Life with Jasmine and Juliet, Our Rescued Dachshunds

Random notes on our experience with our two rescued miniature dachshunds

Happy 3rd Anniversary, Jasmine

July 15 is Jasmine’s 3rd anniversary with us. These days, I can’t imagine life without her. To celebrate her being a part of our family, here are 10 Things I Love About Jasmine.

  1. Woofts. I love when Jasmine woofts at me when she wants something. When she wants attention, she lets out one loud bark. Just one. But when she wants something (a bone, usually), she woofts. That little puff of air makes a lovely sound.
  2. Hooves of Thunder. When Jasmine runs, she sounds like a herd of bison. That’s a pretty spectacular feat for a 11-pound dog. When I get home, I can hear her running across the family room (it’s directly over the garage). Her excitement makes me smile.
  3. Wrestle Wrestle Wrestle. Every morning, Jasmine and I play a game of Wrestle Wrestle Wrestle. Actually, it’s a game of “give Jasmine some love” but I never tire of it. Jasmine hides under the bed, I ask her if she wants to Wrestle Wrestle Wrestle, and she comes running. It’s a great way to start the day.
  4. Constant Companion. This pup is always by my side. I am never lonely–or alone.
  5. Chair Mate. Jasmine loves to sit with me on the recliner. It’s especially nice during the winter, but it gets a little rough in 90+ degree weather.
  6. Waggedy Tail. It took Jasmine a long time to learn how to wag her tail. She now wags it all the time. Seeing that waggedy tail always makes my heart smile. I helped make that tail go from being forever tucked under her to swinging with the breeze.
  7. Have You Been a Good Girl? It’s the nightly ritual. I ask Jasmine this question, and she begins to jump for joy. She knows the answer. The answer is yes. And we all know that good girls get…a bone! Bone! Bone! (Imagine a leap of joy for every time I say “bone!”)
  8. Rompy Dog. Jasmine loves to romp in our back yard. She bounces like Tigger in the tall grass, ears flapping and tail tall. Oh, it’s so cute.
  9. Baby Talk. I love how Jasmine turns even the biggest macho guy into mush, complete with baby talk. “What a good puppy you are…yes you are!”
  10. Burrowing Dog. Jasmine, in true Dachshund fashion, has learned to love burrowing. No blanket is sacred. Especially ones printed with puppies and fire hydrants.

Okay. That’s 10. I could go on and on. Instead, to honor my beautiful pup, here’s a link to a fabulous article on Petfinder that’s near and dear to both our hearts:

10 Reasons Not to Buy Puppy From a Pet Store

Remember, EVERY pet store puppy comes from a puppy mill. NO reputable breeder would sell to a pet store. So please please please get a dog from the shelter or a reputable breeder.
Happy Anniversary, Jasmine. We love you.

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Petland Buys Puppy Mill Puppies

One of my favorite sites, Dogster.com, sent me an email alerting me about the Humane Society’s latest report and video on Petland’s selling of puppy mill puppies.  Petland is a chain of over 140 franchised pet stores in almost 30 states across the U.S.  as well as in Canada, Japan and South Africa.  They are the largest chain of pet stores that sell puppies.  From the report:  “In the largest ever puppy mill investigation, HSUS investigators visited 21 Petland stores and 35 breeders and brokers who sold puppies to Petland stores. Investigators also reviewed interstate import records of an additional 322 breeders, USDA reports and more than 17,000 individual puppies linked to Petland stores.

Jasmine was a puppy mill breeder.  For over three years, she was held in a small cage and had litter after litter.  When we adopted her, she had just whelped a litter of 3 little males.  A veterinarian from the Bay Area bought her and 48 other dogs at a dog auction in Oklahoma.  Before coming to our home, Jasmine had lived a horrible life with no socialization or affection.  She was malnourished, her pads on her paws were deformed due to the life of walking on a wire cage floor and she was afraid of everything.  Her sole purpose had been to produce a crop of puppies as often as possible.  Puppies that ended up in places like Petland.  Puppies that are cute, cuddly and are purchased by people who don’t understand that MOST puppies in pet stores are from puppy mills.  Given the struggles we’ve had with Jasmine to reduce or eliminate the ill effects of her life before coming to our home, I vow to NEVER support any business that supports puppy mills.

Petland’s website claims, “Petland is aware of the many animal welfare issues in the news today. We know that members of some animal rights groups would have you believe that all pet store puppies are bred and raised in substandard facilities. This is untrue. Petland also disagrees with the agenda of animal rights groups that would deny people the right to own and live with companion pets.”  They go on to say, “Petland stores are independently operated by qualified franchisees. Each is responsible for choosing healthy pets offered to Petland customers. Petland, Inc. provides each Petland store with humane care guidelines to assist in this important task.”  To me, they have skirted the issue.  Their argument states that not ALL pet store puppies are raised in substandard environments BUT even if they are, Petland is not responsible; the franchisees are responsible for the dogs they buy.  That’s bull*!@&.

