Life with Jasmine, Juliet and Buttercup, Our Rescued Dachshunds

Random notes on our experience with THREE rescued miniature dachshunds

Wanna Play?

Jasmine and I have a morning routine. Each morning, I take a shower and get dressed. After I get dressed, it’s wrassle time. I call Jasmine over to “wrassle wrassle” and she comes bouncing over with a waggy tail. Sometimes we play (wrestling, of course), and sometimes we just snuggle and pet.

Since Juliet came on the scene, Jasmine has been much less playful and hasn’t opted to wraassle if Juliet was in the room. Today, Jasmine, Juliet and I were rolling around on the floor, and Jasmine began getting very frisky. She started to engage with Juliet instead of me, and she finally jumped up and did a play bow trying to get Juliet to play.

My Jasmine. The dog that isn’t socialized. The dog that doesn’t play very often. My sweet girl was trying to get another dog to play. Juliet wasn’t in the mood, but regardless, I saw a side of Jasmine that I’ve only seen once before–when we went and visited her foster home. Jasmine wanted to play and she wanted to play with another dog.

These little victories make me feel like tap dancing around the room. I see so many positive changes in Jasmine since Juliet came, and I can’t wait to see her grow and change as she gets more socialized with her new sibling.

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Pet-Friendly Office

I know. It’s been a little while. I’m sorry.

Jasmine is fine. She’s wonderful, in fact. Every day, she seems to enjoy life a little bit more. And I revel in each step forward she takes.

Hubby was out of town all of last week. Jasmine is usually home all day with him. I take her out in the morning and he takes her out mid-afternoon for her bathroom breaks. Other than that, well, she’s a lump. She sleeps all day. I decided that his trip would be a wonderful way to introduce the concept of a pet-friendly office to my company. So I got permission to bring Jasmine into the office with me.

Jasmine is a remarkable dog. She’s quiet. I mean REAL quiet. I brought her into the office, and she hid behind my legs and peeked at my co-workers. She then trotted into her crate where she remained until her 2pm break. The CEO of the company, who is not a big dog lover, didn’t even realize that she was in the office until she sat up and did an ear flap around 1:30. I fed her little treats every few hours, and she was comfortably situated in her crate under my desk and right next to me.

While it was not the usual snooze fest for her, she was relaxed and easy the entire day. And when the day came to a close and it was “time for rides” to go home, she did her usual happy dance.

So I think that Jasmine will not be an unwelcome visitor when need be. And maybe, just maybe, I can convince my company that she could be a great office mascot.

Jasmine the JitterDog. Given her penchant for shivering, it’s wholly appropriate.

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Jasmine the Hockey Spectator

One of the grandkids had a hockey game yesterday, and instead of leaving Jasmine at home, we decided to take her with us to watch the game. It was a “mite” game–a hockey league for kids 8 years and under. It’s really a blast–the kids are learning the game and having fun, and it’s so cute to watch them play.

There was a multi-fold challenge for Jasmine:

  • Kids: Two grandkids and four of their cousins ranging in age from 3 to 14
  • Ice Rink: Brrrrrr!
  • People: Lots of kids, parents, loud noises and confined spaces

I put Jasmine in her smart plaid fleece coat and carried her into the ice rink. It was total chaos. Kids running everywhere. People talking loudly. She shivered a bit but remained fairly calm. I spoke to her in calm tones and after a few minutes, she calmed down. People were smiling and pointing at her (oh the cuteness) and one woman came over to pet her. She shut down a bit, but allowed people to pet her with no struggle.

We sat down and watched the game, and while she shivered a bit at first, she was calm and relaxed through most of it. The yelling and cheering didn’t bother her. Kids running by her didn’t bother her. She was in my arms, warm and cozy. Hubby was close by as well and gave her pets and scratchies when she peered up at him.

After the game, we went back to the grandkids’ home and had dinner. Jasmine was her usual “are you eating…did you drop anything” self. It was good to see. The chaos and commotion from the kids didn’t bother her at all as long as we were close.

She’s coming along well, and we’ll have plenty more opportunity to socialize her with the games, practices and other assorted activities coming up. In fact, two of the grandkids are coming to stay next weekend–a perfect opportunity for Jasmine to shine!

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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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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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New House, New Dog

Jasmine *loves* the new house. Perhaps it’s because she can romp around everywhere. Perhaps it’s because all her toys, beds and treats are now accessible. And perhaps she loves the house as much as I do. Her tail wags often, she seems bright and happy, she LOVES going outside and she’s becoming much bolder in asking for–and sometimes demanding–what she wants.  It’s almost like I have a new dog.

Jasmine was never an outdoor dog–at least not in the San Jose house. When I’d let her outside, she’d do her “business” and run back to come inside. At the NH house, she is sniffing like there’s no tomorrow. She romps around the yard. In fact, the new smells have caused an unexpected issue for me–she’s not coming back EVERY time I call. She has caught a scent a couple of times and then run into the neighbor’s yard all the time not hearing my call. It’s pretty clear to me that I need to practice “distracted” recalls with her. I have started with recalling her the moment she starts wandering, but…at very least I can catch her.

