Monday 21st January
This week marked the start of me having to manage looking after Dembe alone for several hours at a time whilst hubby was at work. Due to the loss of Mollie and Frankie in quick succession, hubby took some time off. The first week he was off he looked absolutely dreadful. He was so lost as his whole life revolved around the dogs. Dembe really helped him cope but hubby knew he needed to get back to work or he would end up in the position where he was fear going back. It was the right thing to do although I was freaking out at the responsibility of looking after Dembe.
Dembe is sleeping well through the night, especially as we tend to be up in bed by 8pm. He is taken out at 10-10.30pm for his last wee / poo then out again at 3-3.30 am and he will then sleep through until 6am at least. This week we will be working on increasing the time between toilet outings as he should be able to hold on longer now as he is getting a bit older.
This morning went by in a flash and was incredibly full on. I am permanently shattered at the moment, it’s the stress of being a new puppy mum, the constant anxiety I am suffering with mixed with the grief of losing Frankie and Mollie which can still be counted in weeks rather than months.
Jay popped in at lunch time with Tracey a friend of ours who he works with, She hadn’t met Dembe yet and absolutely loved him. A few hours later Sarah, Tracey’s daughter popped in. She had last seen him on the 12th January and was amazed at how much he had grown in just over a week.
We had no accidents today on the house training front, for which I am extremely proud. He is a very good boy and will wait for me to reach him rather than just go.
Dembe was very pleased when Daddy got home. I was very lucky he didn’t cry or pine for him whilst he was gone.
Tuesday 22nd January
Today Jay had another early shift, so I was alone from 06.15am with the boy. He is coping very well Jay going to work, Dembe and I spend our days together playing with his toys, using the play sessions to incorporate some training to keep things fun and interesting for him.
Dembe has mastered sit beautifully, we are now working on paw, which we have been doing on and off for a couple of days. I am just waiting for the penny to drop, repetition is key and so is patience. Dogs are funny they can seem like they aren’t getting it at all and then out of the blue they surprise you.
The boy has started hoovering up his meals, they are gone within 3 minutes and he then goes marching back into the kitchen like Oliver Twist. It is hard to resist those big brown eyes pleading with you but I know an over fed puppy can end up with horrendous joint problems in the future due to growing too fast. He certainly isn’t wasting away as I can feel he is heavier.
Daddy came home at lunch time again with a friend – Kat, she fell in love with him as everyone does. He did manage to kill the football he had been barking at by sinking his teeth into it.
In the evening Jay and I sit on the floor and play with him. We call it our bonding time and Dembe loves it.
Wednesday 23rd January
Well today marks another first for Dembe he met his first proper (human) baby. Baby Orla, who is just 6 weeks old came up to visit with her mum Sally. Sally and I used to work together many moons ago and have remained facebook friends. She answered my call when I asked for people to visit with or without children and with dogs etc.
Dembe was incredibly curious of the car seat and what was contained within, I had to hold him by the collar so he didn’t get over excited and then leap into it. I let him have a gentle sniff but wasn’t going to let him jump all over Orla.
It appears Dembe has a jealous streak which was quite amusing, he was not very impressed that Orla was sat on my lap and having a cuddle. He spent a fair amount of time trying to jump up on my lap. Thankfully with him being so dinky he can’t get any higher than my knee. He fell asleep on my foot in the end so he could be close by should I need rescuing from this interloper. I am glad there was no barking or growling from him. I think it was more he was very curious and wanted to know what baby Orla was doing on my lap.
Daddy was on a late finish so this would be a new experience for Dembe and I. Would we be able to occupy ourselves until bed time? Normally when Frankie and Mollie ( and Willow) were alive I would go up to bed around 4pm and watch something on Netflix or listen to the radio. I can’t manage running up and down the stairs with a puppy so I made myself comfortable on the sofa.
We have made great strides forward today, Dembe has now got Paw and will do either foot. We have been working on sit during exciting situations such as playing with a ball. That takes tremendous self control for a pup and he is doing very well.
Thursday 24th January
It was Dembe’s last jabs today. A week today he will be able to go out for walks. We had an early appointment as now we have Dembe there is no such thing as a lie on. Dembe was the first to be seen and John the vet was very impressed with him. He said what a lovely nature he had and how good he was with people. He praised our efforts at socialising him. We do now need to incorporate more socialising with other dogs so he learns doggie etiquette. We are planning to take him to puppy socialisation when he is 14 weeks.
Dembe was so much better on the examination table today and didn’t fuss as much when the vet was looking in his mouth and checking him over. John said what a lovely domed head he has and was asking us where we had got him from. We discussed with the vet about Dembe’s new habit of inhaling his food. I timed him and it is taking him two minutes 40 seconds to eat his 90g of kibble. He is having a lot of hiccups and is guffing a lot! And it’s not pleasant.
We had him weighed to ensure that he isn’t putting on weight too quickly and is growing well. Last week he weighed 5.6kg and this week he weighed 6.5kg so he has put on just under a kilo approx 2.2lbs in old money. John discussed with us slow feeding bowls or trying to give him his meals in two halves. We have decided to go for a slow feeding bowl as we think he will just continue to inhale his food.
