Life with Jasmine and Juliet, Our Rescued Dachshunds

Random notes on our experience with our two rescued miniature dachshunds

It Has Only Taken Eight Years

Okay, maybe 7.75 years. Jasmine has finally started bonding with Tom.

Jasmine

Jasmine hangin’ out with Dad

It has been a long time coming. I started a new business last year. That left both Jasmine and Juliet to spend all day every day with Tom. And slowly…ever so slowly…he has been winning her over.

Jasmine enjoying "Tom Time"

Jasmine enjoying “Tom Time”

Just of late, she has been going to him every morning for some love and scratchies. She politely takes her bits of apple from me and then moves on over to snuggle with him.

While I’m a tad bit jealous–she has always been MY dog–I’m so happy that she’s finally overcome her fear and has bonded with Tom. And, happily, Juliet has bonded more fully with me.

We’re finally one big, happy family. It has only taken eight years. That’s 56 years to you and me! 🙂

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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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Belfast Wienerfest

This weekend, we attended the 10th annual Belfast Wienerfest in Belfast, Maine. When we vacationed in the area last year, we happened upon this little-known event an had a ball! Wienerfest is a celebration of all things Dachshund. Doxies of all shapes, sizes and colors congregate, and it becomes one big bark-fest! The event includes a parade, costume contest, wiener dog races and vendors! Last year, we had ‘store bought’ costumes (the girls were the ultimate New England sports fans). This year, I went all out and made them costumes! While the weather wasn’t the best, it still was a fabulous event! There was a professional photographer on hand to memorialize the girls in their fabulous Geisha Girl costumes!

Jasmine Juliet Belfast Wienerfest Maine

Oh my lovely Geisha Girls – My favorite part is the hair

Unfortunately, the girls did NOT win the costume contest, although they did get into the finals (top 5 out of 36). The local favorite won (drat). It was fixed!!! 🙂 We still had a blast.

The girls had doggie ice cream from the Loyal Biscuit Company. It was sweet potato ice cream with meat gravy and liver ‘sprinkles.’ As you an see, they gobbled it up!

Jasmine Juliet ice cream Belfast Wienerfest Maine

Nom Nom Nom

Jasmine Juliet doggie ice cream Belfast Wienerfest Maine

Oh, that’s SO good!

Both dogs enjoyed the day, although Juliet was a bit more outgoing while Jasmine was content to view the festivities from the comfort and security of their ever-popular doggie stroller.

Juliet Belfast Wienerfest Belfast Wienerfest Maine

Juliet enjoys Wienerfest

Do not feel bad for Jasmine. She’s definitely enjoying the mini-vacay!

Jasmine Belfast Maine

Jasmine Loves Maine

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IVDD Strikes Again

If you have ever had a dachshund, you know that one of the most dreaded (and common) health issue with the breed is IVDD–Intervertebral Disc Disorder. Basically, it’s a spinal cord injury due to a herniated or ruptured disc in the spine. Jasmine had this before we moved from California to New Hampshire and fully recovered with crate rest.

Late last week, Jasmine came out of the sleep crate a different dog. Instead of her bouncy, happy self, she was timid and off. She barely wagged her tail. She didn’t play. She was like this all day, and I was worried. However, her appetite was good and she wasn’t yelping in pain.

When she woke up the next morning with the same disposition, I immediately made an appointment with the vet and took her in. He gave her a thorough exam, checked her bloodwork, and then prescribed some pain medication to see if it would help her disposition. It did. Within a few hours, she was perkier. The next morning, she was back to her old self.

Given these signs (including a slight tenderness in her back during the exam), he’s thinking that she injured her back again (or it’s flaring up). She’s on strict crate rest for at least two weeks; the Dodger’s List group recommends eight full weeks of crate rest. Oh, she’s not going to be happy. But I need to make sure that my pup is okay.

If you haven’t done crate rest with a dog before…well, it’s not fun. It means that the only time she should be out of the crate is to go potty. No running, no jumping, no playing. She eats in the crate. It’s intended to restrict her movements so she can get the rest her back needs. Given that she’s feeling better now, keeping her contained is not going to be easy OR pleasant. But it’s what we need to do to help her heal.

