Monday 28th January
Well today Daddy’s hours have thrown us right out as instead of being on his normal early shift, he is working a late finish.
This afternoon we have been working on recall, as from Thursday this week Dembe will be allowed out for proper walks. Up until now he has only been allowed in our garden as we know it is free from un-vaccinated dogs and foxes. We have also sectioned off the garden so he has only been allowed on the patio. As our house and garden are very small, it’s quite difficult to be able to practice any proper training like walking on a lead.
I have been using The Happy Puppy Handbook by Pippa Mattison. I have also been reading her book The Labrador Handbook and a book by Gwen Bailey called The Perfect Puppy. I am happier using the techniques from The Happy Puppy Handbook, if I find that something isn’t working I can always change it up a bit and use the Gwen Bailey one. All of these books are available via Amazon – and again for clarity I have not received any financial incentive / reward for mentioning these.
I wait for Dembe to wander into the kitchen whilst I am sat in the lounge ( or vice versa ) and I say “Dembe Come” as soon as I hear him starting to come towards me I give 3 sharp pips on my whistle. When he gets to me he sits gives me a paw and he is rewarded with a treat. He is cottoning on very quickly and thinks this new game is enormous fun.
He is having a growing day today as he is sleeping loads, he has been quite content to sit up on the sofa with me.
Dembe and I head up for bed at around 8pm, he settles down very quickly. I am pleased because it is only the second time we have gone to bed without Daddy being home. Thankfully he can do the stairs very well now.
At 10pm I hear the front door go, Jay is home. Dembe sits bolt upright, despite his tiny size he is already acting as my protector. I tell him its daddy and he doesn’t growl, his tail starts to wag as he hears his daddy on the stairs. By the time Jay pokes his head around the door Dembe’s tail is going nuts. So very cute.
Tuesday 29th January
After having a very sedate Dembe yesterday, we have boisterous Satan channelling Dembe. From 5.30am until 10.25am when we left for my physiotherapy appointment he is on the go constantly. Everything that can be dragged into the centre of the lounge is dragged and every toy is emptied out of his toy box. It looks like a tiny yellow whirlwind has gone through the house.
At the Physiotherapy centre I sneak Jay and Dembe into the entrance hall, out of the eye line of the receptionist. Due to my disabilities my driving licence has been withdrawn and taxis to the centre are very expensive. So Jay has to take me to all appointments. Dembe is too tiny to be left at home for 90 minutes and we haven’t got anywhere close to leaving him in his crate that long. So there is no other choice than to bring him with us.
I go and sit in the waiting room. I have a clear view of Jay and Dembe because it is all glass. Jay just struts right up to the receptionist, explains the situation and asks very politely if Dembe doesn’t whine and make a nuisance of himself would it be possible for him to wait in the waiting room whilst I have my appointment. I really didn’t think we would be allowed but this is a private practice so I am guessing the rules are more flexible than the NHS.
Dembe loves all the attention that he gets from all the people in the waiting room. My physio arrives and I head off for my appointment. Whilst I am in there word gets round about the cute puppy in reception. Everyone from Doctors / Surgeons, admin staff and Physiotherapists come to have a cuddle. Despite being there for almost an hour he behaves brilliantly . By the time we get back home its time for his lunch and then he sleeps for the rest of the afternoon.
Wednesday 30th January
I can’t believe that in 24 hours time Dembe will be able to have his first walk out doors like a proper dog. He really needs it as at times he is crazy with all the energy he needs to burn off. He runs around like a mad March Hare, crashing into furniture and just generally letting off steam . Thankfully having had puppies before ( and bred two litters of Weimaraners 18 pups in total) we know that the week before they can go out for a walk tends to be the week they go utterly mental and this pup is no different.
Dembe and I are still sorting out our routine, at the moment because I am still poorly ( I am now on antibiotics for a chest infection and a sinus infection) I am not doing the normal things I would do during the day. Everything requires 4 times the effort and I am getting tired very easily. I have watched so much TV this week its shocking. Since I have been sewing I haven’t watched much TV at all. Now I am running out of things to watch.
Today Dembe has managed to get a black oil mark down his side, as he laid on the patio door runner. This evening he has had a shower as I had mine, I held him on my lap whilst I was sat on my shower stool. Jay applied the shampoo and thankfully Dembe was an angel . He is a water baby as Labrador’s are. Our Weimaraners hated water unless it was filthy dirty and stank to high heaven! Washing them was always a nightmare. We have the opposite issue with Dembe whenever the shower is going or the hose is on he has to dive under it.
He is also brilliant with the hairdryer and will happily sit whilst I gently dry him. All the Weims used to run out of the room whenever the hairdryer went on despite them hearing it everyday from birth. It was something I could never convince them was ok and wouldn’t hurt them. I am finding it amazing just how different the breeds are, it is true each dog has its own personality and each breed has things that is unique to them.
The oil came out and he is smelling lovely and clean again!
Thursday 31st January
Today marks the day that Dembe is now able to go out for a walk, he hasn’t a clue of course. Of course the weather is absolutely rancid, its freezing cold, blowing a gale and we’ve had a mixture of heavy rain, hail and sleet. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it is dry this evening as I really want him to be able to go out and explore. The plan is that I shall go out on my mobility scooter and just pootle along behind Jay and Dembe.
The weather doesn’t let up, by the time Jay gets home it is snowing heavily and its lying in places. It is still blowing a gale. We decide that Dembe if forced to go out in this may never want to leave the house again. He is very content running about on the patio chasing snowflakes.
