Life with Jasmine and Juliet, Our Rescued Dachshunds

Random notes on our experience with our two rescued miniature dachshunds

Grandma!

Jasmine met my Mom today. We sat on a bench near the entrance of her building and watched people walk by. At first, Jasmine was skittish. After a little time, Jasmine relaxed. Then, Mom started petting her. Jasmine was a trooper…she was sweet and loving. My Mom gushed…she said, “Jasmine, you can come over every day!” 🙂

Jasmine also had her first ride in the car without the crate. I placed her blanket on the seat, and she laid on it the whole way there and back. She did so well today! I’m so proud of her!

She had a busy day. She’s laying on her pillow right now, snoring away. Good doggie.

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Routine

Routine is a dog’s best friend.

Get up. Go outside. Do your business. Get a nice brushing. Go inside. Lay in the crate next to Mom while she reads the paper and eats breakfast. Hang out while Mom takes a shower. Flop into comfy doggie bed next to Mom while she works. Go for walkies. Hang out in the crate while Mom runs errands. Back in the comfy bed. Dinner time. Walkies. Comfy doggie bed. Comfy bed in crate to sleep in.

Jasmine is getting into her routine–and liking it. After only two weeks, she’s getting quite acclimated.

Now we have to think about training. She needs to come when called. She needs to be able to sit and stay.

All with time.

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Time For Walkies

Wallace and Gromit are my favorite animated characters. Gromit, that lovable pooch, loves walkies. So does Jasmine.

After she got over the “bucking bronco”stage, she is fine with walking on the leash. She had some issues with curbs, but we got over that pretty quickly. I have also learned that when she’s afraid of something, I should stand still and then slowly approach whatever she’s afraid of. She was afraid of the gate at the side of our house and wouldn’t go through. By using this tactic, I was able to get her to move through the gate with no fear. She’s taking her cues from me.

I got some new books. A few by Patricia McConnell, and one called “Katz on Dogs.” They all look interesting. I’m a great fan of the San Jose Library system these days. Between my business and my dog, I’m reading about 16 books at one time!

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One Step Forward…One Step Back

Jasmine had an “accident” yesterday. Not just a simple puddle, but a trail about 20 feet long. Apparently, she got started and moved on…and on. I spent time using enzyme cleaner and a hand held carpet steamer making sure the scent goes away. I don’t think I did a good enough job last week, because she piddled in exactly the same spot!

Well, I keep forgetting that she’s only been here for a few days. It seems like she’s been here for a long time, already a part of our everyday lives. She’s not housebroken, she doesn’t know what the rules are, she doesn’t know how to play. But she’s so tame and mellow…I have to keep an eye on her and make sure to take her out when she needs it.

Regardless of what she doesn’t know, it’s clear that she knows love and affection. Those squirrelly eyes, one brown and one blue, look up at me every day with a desire to please. She sticks to me like glue and lives for the opportunity to lay next to me in her doggie bed.

I’m so glad she’s here.

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A Little Pep

Jasmine is in the zone! She runs into her crate when we’re ready for bed, and she runs out to the back yard with me first thing in the morning! Routine is a good thing.

I had a lunch appointment today, so I put Jasmine in her crate in the kitchen and closed the door. She settled right in, and I left. When I returned, I let her out, and she ran around the living room, jumping and frolicking. This is the first time she has shown a little “doxie pep” since she came to live with us. Her ears were up, she was running and jumping over her pillow bed, and she was eagerly awaiting my arrival at the “office” (aka the couch). She sleeps at my feet on her pillow bed while I work.

She’s a gem, that’s for sure!

There are pictures of Jasmine enjoying her doggie bed on my Flickr site…check it out (or check out the Flickr widget on the right-hand side of this blog).

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One Week Later

Well, it has been a week since Jasmine came home, and I have to say that she’s made remarkable progress. First, she is my shadow. She follows me everywhere, looking up with me with those crazy eyes and that cute little face. She has already begun understanding our routine and is falling into it. She went from bucking bronco to walking on a leash in just a few days–dragging the leash around the house desensitized her to it and made her accept it. She has many trust issues, but she has bonded with me and sticks to me like glue.

I believe she lived a life of fear in the three short years she spent as a breeder dog at a puppy mill. She doesn’t make a sound–except when she snores. 🙂 The only time I’ve seen or heard her bark is when she was protecting her puppies from a large dog at the foster home. She is extremely shy and submissive, tucking her tail at every turn. She is very afraid of curbs, steps and even changes in the pavement–it makes walking her or getting her into the house a challenge. She hasn’t seemed to grasp that she is allowed to relieve herself more than once a day. She cowers when someone tries to pet her–even me. But, once she gets a few scratches behind her ears, she warms up to me.