 

Jasmine Dachshund

Hello there

Jasmine Dachshund
Find Jasmine (no, it’s not the black spot–that’s a blanket)

 

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Play

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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Challenges and Victories

Juliet is coming up on her two-month anniversary with us, and while we’ve made marked progress with her, she’s still far from settled.

First, my new nickname is “The Pee Whisperer.” LOL! Yes, hubby is having a hard time getting her to go at times. But when I take her out–BOOM–within 30 seconds she’s in full squat. My hubby has given me unmentionable hand signals when this happens. He’s just jealous. 😉

However, Juliet is still not housebroken, and we had another couple of bouts of diarrhea since we had her treated for Giardia. The first recurrence made us run back to the vet. He ran a full course of blood tests and a Giardia culture. ALL of it came back negative. $250 and the cure was another course of antibiotics and a bland diet. The diarrhea recurred again last week, and this time, we just went back to the bland diet and she seems to be on the mend. We’re guessing that she might have a food intolerance, so we’re going to slowly move her back to a regular diet and see its impact. After that, we’ll start adding back treats one at a time to determine if any one of the items we’ve been giving her have been causing the issues. We’re also not going to be giving her table food at all to ensure that we’re not causing the issues.

We also sense that part of her food issues might be emotional upset. The first recurrence was right after our big holiday party. She had people coming up to the bedroom to peer at her all night long, and it was hard on her. The second upset was right after the New Year–we went up to visit friends in Maine, and it was her first road trip. Perhaps events are causing her distress, or even the change in diet during these events (our friend gave her tons of treats…).

On the more positive side, Juliet seems to be learning that this is home and we are HER people. She was in the crate today as we were taking down the remaining holiday decorations. We crated her to ensure that she didn’t get underfoot while we were running around–or that she didn’t leave a “present” when we weren’t watching. She whined and pawed at the crate door…she could see us in the next room, but she couldn’t be with us! She also exhibited the same behavior last night when we crated her during our meal when we were visiting my father-in-law. She’s part of our pack and she wants to be with us…YAY!

Jasmine continues to blossom. She’s a happy, waggy-tailed darling these days. No more sad eyes and scaredy-dog looks. Next to Juliet, she’s the happy, NORMAL dog. It’s so good to see her make progress, and I’m hoping for the same with Juliet someday. I know it will take time…I’m just impatient to see her happy and waggy. Good dog!

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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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Giardia, Abscess and Poop–Oh My!

Well, it’s been an exciting three weeks with little miss Juliet. Not all of it smooth, but we’re coping.

First, Juliet came to us with Giardia–an intestinal parasite. That in itself isn’t that rough–the bug is treatable with some de-worming medication and antibiotics. But, she had a scathing bout of diarrhea as a result both of the Giardia and potentially from the stress of being kenneled (we had to go away for the weekend right after we got her). Of course, she had to go in the middle of the night, and like a smart dog, she “aimed” outside of her crate and nailed the bedroom carpet. Let me tell you, steam cleaning that stain…beyond nasty. And she gave the Giardia to Jasmine.

We put both dogs on the meds, and Jasmine got worse. She was getting very sluggish and was running a temp, so we took her to the vet. While on the table at the vet’s office, an abscess (which we missed) popped and she gushed all over the table. Ew. But it was the source of her temp and issues (she had a particularly nasty infection–far worse than we’d seen before), and we were able to get it treated. She was also placed on a bland diet to help calm her tummy. Rice is NOT her favorite food, but being the trooper that she is… she tolerates it as long as it’s accompanied by boiled chicken! 🙂

Now the third issue in the new dog tri-fecta is house-training Juliet. Up to yesterday, the only place she would poop was…in the house. We’d take her outside, spend hours going in and out, but as soon as she was off-leash in the house–BOOM. She started by stealth-pooping as she was running down the hall, but became brazen about it and began just squatting right in front of us! We’d try to take her out and get her to go outside when we caught her in the act, but we weren’t able to get her to go any more to mark the behavior. So yesterday, I spent five hours going outside with her, taking her back in and crating, back out, etc. I finally took her on a long walk, and she finally pooped. Of course, we still haven’t been able to get her to go in the yard. We’re following some advice and getting an outdoor wire pen to put her in to give her some off-leash experience “going” in the yard. We’ve been successfully getting her to pee outside in the yard, but not poop.

