Life with Jasmine, Juliet and Buttercup, Our Rescued Dachshunds

Random notes on our experience with THREE rescued miniature dachshunds

11 Months

Jasmine and JulietSorry I’ve been absent. This has been a challenging year for my family. My mother passed away. My father-in-law has had health issues. Hubby retired. I left my job and joined another pre-money start-up.

So here I am, 11 months into life with Juliet, and I do have to say that she’s fitting into the family well. She’s not completely housebroken (a poop on the carpet yesterday proved that), but she’s on a schedule that works. As long as we stick to that schedule…we’re golden. If WE mess up…well, let’s just say that yesterday’s poop wasn’t HER fault! A novel idea, yes? That ‘accidents’ can be our fault. It’s true.

We recently took a couple of weeks off and went to mid-coast Maine. Of course, a vacation wouldn’t be as fun without the pups, so off in the doggie sling we went! We did have to get a barrier to prevent Juliet from jumping into the front seat some time ago, but since then, both dogs have been pretty good in the car. Jasmine still prefers to burrow, so we often find her UNDER the doggie sling. I need to find a solution that works for her (blankets don’t work) that will keep her safely in the sling AND happy.

Vacation was a blast. Both dogs were immediately comfortable in the vacation house (my sister-in-law’s vacation home). We had a little yard for the dogs to run around in, and we took them out for walks while we were exploring the area. We also were lucky to time our vacation so we could attend the Belfast Wienerfest! We dressed the gals in some spiffy outfits and took them for a spin in the new doggie stroller/bike trailer. Both were a hit!

We entered them into the costume contest (they lost) and participated in the Parade of Wieners! It was a blast to see so many dogs at the fest. And since they were so cute in their costumes (they wore Patriots / Red Sox jerseys, Patriots bandanas and Patriots sun visors), they were instant celebrities! Wherever we went, people mentioned seeing them at the fest! Apparently, there are a lot of Doxie fans in Maine! 🙂

The doggie stroller/trailer was a HUGE help to us during the vacation. It’s a Merske Medium Bike Trailer/Stroller that I found at Overstock.com. With a coupon (wait for those), I paid about $150. The versatility of this trailer is great, and it works well. Hubby forgot the handle at the back, so we went to a hardware store and, with the help of one of the great salespeople at Aubuchon, we made a handle out of PVC for about $15. The great thing about this trailer is the accessibility. There are zip panels in front, back and up top. However, the one negative is that there is NO storage except for two small pockets on the side. The bike trailer bar folds under the trailer while not in use. Very nice!

Okay, back to the vacation. The dogs were really put into new/stressful situations, and both did SO well. They loved being with the pack and adjusted well to the changes. I’ll write soon about the challenges we’ve faced with both pups since Juliet arrived. But I am SO happy to see how Juliet has thrived and how much Jasmine has really come out of her shell since Juliet joined the pack.

Oh–we heard Juliet bark for the first time on this trip. Strangely, it was at an old black Labrador Retriever. The same kind of dog that Jasmine barked at the first time we heard HER bark. So, we have two (relatively) non-barking Dachshunds. How did that happen??? I’m not complaining, mind you. We have a really great matched set here!

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Jasmine and the Grandkids

Jasmine had quite a weekend. Two of our grandkids came for an overnight visit with us on Saturday. The boys, ages 5 and 3, are…well…5 and 3. They’re boys. They’re wonderful and fun and loud and fast. Jasmine doesn’t like loud and fast. She likes quiet and slow. So the boys ran circles around the house and she cowered in the corner behind the recliner.

Well, until I came and rescued her. Once she was in my lap, the boys could run around and play and she just watched them with a cautious eye. While she didn’t like being on her own with them around, she was okay if she was with me. It’s nice that I can provide her with the feeling of safety and security that she needs.

