Life with Jasmine and Juliet, Our Rescued Dachshunds

Random notes on our experience with our two rescued miniature dachshunds

More Changes On The Way

I’m glad that Jasmine is taking change well because more changes are on the way.  I (unexpectedly) landed a job in New Hampshire–much sooner than I ever anticipated–and I’ll be out of the house at my job in the very near future.

This is a total departure from what Jasmine knows.  For the last two years, I  have been working from home.  She has been with me every day except when hubby and I have been on trips.  She has been my constant companion, and I know that she is going to have to adjust to a new schedule and routine.  However, I’ve been fairly busy over the last few weeks, and she has been alone in the house for four to six hours at a time with no adverse effects.  When I return home, I immediately take her outside.  She then gets lots of pets and attention and a bone for good behavior.  She loves the phrase, “Have you been a good girl?” because she knows it will be followed by, “Would you like a BONE?”  Ah, the exuberant jumps make me laugh from the inside out…I feel her joy.

I leave Jasmine in the kitchen when I’m out.  All the exits from the kitchen can be closed by louvered doors.  However, they are only secured using magnetic catches.  After a few times of being left in the kitchen, Jasmine figured out that she could push the doors open.  I marveled at her problem solving skills and could just hear the gears in her brain working as she puzzles through the “how do I get to the comfy carpet in the family room” problem.  I solved the issue by using hair elastic bands to secure the doors together.  No more escape, little dog.

I usually exit the house through the basement, and Jasmine HATES it when I go down the stairs.  She sits in front of the basement door crying…I can hear her whine after I (quickly) close the door and walk down the stairs.  She does the same thing as she anticipates my return.  The sound of the garage door opening makes her jump up with anticipation and wait by the basement door for me to emerge (according to hubby).  I hear her crying as I walk up the stairs, and I call my standard call, “Is there a pup-pup in the house?”  She jumps with glee when the door opens, and I am welcomed back with no ill feelings.

That and a hug and a kiss from hubby make my day. Unfortunately, hubby is still in the other house in California and won’t be out here for weeks.  Without Jasmine, I’d be a total wreck (compared to only the lonely, partial wreck that I am) missing hubby.  Thank goodness for little dogs.

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My Separation Anxiety

We’re leaving on Wednesday to go finalize and close on the new house.  Unfortunately, that means that we’ll have to kennel Jasmine again for a week.  We’re putting her, once again, at the PetSmart PetsHotel.  They have taken good care of her in the past, and she seems to be okay when we return, although she’s always lost a little weight–it’s unavoidable since she tends not to eat when she’s anxious or in unfamiliar surroundings.

The cost is reasonable–$25/night for a small inside kennel complete with elevated cot bed that keeps her off the floor and twice-daily time outside of the kennel to relieve herself.  We also add a $3/day “Treat Time” daily treat–doggie ice cream and a cookie.  Ice cream is the one thing we can count on her eating when she won’t eat anything else.  We don’t buy the play times.  I have observed several group play times during my visits to pick Jasmine up or drop her off.  It’s just a room filled with dogs and one guy with a squirt gun.  If the dogs get too rambunctious, they squirt the dog.  That’s it.  Yes, it gets the dog out of the kennel, but there’s very little interaction with the single staff member (1 staff member to 10 to 20 dogs does not a play time make).  They also offer training and other items on an Ala Carte basis or I can sign her up for Doggie Day Camp.  If I was going to pay that kind of money for her care, I’d put her in a private pet sitter home situation.

I know she’s going to be fine, but every time we have to kennel her, I get anxious.  To them, she’s just an animal that they care for; it’s a job.  To me, well, that’s my Pup-Pup.  She means the world to me, and whether I put her at the PetsHotel or leave her with a friend, I’m pretty anxious about her being away from me and out of my care.  Of course, NO ONE could ever take care of her the way *I* do.  Nope.  So while we’ll be ultra busy closing on the house and getting it ready to rent out, I’ll be thinking a lot about coming back to that cute little face and wagging tail–and the enevitable pee on the carpet out of protest. 🙂  That’s my girl!

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When I’m Away

Many dogs experience separation anxiety when you leave them home alone.   Some bark, some whine, some chew up and destroy.  Jasmine just waits (maybe she sulks…I don’t know).

I’ve left bones, treat-filled Kongs, cheese, toys, food…everything she loves…in the kitchen with her when I go out.  When I get home, those items are usually still there, untouched.  Only when I return does she do a happy dance, and THEN goes for the treat or food.  She tosses the Kong around to bounce the treats out.  She immediately runs for the cheese under the kitchen table.  She even refuses to eat her dinner if she’s left alone with it, and happily eats when I’m back and in the room.

I think she’s a “happy” eater.  She’s happy, she’s hungry.  At very least, she’s not a destructo-dog.  As it stands, she has a whole large kitchen to roam (complete with fluffy pillow in an open crate) and our pet bird to keep company with.  However, when I get home, it’s clear that all she was doing was waiting (patiently) for my return.

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Housebroken?

I’m not sure how to tell if Jasmine is truly housebroken, but I’m happy to find that she’s in the groove right now. Every morning, I take her out and she “does her business.” She also goes reliably during our morning and evening walks, and I’ve been trying to “imprint” her go command every time she does. If she hasn’t gone during the walk, when return, I take her to the lawn and give her her go command. She has reliably done so for the past few days. I also repeat the command over and over as she’s going and then praise her when she’s done (as the books I’ve been reading have instructed).

I had a meeting to attend today, and I was away from the house for four hours. No accidents, but a little mischief (she knocked down a baby gate in the kitchen). She likes to move her water and food bowls around while I’m gone. She hasn’t learned to play with toys, but she loves messing with those bowls! I’m giving her the run of the kitchen while I’m gone. However, I will be gone all day on Friday. Tom is going to come home during lunch to let her out, and I’m hoping that this test will tell us if she’s really housebroken. Regardless, we’ll continue to look for her signs to ensure her ongoing reliability. Go, Jasmine, Go! Or at least, when we tell you to! 🙂

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