This afternoon we ventured out to Pets at home in Exeter ( again I am not relieving any money for mentioning them, other pet shops are available). He got admiring glances again from everyone he came into contact with. We met up with a member of staff that we have seen on every visit and she wanted to put our photo on the stores Facebook page. I look terrible because at the time I was starting to come down with a virus that has knocked me for 6. My throat was feeling like I had swallowed a packet of razor blades and I was aching all over.
We picked up a slow feeder bowl from Pets at Home, Jay didn’t quite understand the principle of a slow feeder and as I was on the phone ( so couldn’t explain to him) he panicked as he felt Dembe couldn’t reach the his food, so tipped it into his normal bowl. Face palm. I ended up also ordering another slow feeder from Amazon.
People are always asking me how Dembe is in the car, he is really good as for the first week he was with us he travelled in the car pretty much everyday. 90% of his car journeys are spent like this.
The rest of the time he sits and plays with his toys. At the moment Dembe is too big for a small car harness and too small for the medium car harness so he stays in his booster seat and on a lead with me travelling in the back with him to ensure there is no wandering around the back seat as he is so little if he fell off the seat he would never get up again.
Thursday was a bitter sweet day for us as it was the day we had Mollie and Frankies ashes returned to us. We both shed a few tears but were pleased that they were finally home.
Friday 25th January
I had hoped that yesterdays sore throat and body aches would disappear overnight and it would just be a one day thing but I have been clobbered by the nasty virus that is going around town at the moment. I am cold one minute boiling hot the next, aching, nose dripping and just feel awful. Thankfully Dembe seems to pick up on the fact that I feel terrible and is really calm and quiet. He spent most of the day lying at my feet on the sofa.
It’s quite spooky as his Uncle Frankie used to sit in this position when I was poorly, obviously Frankie was a lot bigger.
Dembe’s new bowl arrives before lunch time. I am so weak I just about manage to take it out of the box.
As you can see from the constant tail wagging he is really enjoying his new bowl. It has really slowed his eating down, he is hiccuping a lot less and hasn’t been guffing as much either.
As a reward for Dembe being so good all day in the afternoon we had a play on the patio with his new tennis ball. I have been teaching him to sit before I will roll the ball for him.
Saturday 26th January
I was still feeling pretty rotten from this virus today, so hubby did a half day so I could go to bed in the afternoon. I only took one photo of Dembe all day as I was just so tired.
He was a bit manic this afternoon and hubby ended up having to play with him constantly. He also discovered the lounge window ledge and likes sitting on it looking at the outside world. He has also learned how to do the stairs this week. Although he needs to avoid stairs until he is 4 months old he also needs to discover them during this 4 week window so that he doesn’t become scared of them. Our stairs are quite steep so we were quite amazed that he managed them all. We made sure one of us was in front and one behind so that should he stumble we could catch him. He will just be allowed to go upstairs to bed for the time being, rather than being allowed to run up and down them to protect his joints.
He has really been using his front paws a lot this week. He is using them to push things away, wrap around your arm and to drag things towards himself. He is also jumping up a lot more. One target is the food bin in the kitchen that holds his grub. He is very keen to work out how to get into that the little devil.
The last two days he has been a bit whingey, he has got enough confidence now that he is trying it on. He cries at the baby gate that blocks the stairs purely because he wants to go upstairs and explore. He also sits and cries at my feet when I am sat on the small sofa as he wants to go on the window ledge. We are ignoring him as once you give into him you are effectively teaching him that if he sits and cries you will cave and give him what he wants. Having had dogs before I know how stubborn they can be. Mollie would stand and stare at me for 90 minutes trying to get me to give her cocktail sausages from the fridge or any other food treat she fancied. I would just have to ignore her because if I gave in once she would keep doing it – she did it almost daily as this dog was so stubborn and it was a battle of wills. She knew her dad would cave as he worshipped the ground she walked on. Weimaraner’s can be very stubborn. Thankfully it seems Labradors are not as strong willed…. I may have just jinxed myself.
Sunday 27th January
As I am still feeling quite rotten – I now have a cold which has gone into my sinuses ..lucky me, we have had quite a quiet day. However we have been playing lots with Dembe and doing some odd bits of training.
His over excited mouthing is definitely reducing massively, he now very gently takes your fingers in his mouth. That’s a great step forward as initially he was chomping quite hard.
His sit and paw are brilliant in fact he is so good at it he sometimes looks like one of those Cats you see in a Chinese restaurant.
Over the week we have had two accidents, just wee’s which is good. One was Tuesday morning where I lost track of him for a moment and he had a widdle by the front door. He had another accident this afternoon, which was both of our faults, we each assumed the other was watching him, so he watered the rug in the lounge after we missed his signal that he needed out. I am always gutted when this happens as I feel like we have let him down. I know today was particularly challenging as I am still feeling ropey. Dembe is doing so well on the toilet training front and he is consistently going to the back door ( after Tuesday’s incident ) .
Next weeks things to work on is for him to be calmer when his food is put down, so no jumping up. To discourage jumping up on humans, I started working on that this afternoon as he was jumping at my leg, so I would put him on the window ledge. Also to start working on his recall. All these will be done in a fun way as he still is only a tiny baby really. He was ten weeks old on Friday. Of course next Thursday marks the start of him being able to go for a walk.