Life with Jasmine, Juliet and Buttercup, Our Rescued Dachshunds

Random notes on our experience with THREE rescued miniature dachshunds

Post-Vacation Bliss

We arrived home this morning and promptly picked Jasmine up from our friends’ home.  We rang the bell, and the resident pooch greeted us at the door.  Jasmine was nowhere to be seen–that is, until she appeared at the end of the hall.  I called her name.  What did she do?  She ran away!

I walked down the hall to the kitchen/family room and Jasmine once again appeared.  I called her name and she nervously came over.  She squatted down when I tried to pet her.  I think she was glad to see me, but so very confused.   I sat on the floor, and she finally climbed on my lap and licked my face.  And when I put her in the car on her travel pillow, she sank in and just sighed.  She snuggled in and closed her eyes.  She was on her way HOME.

Apparently, Jasmine had asserted herself a bit when she was visiting and upset the resident cats.   Jasmine doesn’t seem to pay any attention to cats, but she likes cat beds as well as the resident dog’s bed.  She kind of usurped her host animals’ comfy spots and upset the cats to the tune of aromatic protests around the house.   Unfortunately, the jealousy that the cats have shown (the other dog has been fine) has precluded Jasmine from becoming an overnight guest in the future.  I understand–keeping another person’s dog is a lot of work, and if  it upsets your animals and your household to the tune of significant “payback”…well, it’s always okay to say no.  So, we’ll have to find another place for Jasmine to stay when we next go away.

Regardless, I’m so grateful for our friends’ generosity.  Having her in a safe, loving environment made it so much easier for me to enjoy our vacation.  I’m happy, relaxed and oh so rejuvenated.  And Jasmine, she’s a bit better socialized and less skittish.  We all did well (except for that darn cat).

Jasmine is laying at my feet on her poofy pink pillow, digesting a nice meal.  Her little snores are music to my ears.  It’s so good to be home.

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No Dogs on the Bed

My husband was nursing a badly pulled muscle this weekend, so we generally spent the whole weekend trying to keep him off his feet.  He was propped up on the bed, and we just hung out and relaxed (what a change from the chaos of the holidays!).  That meant that Jasmine spent a lot of time in the bedroom–something she never does except to sleep in her crate.  She was confused at first.  “Hey, why aren’t we watching the big TV?  Where’s my fluffy pillow?”  However, Jasmine made the proper adjustments with little stress.  She quickly took possession of my hand-crocheted blanket (my fault, I left it on the floor) and settled in.  However, she kept jumping up and sticking her nose over the edge of the bed to see what we were doing.  So I did what I told myself I wouldn’t do…I let her on the bed.

Well, she was in doggie heaven.  I put her blanket down on the bedspread, and she plopped into it.  Not only did she have our soft, cushy bed to lay on, she had both my husband and I giving her scratches and pets.  Ahhhhh…what a life.  When I got up to leave, she wanted to follow, so I put her back on the floor.  However, from then on, she clearly indicated when she wanted to “come up.”  And when it was really time for bed, she was a bit confused.  “Wait…why do I have to get into my crate when there’s a big, comfy bed?”

I think we’re going back to the No Dogs on the Bed rule.  It would be way too easy for us to spoil her for good! Besides that, she’s a bed hog.   😀

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Morning Dog

I think Jasmine is a morning dog.

She seems happiest in the morning.  Maybe its because she’s peppy and refreshed.  Maybe it’s in anticipation of “going to work.”

I work out of my home office, and after breakfast, we go there.  She has a pink puffy pillow, toys and bones there.  After we have breakfast, I open the kitchen door, and tell her it’s time to go to work.  She thunders down the hallway to the office, oh so happy.  She jumps onto her pillow with aplomb.  She sometimes plays with her rope toy; other times, she just plops down, sighs, and curls up in a ball.

Mornings are special.  Having a happy doggy face to greet you every morning is really a joy.

Good doggie.

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Trusting Me to Do What’s Needed

In the last two months, Jasmine has been to the vet for:

  • Initial check up and shots
  • Abscess in her paw, and follow-up visit
  • Abscess in another paw (turned out to be a bee sting)
  • Ear infection, and follow-up visit

I’ve had to do the following:

  • Give liquid antibiotics (she resisted this)
  • Give antibiotic pills (stuffed into cheese, this was easy)
  • Soak and clean her abscess
  • Wrap her paw with a warm compress (hard to have her keep on)
  • Flush her ears with an anti-fungal every two to three days (um, not easy to say the least)
  • Put COLD drops in her ears twice a day (not easy either…who likes cold drops in their ears?)

What amazes me is that Jasmine allows me to do what needs to be done (okay, sometimes there’s a struggle, but we’re past that). With a trusting soul and a few shivers and shakes, she gets through each procedure. She then allows me to pet her…all is forgiven. The trust she has for me…well, I’m really amazed. I know she doesn’t like the procedures, but she continues to submit to them and still like me afterwards. Good doggie.

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Dog-Friendly Places, Part 2.

Given our search to find places to take our dog, what have we found? Here are a few places we like.

1. Bill’s Cafe, San Jose (on Willow near Lincoln). Lovely outdoor patio with about a dozen tables. Outrageously good Bread Pudding French Toast. Water bowls for the pups. They’ll also give you some cheese if you forgot your doggie treats. VERY busy on the weekends.

