Life with Jasmine and Juliet, Our Rescued Dachshunds

Random notes on our experience with our two rescued miniature dachshunds

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Juliet has now been with us for 16 months, and she’s finally coming into her own.

Mornings are great. Both pups now sleep together in a large crate in our bedroom. In the morning, when we let them out, they both are happy and playful. Juliet loves to zoom back and forth, running at full speed and stopping on a dime. It’s really fun to watch. Her tail wags furiously, and she rolls over to get some tummy scratchies and love.

Jasmine has still been trying to engage Juliet in play, and Juliet is just beginning to respond. Jasmine chases her for a lap or two when Juliet zooms around the room, and she tries to get Juliet to wrestle (no, Juliet won’t go for that). It’s so fun to watch, and it’s still astounding to see our shy Jasmine trying to engage Juliet!

The big change, though, was Juliet’s interest in a toy. She has ignored just about everything until this week. I was working on some embroidery, and the ball of perle cotton rolled by her. She tried to bite it. So I got a rope toy and gave it to her. Much to my surprise, she started chewing on it, pulling on the rope, etc.

It’s a great sign of progress. Juliet is definitely getting to be more outgoing and interactive, and it’s a great thing to watch her life unfold.

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Wanna Play?

Jasmine and I have a morning routine. Each morning, I take a shower and get dressed. After I get dressed, it’s wrassle time. I call Jasmine over to “wrassle wrassle” and she comes bouncing over with a waggy tail. Sometimes we play (wrestling, of course), and sometimes we just snuggle and pet.

Since Juliet came on the scene, Jasmine has been much less playful and hasn’t opted to wraassle if Juliet was in the room. Today, Jasmine, Juliet and I were rolling around on the floor, and Jasmine began getting very frisky. She started to engage with Juliet instead of me, and she finally jumped up and did a play bow trying to get Juliet to play.

My Jasmine. The dog that isn’t socialized. The dog that doesn’t play very often. My sweet girl was trying to get another dog to play. Juliet wasn’t in the mood, but regardless, I saw a side of Jasmine that I’ve only seen once before–when we went and visited her foster home. Jasmine wanted to play and she wanted to play with another dog.

These little victories make me feel like tap dancing around the room. I see so many positive changes in Jasmine since Juliet came, and I can’t wait to see her grow and change as she gets more socialized with her new sibling.

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Playful Pup

Jasmine hasn’t been the most playful pup in the past, but today, she was making up for lost time.  Blankets, ropey toys, her beloved reindeer were all fair game.  While Jasmine tends to be a low-energy dog, she had several play spurts today, complete with a bit of burrowing and tugging on her blanket and chewing on the reindeer’s antlers.  She romped around, picked up one toy after another, shook them until they were properly limp with fear and then she pounced on them, tearing at them with her mighty jaws.

While most of her play sessions last less than five minutes, today’s sessions were marathons for our little lass.  She started on one toy from her pile and went to the next.  She ran up to me to try to engage me in her game, and I happily obliged.  I teased her with her ropey, squeaked the tummy of the reindeer, and tossed the blanket over her to help bring out her burrowing instincts.

It was fun to see her enjoy a little play time.  Perhaps she’s feeling a bit better…her tummy is still a bit sensitive, but she doesn’t seem to be as distressed as before.  I hope she keeps it up…it brings me so much joy to see her happy.

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More Play

It’s so nice to see positive changes. Jasmine is starting to play more. Last night, she even played a little with my husband. He teased her with her ropey toy, and she started to play tug with him. This morning, she took two of her toys–thus far ignored–out from under the kitchen table and brought them into the living room. She has already begun destroying one of the toys, a plastic squeaky hedgehog that a neighbor gave to her. Good job, Jasmine!

She has been initiating play sessions by herself as well. Once in a while, she’ll go to the ropey toy and chew on it and fling it around a bit. While these sessions are short, she’s showing more interest in the world around her. I love that she’s becoming more active, playful and aware. It’s almost like she’s been locked inside and is quietly beginning to emerge.

Go Jasmine!

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Learning How To Play

Jasmine still doesn’t play–much.  The two weeks with her “vacation” family were good for her in that regard.  She learned a little bit about playing from the resident dog.  When the dog was chewing on its squishy fish toy, Jasmine started to chew on a rope toy.  Since she’s been home, she has played with her rope toy every day–albeit, only for a few minutes at a time.  It’s progress.  Jasmine also gets very frisky in the morning or after naps…she appears to want to play, but when I try to engage her, she just looks at me.  She just doesn’t know what to do.  I try to show her (I’m sure glad there’s no one around watching me), but I think it takes dog-to-dog play to really imprint.  It’s kind of funny at times.  I roll a ball to her, and she looks at it.  Sometimes it rolls into her.  She sniffs it and looks at me with a “what do you expect ME to do” look.  Dachshunds are really good at that look. 🙂

Jasmine’s favorite game right now is “climb on mom.”  I was laying on the floor last night, when Jasmine came up, climbed on my back and hunkered down on my butt.  I guess it was a soft, warm place to be. 🙂  She promptly fell asleep, and admonished me with a sad look when I finally roused her and got up.  Dachshunds are really good at that sad look as well. 😉

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Play Time?

Jasmine’s personality emerges day by day.  She has her “don’t bother me I’m sleeping” times and her “hey pay attention to me” times and her “hey, let’s play” times.  However, I just haven’t figured out how to teach her what it means to play.

We’ve successfully played “tug” once or twice, but she doesn’t seem to really like the game, and she’ll only play with hubby’s “used” socks.  Ew.  When I get up to play with her, she jumps around me, but then I can’t really get her to play.  I try the “chase” game…chase her, have her chase me.  But she seems a little confused when we play this.  She gives me looks like, “um, what are you doing?”  I try giving her some toys to chew, and she just looks at them–she occasionally will chew on one of her soft toys but it doesn’t happen very often, and she sometimes chews on her rope toy but that doesn’t last long either.  If I roll a ball to her, she looks at it with pure disinterest (except to step out of the way if it is rolling towards her).  She does like to tear up stuff that I don’t want to play with–including my hand-knit sweater.  Yipes!  Her favorite game?  Gimme a BONE!  BONE!  BONE!

The only time I’ve seen her really play is when we visited her foster home.  Her foster mom had some puppies in tow, and Jasmine romped around with abandon with those cuties.  She even tried to get another foster dog, a slightly plump dachshund, to join the game.  Given her poor prior socialization, it warmed my heart to see her run, jump and just enjoy the day…like any other dog.
So, I’m still searching for a game to play with her that she’ll understand and love.  She deserves to have hours and hours of pure joy.

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