When Jasmine first arrived, she was not food motivated at all. In fact, getting her to eat was difficult, and the only treats she liked were the Simon & Huey’s treats.
Today, Jasmine is a real “foodie.” She sits at attention when we’re eating certain foods–especially apples and popcorn. I accidentally found out her propensity for these foods–my bad. I left an apple core on the coffee table. I dropped a piece of popcorn when I was transferring the contents of the bag into a bowl. I really didn’t want to let Jasmine eat human food, but these days when I eat either popcorn or apples, Jasmine goes nuts. She jumps up and down, wags her tail, gives me the “happy” face…aren’t dogs great at manipulation? And I’m a total sucker. TOTAL sucker. One look at those shining eyes and perky ears…I’m mush.
Jasmine’s food obsessions are quirky. Her apple-lust stops at the peel. She won’t eat the peel. But doesn’t she know that the peel is good for you? All that fiber! When she eats popcorn, she gingerly picks it up and carries it to the far side of the coffee table. THEN she eats it. It’s pretty darn cute to see that little piece of popcorn sticking out of her mouth as she runs on by.
The good news is that her favorite treat is a good old dog bone. When I ask her whether she wants a bone, she goes ballistic. She jumps for joy and runs into the kitchen and faces the bone jar. She does a little doggie dance until I give her the bone. I have a feeling that giving her treats is more fun for me than for her. Well, maybe just a LITTLE more fun…she seems to be truly happy when I do.
It’s so nice to see positive changes. Jasmine is starting to play more. Last night, she even played a little with my husband. He teased her with her ropey toy, and she started to play tug with him. This morning, she took two of her toys–thus far ignored–out from under the kitchen table and brought them into the living room. She has already begun destroying one of the toys, a plastic squeaky hedgehog that a neighbor gave to her. Good job, Jasmine!
She has been initiating play sessions by herself as well. Once in a while, she’ll go to the ropey toy and chew on it and fling it around a bit. While these sessions are short, she’s showing more interest in the world around her. I love that she’s becoming more active, playful and aware. It’s almost like she’s been locked inside and is quietly beginning to emerge.
Jasmine isn’t much of a burrower, but she is a snuggler. I was on the floor watching television the other day when Jasmine came up to me. She generally likes to climb on and over me when I’m on the floor, but this time, she wedged her body in between my arm and my torso, put her head on my shoulder and snuggled against me. After letting out a big sigh, she dozed off and started to snore. Of course, the sandman must have sprinkled both of us with magic dust because before I knew it, an hour had passed. I moved a little and woke her up. She yawned, stretched, and promptly snuggled back in and went to sleep.
Jasmine also likes to snuggle up in my lap. One of the best things about having a little dog is the “lap dog” benefits. Every morning, I sit on the floor, and Jasmine jumps in my lap to be brushed. Afterwards, she turns around and curls up into a little ball and goes to sleep in my lap. Warm, happy and comfortable, she simply puts her love and trust in me. Few things are better than this.
Jasmine is faster than my camera. Digital cameras are notorious for having a significant lag time between pressing the shutter button and taking the actual picture. Auto focus, auto flash, auto everything just slows down the process. So out of every 20 to 30 shots, I might get ONE that I like–that is, one that isn’t blurry or full of movement, that actually includes Jasmine in the picture, that actually captures what I was trying to capture. When I get ONE of those pictures, I post it to Flickr.
Every day, I see Jasmine doing cute stuff that I just can’t capture in a photo. Either the dog is too fast, I’m too slow, or it just isn’t one of those times that I have a camera at hand. She tilts her head and looks at me just so, or she rolls around the floor being a goofball…and I miss the shot. She’s happy and rompy and playful, and as soon as I reach for the camera, I become the ultimate buzzkill. She looks at me like I’m invading a private moment, and her “serious” face comes on. That’s why you haven’t seen a “smiling” dog picture of Jasmine. She doesn’t ham for the camera.
I feel like I’m the paparazzi pursuing the elusive Jasmine…waiting for that one moment that I can capture in perpetuity. Of course, hundreds of those moments are embedded in my heart, but I’d love to be able to share them with others. Roll over, Jasmine! Good dog! 🙂
I thought I’d share my favorite Jasmine video with you. Jasmine is a cheese hound. When she knows there’s cheese, she comes running. You will also experience her “hooves of thunder” in this clip. She’s so darn cute. My husband asked me, “Why didn’t you give her the cheese after you called her?” I did. Off camera. 🙂
I tried using Flickr’s new (as of today) video service, but I’m having problems embedding the video into a WordPress blog entry. I think it’s because WordPress’ hosted service doesn’t like embedded scripts. Oh well, YouTube works too!
I took an art class this past weekend which kept me out of the house for 10 hours each day. It was a really great class and I had a lot of fun.
What was even more fun was coming home. Jasmine spent both days hanging with my husband. They did a little more bonding–a good thing–but when I arrived, Jasmine was a joyful pup. She was jumping around, madly wagging her tail and “smiling.” My husband hasn’t had the chance to see much of this side of her since she tends to just eye him suspiciously with her shoulders hunched and her head down, and I was glad that he got a chance to see her in her happy mood.
He watched her frolicking around and looked at me and said, “Wow.” He went on to talk about how glad he was to see her so happy, and that it was remarkable since she came from such a horrible place.
Jasmine was a puppy mill breeder dog. Last week, Oprah aired a show on the blight of puppy mills. Lisa Ling went out with the head of the Main Line Animal Rescue organization with a hidden camera to a number of puppy mills in the Pennsylvania area. The conditions are horrible, the dogs live a miserable existence, and it’s all perfectly legal.
It breaks my heart to see what Jasmine has been through, but when I look at her now…well, I’m so happy that we made the decision to take in a rescued dog. No, she’ll probably never be a totally “normal” dog. But she will give us love and always be loved. And regardless of what she has been through in the past, Jasmine is a happy puppy. Watching her bask in the sun streaming through the window yesterday afternoon, wiggling her little butt here and there to “regulate” the amount of sun hitting her body, I know that we’ve given her the life and love she deserves and the wagging tail and smiling face are just little indicators of how far she’s come.