Life with Jasmine, Juliet and Buttercup, Our Rescued Dachshunds

Random notes on our experience with THREE rescued miniature dachshunds

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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Jasmine and the Yellow Trail

I had a busy morning preparing a nice lunch for my Mom as a little pre-holiday treat. After the meal was on the stove and simmering, I jumped into the shower. Jasmine is my constant companion, and she usually sits in front of the shower door and waits for me–as she did this morning. Hubby came up to say good-bye before leaving to pick up my Mom. Jasmine scattered away into the bedroom and returned after he departed (normal Jasmine behavior).

I dried off, coiffed and primped, and went into the bedroom to get dressed. And then I saw it. The great Yellow Trail. All around the bed. It was like Jasmine took some paint and dripped a Jackson Pollock-like stream all around the footboard of my bed. I took a closer look under the bed and then found that she did a complete circuit around the footboard. UGH! It wasn’t as if she hadn’t gone out an hour or so earlier. It wasn’t as if we don’t do the same thing every single day (with the exception of Hubby coming up to see me–not an every day occurrence, but still in the range of “normal”). I have no idea what scared the pee out of her or if she was protesting in some way. All I know is that I’m glad I had a jumbo-sized bottle of Nature’s Miracle and lots of towels.

Bad dog. Of course, I couldn’t admonish her because I didn’t catch her in the act. And even if I had…I’ve had her squat right in front of me for no reason at all.

Someone once told me that a puppy mill rescue may never be totally housetrained. I still haven’t been able to get her to signal me when she goes out. My strategy has been to take her out regularly and consistently. Some times that just doesn’t work.

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Accidents Will Happen

Accidents will happen. That’s what hubby says.

We were driving around yesterday morning doing some garage sale hopping. We took Jasmine with us. After the 2nd stop, we were looking for our next turn when I looked at Jasmine in the back seat. There was a bright yellow spot on the fleece bottom of her doggie car seat sling. Uh oh. It was very fresh–I looked underneath the sling and there was a puddle. The fabric hadn’t even  had time to absorb the liquid.

Oy. We pulled the car over so I could sop up the mess with the paper napkins we had on hand. I was mad. She did a stealth pee right there. No warning, no whining or notice. She had just gone not two hours before. She has never soiled the car before. We went back home, deposited the sling into the washer, cleaned and deodorized the car seat (thank goodness for leather), and went back out–Jasmine stayed home.

I guess she’s not a fan of garage sales.

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Will She…Or Won’t She?

We’ve had a bit of rain lately, and when it rains, it’s difficult to say whether or not we will have an issue with Jasmine’s bathroom habits.  She hates the rain.  She hates sprinklers.  She hates wet pavement.  Well, if I had to walk barefoot in it, I would too!

She’s been relatively good except during the torrential downpours.  We’ve also been hit with unusually cold weather, so the surprise blast of arctic air in the morning is no happy circumstance for either of us (especially me in my robe and slippers).  There have been several mornings that I have called her to go out, had her come bounding down the hallway only to come to a screeching halt and do an about face when the cold air hit her.  She then “hides” in the corner and tries to be as small and unnoticeable as possible.  I have to pick her up to take her outside.

Once outside, it’s uncertain whether she WILL go.  The mornings are fairly easy, but during the day and evening…well, that’s another story.  Take tonight.  Hubby and I went out for dinner, and when we got home, I took her outside.  Of course, the new neighbor decided to come home at that very second, and you could hear the car doors open and slam closed right across the tall fence.  Jasmine was doing the circle/sniff/pace/sniff/circle/sniff pre-event ritual when her head and ears perked at the sound of the neighbor’s car door.  She then gave up the try and ran behind my legs.  I encouraged her to “do her business,” and she started the circle/sniff ritual again.  At that very second, the neighbor’s child decided to sing song “daddy daddy daddy” and made Jasmine practically jump out of her skin.

