Life with Jasmine, Juliet and Buttercup, Our Rescued Dachshunds

Random notes on our experience with THREE rescued miniature dachshunds

Welcome Princess Buttercup!

I know it was bound to happen. After almost six months without Jasmine, I felt strong enough to welcome a new bundle of fur and fun into our lives. And then came Princess Buttercup!

Buttercup

My husband had a discussion with our brother-in-law a few weeks ago regarding looking for a new dog. This brother-in-law was the one who introduced us to the rescue organization that led us to Juliet. Well, a few days later, we got a text and a ton of pictures of this sweet, sassy little redhead!

Princess Buttercup is an owner surrender. We gave her a new name…yes, from The Princess Bride…to give her a fresh start. The owner got divorced, and her new living situation did not allow her to keep Buttercup. The rescue took her into a foster home and contacted our brother-in-law about her. We asked a bunch of questions, and then we made plans to meet her and take her home.

She’s WONDERFUL! We’ve been used to rehabilitating unsocialized puppy mill breeders. Buttercup has been loved since she was a puppy. It shows. She’s happy, spunky, sweet and friendly. She is house trained (YAY!!!), loves to play and go for walks. In other words, she’s a DREAM!

Buttercup

The first couple of nights were hard. She’s been shuffled around a bit from home to home, and it took her a few days to settle into a routine with us. She also had never been crate trained, and is an ACROBAT. She loves to surf the tops of our couches.

However, except for the disastrous “climb under the fence and run around the neighbor’s yard” incident, she’s been an angel. We love her quirky personality (she likes to ‘talk’ to us), her playfulness, and her sweet demeanor.

Juliet, however, isn’t so happy with this new addition. She has been territorial and has been trying to claim Alpha status. We’ll see. At first, Buttercup would shrug it off. But she’s now barking back!

The first couple of days with Princess Buttercup were hard on me too. I really really missed Jasmine. I wanted Jasmine back. I wanted the same close bond as I had with Jasmine. I was heartbroken all over again.

But time and love are great healers. Buttercup has been with us a for a couple of weeks, and she’s well into our routine. She has infused new love into this house, and I am so grateful. I’m sure Jasmine is too.

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3870 Days

Dear Jasmine,

3,870. That’s how many days you were with us.

59 days. That’s how many days, so far, that you’ve been gone. Today marks two months since you left this earth.

I don’t really know if you understood how much you meant to me, but I think you did. Every day, you brought me joy just looking at me, your sweet face and that piercing blue eye watching my every move. Or when you hopped for joy in anticipation of a treat. Or when you wagged your tail and gave me an impatient bark when you were awaiting your dinner. Or when you lay asleep on the couch, covered by your favorite blanket.

I find myself looking for you every day. I listen for your footsteps. I wish you were there when it was time for ‘good girl’ treats. I wish I could scratch you behind your ears as you slept and dreamt on the couch. I wish I could pull up the soft blanket around you so you’d be warm and comfortable.

When we first got you, I was so unsure of whether you’d be the right dog for me. But in just a short time, you won me over. Completely. I was your Mom, and you were my child. I know that sounds silly. People who never have had this kind of bond with a dog will never understand this. But you trusted me and loved me with no reservation, and I loved you with all my heart. You were mine, and I was yours.

I loved having you by my side every day. Your quirky personality made my day a delight. Coming home to your excited face was so wonderful. And rescuing you from the horrors of your past and making you whole and happy…it was one of the greatest things I’ve ever done.

I hope you’re in a better place. I don’t believe in heaven or hell, but I believe that the love I have for you, and the love you have for me, lives on. Your soul was beautiful, and it is now a part of mine. And that gift…that is worth all the heartache I have felt in these past 59 days, and all the heartache to come.

Run free, my little love.

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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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Belfast Wienerfest

This weekend, we attended the 10th annual Belfast Wienerfest in Belfast, Maine. When we vacationed in the area last year, we happened upon this little-known event an had a ball! Wienerfest is a celebration of all things Dachshund. Doxies of all shapes, sizes and colors congregate, and it becomes one big bark-fest! The event includes a parade, costume contest, wiener dog races and vendors! Last year, we had ‘store bought’ costumes (the girls were the ultimate New England sports fans). This year, I went all out and made them costumes! While the weather wasn’t the best, it still was a fabulous event! There was a professional photographer on hand to memorialize the girls in their fabulous Geisha Girl costumes!

