Life with Jasmine, Juliet and Buttercup, Our Rescued Dachshunds

Random notes on our experience with THREE rescued miniature dachshunds

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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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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Total Recall–NOT!

One of the side effects of Jasmine’s fascination with the smells in the yard is that she’s no longer reliable for recall. She gets out there, she romps around, and I call her to get her back inside. She is totally taken with the smells in the air and on the ground, and as she runs around sniffing at the chipmunk holes and other such exciting sites, her selective hearing starts.

We speculated that maybe it was her hearing…but the tiny crinkle of a food wrapper from 100 yards away will roust her from a deep sleep into full attention. Nope. Not it. She’s ignoring me. So much for my pride in my ability to recall her and her steadfast focus on me. How silly of me!

What’s really wonderful about all this is that there are signs every day that she’s coming more out of her shell. She’s now focused on mooching food off of me every time I eat. It’s like she thinks she has a nickel of “cute” and I’m her vending machine…plop in that coin, press a button, and out comes the candy! And for the most part, she’s right. I’m such a total sucker for that cute face. I know I have to stop reacting or she’ll become increasingly whiny and difficult. I have to have courage!

She’s also pushing other boundaries (another good sign). The boundaries with the recall, well let’s just say that we’re starting from basics. I’m asserting my control by leashing her when I take her out so she doesn’t have a chance to ignore me. I’m also starting to do our recall exercises as well…I should be just about back in control when the snow flies. Then, she won’t want to go outside at all, and recall will be the least of my worries.

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Equillibrium

Jasmine took a step back when Hubby arrived here.  Jasmine and I had been together, alone, for over a month.  During that month, I rarely had a visitor.  She had lots of time with me while I got the new house set up, and when I started working, she quickly adjusted to the new routine.  However, Hubby’s arrival at the house marked a step back for her.

While Jasmine blossomed during that month alone, her behavior immediately changed in Hubby’s presence.  Her normally bouncy, bunny-like hoppity hoppity happiness was replaced with hunched shoulders, raised ears and suspicion.  She would show happiness to me, but as soon as he would enter a room, she would become subdued and wary.

I was really worried that this would be her demeanor going forward.  I was wrong.  I needed to give her time to adjust to her new reality, and as of today, she has once again found her equillibrium.  Hubby has been home with her all day while I have been at work.  While she has been ignoring him for the most part, she had to go outside this afternoon.  She did something that she hasn’t done with him since he got here–she approached him and sat calmly behind him, waiting for him to notice her.  When he did, he asked Jasmine whether she wanted to go outside.  She jumped up and he walked to the back door and opened it.  She watched him for a minute, and then ran outside to do her “business.”

When I got home, she greeted me with the bouncy joy that she showed me when I was alone with her–this time, with Hubby in the room.  I suppose Jasmine has accepted that he’s here to stay.  And with that, she’s now free to bounce around like a bunny when she’s happy.  Her joy is mine.  It’s nice that we’re all finally home.

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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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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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Bark!

Jasmine is getting much more assertive about what she wants.  With all the hullaballoo around here, I’ve been taking her up on my lap on the couch each time I take a break.  Yesterday, as I finished dinner, Jasmine ran up to me with a happy face and wagging tail.  She did her front hop/pup-squeak, and I knew she wanted to “come up.”  Well, I was eating and I wasn’t about to bring her up.

She did a lap or two around the coffee table as I finished my food and then came back.  This time she actually barked a little bark when she did her front hop.  Now, Jasmine just doesn’t bark.  I often forget that she can.  I asked her if she wanted to come up, and she did her little happy dance.  I brought her up.

Ooops.  Did I just teach Jasmine to bark?  I hope not.  I like a quiet pup.  But I also like the fact that she’s communicating what she wants.

Notice the little pup-squeak.  Oh so cute!

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Change Is Bad

Jasmine is a creature of habit.  We have routines that we have established, and she is happy and comfortable with these routines.  When those routines change, Jasmine’s behavior changes–understandably so.

Hubby has been out of town for the last five days.  While you would think that this is a good thing since Jasmine is still afraid of him, it has actually caused her a bit of anxiety.  Jasmine seems to fear the unknown.  If she doesn’t know where Hubby is, she checks to see that he is situated someplace where he can’t get her.  When she eats, she runs back into the living room to check that he’s in his recliner before beginning her meal (and at certain points throughout her meal).  Now that he’s out of town, bed time has been somewhat challenging.  She usually runs to his side of the bed, checks to see that he’s safely tucked away, and THEN she settles into her own bed.

Since he’s been gone, she has been riddled with the “where is he” anxiety at bedtime.  She crawls under the bed and hides, then comes out, checks his side of the bed and pops back under.  She has also had some unusual energy spurts in the wee hours as well.  I know it’s due to Hubby’s absence, but it has been keeping me up late at night.

The other change in routine has been due to a back problem.  I’ve been flat on my back since Monday–working from bed.  Jasmine has been my constant companion on the bed, jealously trying to nudge the computer away and claiming my lap.  She usually doesn’t get this much snuggle or lap time.  Today has been the first day that I’ve been fully up and about, so we’re back to her usual spots–doggie beds in the living room and bedroom.  The result?  She peed on the carpet in front of her doggie bed while I was in the shower.  Hm.  She also pooped in the house last night during the 3 mintues that she wasn’t with me.  I thought she was in the living room retrieving her bone.  While I was right (she brought her bone into the bedroom right after), she left a little deposit as well.

Hubby returns tonight, and I’m hoping that the return to our normal routine will help her readjust.  However, Hubby will be home for 2 weeks over the holidays, so she’ll have to get used to him being around 24 x 7!  Oh the trauma!

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DUMB-founded

When we took Jasmine to the foster home to visit with potential dog mates, the dogs were all over the place.  They jumped all over the furniture with surprising agility.  Most of the dogs, however, were “tweenies”–they had three to five more pounds on Jasmine and much greater height.  I thought to myself, “I’m so glad that Jasmine can’t do that.”  Ha!

It turns out that she CAN.  I was sitting on the couch on Monday working on my laptop.  Jasmine wanted to come up, but I didn’t pick her up.  I needed to work, and she tends to climb all over me (she’s especially good at inadvertent mouse clicks).  All of a sudden, she was up there with just a little flick of the tail.  Boop!  On the couch.  Huh?  How did she do that?  She’s NEVER done that.

On the couch.  On the white, expensive, down-filled, 8-way-hand-tied-oak-frame couch.  I guess I shouldn’t be attached to possessions, eh?

I was so dumbfounded (with the emphasis on DUMB) that instead of correcting her, I called my husband.

“Guess what Jasmine did?”

“What?”

“She jumped up on the couch all by herself!”

“What did you do?”

“Um, nothing.  I was too surprised.”

“Honey, remember…YOU’RE the boss.  She can get up on the couch, but ONLY when you invite her.”

“Oh yeah.”

A little later in the day, I checked to see if what happened was a fluke.  I patted the couch and gave her the “come up” command.  Boop!  She was suddenly next to me.

I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise when my dog acts like a dog.  But you have to understand that Jasmine has been anything but a typical dog.

So while I lament my mistake of letting her up on my coveted couch in the first place, I’m THRILLED that she’s acting like a regular dog.

Go, Jasmine!

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