Life with Jasmine and Juliet, Our Rescued Dachshunds

Random notes on our experience with our two rescued miniature dachshunds

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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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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A Second Dachshund?

I have been giving a lot of thought to getting a second rescued dachshund after we move to the new house.  Here’s what I’ve been thinking.

Pros

  • A properly socialized dog could help socialize Jasmine.  I’d love her to learn how to greet other dogs and not be so afraid when one approaches.
  • Jasmine would have a playmate and a companion.  Jasmine plays, but not very often (maybe once a day).  Another dog would engage her to play more often.  I saw her play with puppies, and it was so gratifying to see her romp around with them.  I don’t see that in her very often, and I worry that she isn’t having as full of a life as I can give her.
  • Hubby would have a dog that would be a companion to him.  Okay, there’s no guarantee that the second dog would like my husband any more than Jasmine does.  However, I’m hoping to adopt a dog that has lost its loving home rather than a dog that has never been socialized or has no known background (stray).  It will give my husband the chance to enjoy a sweet, snuggly dog in his lap that’s not scared of him.  And maybe–just maybe–that will help Jasmine get over her fear of him as well.
  • Another dog is just more to love.  Two little faces looking up at me…oh, heaven!

Cons

  • Two dogs = 2x the expense.  Jasmine’s expenses have been high.  A lot of that stems from the fact that she is a rescue.  We expected that her medical bills would be higher than the average dog.  A second dog would double that expense, and we’ll have very different economics after we move (hubby is retiring).  Can we afford the second dog?
  • 2 dogs = 2x the work.  Baths.  Poop patrol.  Flea and tick treatments.  Nails.  Boarding.  Brushing.  Food.  Play.  Noise.  Dirt.  Doggie beds.  Training.  Treats.  Walks (well, okay, that doesn’t count).  Doggies require time and attention, and two dogs…well…
  • I don’t want to take away attention from Jasmine.  It may sound silly, but I don’t want to make Jasmine feel that she’s not the heart of my heart.  I don’t want the second dog to detract from the relationship she has with me.
  • We may not get a mellow, quiet dog like Jasmine.  We like Jasmine because she’s so mellow–and somewhat UN-Dachshund-like.  She doesn’t bark.  While she’s stubborn, she follows commands well.  She doesn’t dig or run after “prey.”  She doesn’t chew anything we haven’t given her to chew.

We have a lot of time to think about it, so I’m not really going to worry about “having” to make a decision soon.  But this has been on my mind…

Multiple dachshund owners, I’d love to hear your experiences of having more than one of these lovable creatures.  Or are you too tired to type?  😉

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Tummy Problems Continue

Just when I thought things were getting better…

Jasmine was recovering from her tummy problems, or so I thought.  But I was wrong.  Yesterday, when I was on the phone, Jasmine pooped in the house.  Luckily, it was on the slate floor in the front entryway because she was obviously having stomach problems again.  I cleaned everything up, disinfected and used some enzyme cleaner to neutralize the odor.  I thought it was a one-time occurrance.  I was wrong.

Last night, I took her out before bedtime–as usual.  Around 1:30 a.m., I heard Jasmine trotting down the hallway to our bedroom.  She has never climbed out of bed at night, so I was suspicious.  So I got out of bed to check.  Sure enough, she had pooped again in the entryway.  This time, the results were worse.  I cleaned everything up and made sure that Jasmine was settled in for the night.

She’s been on a mix of the new and old food for over a week now, and I would have thought that her stomach would have begun to settle.  However, there’s a chance that something else is going on.  It’s off to the vet today to both have her checked out and to get her shots.

Update: We went to the vet today and got some bloodwork done, a sample turned in and some medication to prevent inflamation and infection.  We’ll know more tomorrow, but the vet suspects that Jasmine is having issues with the food change.  She’s now on a bland diet (rice and low-fat cottage cheese) until she gets back to normal.  However, Jasmine’s stressing and straining to go has become worse, and she’s now bleeding a bit when she goes.  Poor baby!  I’m so worried, but the vet doesn’t seem to think it’s serious.  Keep your fingers crossed.  I feel so bad for Jasmine!

