Immediate Release

Kingston, ON
November 1, 2011

Contact: Bookworm Literary Productions

Phone: (613) 544-6946



Bookworm Literary Productions Releases an Adventurous Work of Fiction by Brian Howald

In World War II three British inmates at a German P.O.W. camp seek their freedom with a clever bit of trickery that leads to a subversive but hair-raising escape.

Bookworm Literary Productions cordially invites you to attend the book launch of its newest title – Inside Looking Out by Brian Howald – which will be held at:

156 Princess Street, Kingston, ON
Friday, November 11, 2011
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Author Brian Howald’s suspense story, based on original World War II papers, stays focused on three British inmates at a German prison camp.

Authentic characters, location, reality and good narrative values give Inside Looking Out an edge.

Established in 1995, Bookworm Literary Productions is an independent publishing company that issues novels, biographies and general interest non-fiction.  Previous titles: The Chopper of Lucy Electra (1996), Sawdust & Spangles (1998), Moonrider (1999), Blast-Off (2002), Smiling Al (2003), The Blue of Capricorn (2004), and Inside Looking Out (2011).  Future Release: The Spot Marked “X” (2012, projected).

All titles are available through Bookworm Literary Productions by calling 613-544-6946 or by email to For more information visit:

Author: Brian Howald
Retail Price: $22.95 CAN / $16.95 US
ISBN: 978-0-9865722-0-3
Format: Coil Bound Soft Cover, 459 pages
Publisher: Bookworm Literary Productions, P.O. Box 2095, Kingston, ON K7L 5J8