Life with Jasmine and Juliet, Our Rescued Dachshunds

Random notes on our experience with our two rescued miniature dachshunds

Play

Juliet has now been with us for 16 months, and she’s finally coming into her own.

Mornings are great. Both pups now sleep together in a large crate in our bedroom. In the morning, when we let them out, they both are happy and playful. Juliet loves to zoom back and forth, running at full speed and stopping on a dime. It’s really fun to watch. Her tail wags furiously, and she rolls over to get some tummy scratchies and love.

Jasmine has still been trying to engage Juliet in play, and Juliet is just beginning to respond. Jasmine chases her for a lap or two when Juliet zooms around the room, and she tries to get Juliet to wrestle (no, Juliet won’t go for that). It’s so fun to watch, and it’s still astounding to see our shy Jasmine trying to engage Juliet!

The big change, though, was Juliet’s interest in a toy. She has ignored just about everything until this week. I was working on some embroidery, and the ball of perle cotton rolled by her. She tried to bite it. So I got a rope toy and gave it to her. Much to my surprise, she started chewing on it, pulling on the rope, etc.

It’s a great sign of progress. Juliet is definitely getting to be more outgoing and interactive, and it’s a great thing to watch her life unfold.

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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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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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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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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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Giardia, Abscess and Poop–Oh My!

Well, it’s been an exciting three weeks with little miss Juliet. Not all of it smooth, but we’re coping.

First, Juliet came to us with Giardia–an intestinal parasite. That in itself isn’t that rough–the bug is treatable with some de-worming medication and antibiotics. But, she had a scathing bout of diarrhea as a result both of the Giardia and potentially from the stress of being kenneled (we had to go away for the weekend right after we got her). Of course, she had to go in the middle of the night, and like a smart dog, she “aimed” outside of her crate and nailed the bedroom carpet. Let me tell you, steam cleaning that stain…beyond nasty. And she gave the Giardia to Jasmine.

We put both dogs on the meds, and Jasmine got worse. She was getting very sluggish and was running a temp, so we took her to the vet. While on the table at the vet’s office, an abscess (which we missed) popped and she gushed all over the table. Ew. But it was the source of her temp and issues (she had a particularly nasty infection–far worse than we’d seen before), and we were able to get it treated. She was also placed on a bland diet to help calm her tummy. Rice is NOT her favorite food, but being the trooper that she is… she tolerates it as long as it’s accompanied by boiled chicken! 🙂

Now the third issue in the new dog tri-fecta is house-training Juliet. Up to yesterday, the only place she would poop was…in the house. We’d take her outside, spend hours going in and out, but as soon as she was off-leash in the house–BOOM. She started by stealth-pooping as she was running down the hall, but became brazen about it and began just squatting right in front of us! We’d try to take her out and get her to go outside when we caught her in the act, but we weren’t able to get her to go any more to mark the behavior. So yesterday, I spent five hours going outside with her, taking her back in and crating, back out, etc. I finally took her on a long walk, and she finally pooped. Of course, we still haven’t been able to get her to go in the yard. We’re following some advice and getting an outdoor wire pen to put her in to give her some off-leash experience “going” in the yard. We’ve been successfully getting her to pee outside in the yard, but not poop.

So I’ve stocked up on Nature’s Miracle and we’re trying positive reinforcement (praise and treats, marking actions with her go words) just like we did with Jasmine. But I have a feeling this stubborn little gal is going to be a challenge!

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A Second Dachshund—We Finally Did It!

 

Juliet dachshund

Jasmine Juliet dachshund

Meet Juliet, a 6-year-old long-hair mini Dachshund, and the newest member of our family!

Yes, we finally did it. After YEARS of debating the subject, we finally brought another dachshund into our home! Juliet came from Wooffun, a local rescueorganization. She is a long-haired miniature dachshund, black & tan dapple piebald (say that five times fast!). She was brought up to New Hampshire from a backyard breeder in South Carolina–one of 18 dogs in the breeder’s stock. He became too old to continue managing his dogs, so he reached out to a local vet to find homes for his dogs.

While Juliet isn’t a puppy mill rescue, her demeanor, lack of training, etc. shows me that she wasn’t a pet. She isn’t housebroken. She is pretty skittish and shy. But she IS socialized to other dogs and familiar people, and she does love a warm lap. Points for her.

Juliet came up with two other dogs–Twix and Misty. When we met her at the foster home, she was socialized to these dogs and comfortable in a pack environment. We took Jasmine to meet Juliet, and it was clear that both dogs were submissive, gentle and relatively low-energy. It was a good match.

We brought Juliet home that night, and we found Jasmine suspicious, but tolerant. The picture on the right shows Jasmine giving us the “Save Me” look. Okay, it’s going to be an adjustment!

 

 

Juliet enjoying a warm lapJasmine Juliet DachshundJuliet is very skittish. She is very afraid of loud noises. She runs incessantly until she finally runs out of steam and then settles down. However, if she finds a lap, she’s calm. And we found out that she’s a jumper. She jumps all over the furniture. We never let Jasmine jump, but Juliet is a pro. Okay.