So I’ve stocked up on Nature’s Miracle and we’re trying positive reinforcement (praise and treats, marking actions with her go words) just like we did with Jasmine. But I have a feeling this stubborn little gal is going to be a challenge!

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A Second Dachshund—We Finally Did It!

 

Juliet dachshund

Jasmine Juliet dachshund

Meet Juliet, a 6-year-old long-hair mini Dachshund, and the newest member of our family!

Yes, we finally did it. After YEARS of debating the subject, we finally brought another dachshund into our home! Juliet came from Wooffun, a local rescueorganization. She is a long-haired miniature dachshund, black & tan dapple piebald (say that five times fast!). She was brought up to New Hampshire from a backyard breeder in South Carolina–one of 18 dogs in the breeder’s stock. He became too old to continue managing his dogs, so he reached out to a local vet to find homes for his dogs.

While Juliet isn’t a puppy mill rescue, her demeanor, lack of training, etc. shows me that she wasn’t a pet. She isn’t housebroken. She is pretty skittish and shy. But she IS socialized to other dogs and familiar people, and she does love a warm lap. Points for her.

Juliet came up with two other dogs–Twix and Misty. When we met her at the foster home, she was socialized to these dogs and comfortable in a pack environment. We took Jasmine to meet Juliet, and it was clear that both dogs were submissive, gentle and relatively low-energy. It was a good match.

We brought Juliet home that night, and we found Jasmine suspicious, but tolerant. The picture on the right shows Jasmine giving us the “Save Me” look. Okay, it’s going to be an adjustment!

 

 

Juliet enjoying a warm lapJasmine Juliet DachshundJuliet is very skittish. She is very afraid of loud noises. She runs incessantly until she finally runs out of steam and then settles down. However, if she finds a lap, she’s calm. And we found out that she’s a jumper. She jumps all over the furniture. We never let Jasmine jump, but Juliet is a pro. Okay.

She has a lot of parallels to Jasmine when she first came to us. She’s a nervous nellie when it comes to eating. She isn’t food oriented. She’s tremendously skittish. She’s definitely not housebroken.

But she has a lot of traits that make me feel that she’ll come along faster than Jasmine. She is okay with laps and petting (she jumps up on our laps!). She likes rawhide bones (only when we’re not around). She comes close to us without “corralling.”

But, how is Jasmine doing? Absolutely fabulous!! We found the RIGHT dog to bring into our home. Jasmine is blossoming. Competition is bringing her out of her shell. If Juliet is getting scratchies, Jasmine will come over to hubby and demand the same. She’s seeking him out for lap time. She even has learned manners in the short time Juliet has been in the house and doesn’t tear after Juliet’s food after she’s snarfed her own!

Such progress in just a few weeks! We’re so happy to have Juliet in our new home. And, of course, this blog will probably be more active now that we have so many more stories to tell. I already have a few in the queue waiting to be told.

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Ooof

That’s the sound I made this morning as Jasmine pounced on my stomach. Jasmine, the ultimate bed hog and snooze button killer, wanted to go outside. And she wasn’t going to take “no” for an answer.

6 a.m. comes way too early, and if I move at all after 5 a.m. or so, Jasmine immediately springs into action. She goes from coma to bouncy little bunny in 2 seconds flat. If I move or roll over, she springs out of a deep sleep and bounds to the foot of the bed. She then bounds back to me and back to the end of the bed in a frenzy of excitement to greet the morning. I pat the warm, empty space beside me to try to entice her to come back. She bounds back. She then decides if she wants to burrow back under her blankets.

If burrowing is an option, she certainly doesn’t do it quietly. The blankets go awry. There’s a lot of grunting, turning, smooshing, throwing, circling and more grunting. She might plop down and fall back into a deep snore, or she might stop, continue the blanket dance and then abandon it altogether.

So, there’s about a 50/50 chance that I’ll get back to sleep. And of course, the minute I do, the alarm goes off. And we go through this morning ritual again.

Is there a snooze button on a dog? Um, no.

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