Mabel the Rescue Dog

Encourage Dog Lovers to Adopt ๐Ÿ’•

Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue in Tehachapi, California does so much amazing work for dogs. They open their hearts to all dogs in need, regardless of their age, breed, and specific needs. The reason we’re so impressed by this rescue is because they always take a chance on the dogs that other humans might consider “less adoptable.”

In fact, Molly has already written about some heartwarming moments from this rescue. This includes a beautiful deformed dog named Freddie and a two-legged dog named Cora, whose story we’ve shared on our blog. Caring for dogs like Freddie and Cora can be a little more difficult, but it’s not impossible. So, while other people might’ve given up on these sweet dogs, the kind humans at Marley’s Mutts saved their lives.

This rescue has saved thousands of dogs since they began. Their goal is to bring down the amount of dog euthanasia in the world, especially since California has such a high kill rate. But they know that rescuing dogs alone won’t solve the problem. So, they’re utilizing other tools like education to help make a difference.

Some other incredible things they do is move dogs from overpopulated high-kill shelters to no-kill shelters with plenty of space. They also have a therapy program where rescue dogs can provide comfort for the community. Additionally, they have an inmate training program, which can be a great growth experience for both the inmates and the rescue dogs. The rescue dogs live with the inmates for three months and work on training. In the end, it greatly changes both the human and dog for the better.

Like most rescues, fostering is essential for Marley’s Mutts. While they have a beautiful rescue ranch on-site, adoptable dogs can often benefit the most from time in a loving home. It’s a rewarding experience that gives dogs the chance to get used to a home environment.

Marley’s Mutts does incredible things for dogs in need, but they can’t do it without the support of the community. So, check out their website to find out how you can adopt, foster, volunteer, or donate.

Do you know about a special shelter that goes above and beyond for dogs in need? Then contact me so I can write about them on my blog! I’m also on the lookout for adoption stories from fellow rescue dogs!

Images from @MarleysMuttsDogRescue/Facebook

2 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

Recently, I have heard a lot of information about prison animal programs. Now, these programs might sound scary on the surface, but they are actually beneficial for both the dogs and humans involved. For these programs, organizations let the dogs in their care spend time with prison inmates, which gives the inmates time to train a dog and it gives the dog more obedience and socialization. But how exactly does this work?

How Do These Programs Work?

Every program is different, but most of them are conducted by dog rescues. They’ll send some of the dogs in their care to a prison, where they’ll live with an inmate for a select amount of time. Some inmates might work with one particular dog the entire time while other programs might rotate the dogs so each inmate gets to interact with each dog.

Most of the time, the inmates spend time training and socializing the dogs. I’ve also heard of similar programs where inmates work with cats or future service dogs. All these programs are closely monitored to ensure that everyone stays safe and comfortable during the training.

At the end of these programs, the inmates and dogs usually come out better because of it. The rescue dogs can leave the program with better behaviors, making it easer for them to get adopted. More and more rescues seem to be implementing these programs due to their positive results.

Are They Beneficial?

Not only are these programs beneficial for the rescue dogs involved, but they can also make life better for the inmates too. These inmates get to learn kindness and compassion through these dogs. After all, caring for a dog usually makes most people’s hearts grow. Many inmates have negatively affected society somehow in the past, so this is also their chance to give back and do something kind for a change. Some inmates have even gone on to adopt dogs of their own once they’re released, thanks to these experiences.

The dogs greatly benefit from these one-on-one experiences. Many adoptable dogs are often stuck at shelters in depressing kennels. But at the prison, they get plenty of attention like they would in a forever home. In a way, it’s similar to a foster home because it gets the dogs out of the shelter. It gives them the experiences they wouldn’t get if they spent their days sitting in a kennel.

Prison might sound scary to some humans, but dogs can make it better because dogs make everything better. Dogs and humans need each other to live life to the fullest, so this program is made to benefit both the humans and dogs involved. So, I’m happy that it has become increasingly popular over the years.

