Life with Jasmine and Juliet, Our Rescued Dachshunds

Random notes on our experience with our two rescued miniature dachshunds

Equillibrium

Jasmine took a step back when Hubby arrived here.  Jasmine and I had been together, alone, for over a month.  During that month, I rarely had a visitor.  She had lots of time with me while I got the new house set up, and when I started working, she quickly adjusted to the new routine.  However, Hubby’s arrival at the house marked a step back for her.

While Jasmine blossomed during that month alone, her behavior immediately changed in Hubby’s presence.  Her normally bouncy, bunny-like hoppity hoppity happiness was replaced with hunched shoulders, raised ears and suspicion.  She would show happiness to me, but as soon as he would enter a room, she would become subdued and wary.

I was really worried that this would be her demeanor going forward.  I was wrong.  I needed to give her time to adjust to her new reality, and as of today, she has once again found her equillibrium.  Hubby has been home with her all day while I have been at work.  While she has been ignoring him for the most part, she had to go outside this afternoon.  She did something that she hasn’t done with him since he got here–she approached him and sat calmly behind him, waiting for him to notice her.  When he did, he asked Jasmine whether she wanted to go outside.  She jumped up and he walked to the back door and opened it.  She watched him for a minute, and then ran outside to do her “business.”

When I got home, she greeted me with the bouncy joy that she showed me when I was alone with her–this time, with Hubby in the room.  I suppose Jasmine has accepted that he’s here to stay.  And with that, she’s now free to bounce around like a bunny when she’s happy.  Her joy is mine.  It’s nice that we’re all finally home.

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A Tale of Two Dachshunds

Hubby’s sister and brother-in-law stopped by for a visit yesterday afternoon on their way back home from their cabin in Maine.  They have two dogs–a Welsh Corgi, Cubby, and a miniature Dachshund, Josie.  Cubby stayed in the truck (in the shade with the windows down), while Josie came in to meet Jasmine.

Josie is a wiry little girl.  As a puppy, she was a ball of nervous energy.  At almost four years old, she’s mellowed a bit, but in new situations with new dogs, well, she’s not a picutre of calm.  She came in the house and strained at the leash to get to Jasmine.  I was sitting on the couch in the sun room, and Jasmine was sitting at my feet.  Josie came at us, whining all the time.  She strained to reach Jasmine, and when she did, they sniffed at each other.  Jasmine shrank back behind my legs and shut down.  She didn’t like the intrusion, but then again, she didn’t run away and hide.  When she’s stressed, Jasmine tends to just shut down.  If I’m holding her and someone she doesn’t know comes up, she doesn’t make eye contact, her body goes rigid and she just becomes robot dog.

Josie continued to whine and go nuts while Jasmine sat there in a calm but rigid state.  Josie was wriggling and whining, her tail flapping so hard that it was like a doggie whip.  My brother-in-law couldn’t calm her down, and she was getting hyper-excited so he took he outside.

Looking at the two dogs, I’m grateful for Jasmine.  No, she’s not very social.  No, she doesn’t play much.  But she’s sweet, gentle, quiet, funny and just a joy to have around.  She rarely barks, and her favorite thing to do is sleep on my lap.  I know she’s happy and content with life, and since she has been in this new house, she seems to have relaxed even more.  While I wish more for her, I’m glad that she’s with us and I’m grateful for her calm and quiet demeanor.  It’s very un-dachshund-like, but just perfect for us.

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Daddy’s Home!

Hubby finally made the final move out here.  Jasmine and I have been here by ourselves since mid-April, and while Jasmine has been enjoying my undivided attention, it’s been pretty lonely here.  Hubby was out on the left coast wrapping up things with the other house while I got our house settled and got my Mom moved and settled.

In this last month, Jasmine has really blossomed.  She has come out of her shell much more.  She bounces around with happiness (her current nickname is Bunny), she romps around the yard sniffing all the new critter smells, and she’s getting more vocal and outgoing every day.  Hubby has been here for just one day, but I can tell the difference between how Jasmine interacted with him before and now.  She’s less nervous with him in the room than before.  While she’s not bounding with joy due to his presence, she seems more accepting of him.

He’s going to be working out of the house, so she’ll be with him all day Monday through Friday.  I think it’s the start of a beautiful friendship.  I have a feeling that this time together will help them build a bond that has been missing since Jasmine came into our lives.  At very least, I think there will be a truce between these two.

I do have to admit that I love that she misses me and is so happy when I come home.  But I think that would be the same regardless of her relationship with Hubby.  I just hope Jasmine finally accepts him as a pack member…one that she can trust and rely on.  As much as I love Jasmine, I know he loves her just as much.

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Three Big Dogs

Friday, I took Jasmine up to Durham, Maine to go visit some friends.  It’s great that we have friends out here from our “old” life in Silicon Valley who have (successfully) made the transition to this very different state of being.  Well, in reality, hubby is still not here yet, and I have been craving some good old fashioned company.  2-1/4 hours is a short drive for being with some good friends.

We made good time up to Durham.  Jasmine is pretty good in a car.  We have a doggy rear seat hammock that I got from Drs. Foster and Smith that I love, and it keeps her safe and very comfy.  She curled up in a ball and snoozed most of the way with an occasional look of disdain if I took a turn too fast.

