Life with Jasmine, Juliet and Buttercup, Our Rescued Dachshunds

Random notes on our experience with THREE 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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Ring! Ring! Whine! Part II

It’s amusing to think that Jasmine knows that when I call in the evening, it means I’m coming home. It’s so cute that she reacts and makes me feel that she misses me.

However, Jasmine’s doggie ESP is getting to be uncanny.

In the last two weeks, I’ve had a number of evening business events that I have attended after work. Instead of calling to say that I’m coming home, I have been calling hubby to let him know I’m on my way to the event of the day. These calls have taken place around the same time that I would be calling to announce my impending return home, so Jasmine doesn’t have a clue that the call is for another purpose.

I had assumed that the timing of the call was Jasmine’s cue that I was coming home soon. Nope. When I’ve called to let Hubby know that I was safely on my way to the event, she has remained stoically silent. No whine. No sitting up in her bed, ears perked. She just continues to lay there, not a whine or a whimper.

It’s as if she knows that I’m not coming home YET. So there’s no reason to get all excited.

Perhaps it’s Hubby’s tone of voice. Perhaps she really does have a Doggie ESP connection to me. Either way, it’s still kind of cool.

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We All Scream for Ice Cream!

We were out running errands yesterday, and we decided to take Jasmine along to help socialize her to new situations. After we were finished with our errands, we decided to get some treats at the local frozen custard/ice cream shop.

When I was waiting for my order (Jasmine was outside with Tom), I asked the counter person if they had anything that was safe for dogs. He said that their frozen custard was what he usually gave to dogs–with no issues or complaints. He gave me a small portion in a cup, and I went outside to sit and eat my treat and give Jasmine her first taste of frozen delight.

It was hot yesterday–over 90 degrees. Jasmine and I sat in the shade, and I placed her cup in front of her. She sniffed the custard a little, then began lapping it. And lapping it. Boy did she like it!

Tom came out with his treat and I handed him Jasmine’s custard cup. She ran right over to him and began lapping up the treat. Now, she usually doesn’t like to go near him, but for frozen custard, well, she even let him pet her! Whooooo hooooooo!

I decided to look for the Frosty Paws doggie ice cream in the local PetCo, but they don’t carry it anymore. After looking at the ingredient list online, I decided that I’d rather make something for her instead. After reading a bunch of recipes online for doggie ice cream, this is what I’ve made for her:

Margaret’s Doggie FroYo

32 ounces plain yogurt (with active cultures)
1 small jar baby bananas
1 small jar baby applesauce
3 tablespoons honey

Whisk everything together and spoon into serving cups. I made 1 ounce portions and placed them into 2-ounce portion cups (available from food service supply places like Smart and Final) with lids. Freeze. When serving, zap for a few seconds in the microwave to soften.

Jasmine licked the unfrozen mix off my finger, so I know she’ll like it even more when frozen.

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Ewwww! Pooooooo!

I took Jasmine out this morning for her usual “business.” All of a sudden, I smelled something bad. I checked my shoes. I looked around–Jasmine hadn’t done anything. Hm.

Every morning, I brush Jasmine before we go back in the house. I started to brush her and noticed that stench again. Yup, it was definitely coming from her. She lifted her chin, and I saw it. Caked all along the bottom of her collar was a smear of poo. EWWWWWW!

I had noticed her rolling around in the grass this morning–something she usually does. Well, it seems that my sweet little doggie decided that cat poop was an appropriate thing to roll in. Now, I’ve heard of people complaining that their dog will roll around in any vile, disgusting thing it can find (ostensibly to mask their own scent), but I hadn’t had the pleasure of experiencing it for myself.

I put Jasmine in the utility sink in the laundry room and gave my pooch her first bath. It wasn’t so bad–for her or me–but she trembled through the whole thing. She was good, though, and didn’t squirm so much. I got her clean (she was smelling a bit doggy and needed a bath anyway) and dry, and she didn’t hold it against me. She got a cheese treat for her trouble.

Now, getting the poop off the collar and leash, well, that was a bit more difficult. Thank goodness for the Nature’s Miracle stuff…it took the scent right out.

I hope she doesn’t do this again, but I have a feeling that she will.

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One Step Forward…One Step Back

Jasmine had an “accident” yesterday. Not just a simple puddle, but a trail about 20 feet long. Apparently, she got started and moved on…and on. I spent time using enzyme cleaner and a hand held carpet steamer making sure the scent goes away. I don’t think I did a good enough job last week, because she piddled in exactly the same spot!

Well, I keep forgetting that she’s only been here for a few days. It seems like she’s been here for a long time, already a part of our everyday lives. She’s not housebroken, she doesn’t know what the rules are, she doesn’t know how to play. But she’s so tame and mellow…I have to keep an eye on her and make sure to take her out when she needs it.

Regardless of what she doesn’t know, it’s clear that she knows love and affection. Those squirrelly eyes, one brown and one blue, look up at me every day with a desire to please. She sticks to me like glue and lives for the opportunity to lay next to me in her doggie bed.

I’m so glad she’s here.

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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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