Life with Jasmine and Juliet, Our Rescued Dachshunds

Random notes on our experience with our two rescued miniature dachshunds

It Has Only Taken Eight Years

Okay, maybe 7.75 years. Jasmine has finally started bonding with Tom.

Jasmine

Jasmine hangin’ out with Dad

It has been a long time coming. I started a new business last year. That left both Jasmine and Juliet to spend all day every day with Tom. And slowly…ever so slowly…he has been winning her over.

Jasmine enjoying "Tom Time"

Jasmine enjoying “Tom Time”

Just of late, she has been going to him every morning for some love and scratchies. She politely takes her bits of apple from me and then moves on over to snuggle with him.

While I’m a tad bit jealous–she has always been MY dog–I’m so happy that she’s finally overcome her fear and has bonded with Tom. And, happily, Juliet has bonded more fully with me.

We’re finally one big, happy family. It has only taken eight years. That’s 56 years to you and me! 🙂

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I Will Protect You

We are proud to have non-barky Dachshunds. Jasmine and Juliet are relatively quiet dogs with very few of the hyper and barky tendencies of most Dachshunds. However, that also means that they don’t alert us to ‘dangers’ (intruders, squirrels, etc.). This changed the other day when we got a furniture delivery.

We confined the dogs in my upstairs office while we were waiting for our new couch to be delivered. Both dogs LOVE to ‘go to work’ with me due to the positive reinforcement (aka TREATS) they get for going into the office and the crate. So, I put them up there for the duration of the furniture delivery to reduce their stress and to keep them out of the way.

The furniture guys arrived, and all of a sudden, I heard BARKING. I thought it was the neighbor dog, but lo and behold, it was Juliet alerting us to the noise (aka DANGER). Really??!!! The delivery guys laughed and called, “Hey doggie, it’s okay!” to no avail. It’s one more step towards ‘normal’ doggie-hood for Juliet. I’m SO pleased!

Of course, one of the reasons we got the new couch was to give the dogs the ability to hang with both of us as we lounge in the family room. And they were both rewarded with a snuggle.

Juliet Dachshund

Snuggly Juliet on the new couch

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Almost Good as New

Jasmine dachshund crate rest

Poor little pup!

Jasmine has been on crate rest for about two weeks now. She’s not happy about it. It’s very apparent that she’s feeling better and that she’s NOT happy about being crated.

For those of you who haven’t had a pup that has been on crate rest…well, you’re lucky. Imagine being in prison; your cell is just about large enough to stand, lie down, turn around and sit in. Your meals are all served there. The only time you get to go out is when you have to use the bathroom. Your friends are walking around you and taunting you through the bars. Your family is sitting outside your cell, giving you treats and pets, but you can’t go out and hug them.

You stare at them with sad, lonely eyes. For hours and hours on end. You finally relent, bury yourself in your blankies (yes, your prison has blankies), and in a huff…you nap. But at every move, every crackle of a plastic bag, you jump up, ready for action.

That’s what the last two weeks have been like. Now, when Jasmine had IVDD the last time, this lasted EIGHT weeks. Of course, some of that time was spent at the kennel (it was right in the middle of our move from California to New Hampshire). It SEEMED easier. Perhaps because Jasmine was a different dog back then; she was much less playful, energetic or demonstrative. And she didn’t have Juliet traipsing around either!

Jasmine’s sentence is officially over on Friday. Thank goodness! And it seems that there are no serious/lasting injuries. She doesn’t seem to be in any pain or discomfort.

What’s also nice is that the vet and the vet tech both noted how very different Jasmine is today. When she first started seeing the vet in NH, she used to shake in fear so badly that they could barely keep her still enough to do blood draws and exams. Even though she’s still scared, she’s a much more calm and ‘normal’ dog today. It’s good to see that other people notice the positive changes in her.

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Stubborn is a Dachshund’s Middle Name

Since we returned from our travel odyssey, Jasmine has been a much more demanding, stubborn dog.

Gimme a treat!

Gimme a treat!

 

She definitely is into her routines. Dinner promptly at 5. Soon thereafter, we have the “Have you been a good girl?” treats that include practicing ‘manners’ and other commands. After that, when I’m drinking a drink with ice in it, the indignant stare happens. “YOU’RE having ICE and you’re NOT sharing?”

Okay, so this is my fault. I have spoiled this dog rotten. She get what she wants. But she’s been getting vocal about it. Demanding. Little moans and maw-maw-maws in complaint if I’m not giving out her favorite treats.

And then there’s the “I don’t want to do what you want me to do so I’m going to ignore you” stance. When it’s time to go outside, go to bed, etc., and she’s happily ensconced in her doggie bed (now THAT’s another story), she gets a scorching bout of SCH. Selective Dachshund Hearing. As in…oh, my hearing is going bad, because I’m going to just lay here and do what I want to do.

And you know, she might be getting to be a little diva, but I kind of like the fact that she’s becoming more assertive…more…Dachshund-like.

You go, girl!

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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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Barky Barky

Life has a way of finding time for personal blogging difficult. Which would I rather do–sleep or blog? Play with the dog or write about playing with the dog? 🙂

Jasmine is wonderful. She is healthy, bouncy and happy. In fact, she has been increasingly…um…insistent about her routines.

