Life with Jasmine, Juliet and Buttercup, Our Rescued Dachshunds

Random notes on our experience with THREE rescued miniature dachshunds

Doggie Dungeon

Hubby and I are going away for a well-deserved weekend break. We’ll only be gone a couple of days and are flying, so taking Jasmine with us is not an option. Thus, we’re going to board her at a kennel.

Now my first choice of kennels, American K9 Country, was, unfortunately, fully booked when I called 3 weeks ago. Since they are a small kennel with only 12 runs, well, I’m disappointed but not surprised. I’m even less surprised given the alternatives.

The first kennel I found was at a dog training facility. It wasn’t bad. The kennel area was relatively clean. However, the kennels were not segregated; only chain link fencing stood between the kennels, and I think Jasmine would’ve been really spooked to be that exposed. So, I decided to look further.

I found what looked like a great place on the Internet and booked her stay with them. I wanted to go over and view the kennels this past weekend; the person who answered the phone told me that they only did “tours” of the kennel on Wednesdays. Um, okay. Here’s a potential new customer, and they don’t want to show you their facility except on Wednesdays? Hm. I asked again–I only wanted a couple of minutes to see the kennels. Again, the person on the phone just said, “we only do tours on Wednesdays.” Well, it’s a family-run place and the kennel is adjacent to their home. I gave them the benefit of the doubt.

I went for the tour on Wednesday. The “tour” consisted of climbing down a flight of stairs into their basement from their office and walking around a very cramped kennel area. It took all of two minutes. There were very narrow inside/outside dog runs that were wet–it looks like they had just hosed the place down. Wooden pallets were on the ground of the runs. I suppose this was what kept the dogs dry. Most of the dogs did not have beds in the runs; there was only one dog there in the runs that had a soft bed. Not good.

There were stainless steel crates (like those used in vets offices) on both ends of the runs; they had dogs in them. I looked at them and asked if that was where Jasmine would be kept. The “guide” (the son of the owner) said no, those were the “day care” dogs. My dog would get a full run. Oh yippee. This means that this kennel’s “doggie day care” consists of putting a dog in a crate? Sheesh.

Okay, so it’s hard to keep a kennel clean, but this place was way too dark, dingy, smelly and damp. The thought that came into my head was that this was a Doggie Dungeon. I felt so bad for the dogs. Now, it was NOT unclean, it was just dark and dank…dogs were barking, leaping…oh, the Pirates of the Caribbean jail came into my mind. I felt like springing all of the dogs. But I was 2 days away from kenneling Jasmine; I didn’t want to be put on the spot and NOT have a place for her. I kept the reservation and left.

As I drove back to the office, the more I thought about it, the less happy I was of the prospect of Jasmine staying there. I got back to the office and started to search for an alternative. I found another place down the road from Doggie Dungeon and called straight away. They had room, and I could go see the place anytime during business hours. I hopped in my car, drove down there and was pleased to see a fairly clean, straightforward kennel. What struck me was the hundreds of pictures of people and their dogs in front of the kennel’s building all over the lobby area. Okay. I felt much better. After looking at the facility, I knew right away that it was a better environment for Jasmine. So she’s staying there. It’s still not as clean and nice as American K9 Country, but at least I have an alternative.

I called and canceled my reservation at the Doggie Dungeon. They were curt when I told them I was canceling, brusquely said “FINE” and hung up the phone. I shouldn’t have trusted a nice website and claims about being champion breeders. A narrow escape for my pup.  No dungeon for my doggie. *whew*


Stairs or No Stairs?

Where do you draw the line on overprotective?

One of the comments on my last post about Jasmine taking a header down the stairs was a kind and gentle (thanks!) reminder that Dachshunds shouldn’t go up and down stairs. Which brings me to my dilemma. Should I let her?

We already had Jasmine when we bought this house. One of the considerations I made when we were searching for a house was to try to find one with a first-floor master bedroom. Alas, we didn’t find the right house that had that feature. We sleep upstairs. My art studio will also be upstairs.

The stairs are a standard staircase that is fully carpeted in deep plush carpet. When we first brought Jasmine here, I diligently carried her up and down the stairs. However, she started darting ahead after a little while, and when she had no adverse effects from it, I just let it go and let her climb up and down herself. When I leave the room, she sometimes goes searching for me upstairs. We do have baby gates and we can keep her from going up and down by herself.

Taking her outside to “go” also requires that she go down 5 wide steps off the deck. She zips up and down those as well.

So, I either allow her to do this by herself, or I have to carry her up and down the stairs to go outside, to go to bed, to go up with me every time I go up, etc. This probably means being picked up 20 times per day on average. While I don’t mind doing it (except for MY bad back) except for the inconvenience (laundry + dachshund + baby gate = disaster), I’m wondering how many people with dachshunds NEVER have a problem with back issues AND have stairs.

Now given that Jasmine has already had IVDD, I know that it’s time for me to be much more proactive about her health and stop being lazy about the stairs. But I really want to know the science behind this rather than the “experts” just stating that “stairs are hard on Dachshund backs.” Does anyone have any insight into the cause/effect of stairs on Dachshund IVDD? Do you let your little darlings do the stairs themselves? And have they had any issues? Inquiring minds want to know. Please leave a comment. Also, here’s a poll…let’s see how many people do let their Doxies take the stairs:


Scary Fall

Jasmine and I were coming down the stairs this morning when she tripped, went sliding down the stairs (about 6 stairs) and across the small tiled landing below.  She hit the baby gate against the wall and scrambled away, narrowly missing the gate that came crashing down. I screamed “Jasmine” as she ran away.

