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About Us


Who are we?
The Dapper Rat is owned, designed and run by Robyn Arthur in Brisbane, QLD, Australia.  Alan and I have two beautiful daughters, Isabelle and Sophie.
We've been owned by rats since February 1999, when Dapper and Fudge stole our hearts and changed our lives forever.  We now share our lives and home with several charming bucks, who you can meet here.  We both have a passion for photography, so of course our rats quickly became our favourite subjects... and what better way to show the world just how charming rats are than with this website.
 

Robyn

I have a degree in earth sciences, but am not currently working in the field as I'm enjoying being a stay at home mum!
I also run The Dapper Rat store as a small online business, producing and selling rat hammocks, greeting cards, calendars, prints and other rat accessories and merchandise.

I write, design and maintain The Dapper Rat website.

I'm active on several rat mailing lists, including the ratlist (international) and ausrats (Aust/NZ).  And volunteer on the rat infomation services rathelp (urgent medical questions) and ratinfo (general rat care questions).

I'm a member of the AusRFS (Qld) and attend our local rat shows.

The Dapper Rat also works in a PR capacity, promoting pet rats at pet expos, local pet events, vet open days, etc.

Email me:  robyn@dapper.com.au
Robyn with Rumpus

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Our rat story

It always intrigues me how people choose to share their lives with rats.  After all, they're not exactly the most "normal" choice of pets... but then, rat owners are not exactly the most "normal" type of people.  This is how we ended up being owned by rats.

It all started late one evening while we were lazing about watching TV and an unexpected visitor joined us in our lounge room... it was a little wild rat.  Somewhat stunned, we leaped up to nab him and, spooked, he fled for the nearest safe haven... our bedroom.  I recall exclaiming, "I am NOT sleeping in my bed with a RAT!".  I find this humorous in retrospect... now I can't imagine sunday mornings without my boys in bed with us.  Anyway, we tried everything we could think of to nab this little furry guy, but he managed to outwit us for the better part of 3 hours.  In the end we had to de-rat all pieces of furniture and remove them from the room one by one.  The rat ended up cowering exhausted on top of Al's old telescope in the corner.  But rather than a look of terrified defeat, his eyes shone with defiance and intelligence.  The moment I saw that little whiskery face up close I was lost.  We managed to capture him in a box and Al took him for a drive (at 3 am) to let him go in nearby bushland.  He looked so neat and cute and sure of himself that Al described him as quite a "dapper rat".  Fate had played it's hand.

Not long after this I saw a pet rat on Harry's Practice (a vet TV show here in Australia) and that got me to thinking seriously about choosing rats as pets.  I started checking out a few rat websites and joined the ratlist, and the more I read the more I liked the idea of rats.  It wasn't so much that they were cute and furry and soft and warm and cuddly (of course they are!)... the thing that sold me was people's descriptions of their rat's individual personalities, their cheeky characters, their intelligence.  This was the pet for me.

Then I had to talk Al into it... he was quite wary at first, but weakened eventually with the lame excuse that, as he was going back to do part time postgraduate studies at night, the rats would keep me company in his absence. Whatever excuse works.  :)
The very next day I bought a cage, bedding, bowls, food and all manner of toys and treats... we had everything but the rats.  I had planned on looking around over the next week to find the perfect rats for us, but this was cut short the moment I stumbled into our local pet shop the next day.  There sat the most charming black hooded ratlet.  He was handsome, impeccably groomed, and had an air of defiant suave charm that announced "I am a dapper rat"... he was The Dapper Rat.  Along with Dapper, we chose a sweet little black berkshire called Fudge... they would become the best of friends.  These two taught us so much.  They taught us that rats have the most amazingly individual personalities.  That rats can be your best friends.  That rats have humour.  That rats can express themselves and communicate with us.  That rats are smart and sneaky and cheerfully troublesome.  But most of all they taught us that our lives would never again be complete without rats in it.

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