Her evening routine is centered around food. I come home. I feed her. She scarfs up dinner. I sit and eat with Hubby. She stares at me. And stares. Not for my food. Nope. She stares because it’s “Have you been a good girl?” time…complete with treat. If I ignore her, a small ‘wooft’ is in order. If I ignore her long enough, a ‘wooft + sit-hop’ ensues. And if that doesn’t work, an all-out bark is in order.

Aside: Have you ever seen a sit-hop? It’s so darn cute. Jasmine hops with her butt still solid on the ground. She uses her front legs to lift her front-side off the ground, complete with cute floppy ears. It seems to make the ‘wooft’ go further. It’s not sitting up. She pops up and down. Oh, it’s hard to ignore, but I try.

If we get down to bark mode, I continue to ignore her until she’s calm and quiet. Then I ask her to lie down. THEN she gets her “Have you been a good girl?” treat. I DO have SOME discipline. Ahem. (Yeah, and if you believe that one…)

Then there’s PB time. After dinner, it’s Jasmine’s time to sit on Hubby’s lap and get a small bit of peanut butter. She gets up on my lap and starts wagging madly at Hubby. She’s a total flirt until she gets what she wants! She stares longingly at him, wags her tail, looks her cutest and entices him to invite her onto his lap. She then waits patiently for her prize, licking her lips. If she’s not on my lap, she sits on the floor with the Vulcan Mind Meld look on her face…”He will understand what I want…” and sometimes goes into wooft-bark mode.

It’s great that she’s communicating, but I think I’ve created a bark monster. 🙂

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Broccoli? Seriously?

Once again, I’m sorry for the long lag between posts. Life has been totally crazy.

Jasmine is doing really well. Last week, I left on a business trip–the longest one I’ve had in a very long time. Jasmine was her usual obstinate self. She refused to eat at first, but hubby finally coaxed her into eating her meals. She also refused to “do her business” for over 24 hours. I just wonder if it’s her way of trying to exert some dominance, or if she just likes to torture my poor, misunderstood husband…

When I returned home, she was overjoyed. Hubby brought her to the airport when he picked me up, and there she was…that little face was staring out the window, ears perked. There was whining. Lots of whining. And there was a waggy tail, kisses, more waggy tail, more kisses. I really wish Jasmine would give hubby the same love and affection she does to me. He’s so kind to her.

Okay, so that’s what’s happening. What does that have to do with broccoli? Absolutely nothing. Except tonight, hubby was out of town at a conference. Jasmine and I had a night alone. She was her usual cute self. I was cooking dinner (a nice pot of soup on a cold cold night), and I was steaming some frozen veggies to put into the soup. A piece of FROZEN broccoli fell off the counter and dropped onto the floor. Jasmine, food hound, pounced on it like it was chicken. And ate it like it was…chicken!

Broccoli Jasmine? Seriously?

Hence, the title.

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Hunger Strike

Jasmine is still being difficult about her mealtime. Except I think it’s my fault. Oh the guilt.

I’ve been feeding Jasmine the same food for several years ever since the unfortunate whipworm incident–we thought it was a food change that caused her some tummy issues; it turned out to be parasites). We feed her Innova Small Bites mixed with a spoonful of California Natural Chicken & Rice canned food and 1/2 cup of water. She doesn’t drink much water, and this encourages her to get a good amount of water with her yummy meal.

Well, she apparently doesn’t think the food is very yummy anymore. And I know that dogs SHOULD be switched from food to food every few months to help them get a different balance of nutrients and to get some variety. I just got complacent. I also was kind of afraid of rocking the boat. She has been happy with her food and welcomes meal times. Until a few days ago. She now thumbs her nose at the kibble (still drinks the canned-dog-food-flavored water). I thought it was because of nervousness, but she’s hungry for “other” food (treats, meats, etc) that are dropped into her bowl.

So, I have to go back and try some other food for her. To keep her engaged in mealtimes, to keep her balanced nutrition, etc. I know to ease her into a new diet, but I also know that it’s time for a change.

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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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Traveling Blankie

Jasmine has been taking the heat of this summer well, thanks to our central AC system. Every night, she’s been snuggling atop her fleece blankie at the foot of the bed. She likes the spot because it’s right under the ceiling fan–blowing the cooler air down on her. That’s all well and fine until the middle of the night when the temp drops down to a cool level. Jasmine rolls herself up into her blankie to keep warm. When that’s not good enough, she shimmies up to us to snuggle. However, she doesn’t want to leave her warm blankie behind, and she shimmy-pulls the blankie along with her.

Well, that’s what hubby tells me. I’m usually asleep through all this, but hubby is a light sleeper and has witnessed the unique shimmy-pull process. Just think of how you’d pull a blanket that is wrapped around your entire body–including underneath you–as you’re trying to move about 5 body lengths up in the dark.

When I wake up in the morning, I have a dog-roll snuggled up next to me. I’m glad that she likes her blankie enough to bring it with her, but I wish I will get a chance to witness the great migration!

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