Life with Jasmine, Juliet and Buttercup, Our Rescued Dachshunds

Random notes on our experience with THREE rescued miniature dachshunds

Food and Water Don’t Mix (Now)

We solved Jasmine’s food refusal problem just a day or two after it started. We went and got some samples of different dog foods at the local store and decided to try them out until we found something new that got Jasmine out of her food slump. It turns out that Jasmine wasn’t really tired of her dog food. She was tired of having dog food soup.

When we first got Jasmine, she generally didn’t drink water. So we had the bright idea to mix water into her meals and mix a little wet dog food into the water to encourage her to drink. It worked. She lapped up her “meat water” and then chomped down on her dry (okay, moist) kibble every day. And then, one day, she didn’t want her food made this way anymore. I took out the water, just mixed the dry and canned food together and she’s been chowing down ever since. AND she’s been drinking water like a normal dog.

So she’s a foodie hound again, and we’re going to continue to try new flavors of food to keep her engaged (and to ensure that she has a varied nutritional profile). It’s great that the local store had a bunch of samples for us to try. It really helped us make some smart choices and we now know that she likes different flavor combos and the changes will not cause any stomach problems. Win win!

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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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More Changes On The Way

I’m glad that Jasmine is taking change well because more changes are on the way.  I (unexpectedly) landed a job in New Hampshire–much sooner than I ever anticipated–and I’ll be out of the house at my job in the very near future.

This is a total departure from what Jasmine knows.  For the last two years, I  have been working from home.  She has been with me every day except when hubby and I have been on trips.  She has been my constant companion, and I know that she is going to have to adjust to a new schedule and routine.  However, I’ve been fairly busy over the last few weeks, and she has been alone in the house for four to six hours at a time with no adverse effects.  When I return home, I immediately take her outside.  She then gets lots of pets and attention and a bone for good behavior.  She loves the phrase, “Have you been a good girl?” because she knows it will be followed by, “Would you like a BONE?”  Ah, the exuberant jumps make me laugh from the inside out…I feel her joy.

I leave Jasmine in the kitchen when I’m out.  All the exits from the kitchen can be closed by louvered doors.  However, they are only secured using magnetic catches.  After a few times of being left in the kitchen, Jasmine figured out that she could push the doors open.  I marveled at her problem solving skills and could just hear the gears in her brain working as she puzzles through the “how do I get to the comfy carpet in the family room” problem.  I solved the issue by using hair elastic bands to secure the doors together.  No more escape, little dog.

I usually exit the house through the basement, and Jasmine HATES it when I go down the stairs.  She sits in front of the basement door crying…I can hear her whine after I (quickly) close the door and walk down the stairs.  She does the same thing as she anticipates my return.  The sound of the garage door opening makes her jump up with anticipation and wait by the basement door for me to emerge (according to hubby).  I hear her crying as I walk up the stairs, and I call my standard call, “Is there a pup-pup in the house?”  She jumps with glee when the door opens, and I am welcomed back with no ill feelings.

That and a hug and a kiss from hubby make my day. Unfortunately, hubby is still in the other house in California and won’t be out here for weeks.  Without Jasmine, I’d be a total wreck (compared to only the lonely, partial wreck that I am) missing hubby.  Thank goodness for little dogs.

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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.


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.


Dog Underfoot

Packing.  It’s one of the most unpleasant experiences.  Boxing up all the stuff you’ve accumulated…well, MOST of the stuff you’ve accumulated (that’s what the giant dumpster in the driveway is for) is an exhausting task.  Having a tiny dog shadowing you makes it all the more difficult.

Jasmine is my shadow.  Wherever I go, she wants to be.  As I’m bending, wrapping and boxing, it’s been increasingly difficult to avoid backing into her or stepping on her.  Jasmine is a “stealth dog”–she just doesn’t make any noise (except for the little yelp when I’ve mistakenly stepped on her paw).  I’ve been ultra careful about keeping her at bay and not tripping over her, but it’s been tough.  I know she just wants to be near me. but I wish she could go into t he other room and just relax.  It’s not in the cards, so I keep up the chatter and give her lots of pets.