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Shedding Dog

Jasmine’s coat is smooth, but she has a bit longer hair/fur/coat than other smooths.  I thought, given her short coat, shedding and dog hair would be at a minimum–that’s one of the benefits of having a dog with this kind of coat.  Nope.  Jasmine is shedding her “winter” coat with a vengance!

Every morning, as my oatmeal is cooking in the microwave, I sit on the floor and brush her.  She loves it–it’s another opportunity to have her body rubbed and scratched, and she’s undoubtedly a “scratchie junkie.”

It’s nice that she likes the brushing.  It’s one of the first activities that she enjoyed, and it led to her being comfortable in my lap.  The last month, however, has yielded a sprinkling of dog hair throughout the house.  It’s amazing how much hair this dog has to LOSE.  After every brushing, I have a large (okay, large for a 10-pound dog) pile of hair sprinkled on the kitchen floor.  I even had to replace the Dust Buster…it couldn’t keep up, and I had to get the super 15.4 volt version. 🙂

When I brought her home from the kennel on Monday, she had five days of shedding build-up to get rid of.   After 10 minutes the hair finally stopped coming off, and I had an alarmingly large pile on the floor.  If Jasmine was human, it would be Rogaine time!!  All she knew was that she got an extra-long brushing session, and she was very happy on many fronts.  As was I.

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Back Seat Rider

Jasmine continues to love going for rides in the car, and she’s now taken to standing on her hind legs, resting her front paws on the arm rest and putting her nose out of the back seat window.  She’s just tall enough to peek out of the window and look around, and it’s SO cute to see her like that.  I can imagine that other drivers see that little face and just have to smile.

While she loves the back seat, Jasmine has been also trying to climb into the front.  We just got back from another trip to the East coast, and Jasmine has been particularly clingy today.  It’s understandable–she doesn’t like the kennel, and I have a feeling that she doesn’t sleep much there (she spent all day yesterday in a sleepy stupor).  She was trying, dangerously, to cross the chasm between the back and front seats.  Her nose can just touch the center console.  I took her with me to run an errand, and after the errand, I decided to move her pillow into the front passenger seat so she could reach me.

I secured her adjustable leash with the seatbelt so she wouldn’t go far and put her on her fluffy pillow.  We headed for home.  Instead of settling down, she tried to climb over the center console and into my lap.  Now, I’ve seen these crazy drivers with dogs in their laps, noses hanging out of the driver’s side window.  I will not do that–it’s so dangerous for both the dog and driver.  It wasn’t safe to have her roaming around, so I pulled over into a parking lot and put her back in the back seat.  She wasn’t pleased, but I’d rather have her safe than causing an accident.

So Jasmine is a forever a back-seat rider.  And now that summer is here, she’ll get to be a back seat rider in my convertible, wind whipping her ears around.  🙂

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Rant: Dog Owners, Please Be Responsible

I walk Jasmine every day, and more often than not, I run across irresponsible dog owners.  Let’s see…

  • There’s the giant piles of dog poop on someone’s lawn or on the sidewalk, which means the owners didn’t think it was necessary to pick up after their dogs or the dogs were running free in the neighborhood.
  • There’s the dog owner that walks the dog off leash, making this a hazard not only for other people but for the dog (squirrel + off-leash walking in a busy neighborhood + SUV = squished dog).
  • There are the dog owners who believe that the “no dogs allowed” sign at the local schools don’t apply to them.  They’re probably the same dog owners who caused the signs to be placed there in the first place (no, I never see them with poop bags).
  • There are the dogs that have come running full boar at Jasmine because their owners don’t think it’s necessary to control–or even collar–them when they are in their unfenced, open front yards.  The owners come running after their dogs and then make some lame excuse like, “oh he’s just a puppy and he wants to play.”  Am I supposed to read his puppy mind and think that he doesn’t mean harm to me or my dog?  And what if MY dog isn’t up to having a 100 pound dog pounce on her?  Hm?  And is it okay to let your dog go running across the street at his whim?  What if a car was driving down the street?

