Life with Jasmine, Juliet and Buttercup, Our Rescued Dachshunds

Random notes on our experience with THREE rescued miniature dachshunds

Welcome Princess Buttercup!

I know it was bound to happen. After almost six months without Jasmine, I felt strong enough to welcome a new bundle of fur and fun into our lives. And then came Princess Buttercup!


My husband had a discussion with our brother-in-law a few weeks ago regarding looking for a new dog. This brother-in-law was the one who introduced us to the rescue organization that led us to Juliet. Well, a few days later, we got a text and a ton of pictures of this sweet, sassy little redhead!

Princess Buttercup is an owner surrender. We gave her a new name…yes, from The Princess Bride…to give her a fresh start. The owner got divorced, and her new living situation did not allow her to keep Buttercup. The rescue took her into a foster home and contacted our brother-in-law about her. We asked a bunch of questions, and then we made plans to meet her and take her home.

She’s WONDERFUL! We’ve been used to rehabilitating unsocialized puppy mill breeders. Buttercup has been loved since she was a puppy. It shows. She’s happy, spunky, sweet and friendly. She is house trained (YAY!!!), loves to play and go for walks. In other words, she’s a DREAM!


The first couple of nights were hard. She’s been shuffled around a bit from home to home, and it took her a few days to settle into a routine with us. She also had never been crate trained, and is an ACROBAT. She loves to surf the tops of our couches.

However, except for the disastrous “climb under the fence and run around the neighbor’s yard” incident, she’s been an angel. We love her quirky personality (she likes to ‘talk’ to us), her playfulness, and her sweet demeanor.

Juliet, however, isn’t so happy with this new addition. She has been territorial and has been trying to claim Alpha status. We’ll see. At first, Buttercup would shrug it off. But she’s now barking back!

The first couple of days with Princess Buttercup were hard on me too. I really really missed Jasmine. I wanted Jasmine back. I wanted the same close bond as I had with Jasmine. I was heartbroken all over again.

But time and love are great healers. Buttercup has been with us a for a couple of weeks, and she’s well into our routine. She has infused new love into this house, and I am so grateful. I’m sure Jasmine is too.

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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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Jasmine’s Six-Year Anniversary

Six years. I cannot believe that on Monday, Jasmine will have been with us for six years.

Looking back on what we’ve gone through–and how far we’ve come–I can happily say that we have a healthy, spunky, fun-loving, waggy-tailed dog. She greets each morning with romps and jumps for joy. She can’t wait for the major activities of the day, either “go to work” or “studio time.” To “go for rides,” even after almost two months on the road, is still an exciting and joyous pleasure.

What we have here, ladies and gents, is just a happy dog. Not a puppy mill breeder. Not damaged goods. Yes, she’s still shy in new circumstances and with new people. But she’ll get over that fear and take a treat from your hand. She no longer resembles that mess of quivers and shakes that we brought home from her foster home. Her shiny coat, her expressive face, her begging for yet another treat, her barking at Tom to go “get me” when I’m pulling into the garage…she’s just a goofy pup.

That’s what I wanted for her, what I wanted to give her. And looking down at her as she snoozes away, I know that I have given her all the love she deserves–and more.

Happy Anniversary Jasmine. You’ve given us so much more that we could have ever imagined, and we thank the stars that you came into our lives.


What a beauty!


Road dog!

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Rescued NH Dachshunds in Need of Homes

Oh, this tore through my heart.

29 Dachshunds and 1 Pomeranian were rescued from a home in Deerfied, NH. The dogs were kept in DEPLORABLE conditions and were covered in fleas and waste. How can anyone do that????? I’m so sad and angry. And so tempted…

If you have been wanting a(nother) cute, willful, fun, loving and loyal little dog in your life and home, here’s your chance to give a dog in need your help and love.

Here’s the link to the NH SPCA website and press release on the dogs:


I got an email from the adoption counselor from the NH SPCA. ALL the available dogs were adopted on Friday. However, NOT ALL of the dogs that were rescued were “available” then. More dogs will become available Tuesday or Thursday of next week. If you’re wanting one of these precious pups, please fill out an adoption application. It will give you a better chance of adopting one of these wonderful animals!

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Rescue Orgs: Please Focus on Matching Dogs With People

I’m going to vent a little here. Sorry.

I often go through the available Dachshunds on Petfinder. And what I read leaves me cold. Why? The typical ad by a rescue org reads like this:

“Adult male dachshund named Skippy. 5 years old, 12 lbs.”

Then there’s 6 paragraphs on the rescue organization’s policies, how you have to pay up-front, how you have to commit to a dog (sight-unseen) and transport it from Alabama at your cost again, with payment up front.

There’s nothing about trying to find a good match between dog and home. It seems as though the most important thing to these organizations is to get people to take dogs. There’s little thought about matching the right dog to the right home.

Okay, so there’s little real estate in a Petfinder listing to really dig deep into a dog’s history and needs AND detail the organization’s policies. But I really was offended with the rescue organization that said “send us a depost via PayPal and THEN put in your application.” Sorry, this isn’t a hot rental property. It’s a little life that someone does care about. Rescue organization, please don’t make it look like you care more about running your organization than placing dogs in great homes. I know it’s not what you are…you’re doing this because you care so deeply about these abandoned little loves. But you’re making me not want to work with you to give a home to a deserving little dog.

Okay. Rant off.