The Humane Society encourages people to take action and let Petland know that it’s unacceptable that their “franchisees” are buying puppy mill puppies.  Let your words and dollars speak!

Petland Corporate Offices
250 Riverside Street
Chillicothe, Ohio 45601
(740) 775-2464
(800) 221-5935

Founder and CEO:  Ed Kunzelman
President: Frank Difatta
Director of Business Improvement: Brian Winslow
Franchise Development: Jim Whitman (jwhitman@petland.com)

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Happy Puppy

I took an art class this past weekend which kept me out of the house for 10 hours each day. It was a really great class and I had a lot of fun.

What was even more fun was coming home. Jasmine spent both days hanging with my husband. They did a little more bonding–a good thing–but when I arrived, Jasmine was a joyful pup. She was jumping around, madly wagging her tail and “smiling.” My husband hasn’t had the chance to see much of this side of her since she tends to just eye him suspiciously with her shoulders hunched and her head down, and I was glad that he got a chance to see her in her happy mood.

He watched her frolicking around and looked at me and said, “Wow.” He went on to talk about how glad he was to see her so happy, and that it was remarkable since she came from such a horrible place.

Jasmine was a puppy mill breeder dog. Last week, Oprah aired a show on the blight of puppy mills. Lisa Ling went out with the head of the Main Line Animal Rescue organization with a hidden camera to a number of puppy mills in the Pennsylvania area. The conditions are horrible, the dogs live a miserable existence, and it’s all perfectly legal.

It breaks my heart to see what Jasmine has been through, but when I look at her now…well, I’m so happy that we made the decision to take in a rescued dog. No, she’ll probably never be a totally “normal” dog. But she will give us love and always be loved. And regardless of what she has been through in the past, Jasmine is a happy puppy. Watching her bask in the sun streaming through the window yesterday afternoon, wiggling her little butt here and there to “regulate” the amount of sun hitting her body, I know that we’ve given her the life and love she deserves and the wagging tail and smiling face are just little indicators of how far she’s come.

Jasmine enjoys the afternoon sun

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Another Abscess

This weekend, Jasmine started limping. We had the dog sitter come by on Saturday to get further acquainted and to get Jasmine walking with her. We went for a couple of walks, so I thought Jasmine had somehow hurt herself on the walks.

Well, on Monday, she developed an abscess yet again on her left paw. However, this time, she was limping and she wouldn’t let me touch her paw without a struggle. She limped around, and while her abscess popped and began to drain (yeah, icky…I know), she was very protective and somewhat lethargic. I decided to give it a day to see if she would start healing. It wasn’t. Her limp was more pronounced. The abscess was still red and puffy and wasn’t draining.  I called the vet, and got an appointment for this morning.

Of course, she was barely limping this morning and the abscess had gone way down.   I wanted to have her checked out nonetheless. I’m glad I did. Apparently, she had developed another abscess that I had not seen–this time on the bottom of her paw. Poor baby. So now, I have to soak her paw in an antimicrobial and give her antibiotics twice a day. I’m leaving for a business trip on Friday, so hubby will have to take it on.

I feel bad for Jasmine. Apparently, this type of abscess is common in former puppy mill dogs–it’s known as “puppy mill foot.” This is the only time that the abscesses have bothered her, so I’m keeping a close eye on the infection. Oh, I hate to leave my pup when she’s not right!

😦

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One Week Later

Well, it has been a week since Jasmine came home, and I have to say that she’s made remarkable progress. First, she is my shadow. She follows me everywhere, looking up with me with those crazy eyes and that cute little face. She has already begun understanding our routine and is falling into it. She went from bucking bronco to walking on a leash in just a few days–dragging the leash around the house desensitized her to it and made her accept it. She has many trust issues, but she has bonded with me and sticks to me like glue.

I believe she lived a life of fear in the three short years she spent as a breeder dog at a puppy mill. She doesn’t make a sound–except when she snores. 🙂 The only time I’ve seen or heard her bark is when she was protecting her puppies from a large dog at the foster home. She is extremely shy and submissive, tucking her tail at every turn. She is very afraid of curbs, steps and even changes in the pavement–it makes walking her or getting her into the house a challenge. She hasn’t seemed to grasp that she is allowed to relieve herself more than once a day. She cowers when someone tries to pet her–even me. But, once she gets a few scratches behind her ears, she warms up to me.

