Life with Jasmine, Juliet and Buttercup, Our Rescued Dachshunds

Random notes on our experience with THREE rescued miniature dachshunds

Sea of Pee

I’m disappointed.

The bouts of intestinal distress continue with the pups, but at least we know root causes and cures. We had our annual holiday party on Saturday, and last night, Juliet had another bout. When we discovered it this morning, we  just cleaned it (and her) up and went about our normal “back on track” routine. NO food today to give her tummy a rest, and then a chicken and rice diet until she’s back on track. We’re now used to the cycle; if her routine gets disturbed and she’s in distress, her tummy shows it. Okay. We’re on board with that and we know how to deal. What I wasn’t prepared for, though, was the discovery under our bed. The sea of pee.

Apparently, Juliet has been using our bed as a stealth toilet. She and Jasmine romp around the bedroom before bedtime. Apparently, she was taking a few seconds every now and then to relieve herself. What’s surprising is that she had never been shy about doing that in FRONT of us before; however, I had not discovered that she had also been doing this out of our sight. That shouldn’t be surprising, I know. But I’ve looked underneath the bed before. This time, I spotted a dark blotch which I had thought had been from the night before. It had not. And, after closer inspection, there were spots all over the carpet under the bed.

So, one quart of Nature’s Miracle and four bath towels later, I’m tired and really disappointed. I had thought we were making progress with Juliet’s house training. I guess I was wrong. Juliet is now under strict observation again. I’m so disappointed in the setback.

Of course, there is a slight chance that I’m attributing this to the wrong dog. Jasmine COULD be the culprit. That would be an even bigger disappointment.

I’ll get over it. But right now, I’m pretty bummed out.

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Challenges and Victories

Juliet is coming up on her two-month anniversary with us, and while we’ve made marked progress with her, she’s still far from settled.

First, my new nickname is “The Pee Whisperer.” LOL! Yes, hubby is having a hard time getting her to go at times. But when I take her out–BOOM–within 30 seconds she’s in full squat. My hubby has given me unmentionable hand signals when this happens. He’s just jealous. 😉

However, Juliet is still not housebroken, and we had another couple of bouts of diarrhea since we had her treated for Giardia. The first recurrence made us run back to the vet. He ran a full course of blood tests and a Giardia culture. ALL of it came back negative. $250 and the cure was another course of antibiotics and a bland diet. The diarrhea recurred again last week, and this time, we just went back to the bland diet and she seems to be on the mend. We’re guessing that she might have a food intolerance, so we’re going to slowly move her back to a regular diet and see its impact. After that, we’ll start adding back treats one at a time to determine if any one of the items we’ve been giving her have been causing the issues. We’re also not going to be giving her table food at all to ensure that we’re not causing the issues.

We also sense that part of her food issues might be emotional upset. The first recurrence was right after our big holiday party. She had people coming up to the bedroom to peer at her all night long, and it was hard on her. The second upset was right after the New Year–we went up to visit friends in Maine, and it was her first road trip. Perhaps events are causing her distress, or even the change in diet during these events (our friend gave her tons of treats…).

On the more positive side, Juliet seems to be learning that this is home and we are HER people. She was in the crate today as we were taking down the remaining holiday decorations. We crated her to ensure that she didn’t get underfoot while we were running around–or that she didn’t leave a “present” when we weren’t watching. She whined and pawed at the crate door…she could see us in the next room, but she couldn’t be with us! She also exhibited the same behavior last night when we crated her during our meal when we were visiting my father-in-law. She’s part of our pack and she wants to be with us…YAY!

Jasmine continues to blossom. She’s a happy, waggy-tailed darling these days. No more sad eyes and scaredy-dog looks. Next to Juliet, she’s the happy, NORMAL dog. It’s so good to see her make progress, and I’m hoping for the same with Juliet someday. I know it will take time…I’m just impatient to see her happy and waggy. Good dog!

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Revenge!

This weekend, I finally had the time to clean the house. I wanted to do some heavy-duty cleaning in the bathrooms, so I left Jasmine downstairs in her usual spot and closed the doors to the hallway that leads to the stairs. She’s used to being enclosed in the space–which includes the family room and the kitchen–so I didn’t think she’d be worried or upset.

WRONG!