I was SO afraid that she hurt her back again. I followed her into the family room and she was nowhere in sight. She finally emerged from behind the recliner, very reluctant to leave the safety of the small, dark space. I called her several times and she finally came out and went outside with me. After we came inside, she was very skittish and quiet. She went back to her bed in the family room and plopped down. She was sheepish.

I fixed her breakfast and called her. No excitement. She finally came into the kitchen and sat on the rug in front of the sink. She didn’t eat. This was worrying me even more.  She finally ate her breakfast and went back to her bed in the family room. I left and ran some errands, and when I got back, she didn’t run to greet me. Oh, bad sign. I was really getting concerned that she was hurting in some way. I finally coaxed her out of her bed with the usual “Have you been a good girl? Would you like a bone?” routine.  She ran around with a waggy tail as usual. *whew* What a relief.

I’m going to keep an eye on her all day and evening to make sure that she is okay, but I think my screaming made her more skittish than anything. Poor baby.


Happy Anniversary Jasmine

Today is the two-year anniversary of our welcoming Jasmine into our home. We’ve come a really long way, and we can’t imagine what life would be like without her.

Two years ago, Jasmine:

  • Didn’t know what a treat was and didn’t like dog biscuits
  • Didn’t know what a leash or collar was (and sure as heck didn’t like them) and hated to go for walks
  • Would not play with toys because she didn’t know what they were
  • Used to squeeze behind my back as I sat on the floor so she could hide
  • Held her tail tucked under almost all the time and never wagged it


  • Jasmine wakes me up every morning at 5:30 a.m. so she can come on the bed and snuggle
  • Greets me excitedly when I come from work with a huge waggy tail and prancing pony hops
  • Leaps for joy when it’s time for a treat or dinner
  • Stands at attention with her cutest face on when we’re eating
  • Still hates to go for walks but loves to go outside
  • Gives kisses
  • Plays with her toys (still loves the screaming monkey the best)
  • Romps through the house
  • Comes running at full speed when called
  • Seriously fluffs her bed before settling down
  • Woofs at me when she feels that I’m working too hard and demands that I put down the computer and put her on my lap

She still has challenges with trust and may never be fully socialized, but I am so pleased with how much she’s come out of her shell. I’m glad that whatever life she had before coming to us is over. She’s a sweet, gentle, funny little dog who deserves all the love and kindness that we can give her. Looking at her sleeping on her fluffy little blankets on her puffy bed, she’s exactly where she should be…as an integral member of this family.

Happy Anniversary Jasmine. We’re so glad you’re here.


Woof If Ya Need to Go

I’m so proud of our little pup.

For two years now, we haven’t been sure if she’s housebroken. Will she or won’t she “go” in the house? It’s always on my mind when I go out. We had been enclosing her in the kitchen when we went out but have recently begun to give her the run of the family room (and the two beautiful wool rugs I bought to furnish them). I’ve been concerned that leaving her for long periods would lead to a ruined carpet.

The other evening, I was hanging out on the recliner doing some work. Jasmine came running around the coffee table and sat in front of her bed. She woofed at me and did her little bunny hop. I took that as a sign of “I want a treat” so I made her sit and gave her a treat. But that didn’t suffice.  She ran around the coffee table again and did the same thing. I looked at her, and I knew it wasn’t quite a “treat” look. So I asked her if she wanted to “go outside” and she went into her wriggling, twisting, jumping for joy response.

So I took her outside, and she promptly did her business, looked at me and ran back up to the door.

I was so proud of her I could’ve cried. She actually woofed at me (not a common thing) and got what she wanted. It seems like a small thing to most dog owners, but a HUGE thing for us. And something that tells me that trusting her is the right way to go.

That’s not to say that she’ll never have another accident. But I now feel better about leaving her in the house without having to enclose her. She’s just fine.

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Final Decision: No Second Dog

I was browsing Pet Finder the other day when I ran across a dog at the Lakes Region Humane Society. Scoobie, a somewhat chubby dachshund, was surrendered by his family due to financial reasons.  He’s a bit of a senior dog, supposedly sweet, doesn’t bark, is housetrained and loves people, dogs and cats. Perfect.

I’ve been thinking a lot about why I want a second dog. I would love for Jasmine to have a doggie mentor…a dog to help her become more…well…dog-like.  Learn to play. Romp. Wrastle.  You know, doggie stuff.

I put in an adoption application for Scoobie after trading emails with the coordinator at the shelter. I’ve been thinking about him. I know we could give him a good home, but how would it impact Jasmine? My greatest fear is that I disrupt the progress she has made. I also love her deeply (as if you couldn’t tell that from this blog), and I would never do anything that would cause her distress. Jasmine is happy now days. She romps through the yard. She loves snuggling with us on the big bed. She has a good dog’s life, and she is enjoying it to the fullest.

I told Hubby how conflicted I was about bringing a new dog into our happy home.  I’d love to give Scoobie a home. But would it hinder Jasmine’s progress? Would it take away from her?

He finally asked me WHY I wanted another dog. Jasmine is happy. I am happy. I told him that I wanted him to have a dog as well. HIS dog. A dog who follows him everywhere. A dog who greets him with the same joy that Jasmine greets me.  He told me that while it would be nice, he’s not the dog person. I am. So it wasn’t necessary for him to have HIS dog. As long as Jasmine and I are happy, he’s happy.

And we are. I love the life I’ve given Jasmine and the companionship she gives to me.  I don’t think I want to disrupt that. So once and for all, no second dog.

UPDATE: One of this blog’s readers saw this post and is now going to adopt Scoobie!!!!!!  YAY!!!  I’m SO happy that Scoobie is getting a home and that I had some small part in his adoption.  WOW!


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