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4 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

With so many humans staying home due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the weather getting colder, they need to find more indoor activities to do. One of Molly’s favorite activities (when she has time for it) is reading! What better way to spend a cold day than to curl up beside your pup and read a book? So, I’ve compiled a list of some of Molly’s favorite dog books so far. Although, she still has hundreds more on her to-read list!

A Dog’s Purpose

Many people know A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron because of the popular movie based off the book, but Molly read it long before the film was released. It tells the story of a dog who travels through multiple lives, trying to find out what his purpose in life is. Of course, every time he passes away, it’s very sad, but I promise it has a happy ending. As a dog, I don’t think as deeply as this pup does, but I’m sure there are many dogs that do! This book also has two sequels, which Molly has yet to read.

One Hundred Dogs and Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and A Journey into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues

I’ve talked about this amazing book by Cara Sue Achterberg many times on my blog before. It’s about the real-life story of how she traveled to discover the truth about shelter dogs. Cara Sue Achterberg has fostered over 100 dogs in her life, but she knew there was more she could do to help. So, she went on a road trip to visit rural shelters in southern states and helped them in any way that she could. Along the way, she wrote about and took pictures of what she saw. Reading this book will help you see why adopting dogs is so important. There are so many dogs out there who need someone to love them! Cara Sue Achterberg also has another book that Molly still needs to read called Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs.

Two Good Dogs

Molly didn’t realize this book was a sequel to One Good Dog until after she already read it. However, Two Good Dogs by Susan Wilson works just as well on its own. You don’t need to have read the first one to understand what’s happening. It tells the story of a teen who has witnessed a murder, her mom who owns a hotel, and a dog dad who stays at the hotel. The dog dad has a Pit Bull who was rescued from a dog fighting ring, and while the dog isn’t the protagonist of the story, Molly said it did a good job showing love to Pit Bull breeds.

The Art of Racing in the Rain

This is another popular book that has recently been made into a movie. This book by Garth Stein is told from the point of view of a dog named Enzo, who observes his human’s life. His dad is a racecar driver who has to deal with hardships with his wife and daughter. While I’ll admit that the guy isn’t the best dog dad, it still covers some real, emotional topics. However, it’s a bit unusual that the dog in this story thinks more like a human than a dog.

My Boyfriends’ Dogs: The Tales of Adam and Eve and Shirley

If you’re looking for a lighthearted romance story, then this book by Dandi Daley Mackall is perfect for you. It’s a quick read about a runaway bride with three dogs. The story behind each dog involves a different relationship in her life, and it clearly shows that dogs are better than boyfriends. It’s a quick read, but I know Molly enjoyed it very much. It has also been made into a movie too.

A Dog’s Way Home

This is another novel by W. Bruce Cameron that has since been made into a movie. It’s about a Pit Bull breed who lives in a town with strict breed restrictions. So, her dad has to take her out of the area until he can find a home that’s more dog-friendly. Not understanding this, the dog runs away and goes on a long journey to find her dad again. It’s a story to teach others about breed discrimination. However, I’ve heard many people complain about how the dog on the cover looks nothing like a Pit Bull, but I feel like that’s the point. There’s no such thing as a “Pit Bull,” so whatever dog the town thinks looks like a Pit Bull would be banned. It’s the heartbreaking reality we live in.

These are just some of the many amazing dog books out there. Molly has so many more that she’s planning to read, but she says it’s so hard to find the time to read them all. In fact, she hopes that soon she’ll be able to publish a dog book of her own, so I’m excited to see her achieve that goal.

What are your favorite dog books? Let me know in the comments!

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2 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

Every year, People Magazine holds a contest for the World’s Cutest Rescue Dog. Of course, every rescue dog is adorable, but this year’s winner stole Molly’s heart. That’s because Lamb Chop, the cutest rescue dog of 2020, reminds us so much of Molly’s first dog Zoe!

Like Zoe, Lamb Chop is a Maltese who was rescued from a puppy mill after she bred puppies for about 6 years straight. As you can imagine, she was scared and hesitant around humans when she first arrived at the Washington County Humane Society in Slinger, Wisconsin. But luckily, she was soon adopted and given the loving life she deserves.