After they left on Sunday, she sighed and plopped into her bed and zonked out. That is, until the second set of grandkids arrived (ages 9 and 7). Both these kids have grown up with dogs. The eldest came over slowly and quietly and sat down on the couch next to Jasmine. She hunched up like she was ready to bolt if necessary. When he didn’t pounce on her, she went back down in her bed. He then slowly moved a hand over and stroked her neck. She looked uncomfortable, but she didn’t bolt. He continued to stroke her gently, all the time looking away. She finally relaxed, and he continued to pet her as he watched Harry Potter on the TV.

I was so proud of him. I told him so. He said, “Well, I’ve been hunting with Dad and you have to be really slow and quiet around the animals.” Wow. I was thrilled for Jasmine and SO very proud of him. He has done something that almost no one has been able to do…approach her and pet her without her trying to run away. He did it because he respected her and gave her no reason to fear him. I was so happy for them both.

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Stress Transfer

I’m stressed out.  I’m facing packing 12 years worth of stuff into boxes and shipping it across country, remodeling my house and facing a whole new life back East.  In the last weeks, we’ve suffered setback after setback–from a freak ice storm in New Hampshire that KO’d some of our plumbing in our house to a very shaky real estate market to small things like a bad grout job (and subsequent re-grout job) on our bathroom floor.

All this stress, and all these changes, is having an impact on Jasmine.  Dogs are sensitive to our moods and feelings, and I know Jasmine can sense my unease.  She’s as sweet as ever, but since the routine has changed (Hubby’s office shut down for the holidays) and the packing has begun, she’s been a bit stressed as well.

We went out to run errands this afternoon, and when we returned, I had found that Jasmine had vomited on the carpet.  I’m not sure if it’s because she had a rawhide treat and it didn’t sit well or because she was as unbalanced and stressed as I am these days.  Things will get better, but it’s hard to tell a dog that.  We continue to snuggle with her whenever we can, but we’re just in a daze with all the work we have to do over the next month.  And I need to take time out to be with her and give her the attention that she needs–no matter how busy I am.

I can’t wait until this is all over and we’re settled again.

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A Quiet Christmas

This is the first year since Hubby and I were married that we didn’t travel back East for Christmas.  Since we’re moving soon, we decided to stay here and work on the house instead of spending the time and money to travel during this hectic time.

While it was nice not having to brave airports, bad weather and living out of a suitcase along with having to kennel Jasmine, it was hard not being around family this year.  We had a small gathering at our house and celebrated quietly and simply.  While it was nice, it was a little lonely.

Jasmine, however, was quite happy to have us here.  Well, that’s being presumptuous.  Jasmine’s Christmas was a leisurely morning in bed followed by a nice dinner complete with Honeybaked Ham scraps from the dinner table and a bag of candy cane-shaped rawhide chewies in her stocking–blissful but just another day in the life of our now pampered pooch.

Jasmine enjoys Christmas morning

Yummy candy cane rawhide bone!

Yummy candy cane rawhide bone!

Merry Christmas everyone!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Here’s how Jasmine’s evening went:

Pre-Turkey Festivities:  Jasmine showing her hospitality as she entertains my Mom…er…hides from my Mom.

Jasmine hides from my Mom

Oh Grandma, what big eyes you have!

But then gets distracted.

Oh Grandma...what big teeth...hey, whats that smell?

Oh Grandma...what big teeth...hey, what's that smell?

Post-Turkey Festivities: Jasmine OD’s on tryptophan.

Darn you, tryptophan!

Darn you, tryptophan!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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A Second Dachshund?

I have been giving a lot of thought to getting a second rescued dachshund after we move to the new house.  Here’s what I’ve been thinking.