I can’t imagine how anyone could be cruel to this beautiful, adorable dog. She is wonderful. She’s starting to show a little impish behavior (some pushing around of her food and water dishes while we were away today). She has already learned that she is to sleep in her crate and she runs into it when we go into the bedroom.

My original fears have gone away. She’s already deep in my heart and a vital part of our family. I’m so glad we took a chance on her.

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Jasmine Comes Home: Part 2

We called the foster mom and told her the good news–we wanted to have “Orchid” come live with us. We were so excited. We got all the doggie supplies (and THEN some) we needed, and dog-proofed our home. I scoured the library for dog behavior books, and while there were some excellent books regarding bringing a puppy home, there were very few that addressed the special needs of an adopted adult dog–one that might have been abused. Finally, Sunday came, and we went to bring Orchid–renamed Jasmine–home.

She was skittish when we arrived, just as she had been when we visited her before. I was concerned that she was not going to bond with us, and nervous that all the other dogs in the foster “pack” were more outgoing and friendly than she was. My husband, Tom, told me that everything would be fine. We snapped on her snazzy new red collar and I carried her in my arms as we drove home.

We parked in the driveway, and I got out of the car. We snapped Jasmine’s leash onto her collar, and I put her down on the pavement. Suddenly, the mild and quiet dog that I had just held in my arms became a bucking bronco. She was cowering in fear, trying to get away. She began to lose control of her bowels, and I quickly picked her up and brought her to the back yard. She was freaked out. I cleaned her up with some wipes and brought her inside.

Jasmine must have walked a mile that first day. She constantly paced through the house, sniffing every corner. She was confused, scared and once again, displaced. She would run to avoid us if we entered the room. She cowered at every attempt to touch her, so we generally left her alone–but under close watch. I had a nice crate for her, and she finally settled down and spent some time in it. I was vigilant in keeping an eye on her–I didn’t want to have an accident in the house, but I looked away for a minute, and of course, she urinated on the slate floor in the entryway.

I took her outside, but she didn’t do anything more. I was outside with her for about 30 minutes to no avail. She was trembling, scared of the unknown smells and sounds of our back yard. I tried to lead her into the house, but she was very afraid of the two steps into the house at the back door. I had to finally pick her up and carry her into the house.

The first night was difficult. I got her into her crate, and I don’t believe she slept at all…I could hear the jingle of her ID tag throughout the night. I was riddled with doubt…never having had a dog of my own (although we had dogs throughout my childhood), I wasn’t sure if I wanted a dog with such issues. I knew that she had been mistreated in the puppy mill, but I didn’t know the extent of the psychological damage she suffered. I was afraid that I couldn’t help her.

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Jasmine Comes Home: Part 1

Jasmine, a 3-year-old miniature dachshund, came home with us on Sunday, July 15 after a journey that traversed the country and brought her from a miserable existence to a very fluffy pillow.

Jasmine was purchased by a veterinarian who scoured dog auctions across multiple states, buying dogs that were breeders for puppy mills. The vet then brought the dogs, 49 in all, to the San Francisco Bay area to be treated for medical issues and adopted out to loving families. (You can read all about it on SFGate.) The various breeds were taken by a number of rescue organizations throughout the area, and were placed into foster homes until they could be spayed or neutered, treated for various health issues, and deemed fit for adoption.

I had been wanting to raise a dachshund for many years, but due to a very hectic work schedule, my husband and I decided to postpone raising a dog until we had enough time to devote to its care. When I finally decided to make a go at bootstrapping my own company (and working out of my home), we decided it was time to begin our search for a new member of the family. Then, my husband came upon the story about the puppy mill rescue dogs.

I called the vet that rescued the dogs, but we never connected. I found some dachshund rescue organizations, but never heard back from any of the volunteers. I finally started to scour PetFinder and found a very cute dachshund available for adoption. I called the contact for the dog and left a message. When she returned my call, she gave me the contact names of several of the fosters taking care of the puppy-mill dogs. I finally got in touch with one of them, and I went to her home to view the available animals.

“Holly” was an over-10-year-old dapple with a sweet disposition. She was mildly friendly, but still very skittish. I thought about adopting her, but I felt that I wanted a younger dog…more years to spend with the dog. Then, I saw “Orchid.” She was a very small short-haired dapple with one blue eye and one brown. She was very wary of strangers, and even when the foster “mom” put her in my lap, all she did was tremble. She had just whelped a litter six weeks before, and her puppies were happily frolicking in the yard. She was protective of the puppies, but other than that, she seemed to show no interest in anything else.

We were a little hesitant about adopting “Orchid.” She wasn’t socialized at all. She was afraid of people. She wasn’t housebroken. But something about her tugged at my heart, and we decided to move forward with the adoption.

(more to come)

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