Poor Lamb Chop had a lot of health problems when she was first rescued. She had rotting teeth, cauliflower ear, and several tumors. It took a lot of time at the vet to treat these issues, but now, she’s doing better than ever. The only physical sign she has from her past abuse is her tongue hanging out of her mouth. But Molly says that only adds to her cuteness!

Lamb Chop is still very shy, but she has come a long way. She is finally learning what it’s like to be loved, and that’s what every dog deserves. Now, Lamb Chop and her mom work together to spread the word about puppy mills. They work with organization Bailing Out Benji to teach the world the horrific reality of the puppy industry.

In fact, Molly has even decided to volunteer for Bailing Out Benji now to help spread the word about puppy mills. Of course, there aren’t many events going on right now due to the coronavirus, but this incredible organization is still doing everything they can to help dogs in need.

I’m overjoyed that Lamb Chop won the cutest dog contest. She deserves it more than anyone. Hopefully, her success will help better educate the world about rescue dogs. So please, encourage more humans to adopt! It’s what Lamb Chop would want you to do.

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Images from @lambchopthepuppymillrescue/Instagram

3 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

Have you heard of the term, dog “whale eye” before? It’s an unusual term, but it’s a fairly common behavior for dogs. Dogs can’t communicate with humans using words, so we have to find other ways to get our points across. A whale eye is one of the subtle ways that we let our humans know something is wrong.

What Does Dog “Whale Eye” Mean?

“Whale eye” refers to when your dog looks off to the side or moves their head slightly so the white of their eyes is showing. The white part of the eye usually looks like a crescent moon shape when this happens. This action can also be called a “half moon eye.”

However, whale eyes can be different for every dog. For example, brachycephalic dogs like me often have the whites of their eyes showing at all times because our eyes stick out more than other dogs. Other dogs might have simply learned how to look around without moving their head. So, when I refer to “whale eye,” I’m taking about when it happens out of the ordinary. After all, it might seem like such a small cue, but it can often mean something significant.

Why Does it Happen?

When a dog has a whale eye, it often means they’re feeling anxious, stressed, scared, or uncomfortable. Oftentimes, it will accompany other anxious behaviors, such as yawning, licking, or growling. You might not notice these subtle cues if you’re not looking for them, but it’s important for you to pay attention to your dog’s behaviors. Your dog will often try to tell you something using small actions like a whale eye.

If your dog suddenly has a whale eye, look around for potential stress factors. The most common cause is being smothered with attention. Children (and some adults) will often pet dogs excessively without being aware of warning signs. This could lead to a dangerous situation if not corrected. Uncomfortable dogs could nip or bite even if they’re usually well-behaved, but they’ll always show some warning signs first whether those signs are obvious or not.

Other factors could be unfamiliar situations, scary sounds, or changes in routine. Some dogs are certainly more fearful than others (like my brother, Taco) but all dogs can get nervous at times. So, pay attention to your dog’s surroundings to help determine what’s causing their whale eye. Some examples could be thunder, unfamiliar dogs, or vet visits.

What Should You Do?

If possible, you should try to fix the problem if your dog has a whale eye. For example, if they are being smothered by children, teach the kids how to properly give your dog space. If your dog is nervous about another dog walking toward them, then walk in a different direction to avoid added stress for your pup. Catching these stress factors early on will stop someone from getting hurt.

In some cases, you can’t avoid the stress factor completely. You can’t control the weather and you can’t stop going to the vet. So, in those situations, it’s just important that you’re there to comfort them. Give them extra cuddles and treats to let them know they’re doing a good job. After all, we can’t always avoid things we don’t like, but scary things are definitely better with our loved ones by our side.

So, make sure you pay close attention to your dog’s behaviors from now on. Many times, they could be as subtle as a whale eye, but that doesn’t make them any less important. Understanding your dog’s body language is the key to keeping them and everyone around them safe.

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4 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

Animal abuse is never okay, and I feel like not enough humans agree with that statement. There are also many humans that don’t think neglect is as severe as abuse. But neglect is actually a form of abuse, and it can be just as harmful as violent abuse, if not more. The worst part about animal neglect is that many people don’t even realize they’re doing it until it’s too late. So, I think it’s important for humans to know what these terms really mean.