It’s this last scenario that has caused me to rant today.  Some huge lug of a golden retriever came barreling across the street and jumped on Jasmine.  The owner’s kids were in the yard, saw what was happening and did nothing except stand there, mouths hanging open.  I screamed at them to come get their dog, and they did nothing.  After screaming at them again while trying to fend off the somewhat harmless yet way too enthusiastic dog, the owner came running over and said, “sorry, he’s just a puppy.”  I calmly (yes, calmly) stated that regardless, they needed to have the dog leashed while out, it was dangerous to have the dog loose, and their dog scared the crap out of mine.  Poor Jasmine.  She was really freaked out.

The dog had NO collar or tags.  The owner obviously had NO verbal control over the dog.  So, if the dog ran away, well, too bad…he’s just a puppy, right?  For crying out loud, people, you have big brains and reasoning.  Use them.  I guess if your kid went running after something across the street without looking you’d have no problem with that too?  And if the dog got run over because you didn’t have the sense to keep them safe, would that be okay?  No, I didn’t think so.

Okay, rant off.  Jasmine is okay–this time.

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Home is Where the Heart Is

Jasmine loves home. Home is her domain, her safe place. When we go on walkies, she is happy to come home and she bounds into the house when we return. Her fluffy pillows, her numerous ropey toys, and her comfy dog beds are here. I spend much of my day with her here. When we go outside, she always jumps at the chance to go back in. She’s a house dog, and home is where her heart is.

However, our home is going through changes. We will be moving next year, and we’re in the beginning stages of sorting through our piles of stuff and clearing out the clutter. We’ll then move to remodeling certain parts of the house to prep it for a sale. All this means major changes to Jasmine’s fortress over the next year. Little by little, the things that are familiar to her will change. Except us. She’ll always have us.

When we move, we anticipate that it will take her time to once again claim her domain, make our new house her home.  But as long as she has us, she’ll be home.  People who rescue animals look for ”forever homes” for their keep.  They don’t know how true those words are, because Jasmine is forever a member of our family.

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Bedtime Antics

While my husband has been away, Jasmine’s night-time routine has been different.  Instead of just plopping down into her bed at night, she has been particularly rambunctious.  She has been crawling under the bed, banging around here and there, running over to hubby’s side and peeking to see if he’s there, and then running around the house.  She can’t figure out where he is!

Last night, I found out what she has been doing under the bed.  I had a blanket under the bed that I had forgotten about.  It’s a particularly soft and warm blanket that I crocheted.  Jasmine has been crawling under to play with and snuggle with the blankie!  I used a flashlight to see what all the commotion was, and I immediately started laughing when I saw her with her head covered by the blanket, those little eyes peeking out with a “uh oh” look in them.  I pulled the blanket out and put it onto her bed.  She came scampering out, immediately jumped on the blanket, did some blanket fluffing with her mouth and paws and finally plopped down in her new nest.  A couple of minutes later, she was snoring.

So Jasmine has a new blanket.  How could I deprive her of such comfort?  Besides, I can always make another one. 🙂

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A Waggedy Tail

Lately, Jasmine has been wagging her tail. Before, she’d only wag if it was dinner time, if she was getting a treat, or if she was asked if she wanted to “go for rides” with me in the car. These days, that little tail has been wagging much more often. She wags when she’s jumping up to say “hello” to me as I’m sitting on the couch. She wags when it’s time to get brushed. She wags when I call her over to sit in my lap.  She wags when she’s trying to get my attention to play with her, take her outside, or just pet her.

Bark Magazine has a montage of pictures in every issue of “smiling” dogs.  Jasmine doesn’t often have a smiling doggie face, but she’s starting to relax.  The wagging tail, the bright eyes, the increase in confidence when we’re walking…more signs that Jasmine is coming out of her shell and beginning to enjoy life away from her past.

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