NH is a dog-friendly area. It seems like EVERYONE has dogs. It’s also clear to me that she needs to go the next steps towards socialization; she needs to learn how to meet and greet strange dogs. She usually skitters away in fear. With all the dogs walking (off leash) in the neighborhood, she needs to learn how to make friends.

This change has made Jasmine come more out of her shell, and I’m happy to see her adjust so quickly to the new surroundings. One bonus–as I have been unpacking, Jasmine has discovered the joys of Bubble Wrap. Crinkle-pop-crinkle is now a familiar sound. It makes me smile just thinking about it.

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New Dog Resources

As we explore New Hampshire, we’re stumbling our way across new resources for ourselves and for Jasmine.  As we were driving down route 101, we saw a huge red barn and a sign–American K9 Country.  I looked them up on the web and saw that they did training, boarding, grooming and day care.  We knew that I’d have to fly back to California for a couple of days, so I decided to board Jasmine there.  They are less than a mile away from our home.

We were in the Town Hall registering our car, registering Jasmine and doing various administrative tasks (I’m sure that the drums are already humming with the news that Californians have invaded).  I saw that the town clerk had a picture of her dog on her desk, so I asked her about where she boarded her dog.  She said “American K9 Country.”  A good sign.

I took Jasmine there Saturday afternoon, and of course, Jasmine was not happy.  But I was.  The owner was happy to take me for a tour including through the kennel area.  The kennel area was SPOTLESS.  Dogs were happy and yappy.  All the areas were well maintained.  The people were great.  I asked the owner for a referral to a good Vet and he stated that the animal hospital that just happens to be within walking distance of our home is great.  There is a regular vet there as well as one of the best Neurosurgeons in the area there.  I asked another gal the other day about who she took her dogs to and these vets (although pricey) were it.  Two referrals in one week.  AND if Jasmine ever has serious problems with her back…well, there’s a Neurosurgeon across the highway from us.

I called the kennel Sunday morning to check on Jasmine.  She apparently felt good enough to scarf down her dinner on Saturday night.  Jasmine has been exposed to so many new things lately that I feel that her capacity for change has increased.  It’s all part of her socialization process.  As she learns that change and new isn’t bad and that we will come back–no matter what–she is becoming more adaptable to new situations.  I’m so glad.

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New New New

Well, we’ve been here in New Hampshire a little over a week (it seems like MUCH more time), and we’ve been supremely busy preparing for my Mom’s move out here as well as getting some much-needed items for ourselves (a car, some furniture…trivial things like that).  In these last 10 days, Jasmine has been exposed to hundreds of new experiences, and it amazes me how quickly she has adapted.

First, the flight.  I was so afraid of her being freaked out about being in the small Sherpa carrier.  Well, she was a little reluctant to get in, but after she was in, she was fine.  She was nowhere near happy, but she was safe and warm.  In the airport, the TSA guys told me it was fine to carry her outside the bag but not to walk…so she stayed in my arms until the very last minute that she could.  The flight was very full, so we were packed in like sardines.  Jasmine sat under the seat in front of hubby and, except for some ear flapping, made absolutely no noise during the flight.  She slept.  Hubby slept.  I even slept (I rarely do on red-eye flights).  We landed at Logan airport, and as we were waiting to disembark, we unzipped the top of the Sherpa bag.  Out popped Jasmine’s cute little face.  All of a sudden, there were “awwwww” noises coming from around us.  People were surprised to see Jasmine, and remarked on how good she was…no one even knew that we had a dog on board–even the flight attendants.  I wonder why I had to pay the $100 dog fee…I probably could have gotten away with sneaking her on board.  Or not. 🙂

When we got to our new house, Jasmine was understandably confused.  However, she took one sniff of the back yard and was romping around.  The new smells were driving her nuts…tail high, running full tilt, stopping and sniffing, running more.  She seemed like a different dog.  I was a little concerned about the four steps down from the deck to the yard and while I carried her down, she side-stepped me and ran back up.  Hm.

The one thing she did NOT like was the ice.  There was still a lot of ice left in the back yard in the shady areas.  She mistakenly stepped on a patch and quickly jumped off.  No, I don’t think she’s going to like winter at all.  But that’s many months away.  We can ease her into it later this year.  Yeah…sure. 🙂

While the house smells different, the nice thing is that all our things smell like us.  Her dog beds are here.  Her blankets are here.  All her toys are here.  It’s nice to not live in a sparse, Aero-bed environment like we’ve been living in for the past month in our California home.  Our new furniture just showed up yesterday, so we’re enjoying a brand new bed.  Jasmine also approves (although she doesn’t get to SLEEP in it, she gets to LOUNGE on it).

I’m so amazed at how resilient Jasmine is.  Everything is new, scary, different and strange.  And she’s just fine.

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