Animal Neglect vs. Abuse

Animal neglect is abuse. Many humans might not see neglect as a significant problem, but it is. Abuse is the improper use or treatment of an animal, which often leads to the human’s own personal gain. Neglect is defined as the failure to properly care for something. So, the two go hand in hand. Failing to care for an animal causes them pain and suffering, which is abuse.

Humans neglect animals for a variety of reasons. Some are just too lazy to care for them, some are unaware of how animals should be treated, and some even purposely do it, such as those who run puppy mills. Regardless of the reason, neglecting an animal is never okay and it should be taken just as seriously as any other form of abuse.

Signs of Neglect

When it comes to neglect, you might realize it’s happening by observing a dog or observing the location they’re kept in. Neglected animals are often very thin and weak. Plus, they’re often kept outside or in a crate much longer than they should be.

Here are some physical signs of neglect:

  • The dog is skinny to the point where bones are visible.
  • They are extremely dirty.
  • Their hair is severely tangled and matted.
  • They have overgrown nails.
  • They have open or untreated wounds.
  • They frequently experience vomiting or diarrhea.
  • The have fleas, hair loss, or irritated skin.
  • They’re limping.

Here are some environmental signs of neglect:

  • The dog is kept in a kennel that’s too small for them.
  • They’re chained outside for extended periods of time.
  • They don’t have access to food or clean water.
  • They don’t have shelter from weather conditions.
  • They’re surrounded by garbage, feces, or other hazardous objects.
  • They bark, whine, or howl for long periods of time.

Of course, none of these signs alone are guaranteed to mean neglect, but if you notice multiple of these concerns, then that’s a red flag. Sometimes rescue dogs who are recovering might look skinny or some dogs might bark more than others. You can’t always jump to conclusions right away. So, make sure you observe the dog’s behavior and the dog’s environment to help you decide if that animal is in danger or not.

In the early stages, neglect might not seem like a huge deal. But the longer neglect goes on for, the longer a dog will suffer. Neglect often leads to a long, painful death due to starvation or untreated health conditions. So, if you see a dog being neglected, it’s important to act fast.

What to do if You See Animal Neglect

Unfortunately, not all places have the same laws when it comes to animal neglect. Some treat it as a crime just like abuse, but others don’t take it as seriously. In most cases, the human responsible will be given advice on how to properly care for their dog, the dog will be taken out of their care, or they’ll receive a fine or other type of punishment. Regardless of the punishment, it’s still good to report animal neglect if you see it.

If you suspect that an animal is being neglected, contact your area’s animal control. You can do this anonymously, but it’s much easier to punish the person responsible if you’re willing to testify. If someone else witnessed the neglect too, try to get them to back you up. Also, make sure you give animal control as many details about the neglect as you can. If possible, provide pictures of the dog and their environment. But please don’t ever enter private property to do that.

All animal lovers can agree that neglect and abuse are unforgivable actions. But sadly, many people don’t think they’re severe. The laws still have a lot of improving to do in order to keep animals safer, but it’s up to us to keep animals safe as much as possible. If you ever see any animal suffer from neglect or any other type of abuse, please speak up. You could save that animal’s life.

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Hi, I’m Wooper! Yes, I know, I’m not a dog, but I’m Mabel’s new little sister. And I’m a rescue just like she is! I’m an axolotl, which is an aquatic salamander. When salamanders are babies, they have gills and they live underwater. But an axolotl’s gills never go away when they grow up. So, we’re like permanent baby salamanders!

Molly has always wanted an axolotl, but something didn’t feel right to her about buying an animal from a pet store. So, she had been hesitant to bring another amphibian into her life (she used to have two salamanders.) But then one day she just happened to be scrolling through PetFinder for fun. When she clicked the “other animal” tab, she saw me! She hadn’t even realized exotic pets like axolotls could be rescues!

