Life with Jasmine and Juliet, Our Rescued Dachshunds

Random notes on our experience with our two rescued miniature dachshunds

Still No Walkies

Jasmine still refuses to go for walks with me.  It’s so sad.  We go outside, and she immediately gets into the “oh no, you’re not making me go” posture.  She sits her little butt down, and actually pulls BACK on the leash with her neck.  I’ve coaxed her out of the position with her little training treats (she’s not so frightened that she turns down treats), and she readily walks to the treat to eat it.  However, any forward movement by me and she’s back to the “oh no” posture.  If it wasn’t so sad it would be funny.

The times she HAS gone for walks with me in the past few weeks have been due to the “lesser of two evils” circumstances.  She’s still afraid of my husband, so if he appears to be approaching us, she’ll go on the walk.  If something scares her, say a branch touching her from a bush she’s walking under, she’ll shoot out and go for a walk.  Once she’s walking, she doesn’t seem to mind it.  But there’s some sort of mental block right now that keeps her from getting started on a walk with me.  I’m not scarier than the walk?  The walk and I are forever connected to the trauma of meeting the neighbor’s doxies?

My husband and I now take her for evening walks together.  She’s fine once she gets going.  We’ve taught her to sit at every curb and wait until we release her from the sit.  She seems to enjoy the walks somewhat, but I sense her unease and fear of the unknown–cocked ears, kind of hunched shoulders (sometimes slinking).  I know she loves our house and feels safe and comfortable in it, and I’m glad I have been able to give her that sense of comfort and well-being.  I just hope that in time, she’ll be able to move beyond these fears and be as happy out in the world as she is at home.

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When I’m Away

Many dogs experience separation anxiety when you leave them home alone.   Some bark, some whine, some chew up and destroy.  Jasmine just waits (maybe she sulks…I don’t know).

I’ve left bones, treat-filled Kongs, cheese, toys, food…everything she loves…in the kitchen with her when I go out.  When I get home, those items are usually still there, untouched.  Only when I return does she do a happy dance, and THEN goes for the treat or food.  She tosses the Kong around to bounce the treats out.  She immediately runs for the cheese under the kitchen table.  She even refuses to eat her dinner if she’s left alone with it, and happily eats when I’m back and in the room.

I think she’s a “happy” eater.  She’s happy, she’s hungry.  At very least, she’s not a destructo-dog.  As it stands, she has a whole large kitchen to roam (complete with fluffy pillow in an open crate) and our pet bird to keep company with.  However, when I get home, it’s clear that all she was doing was waiting (patiently) for my return.

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Leave It!

One of the behaviors/tricks we taught Jasmine during obedience school is the Leave It command.  When given the command, Jasmine is supposed to ignore the item in question.

Yesterday, I let Jasmine out in the back yard to do her business before bedtime.  She ran outside (oooh…so cold!) and immediately honed in on a pile of cat poop.  I don’t know what is so appealing about cat poop, but visions of her rolling in it were looming in my head.  Instead, she picked up a piece in her mouth.  EWWWW!  ICK!  I hadn’t taught her “Drop It” so all I had in my arsenal of commands was “Leave It.”  I gave her the command, and lo and behold, she dropped the poop!  I praised her.  However, I praised her too soon.  The alluring stench of the cat poop was way too much for her to ignore.  She picked it up again and brought it closer to me.  Again, I told her to “Leave It,” and she again dropped the poop.  I called her over to me, and she reluctantly walked away from her prize.  After doing her business, I told her “let’s go inside” and she bounded to the door.

I’m so glad I had that command to use.  Otherwise, Jasmine would probably had a late-night snack.  Ew.

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Giving Thanks

It’s a few hours before we eat a huge Thanksgiving dinner.  On one side of me, my husband lays in his easy chair, snoring.  On the other side, Jasmine lays on her doggie bed, snoring.  What more could a person want?

It has been a little over four months since Jasmine graced our home.  I think about the life she lived before being rescued and her life now, and it makes me happy to know that I was able to make her life so much better.  Every soft pillow, every crunchy bone, every pet in my lap reinforces that she’s here for good and an important member of our family.

Today is a day to give thanks for what we have, but isn’t every day?  While people say that Jasmine is a lucky dog, I think we’re the lucky ones.  And for that, Jasmine will have her first taste of fresh roasted turkey tonight.  She deserves to celebrate too.

