Life with Jasmine, Juliet and Buttercup, Our Rescued Dachshunds

Random notes on our experience with THREE rescued miniature dachshunds

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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Two Weeks In

Two weeks ago, I had my surgery. I had to spend the night in the hospital, but I was able to come home the next day.

The post-surgical instructions have significantly altered all our lives–including Jasmine’s:

  • I can’t pick Jasmine up for 8 weeks! That’s 8 weeks of sad puppy eyes looking up at me from the floor. Totally heartbreaking (for me).
  • Hubby now brings Jasmine downstairs. It’s now a big production, complete with a small treat at the bottom of the stairs. She resists being picked up by him, but it’s good for them–both.
  • Jasmine is now sleeping in a dog bed on the floor next to me. Acutally, I think that will be her permanent place. We’re both sleeping better. She doesn’t get clocked by a knee. I don’t get shoved to the very edge of the bed (hey, Dachshunds are bed hogs).
  • I have to walk every day. And we know who HATES walkies. HATES. But she’s going with us, and it’s doing her waist line good (as well as mine).
  • I can’t bend, twist, push anything heavy (NO shopping carts, believe it or not), or lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk. If I want to pet Jasmine, I have to get down on one knee and reach for her short, squat body. It’s hard to do everyday things like feed her. Hubby has taken over many of the tasks at home until I’m past the “danger” zone.

Jasmine has, however, been enjoying the fact that I’ve been home with her. She sleeps in her bed next to the couch (yes, I have multiple beds…who doesn’t?) next to me as I rest. I’ve come a long way in two weeks. And it amazes me how dogs just roll into a new routine.

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Big Changes Coming Our Way

I have a bad back. I’ve had a bad back since I was 17 and was in a car accident and developed herniated a disc. Now, many years later (I shall not say how many), my bad back has made it known that I need to go into the “shop” and have a “tune-up.” As in back surgery.

Around the time when we moved from California to New Hampshire, I had a fall. I was putting something up on the wall and fell off the stool I was standing on. The floor was very hard and I really walloped my back and hip. And as a result, I herniated a disc. It took me six  months of pain to finally go get an MRI and a diagnosis. The doctor recommended surgery, but I decided to take the more conservative route and try to let it heal on its own. And it did, for the most part.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a bad case of the flu. I spiked a fever, and I was in bed for five days flat. When I emerged, my back was inflamed. It’s the worst pain I’ve ever felt throughout these years of back pain. It was painful enough that all I could do was stand. That was the only time I was out of pain. I went back to the doctor, had a repeat MRI, and confirmed my fears–the herniated disc was worse than ever, and I needed surgery for pain relief.

One of the reasons that I didn’t get the surgery done last year, and it may sound stupid to most people (although I know you, as a fan of dogs and dachshunds, will understand), is that I wouldn’t be able to pick Jasmine up for a full six weeks. And since Hubby can’t get close to Jasmine without her skittering off in fear (yes, that is still the case after three years), I was afraid that we wouldn’t do well with my inability to care for her.

Now I have no real choice but to move ahead with the surgery. And the six-week recovery period. Six weeks without being able to pick Jasmine up and bring her downstairs, put her in my lap, in bed, oh my…not good. Her routine has already been altered, and she’s been very…er…vocal about it. Since I haven’t been able to sit down since the recent flare-up, she can’t sit in my lap. I have a make-shift office in my kitchen so I can stand here and work. She’s been by my side all the way, but she has taken to wooft-ing at me for attention. “Wooft…why aren’t you sitting in the recliner so I can sit next to you?” “Wooft…why can’t we snuggle?” “Wooft…why can’t you play?”

The one benefit of having to be on my feet for hours on end is that walking does give me pain relief. So we’re back to our walks, and both Jasmine and I are starting to be in better shape because of it.

The surgery is scheduled for this coming Wednesday. Some people might think it silly of me to be worrying about how my DOG is going to respond to the changes due to my recovery. But it’s a big consideration since she brings so much joy into my life in the things we do together.

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No Skipping The Bone

Last night, I had a work-related evening event. I got home fairly late. Jasmine was eagerly awaiting my return. As usual, she had not eaten her dinner before my return. She gobbled it up after I came in.

We went to bed right after she ate. I figured she was sated and would be happy to snuggle up and go to sleep. Nope.

I put her on the bed, and she narrowed her eyes at me. I thought it meant she was getting sleepy. Nope. She made a small “wooft” sound. Hm. I ignored it. Eyes narrowed again. Wooft. Wooft. Hm.

Then it occurred to me. Jasmine had not had her “Have you been a good girl?” bone yet. I looked at her, her ears perked up and she KNEW that I understood. She stood up, tail wagging madly.

I picked her up, took her downstairs and got a small dental chewie. We went back upstairs and I gave her the treat. She flew around the room in joy, settled down and began chewing in happiness.

After she was done, then and only then was she ready for bed.

Routine is routine. There was no skipping it, no matter how late it was.

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Dog Spooning

Last night, Jasmine was a bit restless. She woke up in the wee hours of the night/morning and started snuffling about, digging and scritching the covers, and doing the head shake/thundering ears sound that we Dachshund lovers know really well. She did her best to wake me up. I called her to me and she came snuffing over. She plopped down next to me on her soft blanket and proceeded to snuggle into my belly and fell into an immediate, deep sleep (HOW do they do that?).