He took an age to settle down tonight, normally he crashes at around 7.15-7.30pm, with us going up to bed at around 7.45pm. He was still running around at 8pm, dragging toys out and chasing his ball. Eventually as if someone has removed his batteries he drops at 8.30pm. I am very pleased as he has been on the go since around 5am this morning.
Friday 1st February
Last night we managed to have our first night of not getting up at midnight / 2am, he slept right through until 4.40am, which was ok as Jay was on an early shift and was getting up then anyway.
I forgot to say yesterday that Dembe has worked out that we haven’t been shutting the baby gate properly. Distracted on my laptop I looked up to find him making his way up the stairs. I don’t think I have moved that quickly in many years. So from then on we have had to close it properly. This dog is just way too clever.
I have tried to teach him to go downstairs today but he is too scared. I will wait to the weekend when Jay is here so he can be there to catch him if needed and I can lure him with a tasty treat.
Thankfully despite it being very cold, it has stayed dry all day. So today is the day we will take Dembe out for his first walk.
I managed to forget my phone so don’t have any photos. Dembe was very scared by the outside world. He refused point-blank to come out of the house so Jay had to carry him over the threshold. He was most concerned that I was going to leave him, so kept stopping walking. In the end I had to go in front of him in my scooter. We met our neighbour whilst out on the walk and he got to meet Skye again but this time nose to nose.
Dembe was absolutely shattered after his walk, he had his dinner and went to sleep for the rest of the evening.
Saturday 2nd February
Today we had a visit from Uncle Paul who couldn’t believe how big Dembe had got in the two weeks since he had seen him. Paul is really looking forward to looking after Dembe if Jay and I want to go out during the day or evening. We have made a plan that Dembe, Jay and I will go over to Paul’s when Jay is on holiday and have a chinese. None of us are night owls so it won’t be a late night however it is good for Dembe to keep seeing Paul so that he gets used to him so that when we do take the plunge and leave him it’s not a big deal.
Paul absolutely dotes on Dembe, he loved our other dogs as well. Dembe is very special to him as it’s the first one of our dogs he has got to know properly from puppyhood. We want Paul to be a very special figure in Dembe’s life, as Paul is in ours.
Although it was bitterly cold when Jay got home from work at 5pm, we took Dembe out for a walk ( 10 minutes ) . He again refused to come out of the house so Jay had to carry him over the threshold. However he was much happier once out, tonight I could be behind him without him panicking about where I was. He was much happier on the lead as well.
He was convinced we were going to do the same route as we had done the night before however we decided to change it up. The night before he had been quite scared by the traffic on the main road so we decided to go through the estate so it would be quieter and he could build his confidence up. He was like a different dog this evening and much happier.
As we were making our way back to the house on the other side of the road there was this huge Golden Retriever, I mean enormous. Jay and I are used to big dogs as Frankie was much bigger than a standard Weimaraner and weighed in at 40kg. This dog made Frankie look like a lap dog. He sat at the other side of the road desperate to meet Dembe, he was crying it was exactly the same reaction we used to get from Frankie when he saw puppies. Frankie really didn’t like any adult dogs other than Mollie and Willow but would go absolutely crazy when he met a puppy. When we had the second litter he spent more time with them than Mollie did and would lie on the floor letting the pups bite him and hang off him. He absolutely doted on them as if he was their dad. So it was very sweet to see this Golden Retriever having the same reaction to Dembe.
Jay was a little hesitant due to the size of the dog compared with Dembe but seeing how he was so excited to see a pup, I knew it would be ok. Jay walked Dembe over whilst I found somewhere suitable to cross over the road as with a mobility scooter I have to use dropped kerbs or it would be like something out of The Dukes of Hazard. The big dog was really gentle
and sniffed Dembe all over just checking him out, Dembe had a good sniff back.
As we turned back into our street it became clear that Dembe had identified where we lived, so that is good to know. He and Jay went racing on ahead. Dembe was desperate for his dinner as due to his walk he was late getting it. He ate his dinner and then again collapsed and slept the rest of the evening.
Sunday 3rd January
Today was rather momentous as today was the first time we have had Dembe off the lead in public. We decided during the week that if the weather was nice on Sunday that we would take Dembe up to the common and have a change of scenery. With the temperature at around 0 the ground was nice and hard rather than boggy and muddy. Ideal for a little pup to explore.
We took his ball with him and the whistle so we could practice recall. I have a trike that I can use that attaches to my wheelchair, the mobility scooter can’t be used on uneven terrain but the trike works brilliantly and means that I can accompany Jay and Dembe on their common walks.
Dembe was great with his ball and loved chasing after it, his recall was spot on too. I have been working on that since Wednesday so it was . As usual no photos as I can’t steer either a mobility scooter or a trike and take photos. I will get myself more organised in future. At present we are so wrapped up in the moment we don’t think to take photos of him when we walking him. It is all so brand new and exciting for all of us.
He has been flaked out ever since we got home
Jay went and got Dembe a bigger cage today as the one we borrowed from the lady who runs Exmouth in need, is now getting too small for him as he is growing at a rate of knots. The one we have for him now should last him well into adulthood. It is enormous and dominates our lounge – there really is nowhere else to put it. really we should need it only for the next 18 months to 2 years whilst he is at the height of his destruction phase ( Labrador’s are prolific chewers ).
Its been difficult keeping track of everything that has been going on this week as I have still been quite poorly from this double infection. At long last I am starting to get over it.
Its also a momentous week because we have had our first week with no house training accidents. Well done to Jay and I for watching him like a hawk! And Dembe for being patient.