*sigh*  Inside we went.  I decided to try the front yard since the neighbors seemed to be putting something away in the back.  Of course, as soon as she was in serious sniff mode, they come back out front.  To add insult to injury, the dad had to call the kid over to look at the cute little dog.  I waved and fake-smiled and took Jasmine inside.  There would be no elimination event in the near future.

So, each day Jasmine keeps me guessing…will she…or won’t she?  More often than not, I guess right.  But sometimes Jasmine just gets performance anxiety due to uncontrollable forces (darn those leaf blowers) and I stand there in the cold, my hope flying away with each ticking moment.

And why does it always happen that when she is her most stubborn or frightened, *I* get a supreme case of “gotta go’s?”

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Ring My Bell

Earlier this month, I mentioned that I’m trying to train Jasmine to recognize the sound of a bell as her “go outside” sound.  Each time it’s time to go outside, I call to Jasmine to go outside and ring the bell.  I’m going to do this for a couple of months to equate the sound with the action.  I’m also beginning “touch this” training as well.  After she gets both, I’m then going to try to get her to touch the bell when she wants to go outside.  My husband just chuckles at me when I ring the bell.  🙂

Getting Jasmine to signal when she needs to go has been problematic.  She sometimes stares at me intently, and I have read that to mean “lemme out Mom!”  I look at her and ask her if she needs to go outside, and she jumps to attention and runs towards the back door–tail high and wagging.  Okay, I got that sign.  But at critical times (like when she had the Whipworms), she has “gone” on the slate floor in the foyer.  I’ve even been sitting on the couch not fifteen feet away when she’s done this, and it would have been easy for her to have signaled me to let her out.  The Whipworms made her go many times during the night, and several times, I did not hear her get up to go.  At very least, she did go on the easily cleaned slate floor.

She was never socialized or housetrained until she reached my home, and given that at the puppy mill she was confined to a small cage and HAD to soil her living area, I’m not surprised that there are issues with fully housetraining her.

Have you tried the bell approach?  Has it worked for you?


A Pattern Emerges

Let’s see…

  1. Go away and leave Jasmine with someone or in a kennel
  2. Come home.  Bring Jasmine home.
  3. Jasmine is happy, clingy, peppy, lovey.  “Oh thank you Mom for coming home to me…for rescuing me from those people/that kennel/Dad!”
  4. Jasmine realizes that I was/we were evil to leave her with someone else.
  5. Jasmine shows her displeasure and gets her revenge–she pees on the carpet in front of me/us.
  6. I catch her in the act, correct her, bring her outside to pee, reward her good behavior.
  7. She smirks and lets us believe that WE corrected her and the indoor soiling stops.

This has happened each time we’ve brought her home from a trip, or if I’ve been away on a trip.  I think the dog knows a LOT more than she’s letting on.  Sneaky smart.  That’s what she is.  Sneaky smart.


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Was She Mad at Me?

For the last few days, Jasmine has been peeing in the house.  I could have understood a “stealth” pee if I had neglected to take her outside in a timely fashion.  She has been squatting in full view of me at very odd times–mainly when I’ve been busy with household chores and not paying full attention to her.  However, I was sitting on the couch the other day, and she started going on the carpet about 6 feet in front of me.  I tried to stop her and admonished her, but instead of cutting her off, she started moving away, leaving a nice little trail behind her.  I quickly got her to go outside, but by then, she was bone dry.  She did this for three days in a row, but has since ceased.

I wonder if she was showing some of her unhappiness at my recent absences or if she just doesn’t understand that it’s not acceptable to go inside.  When I ask her to go outside, she happily runs outside and does her “business.”  However, she’s never provided us with any cues to her needing to go outside.  She doesn’t bark.  She only whines when she wants me up in the morning or if I’m in the shower and she wants my attention.

I’m not sure what spurred this recent round of broken house-training, but I’m hoping that she’s over whatever caused it and we can continue to have a relatively pee-free house.