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Me and My Shadow

Jasmine is my little shadow. Everywhere I go, she goes (well, except down the street on a WALK…oh I hope she gets over that soon). Just imagine that little face looking up with anticipation at every corner…oh, it really melts my heart! It’s also fun as we both run and romp down the hallway. For a little dog, she makes a lot of noise when she runs. She sounds like a little horse galloping down a corridor and her little ears bounce with each leap!

Jasmine can be a little “stealth dog” as well. All of a sudden, she’s right behind me. I have to be careful or I’ll have a squished dog! Regardless of what I do, it’s so nice to have her near. Even though I haven’t had a solitary moment in the bathroom in 4 months, 😀 the companionship and devotion is something to behold.

Dogs rule.

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Pillow Fluffer

Jasmine loves big, cushy pillows.  Well, who doesn’t? 😀

I’ve made a few poofy pillows out of muslin and fiber fill and covered it with a “baby terrycloth” slip cover.  My crafting skills come in handy in creating disgustingly cute items for my dog.  I do have to admit, I even made a little fleece doggie coat.  It’s white fleece with little paw prints on it.  Hey, she has really short hair, and it gets cold outside, and well, she looks really adorable in her coat…and…um…okay, so it’s sickeningly cute.  Believe me, I don’t believe that dogs are fashion accessories.  My husband, though, shakes his head and chuckles every time I make something new.  But I got off topic, didn’t I?

The funniest thing is Jasmine’s pillow fluffing routine.  Before she snuggles down into the pillow, she has to fluff it.  This includes using her nose to push under the pillow and using her paws and teeth to move the pillow top and poof up the stuffing.  Then, she goes into a typical doggie circuit of turning round and round before settling in.  She has a blanket to match her pink pillow, and she also uses the blanket to create a comfortable nest.  The blanket does double duty for her to hide her bones–very handy to hide those all-important treasures.

Little joys pop up every day.  This is one of them.

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New Tricks

Jasmine has been picking up new tricks so easily. She almost seems bored with the old ones! I’ve been trying to mark behaviors I’ve seen from her and assigning commands to them–it works so much better than trying to shape her behavior (i.e. pushing her rear down in a sit).

So far, Jasmine has learned how to crawl and how to sit up. Both behaviors were taught in less than a day. For the crawl, she started crawling across the rug to get a bone. I got down on my hands and knees, made a few scratching motions on the carpet and said “crawl!” She crawled, and I marked the behavior with “YES!” and praised her and gave her a treat. After just a few repetitions, she learned the behavior and could repeat it on command.

Today, she was trying to jump up to get a treat from my hand, and I marked the behavior with an “up” command. A couple of treats and praises later, and Jasmine was hooked.

“Training” is one of her favorite games. When I ask her whether she wants to do some training, she jumps for joy. Okay, so maybe she’s excited about treats. But I like to think the tricks are fun too… 😀

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Morning Dog

I think Jasmine is a morning dog.

She seems happiest in the morning.  Maybe its because she’s peppy and refreshed.  Maybe it’s in anticipation of “going to work.”

I work out of my home office, and after breakfast, we go there.  She has a pink puffy pillow, toys and bones there.  After we have breakfast, I open the kitchen door, and tell her it’s time to go to work.  She thunders down the hallway to the office, oh so happy.  She jumps onto her pillow with aplomb.  She sometimes plays with her rope toy; other times, she just plops down, sighs, and curls up in a ball.

Mornings are special.  Having a happy doggy face to greet you every morning is really a joy.

Good doggie.

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A New Neurosis

Okay, I don’t get this one.

Jasmine loves Walkies.  At least, she used to.  She has refused to go for a walk for two days in a row.  She cowers at the end of the driveway, sits her little butt down, and won’t go.  I coax her along with a little Pupperoni, but she stops and sits again.  Shiver shiver, droopy eyes, totally freaked.  She turns around and RUNS to the house.

Is it that she’s now afraid of the dachshunds down the street?  Whenever they are out, she wants to go inside.  Is it due to the two earthquakes we had recently?  She barked during the 5.6, but didn’t even notice the 3.6.

I don’t get this at all.  I’m totally puzzled.

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