Jasmine Juliet Belfast Wienerfest Maine

Oh my lovely Geisha Girls – My favorite part is the hair

Unfortunately, the girls did NOT win the costume contest, although they did get into the finals (top 5 out of 36). The local favorite won (drat). It was fixed!!! 🙂 We still had a blast.

The girls had doggie ice cream from the Loyal Biscuit Company. It was sweet potato ice cream with meat gravy and liver ‘sprinkles.’ As you an see, they gobbled it up!

Jasmine Juliet ice cream Belfast Wienerfest Maine

Nom Nom Nom

Jasmine Juliet doggie ice cream Belfast Wienerfest Maine

Oh, that’s SO good!

Both dogs enjoyed the day, although Juliet was a bit more outgoing while Jasmine was content to view the festivities from the comfort and security of their ever-popular doggie stroller.

Juliet Belfast Wienerfest Belfast Wienerfest Maine

Juliet enjoys Wienerfest

Do not feel bad for Jasmine. She’s definitely enjoying the mini-vacay!

Jasmine Belfast Maine

Jasmine Loves Maine

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IVDD Strikes Again

If you have ever had a dachshund, you know that one of the most dreaded (and common) health issue with the breed is IVDD–Intervertebral Disc Disorder. Basically, it’s a spinal cord injury due to a herniated or ruptured disc in the spine. Jasmine had this before we moved from California to New Hampshire and fully recovered with crate rest.

Late last week, Jasmine came out of the sleep crate a different dog. Instead of her bouncy, happy self, she was timid and off. She barely wagged her tail. She didn’t play. She was like this all day, and I was worried. However, her appetite was good and she wasn’t yelping in pain.

When she woke up the next morning with the same disposition, I immediately made an appointment with the vet and took her in. He gave her a thorough exam, checked her bloodwork, and then prescribed some pain medication to see if it would help her disposition. It did. Within a few hours, she was perkier. The next morning, she was back to her old self.

Given these signs (including a slight tenderness in her back during the exam), he’s thinking that she injured her back again (or it’s flaring up). She’s on strict crate rest for at least two weeks; the Dodger’s List group recommends eight full weeks of crate rest. Oh, she’s not going to be happy. But I need to make sure that my pup is okay.

If you haven’t done crate rest with a dog before…well, it’s not fun. It means that the only time she should be out of the crate is to go potty. No running, no jumping, no playing. She eats in the crate. It’s intended to restrict her movements so she can get the rest her back needs. Given that she’s feeling better now, keeping her contained is not going to be easy OR pleasant. But it’s what we need to do to help her heal.

 

Jasmine Dachshund

Hello there

Jasmine Dachshund
Find Jasmine (no, it’s not the black spot–that’s a blanket)

 

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Sunshine Makes Me Happy

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy…

Jasmine

ZZZZZ

Sunshine almost always makes me high…

Jasmine

ZZZZZZ

Happy Sunday everyone!

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Jasmine’s Six-Year Anniversary

Six years. I cannot believe that on Monday, Jasmine will have been with us for six years.

Looking back on what we’ve gone through–and how far we’ve come–I can happily say that we have a healthy, spunky, fun-loving, waggy-tailed dog. She greets each morning with romps and jumps for joy. She can’t wait for the major activities of the day, either “go to work” or “studio time.” To “go for rides,” even after almost two months on the road, is still an exciting and joyous pleasure.

What we have here, ladies and gents, is just a happy dog. Not a puppy mill breeder. Not damaged goods. Yes, she’s still shy in new circumstances and with new people. But she’ll get over that fear and take a treat from your hand. She no longer resembles that mess of quivers and shakes that we brought home from her foster home. Her shiny coat, her expressive face, her begging for yet another treat, her barking at Tom to go “get me” when I’m pulling into the garage…she’s just a goofy pup.

That’s what I wanted for her, what I wanted to give her. And looking down at her as she snoozes away, I know that I have given her all the love she deserves–and more.

Happy Anniversary Jasmine. You’ve given us so much more that we could have ever imagined, and we thank the stars that you came into our lives.

Jasmine

What a beauty!

Jasmine

Road dog!

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Cross-Country Road Trip

Just a quick post…

We are on a travel odyssey, meandering across the country. Jasmine and Juliet are with us, and are (near) perfect travel companions.

Dog-friendly is a relative term. The La Quinta and Drury Inns chains are 100% dog friendly. Others charge you am arm and a leg for your dog(s).

Read about our travels at the Tom and Mahgrit – Lost in America blog!

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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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