Out Of The Crate, In To Her Bed

Since we returned home from the holidays, Jasmine has been reluctant to get into her crate at night.  Apparently, the people she vacationed with took the door off the crate and she could come and go as she pleased.  We were a bit reluctant to do that (okay, I was) because we weren’t sure of her housebreaking.  Well, I got a little doggie bed and placed it next to my side of the bed and she jumped right into it lickety split.  She slept through the night without getting up, and she patiently waited for me to get up in the morning without wandering.

The crate is still in the room if she wants it, but I think she likes being close to me–the crate is on the other side of the bedroom.  I do have to watch it…if my hand hangs down over the side of the bed, I sometimes am awakened by a cold, wet nose. 🙂

Jasmine also has the run of the house when I’m out.  She hasn’t had one accident since we returned, and she seems much less anxious and much more comfortable.  There is a fluffy pillow in the crate in the kitchen, but she never seemed to enjoy being there.   And it’s so wonderful having that little face greet me at the door.

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Breaking Housebreaking

Well, I thought Jasmine was housebroken.  Both on Monday and today, Jasmine pooped in the living room behind my husband’s easy chair.

Until now, Jasmine has been a rock star when it comes to house training.  When we brought her home, she had two or three accidents in the house.  But since then, we’ve been consistent on a daily basis of when she goes out–first thing in the morning, around 10:30 for a walk, around mid-afternoon and in the evening for another walk.  She has been acclimated to this schedule for 2 1/2 months.

All of a sudden on Monday, I found poop behind the chair.  Right after breakfast, I had gone into the living room to check my email.  I sat on the couch, and Jasmine roamed around a little.  She sat behind the easy chair and made a small whimpering noise.  I asked her what was up, she ran over and plopped into her doggie bed.  A few minutes later, I noticed a smell and found the poop.  I cleaned it up, but since I didn’t catch her in the act, I couldn’t try to show her it was wrong.  Today, right after breakfast again, she ran out in the living room for less than five minutes (she has a wild dog/run around the house thing going on after breakfast).  She came back in the kitchen and went into her crate while I sat and read the newspaper.  I went down the hall to the office to work, and a few minutes later, I went towards the kitchen to get a beverage.  As I was passing the living room, I smelled a smell…yes, she had pooped in the exact same spot.

I cleaned it up again, and this time, instead of just using the Nature’s Miracle stuff, I also steam cleaned the carpet with our handy dandy handheld machine.  But again, since I didn’t catch her in the act, I couldn’t correct her.

What puzzles me is the change in her routine.  Why is she doing this now?  The only thing that has changed this week is that we’re doing more training.  She’s getting slightly more food than before (I cut down on her kibble to compensate for the training treats).  Other than that, our schedule has remained the same.

We’re going to try taking her out right after her breakfast.  We continue to praise her and use the “do your business” phrase to signal her going, but I’m not sure what else to do to stop this before it becomes a habit.  She has NEVER pooped in the house before; her prior accidents were just wetting the carpet.


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I’m not sure how to tell if Jasmine is truly housebroken, but I’m happy to find that she’s in the groove right now. Every morning, I take her out and she “does her business.” She also goes reliably during our morning and evening walks, and I’ve been trying to “imprint” her go command every time she does. If she hasn’t gone during the walk, when return, I take her to the lawn and give her her go command. She has reliably done so for the past few days. I also repeat the command over and over as she’s going and then praise her when she’s done (as the books I’ve been reading have instructed).

I had a meeting to attend today, and I was away from the house for four hours. No accidents, but a little mischief (she knocked down a baby gate in the kitchen). She likes to move her water and food bowls around while I’m gone. She hasn’t learned to play with toys, but she loves messing with those bowls! I’m giving her the run of the kitchen while I’m gone. However, I will be gone all day on Friday. Tom is going to come home during lunch to let her out, and I’m hoping that this test will tell us if she’s really housebroken. Regardless, we’ll continue to look for her signs to ensure her ongoing reliability. Go, Jasmine, Go! Or at least, when we tell you to! 🙂

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