I finished cleaning upstairs and when I came down, I opened the doors and walked into the family room. I saw Jasmine standing right in front of a GIANT puddle in the middle of the floor. She scurried away, and I just stood there, flabbergasted. It was clear that this was a “revenge pee” for my abandoning her. I was in the HOUSE. I left her ALONE. I enclosed  her so she couldn’t FOLLOW ME wherever I went.

Shame on me.

Boy, she showed me.

Of course, I didn’t catch the offender in action, so I couldn’t admonish her directly.

But I COULD mutter under my breath and give her the evil eye. She stayed away for a few minutes, until the coast (and my mood) was clear. She’s no dummy.

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Jasmine and the Yellow Trail

I had a busy morning preparing a nice lunch for my Mom as a little pre-holiday treat. After the meal was on the stove and simmering, I jumped into the shower. Jasmine is my constant companion, and she usually sits in front of the shower door and waits for me–as she did this morning. Hubby came up to say good-bye before leaving to pick up my Mom. Jasmine scattered away into the bedroom and returned after he departed (normal Jasmine behavior).

I dried off, coiffed and primped, and went into the bedroom to get dressed. And then I saw it. The great Yellow Trail. All around the bed. It was like Jasmine took some paint and dripped a Jackson Pollock-like stream all around the footboard of my bed. I took a closer look under the bed and then found that she did a complete circuit around the footboard. UGH! It wasn’t as if she hadn’t gone out an hour or so earlier. It wasn’t as if we don’t do the same thing every single day (with the exception of Hubby coming up to see me–not an every day occurrence, but still in the range of “normal”). I have no idea what scared the pee out of her or if she was protesting in some way. All I know is that I’m glad I had a jumbo-sized bottle of Nature’s Miracle and lots of towels.

Bad dog. Of course, I couldn’t admonish her because I didn’t catch her in the act. And even if I had…I’ve had her squat right in front of me for no reason at all.

Someone once told me that a puppy mill rescue may never be totally housetrained. I still haven’t been able to get her to signal me when she goes out. My strategy has been to take her out regularly and consistently. Some times that just doesn’t work.

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First Snow

I know that it has been a few weeks since my last post. Holidays tend to make everything a little nuts, and our schedules have been hectic. Fall turned into winter all of a sudden, and then Thanksgiving happened…and now Christmas is just around the corner. Where did the year go?

A week ago, we had our first snow of the season. And then Wednesday, we had our first REAL snow of the season.We got about, oh, a foot of snow (give or take). When you have a 9-inch tall dog, a foot of snow…BIG deal. Especially when it comes to potty habits.

I tried the “this is fun, let’s romp in the pristine white fluffy stuff” fake…didn’t work. I tried the usual routine to get her to go out…no dice. So I had to revert to carrying her outside and plunking her down in her “spot.”

I don’t know what Jasmine experienced at the puppy mill, but it seemed very clear to me that snow was a new (and not pleasant) experience for her. We had some serious shoveling to do to clear her spot. And while we got most of it off the ground, the ground was still a bed of snow and ice. Jasmine was not happy. Neither would I if I had my bits a couple of inches off the ground. She slid around on the ground (I did too…I was not happy either). She shivered her “I’m a poor abused dachshund” shiver and after what seemed an eternity, she did what she was supposed to do. Kind of. She did the “maybe she did” squat and I later found that she wet her bed. Grrr.

We found that laying a thin bed of sand over the shoveled ground has helped with her accepting the inevitable. But she rarely goes out without a protest and THE look (as in the “you’re a horrible person for doing this to me” look). But she’s going out, and I will be enduring everything she endures. Of course, I will be doing it in my fluffy hooded down coat and she will only be in fleece. Pink fleece, of course!

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Accidents Will Happen

Accidents will happen. That’s what hubby says.

We were driving around yesterday morning doing some garage sale hopping. We took Jasmine with us. After the 2nd stop, we were looking for our next turn when I looked at Jasmine in the back seat. There was a bright yellow spot on the fleece bottom of her doggie car seat sling. Uh oh. It was very fresh–I looked underneath the sling and there was a puddle. The fabric hadn’t even  had time to absorb the liquid.

Oy. We pulled the car over so I could sop up the mess with the paper napkins we had on hand. I was mad. She did a stealth pee right there. No warning, no whining or notice. She had just gone not two hours before. She has never soiled the car before. We went back home, deposited the sling into the washer, cleaned and deodorized the car seat (thank goodness for leather), and went back out–Jasmine stayed home.

I guess she’s not a fan of garage sales.