She adopted me from J&R Aquatic Animal Rescue. They’re a newer rescue that takes in surrendered exotic animals like me. Most animal shelters and rescues won’t take in unusual animals, so sadly, many people release them into the wild, thinking they have no other options. But domesticated animals cannot survive in the wild, especially if they don’t naturally live in that area. So, the rescue works hard to ensure that defenseless animals don’t get released in the wild and left to die. They help find good homes for animals like me!

I arrived at the rescue along with a lot of other baby axolotls. Apparently, a lot of axolotls get surrendered if they’re missing a leg. After all, we love to eat anything we can, so if baby axolotls are kept in the same aquarium together, they might bite at each other’s feet! But don’t worry, we can regenerate body parts, so I already have four legs again.

Even though Mabel’s site mostly focuses on dogs, Molly thought it would be important to share my story too. After all, dogs aren’t the only animals who need saving. So, if you’re ever considering getting an exotic pet, please check to see if you can rescue one. Pet stores don’t always treat their animals the best, so if you can find a kind rescue like the one I was at, then that’s the best way to go! But it’s important to remember that you should only adopt an animal if you’re prepared and you’ve done your research.

If you have a rescue dog or any other rescue animal with a story to share, please visit the contact page. We’d love to help encourage more humans to save animals in need.

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3 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

Dogs are the best companions a human can have. As a dog, I see no problems there. But I have recently come to the realization that dogs aren’t for everyone. Sure, most humans love dogs, but they might not be in a good place to care for a dog. Whether it’s time, money, or some other factor, not everyone can adopt a dog, no matter how much they want to. Therefore, many humans choose cats instead.

If you really want a companion, but you know you’re not ready for a dog, then there are plenty of great reasons to choose a cat. After all, many humans often forget that cats need forever homes just as much as dogs do. So, why would a cat be better than a dog for some human’s lifestyles?

Cats are Less Needy

I’ve been told that having a dog can sometimes feel like a full-time job. No matter how exhausted you are, dogs always want attention and they want to be near you. Not all humans have enough time and commitment to be there for their dog constantly. So, cats are often much easier to care for in that regard. They generally don’t need walks, baths, or games of fetch. They’re often just fine doing their own thing.

Cats are More Affordable

Dogs are very expensive, especially if you want a large breed. You’ll need to spend a lot of money on food, treats, toys, vet visits, heartworm/flea preventatives, and sometimes grooming appointments. Cats eat less, they don’t destroy their toys all the time, and they don’t need anything extravagant. Plus, cat adoption fees are often much cheaper than dog adoption fees. You definitely have to be more financially stable if you’re looking for a dog.

Cats Don’t Need Much Space

It depends on the breed, but most dogs need space to run. Sometimes, rescues will even require a fenced-in yard for large, energetic dogs. Dogs need to spend time outside to explore and to relieve themselves, but cats are often perfectly content staying inside. So, cats are more apartment-friendly.

Cats are Quieter

When dogs bark, even your neighbors can probably hear it. But cats have quiet meows that aren’t quite as noticeable and they’re certainly not as obnoxious. I know humans want dogs to be quiet, but barking is just so fun! Yet, I can understand how it might be easier to focus with a cat instead of a dog.

Cats Don’t Need Walks

For many humans, walks are the hardest part of having a dog. You need to set aside time to walk them throughout the day, which can be hard if you work full-time. Cats don’t need to go outside to relieve themselves because they can just use the litter box. So, I suppose that could save you a lot of time.

As a dog, I have to say that dogs are just more awesome than cats, but dogs aren’t for everyone. Please don’t adopt a dog if you don’t think you’ll have enough time or money to care for them. Animals are living creatures, so they can be tricky to take care of. But if you feel the need to get a furry friend, consider a cat over a dog if these things would be better for your lifestyle.

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3 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

For a huge dog lover like Molly, it’s difficult for her to understand why so many people buy puppies instead of adopting rescue dogs. Morally speaking, adopting is definitely the better way to go. Yet, many humans still buy dogs instead without a second thought. So, we’ve tried to see it from their point of view to help us understand why so many people choose not to adopt dogs.