I can’t imagine how anyone could be cruel to this beautiful, adorable dog. She is wonderful. She’s starting to show a little impish behavior (some pushing around of her food and water dishes while we were away today). She has already learned that she is to sleep in her crate and she runs into it when we go into the bedroom.

My original fears have gone away. She’s already deep in my heart and a vital part of our family. I’m so glad we took a chance on her.

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Jasmine Comes Home: Part 2

We called the foster mom and told her the good news–we wanted to have “Orchid” come live with us. We were so excited. We got all the doggie supplies (and THEN some) we needed, and dog-proofed our home. I scoured the library for dog behavior books, and while there were some excellent books regarding bringing a puppy home, there were very few that addressed the special needs of an adopted adult dog–one that might have been abused. Finally, Sunday came, and we went to bring Orchid–renamed Jasmine–home.

She was skittish when we arrived, just as she had been when we visited her before. I was concerned that she was not going to bond with us, and nervous that all the other dogs in the foster “pack” were more outgoing and friendly than she was. My husband, Tom, told me that everything would be fine. We snapped on her snazzy new red collar and I carried her in my arms as we drove home.

We parked in the driveway, and I got out of the car. We snapped Jasmine’s leash onto her collar, and I put her down on the pavement. Suddenly, the mild and quiet dog that I had just held in my arms became a bucking bronco. She was cowering in fear, trying to get away. She began to lose control of her bowels, and I quickly picked her up and brought her to the back yard. She was freaked out. I cleaned her up with some wipes and brought her inside.

Jasmine must have walked a mile that first day. She constantly paced through the house, sniffing every corner. She was confused, scared and once again, displaced. She would run to avoid us if we entered the room. She cowered at every attempt to touch her, so we generally left her alone–but under close watch. I had a nice crate for her, and she finally settled down and spent some time in it. I was vigilant in keeping an eye on her–I didn’t want to have an accident in the house, but I looked away for a minute, and of course, she urinated on the slate floor in the entryway.

I took her outside, but she didn’t do anything more. I was outside with her for about 30 minutes to no avail. She was trembling, scared of the unknown smells and sounds of our back yard. I tried to lead her into the house, but she was very afraid of the two steps into the house at the back door. I had to finally pick her up and carry her into the house.

The first night was difficult. I got her into her crate, and I don’t believe she slept at all…I could hear the jingle of her ID tag throughout the night. I was riddled with doubt…never having had a dog of my own (although we had dogs throughout my childhood), I wasn’t sure if I wanted a dog with such issues. I knew that she had been mistreated in the puppy mill, but I didn’t know the extent of the psychological damage she suffered. I was afraid that I couldn’t help her.

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Jasmine Comes Home: Part 1

Jasmine, a 3-year-old miniature dachshund, came home with us on Sunday, July 15 after a journey that traversed the country and brought her from a miserable existence to a very fluffy pillow.

Jasmine was purchased by a veterinarian who scoured dog auctions across multiple states, buying dogs that were breeders for puppy mills. The vet then brought the dogs, 49 in all, to the San Francisco Bay area to be treated for medical issues and adopted out to loving families. (You can read all about it on SFGate.) The various breeds were taken by a number of rescue organizations throughout the area, and were placed into foster homes until they could be spayed or neutered, treated for various health issues, and deemed fit for adoption.

I had been wanting to raise a dachshund for many years, but due to a very hectic work schedule, my husband and I decided to postpone raising a dog until we had enough time to devote to its care. When I finally decided to make a go at bootstrapping my own company (and working out of my home), we decided it was time to begin our search for a new member of the family. Then, my husband came upon the story about the puppy mill rescue dogs.

I called the vet that rescued the dogs, but we never connected. I found some dachshund rescue organizations, but never heard back from any of the volunteers. I finally started to scour PetFinder and found a very cute dachshund available for adoption. I called the contact for the dog and left a message. When she returned my call, she gave me the contact names of several of the fosters taking care of the puppy-mill dogs. I finally got in touch with one of them, and I went to her home to view the available animals.

“Holly” was an over-10-year-old dapple with a sweet disposition. She was mildly friendly, but still very skittish. I thought about adopting her, but I felt that I wanted a younger dog…more years to spend with the dog. Then, I saw “Orchid.” She was a very small short-haired dapple with one blue eye and one brown. She was very wary of strangers, and even when the foster “mom” put her in my lap, all she did was tremble. She had just whelped a litter six weeks before, and her puppies were happily frolicking in the yard. She was protective of the puppies, but other than that, she seemed to show no interest in anything else.

We were a little hesitant about adopting “Orchid.” She wasn’t socialized at all. She was afraid of people. She wasn’t housebroken. But something about her tugged at my heart, and we decided to move forward with the adoption.

(more to come)

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