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Rolling Dog Ranch

One of my favorite shelters is Rolling Dog Ranch.  (I wrote about their organization and other rescue orgs in a 2008 blog post here.) I love that the ranch is a sanctuary for handicapped animals. I love that they are a shelter of last resort for many animals who would otherwise be put down. I love that they blog a lot about their love and care of these wonderful animals. I look forward to reading about their quirky, fun and beautiful animals and the lengths they go to give these animals the life they deserve.

And I also love that they are making a huge move from Montana to my home state–New Hampshire!! I’m thrilled that they will be closer and that we could possibly visit or volunteer. It still sits in the back of my mind that we could bring another animal into our house…perhaps a blind dachshund would pique Jasmine’s interest…and not challenge her too much.

If you have a moment, check them out. Also, please vote for them in the Shelter Challenge (Rolling Dog Ranch in MT for the search).

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I’m Not Ready

We went to the foster home that Jasmine came from yesterday to check out more potential companions for Jasmine.  The foster mom had just received two females from a backyard breeder–one of which had just had puppies nine weeks ago.  The puppies (two girls and a boy–all three are black-and-tan) were being fostered as well.

The two females–Millie and Molly–were very friendly and happy, but a bit undisciplined.  Millie is a tweenie red and Molly is a black-and-tan with a tiny bit of dapple in her blood.  Molly seemed to be a bit malnourished–she had lots of thin spots where hair should have been.  She was also swollen from recent nursing.

There were several other doxies in residence.  Tuli and Mack have already been adopted and are awaiting the renovation of their new home–complete with dachsie ramp.  Hank and Bella were rescued from a situation where they were kept outside all the time.  They are a bonded pair, and since coming to the foster home, they have adapted well.

I liked Hank.  He was about Jasmine’s size, and he really liked hubby.  The problem was that he once was a pampered boy…and then his family banished him to the outdoors (they had a baby).  Because of this, he has trust issues and has been known to snap when scared.  He also has issues with possessiveness with food and with handling.  It’s going to take some time to build his trust, and I’m not sure that I’d feel that he could be safe around the grandkids.  He’s also bonded with Bella…it would be a shame to break up the pair.  Bella is a dominant female, and that wouldn’t sit well with Jasmine.

Jasmine didn’t want anything to do with any of the dogs.  I even had puppies climbing on her.  She loves puppies but was so intimidated by the situation that she ignored everything and everyone.  When I put her on the ground, she cowered behind my legs.  The only time she relaxed was when she was curled in my lap.  I was hoping she’d connect with one of the dogs, but that was too much to ask.  There were too many dogs, and she just shut down.

I learned something else yesterday.  I’m not ready.  I keep thinking about what will happen to her if we bring another dog in the house.  She’s still coming out of her shell, and I’d hate to reverse her progress.  It may sound silly, but I don’t want her to lose her status as the “pampered pooch” of the house.  If we bring another dog in that becomes alpha, she WILL lose her favored position.  And I’m not ready to do that.  So I think we’re going to shelve the “get a second dachshund” decision until we’re settled in our new home back East.  After the dust settles and we’re all comfy in our new lives, we’ll revisit the question.  Until then, Jasmine will be an only dog.

P.S. If you’re in California and are interested in any of the dogs described above, please go to the Southern California Dachshund Rescue page.


Dog Town and Other Rescue Organizations

I have been watching the National Geographic TV series Dog Town (also here) about the Best Friends Animal Society in Utah.  This extraordinary shelter takes “unadoptable” dogs and cats and attempts to rehabilitate them and place them into homes.  If they can’t rehabilitate these dogs, they are given a good home at the shelter, but the real goal is to correct behaviors that are keeping these dogs from being in loving homes.

This shelter was also given the opportunity to rehabilitate some of the dogs confiscated from Michael Vick’s illegal dog fighting kennel.  These poor animals were bred and conditioned to fight, and the change in the dogs due to the handlers and trainers at Best Friends was remarkable.  These terribly abused dogs were given a chance to prove that they could overcome their aggressive training and become loyal, loving animals–and they surpassed all expectations.  They take on many types of dogs–most of which would be put down in other shelters.  I’m so glad places like Best Friends exist…and I’m so glad that people like the extraordinary staff and volunteers at Dog Town make it their mission to make a difference.

Another shelter I admire is the Rolling Dog Ranch.  They are a sanctuary for disabled animals–mostly dogs, cats and horses.  Many of the animals are blind or deaf and/or have other physical disabilities that would make them otherwise unadoptable.  Steve Smith and Alayne Marker founded the ranch in December 2000 in the Blackfoot River Valley of Western Montana.  They take in animals from all over the country and provide them with a home for life–or a chance at adoption.  They are privately funded from donations.  I love their blog–I read it every day.  Their experiences show everyone that disabled animals can live full and wonderful lives.

It’s people like these that make the world a little better place.  Jasmine was rescued by a local vet and fostered through the Southern California Dachshund Rescue.  This rescue organization takes in needy Dachshunds who are rescued from shelters, from individuals who cannot care for their dogs anymore, and from other rescue organizations.  When we adopted her, the fee was around $250.  Some rescue organizations charge even more than this, and some people may balk at the fee.  However, given the costs of fostering these animals (many of which have been neglected) including neutering/spaying fees, shots, dental cleaning, and other veterinary costs, many of these rescue organizations spend far more on these dogs than they ask in fees.

I applaud these organizations–and the many other groups throughout the country–for what they do for these forgotten, neglected and abused animals.  Jasmine came to us because of the kindness and caring of many people throughout this chain of love and care, and we are grateful that she graces our lives and that we can give her the loving home she so deserves.


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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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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