Possible Reasons Humans Shop Instead of Adopt

I’ve heard all kinds of excuses from humans who purchases puppies. Some say they wanted a specific breed, others say it was just easier, and some even admit that they didn’t consider any other options. For many humans, breeding puppies is the norm. They see it as a way to get exactly the dog they want without having to look long and hard.

Of course, everyone wants the perfect dog though. Every human probably has some ideal dog in mind when choosing a new best friend. But like most things, the perfect dog in your mind isn’t always what’s perfect for you. Many humans become so obsessed with this idea of a dog that they don’t stop to consider all their options first.

Then, there are some humans who consider adopting first, but still don’t. These humans often live in areas where there aren’t as many adoptable dogs available. And when some humans can’t find what they’re looking for right away, they look elsewhere. I understand the urge to get a dog as soon as possible because we’re just that awesome, but getting a dog should not be rushed. I think all these reasons for not adopting are valid to an extent, but most of them are decisions that are made with the human’s wants overriding how dogs are affected.

The Main Reason Humans Don’t Adopt

The main reason humans don’t adopt dogs is because they just don’t know the reality of how important it is. Oftentimes, humans don’t know how many dogs are killed every year or where puppies in pet stores come from. Some might just not even consider adopting as their first option. Whatever the reason, a lack of information can often cause humans to buy puppies instead of adopt.

In many cases, humans will think they know everything about rescue dogs when that’s just not the case. They will often assume that they can’t find specific breeds at rescues or that they can’t find young puppies. But it’s possible to find what you’re looking for if you search hard enough. In some cases, you might have to wait a little longer or travel a little further, but at least you’ll be saving dogs instead of bringing more into this world.

How Can You Help Teach Others

As always, I encourage dog lovers to go out and spread the word. Educate others on euthanasia rates, puppy mills, and rescues. Show them that there’s so much more to rescuing a dog than meets the eye. Of course, adopting, fostering, volunteering, and donating are some of the best ways to help dogs in need, but educating can also go a long way.

Human who choose to shop aren’t doing it because they don’t want to help dogs. They shop because they don’t know how much adopting can make a difference. So, please help others see the importance of rescuing dogs.

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2 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

It has been known for a while that dogs might be able to sniff out COVID-19, but before, it was uncertain when these dogs would finally start using their special talents. Since this pandemic began, dogs have been training to detect the virus’ scent. After all, dogs can detect the smell of other medical conditions due to their superior noses, so the coronavirus should be no different.

COVID-Sniffing Dogs Are on the Job!

The Helsinki Airport in Finland is currently the first airport in Europe to use these detection dogs, and they’re the second in the world. They employed four skilled dogs for this role. Two of them work while the other two get well-deserved breaks. After all, even working dogs deserve time off to be loved and cuddled.

Currently, the COVID-19 testing at this airport is optional, but it’s a quick and painless test. Each person needs to dab their neck with a wipe. Then, that wipe is placed in a jar for safety and put next to other jars with different scents. The dog can sniff those jars and determine if the person has the coronavirus. If the dog smells the coronavirus on a sample, they will yelp, lay down, or paw at it to let someone know.

If the dog indicates that the person has COVID-19, they will have to go through another test to confirm that dog’s conclusion. So far, the dogs have almost 100% accuracy. They can even detect the virus in a smaller molecule pool than other tests. They only need 100 molecules to smell it while laboratory equipment needs about 18 million! A dog’s nose is incredible!

How Will This Benefit the Future?

Hopefully, dogs will be used more in the future to detect the coronavirus. These jobs are not difficult or stressful for the dogs in any way, and they get breaks just like a human would. Human noses aren’t strong enough to smell a virus, but dog noses can detect even the tiniest change in a person’s molecules.

This new discovery could greatly slow the spread of COVID-19. Eventually, dogs could test people whenever they walk into a major airport or busy business. This could help ensure that the virus doesn’t spread even further. It might take a while to train that many dogs for the task, but it will definitely be worth it in the long run.

But for now, please just continue to be extra safe and cautious. Humans can get through this if they just work together.

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Photos from @HelsinkiAirport/Twitter