The constant movement has been tough on her.  Instead of settling into her comfy pillow while I work on the computer, I’ve been very busy for the last two weeks.  Jasmine has been in constant movement as well.  I feel bad that she can’t laze around like she’s accustomed to…oh my poor (spoiled) pooch.  When I take a break, I usually bring her up on my lap.  She immediately curls up and takes a dog nap.  I’m usually back up and working about 20 minutes later, and she reluctantly follows.  At night, she drops off into a deep (snoring) sleep as soon as she hits the bed.

In a few more weeks, things will change again when all these boxes and furniture are gone.  What will she hide behind then?

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Two Weeks with Dad

Hubby has been home for the last two weeks.  His company had a holiday shut-down, and we’ve been using the time to remodel the house and begin the packing process.  As I wrote earlier, it’s been a stressful time for all of us.  However, the chaos has actually helped Jasmine with her socialization.

Even in the chaos, we’ve fallen into a new routine.  We’re sleeping in a bit–until 7:30 or 8:00 every morning.  Jasmine tends to wake up between 6:30 and 7:00.  When she does, she jumps up on the side of the bed to signal that she wants to come up and snuggle.  I pick her up, plop her down between hubby and I, and promptly fall back to sleep.

When Hubby is working, he’s usually out of the house by 6:15.  Jasmine generally runs under the bed while he’s getting dressed and doesn’t come out until he’s gone.  Now, she comes up and he’s around.  The first week or so, she just sniffed the air around him and snuggled as close to me as doggily possible.  Now, at around two weeks of this routine, she is climbing on top of him and sniffing his face before settling in.  She never got close to his face before, so I’m heartened to see her being a little more bold and daring.

We’ve also had a number of people coming to the house over the last few weeks.  For Christmas, my Mom and a good friend were around for a yummy dinner.  We’ve been giving away lots of stuff, so people have been in and out picking up their new treasures.  We’ve had a guy from the library picking up our donated books almost every day (what a nice guy)–the library sells donated and discarded books as a fund raiser.  We’ve had the realtor come by to help assess the house and the huge amount of work ahead of us.  We have had more people through the house in the last two weeks than we have in the last 12 months, and Jasmine is better for it.  She’s not friendly–she doesn’t greet new people–but she also doesn’t growl when someone new comes in.  She won’t readily approach a visitor, but she has started to cautiously come close to sniff a new person.  She tends to cower behind my legs, but she does stay with me if someone is here rather than go and hide somewhere.

Two weeks of change, chaos and socialization has been really good for our girl.  When Hubby goes back to work, though, I have a feeling that she might revert back to “scary Dad” mode.  Cha cha cha.

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A Very New Year

It’s a new year.  A very new year.

This year, we’re moving and changing our lives.  I wonder how Jasmine will react to all these changes.  Right now, we’re in the beginning stages of packing and renovating our home.  For the last two weeks, our house–and our routine–has been in complete disarray.  Jasmine, the little trooper that she is, has been with me at every step.

As usual, she follows me everywhere.  These days, “everywhere” means hours of moving from one room to the next while I’m sorting through stuff, tossing things in the trash, making and packing boxes, demolishing a bathroom floor (and tiling and grouting a new floor) and much more.  I’m moving around much more than she’s used to.  Which means she’s getting much more indoor exercise than she is used to.  It’s a good thing since it’s the rainy season, and we don’t get out on walks much.

She watches me with curiosity and a bit of nervousness.  She obviously doesn’t understand what’s going on and why things are different.  As I stated in my last post, I think she can sense my stress as well.  I love having her close to me and I reach out for some pet therapy when I’m feeling blue (which included today, when the back window of my convertible ripped out right before a rain storm) or when she’s looking a bit in need of a good scratching or lap session.  Hubby and I have been spending evenings vegging in the living room.  I realized that she needs more attention, so I’m bringing her up on the couch as I veg for some much needed lap time while I veg.

The next few months are going to be hard, and I’m hoping that Jasmine actually benefits from it.  It might make her a bit more resilient and adaptable.  I hope.  Regardless, she’s with us and she’s loved.

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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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