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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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Will She…Or Won’t She?

We’ve had a bit of rain lately, and when it rains, it’s difficult to say whether or not we will have an issue with Jasmine’s bathroom habits.  She hates the rain.  She hates sprinklers.  She hates wet pavement.  Well, if I had to walk barefoot in it, I would too!

She’s been relatively good except during the torrential downpours.  We’ve also been hit with unusually cold weather, so the surprise blast of arctic air in the morning is no happy circumstance for either of us (especially me in my robe and slippers).  There have been several mornings that I have called her to go out, had her come bounding down the hallway only to come to a screeching halt and do an about face when the cold air hit her.  She then “hides” in the corner and tries to be as small and unnoticeable as possible.  I have to pick her up to take her outside.

Once outside, it’s uncertain whether she WILL go.  The mornings are fairly easy, but during the day and evening…well, that’s another story.  Take tonight.  Hubby and I went out for dinner, and when we got home, I took her outside.  Of course, the new neighbor decided to come home at that very second, and you could hear the car doors open and slam closed right across the tall fence.  Jasmine was doing the circle/sniff/pace/sniff/circle/sniff pre-event ritual when her head and ears perked at the sound of the neighbor’s car door.  She then gave up the try and ran behind my legs.  I encouraged her to “do her business,” and she started the circle/sniff ritual again.  At that very second, the neighbor’s child decided to sing song “daddy daddy daddy” and made Jasmine practically jump out of her skin.

*sigh*  Inside we went.  I decided to try the front yard since the neighbors seemed to be putting something away in the back.  Of course, as soon as she was in serious sniff mode, they come back out front.  To add insult to injury, the dad had to call the kid over to look at the cute little dog.  I waved and fake-smiled and took Jasmine inside.  There would be no elimination event in the near future.

So, each day Jasmine keeps me guessing…will she…or won’t she?  More often than not, I guess right.  But sometimes Jasmine just gets performance anxiety due to uncontrollable forces (darn those leaf blowers) and I stand there in the cold, my hope flying away with each ticking moment.

And why does it always happen that when she is her most stubborn or frightened, *I* get a supreme case of “gotta go’s?”

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Rainy Season Blues

On Tuesday, it rained cats and dogs.  It was chilly, wet and miserable.  Welcome to winter in California!

It was still dry early Tuesday morning, so I had no problems getting Jasmine to go outside for her morning business.  Her mid-day break was another story.  I called her to go outside, and she came running.  You could almost see the skid marks her paws made when she saw what was awaiting her–lots of rain.  She stopped, turned around, and cowered in the corner.

I picked her up and put her on the covered patio.  There were a few drips here and there, but it was relatively dry.  It’s been some time since she had to go outside during a storm, so we’re going through the learning process again.  Which means she didn’t go.  She stood there, shivering like I was putting her through the most cruel torture in the world.  She also gave me the “sad puppy” look (how DO they do that?) that said, “I’m so miserable Mom, please rescue me!”

Twenty minutes and thirty or so “do your business” commands later, the dry spot was STILL dry.  Of course, I was not.  I was damp, cold and miserable.  Of course, my “sad puppy” look had NO impact on little Jasmine.

Oh, I can’t wait to see what happens when we’re living in snow country!  Does anyone have any experience with indoor potty systems?  Sheesh.  😦

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Invisible Fence?

We’re in the process of buying a new house.  The house is lovely with almost an acre of land with lush green lawns, wonderful landscaping, and just a magnificent field of green everywhere.  Underneath it all across the property line is an invisible fence.  The previous owners put it in to keep their Australian Shepherds in the yard.  Putting up a barrier fence would be way too costly to cover the entire property, and putting up a partial fence would destroy the lovely landscaping of the house.

Jasmine isn’t particularly an outdoors dog.  She goes out when she has to, and sometimes she likes to lie in the grass in the back yard, but mostly she likes being inside the safe, comfy house with me.  When she goes outside, she is supervised by me.  Now, with this new house, a doggie door and an invisible fence, she has the opportunity for more autonomy and it gives us the opportunity to have her trained to use a doggie door (and hopefully prevent accidents in the future).

However, I am reticent about the invisible fence.  Some say it’s cruel.  I’m starting to do some research on it, but I could use some opinions and advice.  Please speak up (for or against), but please don’t flame.  I want to make an informed decision and I’d appreciate some help!

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