She has a lot of parallels to Jasmine when she first came to us. She’s a nervous nellie when it comes to eating. She isn’t food oriented. She’s tremendously skittish. She’s definitely not housebroken.

But she has a lot of traits that make me feel that she’ll come along faster than Jasmine. She is okay with laps and petting (she jumps up on our laps!). She likes rawhide bones (only when we’re not around). She comes close to us without “corralling.”

But, how is Jasmine doing? Absolutely fabulous!! We found the RIGHT dog to bring into our home. Jasmine is blossoming. Competition is bringing her out of her shell. If Juliet is getting scratchies, Jasmine will come over to hubby and demand the same. She’s seeking him out for lap time. She even has learned manners in the short time Juliet has been in the house and doesn’t tear after Juliet’s food after she’s snarfed her own!

Such progress in just a few weeks! We’re so happy to have Juliet in our new home. And, of course, this blog will probably be more active now that we have so many more stories to tell. I already have a few in the queue waiting to be told.

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Ooof

That’s the sound I made this morning as Jasmine pounced on my stomach. Jasmine, the ultimate bed hog and snooze button killer, wanted to go outside. And she wasn’t going to take “no” for an answer.

6 a.m. comes way too early, and if I move at all after 5 a.m. or so, Jasmine immediately springs into action. She goes from coma to bouncy little bunny in 2 seconds flat. If I move or roll over, she springs out of a deep sleep and bounds to the foot of the bed. She then bounds back to me and back to the end of the bed in a frenzy of excitement to greet the morning. I pat the warm, empty space beside me to try to entice her to come back. She bounds back. She then decides if she wants to burrow back under her blankets.

If burrowing is an option, she certainly doesn’t do it quietly. The blankets go awry. There’s a lot of grunting, turning, smooshing, throwing, circling and more grunting. She might plop down and fall back into a deep snore, or she might stop, continue the blanket dance and then abandon it altogether.

So, there’s about a 50/50 chance that I’ll get back to sleep. And of course, the minute I do, the alarm goes off. And we go through this morning ritual again.

Is there a snooze button on a dog? Um, no.

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Go Straight to Dessert

We just passed the four-year mark with Jasmine. I still marvel at the journey we’ve had with her. As I read back on our first days, I think about the happiness I feel when I see that happy little dog dancing at my feet when I come home from work. Or the little bundle of warmth that snuggles up to me in the middle of the night and sighs a happy sigh.

And I think of the dog who didn’t know what treats were. The dog that was not motivated by food. At all. And I laugh.

Jasmine’s evening routine is very centered around food. That’s because she’s a total “food hound.” I come home (waggy waggy waggy) and after I put down my things, I fix Jasmine’s dinner. I put it down, and she gobbles it up as I’m fixing our evening meal. I then ask her the long-awaited question, “Have you been a good girl?” The crowd (okay, Jasmine) goes wild! Leaps of joy, excessive wagging of the tail and a prancing pony emerge. Of course, it’s time for a treat. These days, that treat entails a piece of doggie chicken jerky. I hand her a treat and she goes skittering to the family room to munch on her prize. Hubby and I munch on our meals.

Jasmine, of course, is done much faster than we are. She then waits for the next event of the evening–Peanut butter time!

Now, Jasmine has recently decided that she wants to skip dinner and go straight to the treats. She has been practically ignoring most of her dinner and going straight for the “aren’t you forgetting something” stare. And then a wooft. And a stare. And a spy hop. Oh the agony I put her through!

So last night, I broke part of her jerky treat into little bits and mixed it in her food. HA! FOOLED YOU!

That was yesterday. I wonder what tonight will hold?

Okay. I’m a sucker. I admit it. But with a face like this…who could resist?

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A Clean Bill of Health

Jasmine went in for her annual vet checkup yesterday. Hubby took her over to the clinic (which just so happens to be across the highway from our house) to get poked, prodded and jabbed. 😦

Apparently, Jasmine has become a braver soul. She tolerated other dogs in the waiting room. The vet noted that she was significantly less freaked out during this visit than a prior checkup. Yay Jasmine!

She got all of her shots (who knew there were so many of them?), a blood test, a fecal test (ick), and was weighed in. Unfortunately, Jasmine is now up over 12 pounds. While the vet said that she was still within a normal weight range, I think a little less kibble (or treats) might be in order!

However, Jasmine is going to need to have her teeth cleaned. That means she has to be put under anesthesia. I’m not thrilled about this.

And her nails are super long. I can’t seem to clip her nails without her squirming (and I’d hate to cause her harm or pain). Even though the vet clipped them, they’re still long. I’m thinking about having the vet clip her nails very short when she’s under for the cleaning to help us get a head-start on keeping them short.

Does anyone have any words of advice on how I can get a dog who hates having her paws handled to submit and stay still for nail clippings?

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