Pros

  • A properly socialized dog could help socialize Jasmine.  I’d love her to learn how to greet other dogs and not be so afraid when one approaches.
  • Jasmine would have a playmate and a companion.  Jasmine plays, but not very often (maybe once a day).  Another dog would engage her to play more often.  I saw her play with puppies, and it was so gratifying to see her romp around with them.  I don’t see that in her very often, and I worry that she isn’t having as full of a life as I can give her.
  • Hubby would have a dog that would be a companion to him.  Okay, there’s no guarantee that the second dog would like my husband any more than Jasmine does.  However, I’m hoping to adopt a dog that has lost its loving home rather than a dog that has never been socialized or has no known background (stray).  It will give my husband the chance to enjoy a sweet, snuggly dog in his lap that’s not scared of him.  And maybe–just maybe–that will help Jasmine get over her fear of him as well.
  • Another dog is just more to love.  Two little faces looking up at me…oh, heaven!

Cons

  • Two dogs = 2x the expense.  Jasmine’s expenses have been high.  A lot of that stems from the fact that she is a rescue.  We expected that her medical bills would be higher than the average dog.  A second dog would double that expense, and we’ll have very different economics after we move (hubby is retiring).  Can we afford the second dog?
  • 2 dogs = 2x the work.  Baths.  Poop patrol.  Flea and tick treatments.  Nails.  Boarding.  Brushing.  Food.  Play.  Noise.  Dirt.  Doggie beds.  Training.  Treats.  Walks (well, okay, that doesn’t count).  Doggies require time and attention, and two dogs…well…
  • I don’t want to take away attention from Jasmine.  It may sound silly, but I don’t want to make Jasmine feel that she’s not the heart of my heart.  I don’t want the second dog to detract from the relationship she has with me.
  • We may not get a mellow, quiet dog like Jasmine.  We like Jasmine because she’s so mellow–and somewhat UN-Dachshund-like.  She doesn’t bark.  While she’s stubborn, she follows commands well.  She doesn’t dig or run after “prey.”  She doesn’t chew anything we haven’t given her to chew.

We have a lot of time to think about it, so I’m not really going to worry about “having” to make a decision soon.  But this has been on my mind…

Multiple dachshund owners, I’d love to hear your experiences of having more than one of these lovable creatures.  Or are you too tired to type?  😉

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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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Thank Goodness for Little Dogs

My father passed away a couple of days ago. We were on our way to Boston to visit family, and when we arrived in Los Angeles for our connecting flight, I turned on my cell phone. I had three voice messages. And I got the news. We were lucky to be able to turn around and fly home without too much trouble.

The next morning, we went to make the funeral arrangements. We then went to pick up Jasmine from the kennel.

Those who say pets reduce our stress levels and enhance our lives are SO right. When we got home late Tuesday/early Wednesday, the house was empty without her. Petting her, taking care of her, having her by my side is so soothing and great. Even though I don’t have much to smile about, she can make me smile just by being herself.

I’m so glad she came to us. While I know that we have given her a much better life, I think we got the better end of the bargain. Words can’t express how much she’s added to our lives.

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Grandpa!

We took Jasmine to see my father today. My dad is in a residential care facility and is in a wheelchair. I thought Jasmine would be scared of the wheelchair, but she was just fine. Maybe she sensed that my father is a dog person. In fact, he was really pleased to see her and couldn’t take his eyes off of her. She sniffed him and sat by his chair, calm and accepting. She’s still not good at sitting in laps, but she’s now much better around strangers.

And as we were walking Jasmine today, someone having a garage sale ran out to greet us with an Irish linen decorative piece with dachshunds printed on it and insisted that we have it. And just a few minutes later, another neighbor greeted us with doggie toys for Jasmine!

Jasmine has lots of fans in the neighborhood. With that little face and the funny little dachshund walk, it would be hard not to be a fan!

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Grandma!

Jasmine met my Mom today. We sat on a bench near the entrance of her building and watched people walk by. At first, Jasmine was skittish. After a little time, Jasmine relaxed. Then, Mom started petting her. Jasmine was a trooper…she was sweet and loving. My Mom gushed…she said, “Jasmine, you can come over every day!” 🙂

Jasmine also had her first ride in the car without the crate. I placed her blanket on the seat, and she laid on it the whole way there and back. She did so well today! I’m so proud of her!

She had a busy day. She’s laying on her pillow right now, snoring away. Good doggie.

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