When we got to Durham, Jasmine was not a happy camper.  My friends have two big dogs on their own (Katie, a husky mix, and Lucy, a black lab mix) and were dog-sitting a third (Max, a huge beautiful brown and black brindle…don’t know what kind of dog).  The dogs were very curious about Jasmine, but Jasmine’s lack of doggie manners made it hard for her to know what to do.  She sat on my lap in the living room as the dogs came by to sniff her.  They were all friendly, but Jasmine was scared stiff. After a while, the dogs settled down and ignored Jasmine.  I put Jasmine down on the floor to see if she’d allow the dogs near her (they perked up when I did), but she scampered away and hid under the end table.  *sigh*

I tried several more times to get her to interact with the dogs, but she wouldn’t have it.  I finally put her upstairs in a bedroom to feed her and to give her a little peace.  I actually let her sleep with me that night as well…what a softie I am.

Saturday morning, I tried a different tactic with Jasmine.  I let her decide on her own if she wanted to come down and join the fun.  She sat at the top of the stairs and watched me and the other dogs, but she never ventured down.  However, she did watch for a time.  She kept retreating to the safety of the bedroom and coming back to see where I was.  I think that given a day or so, she’d be able to co-exist with these dogs.  When she was in foster care, she was living with about 14 other dogs and puppies…and holding her own with the big black lab (she didn’t like him even though he was as gentle and sweet as they come).

We’ll have other opportunities to see our friends in Durham, and each time, Jasmine will come with us.  It’s another opportunity for us to move her forward.  It just takes baby steps with a dog like her.

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Work Day Dog

I started my new job last week, and Jasmine has been adjusting to the new schedule.  Actually, she’s been exceptionally good.  I’m so proud of her.

We get up around 6.  We go downstairs, Jasmine goes outside and then I feed her breakfast.  I make my breakfast (which always includes an apple) and my coffee and I take it into the family room.  I eat as I’m watching the news, and Jasmine sits at my feet hoping for a bit of apple for dessert.  She gets it, of course.

After breakfast, I check my work and personal email (oh yes, I do) and then I head upstairs to take a shower.  Jasmine follows me.  She particularly likes it if I drop my robe on the floor.  She loves to sleep on my clothes.  In fact, she likes to hide behind my long dresses in the closet.  🙂  After I am coiffed and dressed, we go back down stairs, I fix my lunch, and Jasmine settles into her bed in the kitchen.  I close off the doors to the kitchen and go through the basement door to the garage.

When I first started leaving in the morning, she cried at the basement door.  She does that sometimes, but more often than not, she’s generally resolved to wait for my return.  When I do, the joy in her face and her little jumping body makes coming home such a treat.  I greet her and pet her and give her lots of love.  She runs to the door outside, tail wagging all the way, and romps in the yard.  She then gets dinner and a treat.  She loves the words, “Have you been a good girl?”  She jumps and wags and spins awaiting for the next set of magic words, “Would you like a bone?”

I marvel at how resilent and flexible she is.  She’s taken to my work schedule well.  However, if I do try to work at home in the evening, she tends to demand some attention beforehand.  And of course, she gets it.  She deserves so much more.

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Flea and Tick Season

Fleas and Ticks?  What are those?

As a California gal, I didn’t worry much about fleas and ticks on Jasmine.  I barely took her anywhere that would put her in the position of exposing her to these pests.  However, as a good doggie mom, I made sure that she had preventative medication–Revolution (Flea, Tick and Heartworm treatment all in one).

During the move, I lost her last two doses of Revolution.  Okay, maybe the word “misplaced” is better.  I still have a hundred or so boxes to unpack.  I finally found them on Monday–about 1.5 weeks past her regular dosing date.  I gave her the dose immediately after I found it.  However, I found a tick on her yesterday.

First, let me say, “EWWWWWWW!”  Oh, this was actually MORE disgusting than her bout with whipworms.  I saw the bulbous body of that tick on her, and I KNEW I had to remove it.  Oh, I’m not real good with these types of activities.  But dog ownership makes you brave.  You have to pop and drain that abscess, wash out those infected ears, and (unfortunately) remove that tick.

I didn’t know what to do, so I once again did a Google search to learn more about ticks and how to deal with them.  The match and petroleum jelly methods were supposedly old wives tales that are not effective.  The tutorials I read told me to get a pair of tweezers, grab the tick by the head (not the body), pull gently but firmly, and then put the sucker into an alcohol bath to kill it.

I did it.  But boy, that sucker (no pun intended) hung on like nobody’s business.  In fact, it finally lost it’s body.  The head stuck inside.  The body came off in one piece.  I dunked it in the alcohol, swabbed the area of the bite to stave off infection, and panicked.  I didn’t get the head out.  What now?

I went over to Petco to find a “Tick Twister” tool.  Someone told me they work.  Of course, they were all out of stock.  &*!@#!  While I was there, I stopped by the grooming salon to get Jasmine’s nails trimmed.  I spoke with the groomer, and she assured me that the tick head would “dissolve” and would do no harm unless it got infected.

Most people around here get their dogs vaccinated for Lyme’s disease.  I think that’s a good next step for Jasmine.  It will help me establish a relationship with a vet in a non-emergency situation and get her protected from future bites.  Even with the Revolution, I think that ticks are with us for a long time.  And I will become an unsqueamish tick buster.  Maybe.

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