Life with Jasmine and Juliet, Our Rescued Dachshunds

Random notes on our experience with our two rescued miniature dachshunds

Jasmine’s Vacation

Hubby and I needed a getaway. After 18 months without a vacation, renovating a house and a cross-country move, we were due. We wanted to just relax, but we also wanted to include Jasmine on the fun, so we decided on a driving vacation up the coast of Maine. It would conclude with a visit with some old friends in Durham, Maine. The best part of the trip was that, outside of the stop in Durham, we had no agenda. We had no reservations anywhere. We just wanted to explore the area and end up where we ended up. High season ended on Labor Day weekend, so availability of accommodations wouldn’t be a big problem.

Jasmine likes to ride in the car, so we got her favorite blanket, toys, and treats and hit the road. The first day, we drove the back roads all the way up to Portland. We stopped in Portsmouth, NH as well. Jasmine attracted attention wherever we went–people just love wiener dogs–and we were never denied access to any store; I carried her in many stores and galleries, and that was just fine. Jasmine was further exposed to new experiences and lots of people approaching her–a good thing. Unless people approached her aggressively (surprising how many “dog people” had no idea how to approach a dog), she was cautiously okay with a scratch behind the ear or a little pet.

The first night was a little uncomfortable for her. She paced a lot in the hotel but we decided to keep her with us on the bed so she was happy to snuggle up and sleep. The new environment was a little disconcerting for her, but she adjusted well and did not have any accidents the entire week.

The next day was her first challenge. We decided to take a cruise of Portland harbor. It was a 2-hour tour of the islands around the harbor on the local ferry, and dogs were welcome (and required a separate fare). We carried her on and got our seat up top. She sniffed the air and settled on my lap. It was so fun to watch the other passengers on the trip; they were more enamored with Jasmine than they were with the tour. One gentleman took more pictures of Jasmine than he did of the bay! Jasmine did so well; she was calm and interested in all the smells and sights.

The rest of the week went well. Jasmine adapted to every environment that we presented. Finding pet-friendly accommodations was generally not an issue, but it was surprising how few hotels were open to pets. In Boothbay Harbor, we only found a few places and ONLY with the help of the local chamber of commerce. We did end up at a particularly wonderful place, the Spruce Point Inn, that was both pet-friendly and didn’t just reserve the worst rooms for that purpose. The worst experience? Hampton Inn. We went in to get a quote. Jasmine was calmly encased in my arms. The genius at the front desk fumbled with his reservation system, and after several minutes, we got some rates. However, it only occurred to him to let us know of a property-wide BAN on pets after this whole process. Um, why go through with rate quotes when you can clearly see that we aren’t going to take a room due to the pet ban? Duh.

The end of the week was interesting. We got to our friends’ home in Durham. They have two dogs, one of which is a black lab “puppy” that they’ve had for three weeks. He’s 45 pounds of pure puppy energy. Jasmine wanted nothing to do with either dog. However the puppy, Bailey, was fascinated by Jasmine and took every opportunity to try to play with this new “toy.” Jasmine snapped at him a couple of times and endured getting swatted in the head by a puppy paw, but she was generally calm and comfortable in my arms. Well, as comfortable as she could be, as you can see in the photo below. Overall, Jasmine did wonderfully and we had a great vacation together. She was happy to be home, but she also had some great socialization experiences to help her growth and well being. And tons of treats, pets and kisses.

Jasmine, meet Bailey. Bailey, meet Jasmine.

Jasmine, meet Bailey. Bailey, meet Jasmine.

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Darn That Kanye!

The NERVE of that man!

The NERVE of that man!

Thanks to TechCrunch for the link to the Kanyelicio.us site. 🙂

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Where’s My Apple?

I changed my breakfast routine yesterday and Jasmine was quite unhappy about it.

I had a grapefruit for breakfast yesterday. I wanted a change, and I hadn’t had grapefruit in a long time. I was enjoying my breakfast when I heard a little bark. I looked down and saw a somewhat anxious and unruly pup. She was looking at me with an annoyed look on her face, as if to say, “Hey! What’s with this grapefruit stuff? Where’s my nicely peeled and chunked apple? Huh?”

Ooops. In my haste to change my breakfast routine, I forgot that Jasmine counts on HER routine, and that includes a bit of apple every morning. So what did I do? I went and got a piece of apple from my lunch and gave it to her. She happily munched away on the apple (peeled, of course) as I munched away on my grapefruit. I got a nice laugh and a nice start to my morning.

It’s great when a story has a happy ending, isn’t it?

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Peppy Pup

Jasmine continues to blossom in our new home. I wonder what it is about this house or this area that has made her happier, more lively and finally coming out of her shell. Perhaps it’s because the period before our move was so chaotic. It took two months of 12-hour days to sort and pack our belongings in preparation for the move. I know that dogs are very sensitive to our moods, and I’m sure I was less than calm, cool and collected when we were in preparation mode.

After we moved here, I was able to unpack, arrange and decorate at my leisure. I relaxed. From day one, Jasmine just seemed to like it here better. The first visit to the back yard was a huge awakening for her. She sniffed her way throughout the yard and explored scents that were new and exciting. She romped through the grass bounding with joy as she discovered her new territory. She seemed to relax here much more than at the California home. It was as if she was really home. Strange.

The past few weeks have marked other changes for Jasmine. While her incontinence problem has subsided a bit, it still continues to be a worry. We’re taking her out more often which has helped, but I still don’t know what the root cause is of her bed-wetting. That she continues to lie in the bed after soiling it…well, I think that could be a hold-over from her puppy mill days.

However, there are significant positive changes in her as well. She’s become a more peppy pup. She initiates play with me–something she hasn’t done much of in the past. She is a much more peppy, waggy dog that demands attention and fun. Every night, she has been expectantly waiting for “training” sessions. We practice her tricks and behaviors (we’re currently working on “stay”), but to her, it’s just a chance to get some Simon & Huey’s Soft Training Treats–woo hooo! If I don’t play with her, she sits in front or behind me and woofs a little (and includes a bunny hop for emphasis).

We can clearly see how much happier she is. Every day, she seems to relax a little bit more. Hubby says she’s becoming more like a dog each day she is here. She’s breaking from her past traumas and enjoying her life here. That’s what we hoped for so very long ago, and we’re so happy we can give her the life she so deserves.

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