All of a sudden, I found myself spooning with a miniature dachshund. The curve of her back was snuggled deeply into my torso. I wrapped my arm around her, snuggled into HER and fell into a deep and relaxing sleep. Until the alarm came on in what seemed like five minutes flat. 🙂

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Shhhhh!

One of my latest work tasks has been creating marketing videos for my company’s website. The current video I’m working on is a combination of voice over narration, music and demonstration. Sunday night and today, I was working on recording the audio narration for the video. I have a great microphone, and all I need is a quiet room to get the narration created. No problem, right? WRONG!

Let’s see. Thus far, I’ve recorded (and erased):

  • Sensational ear flapping noises
  • The tick tick tick of nails on hardwood floors
  • The sound of licking parts we won’t mention
  • Very vocal yawns
  • The scritchy scratchy noise of pawing your bed until it’s JUST right
  • The scritchy scratchy noise of petting a dog while you’re trying to narrate
  • Whines
  • Snoring
  • The sound of thundering hooves on a carpeted floor
  • The sound of a wagging tail bouncing against the my leg
  • A few chuckles (because I just can’t help myself)

Jasmine is not making this easy. I removed the obvious offender–the clinking-tagged collar.  It didn’t make one iota of difference.

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Ring! Ring! Whine! Part II

It’s amusing to think that Jasmine knows that when I call in the evening, it means I’m coming home. It’s so cute that she reacts and makes me feel that she misses me.

However, Jasmine’s doggie ESP is getting to be uncanny.

In the last two weeks, I’ve had a number of evening business events that I have attended after work. Instead of calling to say that I’m coming home, I have been calling hubby to let him know I’m on my way to the event of the day. These calls have taken place around the same time that I would be calling to announce my impending return home, so Jasmine doesn’t have a clue that the call is for another purpose.

I had assumed that the timing of the call was Jasmine’s cue that I was coming home soon. Nope. When I’ve called to let Hubby know that I was safely on my way to the event, she has remained stoically silent. No whine. No sitting up in her bed, ears perked. She just continues to lay there, not a whine or a whimper.

It’s as if she knows that I’m not coming home YET. So there’s no reason to get all excited.

Perhaps it’s Hubby’s tone of voice. Perhaps she really does have a Doggie ESP connection to me. Either way, it’s still kind of cool.

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Jasmine’s Christmas (Catching Up)

Working for a start-up company sometimes means that you put some things aside for a while. Unfortunately, this blog went by the wayside as I was planning and executing a new website. So now I’m playing catch-up!

We had a wonderful first Christmas here in the house. Everything was beautiful and white. We decorated the sun room and heated it with the little Vermont Castings stove and put our tree and lights out there. You could see the lights from the tree from the street. With the snow around the yard, it was a magical feeling.

Hubby and I have a “no gifts” tradition. We generally don’t get each other gifts for Christmas, birthdays, our anniversary, Valentine’s Day, etc. Instead, I get to buy a piece of bling every year (I particularly like shiny, sparkly rings) and hubby gets to buy a power tool or two. Of course, this works a bit in my favor because I get to play with the power tools and he just can’t pull of bling like I can. 🙂

This Christmas morning, I awoke and took Jasmine out for her normal morning’s business. I walked out onto the deck, waited for Jasmine to finish, and then walked back in to the sun room. I looked at the tree, and lo and behold, there were a TON of presents that weren’t there the night before. Santa? Well, Santa definitely visited Jasmine. However, Jasmine–that little minx–had gone out and bought a bunch of things for me! How she got that penguin wrapping paper folded and taped with no opposable thumbs…it was very impressive!

Santa brought Jasmine some lovely sweaters and a holiday hedgehog toy! Oh boy! Jasmine gave me some very lovely items. I guess she just wanted to let me know how happy she was here in the house and here with us. And Santa…well, Santa knows that Jasmine is such a love that she would never get NEAR that naughty list!

We all had a lovely Christmas, and it was so nice to share it with Jasmine.

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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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Jasmine’s Cure for the Workaholic

I’ve been working a lot. I come home every evening, and I usually work after a full day in the office. Hey, I work for a start-up and that’s just the way it is. There’s a lot to get done, and I admit it…I’m a bit of a workaholic.

Jasmine has decided that my hours away from home are MORE than enough. Each night after dinner, I pull the computer onto my lap and begin plugging away. That’s when the campaign starts. First, it’s a cute face and waggy tail. She then sprints around the coffee table, jumps onto her bed and perches on the corner with a glowing, bright face filled with happiness and anticipation.

“woof.” Just a little one. Then a “maw maw maw” grumble to let me know that her impatience is growing. She is waiting for her “Have you been a good girl? Would you like a bone?” ritual. I get up, give her a bone and she comps away at the tiny rawhide treat until it is no more. Then it’s back around the coffee table for Round 2 of the battle of wills.

“woof.”  “maw maw maw.”  “Wooft.” When I try to ignore her, bits of her impatience are accentuated by the little wooft-tuft of air at the end.

I try to guess what she wants. Sometimes, it’s “training” (aka gimme a treat, will ya?). Sometimes it’s “play with me” (aka sit on the floor as I chew away at one of my toys). Other times it’s training followed by play.

And then the daddy of all requests that puts me out of working commission for the evening–lap time. When she snuggles into my lap and snores her little head away, well, I know that I’m not going to grab my computer, displace her on my lap and start working again.

Last night, I told my husband that Jasmine made me quit working for the evening. He said, “Good dog, Jasmine.”

She acknowledged her good deed by snoring just a little louder.

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