2. Willow Glen Frozen Yogurt, San Jose (corner of Willow & Lincoln). While their name says frozen yogurt, they are best known for an outrageously good French Silk Custard. Nice seating outside. Short on parking, though. I asked the counter guy what he serves dogs, and he gave me a little sample cup of French Silk Custard for Jasmine. This was Jasmine’s first taste of ice cream, and she went nuts for it. I, too, am nuts for the French Silk Custard. However, they have this Wow Cow stuff for those on diets. Lactose-free and sugar free. I don’t know what it’s made of, but it’s a great treat if you’re on a low-carb diet.

3. Cup N Saucer, San Jose (corner of Meridian and Blossom Hill in the Princeton Plaza shopping center). Outdoor dining with heated lanterns during the cold season. While not particularly “dog friendly,” they do allow dogs on the patio. Of course, they also look away from smokers on their patio. Their breakfasts are good. Good omelets, awesome potatoes, great scrambles (my favorite is the Veggie Pesto). Prices are a bit steep.

4. Lenny’s Deli, Carmel (Carmel Plaza, Lower Level). I hear that they even have a doggie lunch menu. Outdoor patio dining. VERY yummy, but a bit pricey.

5. Carmel, California. Carmel is a very pet-friendly town. Their tourist map even shows establishments that allow pets, and there’s a dedicated web page with those listings as well. Water bowls are found all around town, and dogs are welcome in most stores. More importantly, dogs ARE welcome on their beaches. We were in Half Moon Bay later in the week, and we found out that the State beaches in the area did not allow dogs–even on leashes. Bah. Well, I guess irresponsible dog owners who don’t pick up after their animals have spoiled it for all of us.

6. San Jose Dog Parks. San Jose has dog parks! Yay! I like a town that likes dogs. I’m glad I live here! I was on the road the other day, and I drove by the Los Gatos Creek Park. They have a dedicated dog park there. When I arrived, I found out that they have a $6 day use/parking fee. Ridiculous. I think I’ll stick to San Jose.

These are only a few of the places that we’ve been to thus far. I’ll continue to list new places as I find them.

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Training Me

We attended our first doggie obedience school class at A Dog’s Life on Saturday. A friend of mine, Cecilia, is the Director of Training there and is the instructor of the class. The class is called “Canine Middle School”–a beginner’s class for adult dogs.

The first class didn’t include Jasmine. We talked about training theory, how a dog’s brain works, issues and challenges for each of us, etc. It was actually quite useful information, rather than just jumping into “sit…good doggie” lessons.

We have some homework to do. The first step is to get the dog’s attention. We give her her cue (call her name). When she responds (turns her head, looks at me), we “mark” the behavior. Many people use a “clicker” to mark, but I like Cecilia’s approach of using a word instead; you always have your voice with you, but don’t always have a clicker. We then reward (treat, praise, etc.) and release the dog from the behavior. Seems easy enough, eh? In theory, yes. But I’ve read that it can take 1000 impressions for a dog to understand a command. In the last few days, she’s had quite a few. But, she only looks when SHE feels like it. 🙂

One of the things we’re supposed to do as well is to test the value of treats. Put two different treats, one in each hand, in front of the dog and let her show you which one she prefers. What did I learn? She prefers my right hand. And cheese. Other than that, food is food. Except for kibble. She doesn’t like plain kibble.

Oh, the inner princess in her is coming out!! Gotta love it!

What did I learn in class? Training the dog is all about training US. We need to be consistent. She picks up cues from our behavior and acts accordingly. Makes sense.

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We All Scream for Ice Cream!

We were out running errands yesterday, and we decided to take Jasmine along to help socialize her to new situations. After we were finished with our errands, we decided to get some treats at the local frozen custard/ice cream shop.

When I was waiting for my order (Jasmine was outside with Tom), I asked the counter person if they had anything that was safe for dogs. He said that their frozen custard was what he usually gave to dogs–with no issues or complaints. He gave me a small portion in a cup, and I went outside to sit and eat my treat and give Jasmine her first taste of frozen delight.

It was hot yesterday–over 90 degrees. Jasmine and I sat in the shade, and I placed her cup in front of her. She sniffed the custard a little, then began lapping it. And lapping it. Boy did she like it!

Tom came out with his treat and I handed him Jasmine’s custard cup. She ran right over to him and began lapping up the treat. Now, she usually doesn’t like to go near him, but for frozen custard, well, she even let him pet her! Whooooo hooooooo!

I decided to look for the Frosty Paws doggie ice cream in the local PetCo, but they don’t carry it anymore. After looking at the ingredient list online, I decided that I’d rather make something for her instead. After reading a bunch of recipes online for doggie ice cream, this is what I’ve made for her:

Margaret’s Doggie FroYo

32 ounces plain yogurt (with active cultures)
1 small jar baby bananas
1 small jar baby applesauce
3 tablespoons honey

Whisk everything together and spoon into serving cups. I made 1 ounce portions and placed them into 2-ounce portion cups (available from food service supply places like Smart and Final) with lids. Freeze. When serving, zap for a few seconds in the microwave to soften.

Jasmine licked the unfrozen mix off my finger, so I know she’ll like it even more when frozen.

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