Monday 18th February
Today was a very special day for Dembe as he got to meet his number one fan Sam, along with his sister Gemma and his mum Sarah. Sarah and I used to work together many years ago, she knows both myself and Jamie, we have kept in contact via social media since I left work in 2008.
Sam is besotted by dogs and had been following Dembe through his mums Facebook account and the photos I had been sending Sarah. As Sam is away at college during term time we had to wait for him to be home so that he could come over with his mum and sister. Apparently it was all Sam had been talking about that morning and for a few days prior. He had even brought Dembe a present which he adores and has been playing with loads.
I was a little nervous as Dembe on occasion can be boisterous like all puppies can. I think I feel the boisterousness more because I have been so used to my old doggies ( and calmer doggies) that I have forgotten what a whirlwind of energy they can be. I didn’t want him getting over excited and hurting Sam by accident. I couldn’t have been more blown away by the intelligence shown by Dembe. He was very gentle around Sam and very calm. It was as if he sensed that Sam needed that and adopted the body language and temperament to be the best pup he could. This photograph taken by Sam’s mum Sarah encapsulates the joy both of them shared on meeting.
This makes my heart melt every time I look at it. Dembe was very careful around Sam’s ears to ensure he didn’t interfere with his hearing aids. I made sure that Sam got plenty of one on one time with Dembe.
Gemma was a little hesitant as she was scared of dogs but by the end of the visit was confidently approaching Dembe and petting him. It was lovely to see her confidence grow. Both Sam and Gemma asked great questions about puppies and dogs. Sam was planning what he was going to buy Dembe for Christmas even though I told him that Dembe would just like to see him. I felt very humbled.
Dembe did manage to embarrass me though as he has a bit of a humping habit and today was no exception. Which lead me having to explain it is more a dominance thing than a sexual thing at the moment. Nightmare LOL !
After all the excitement of the visit Dembe slept a lot of the afternoon
He did wake up later on that afternoon and had a mad half hour playing with the toy Sam had given him.
I managed to capture this one of Dembe when he had just woken up from a nap.
Tuesday 19th February
As each week passes Dembe’s character develops a little more. There isn’t a day that goes by when he doesn’t have me in stitches. Dembe wakes at 5am every morning and wants his breakfast, no matter how hard we try we can’t get him much past 5.30am. However now the little minx has access to the stairs after having his breakfast and going to the toilet he now goes back up to bed and will sleep until 06.30am – 07.00am. At least I can also get back to sleep and the 5am wake ups are no longer feeling like they are slowly killing me.
Jay took him up the common today for a run around and a chase of the ball. He loves meeting new dogs and exploring the great outdoors.
In the early afternoon I wasn’t feeling well so took myself up to bed, I was fully expecting Dembe to join me upstairs but he must have sensed I needed to rest and he stayed downstairs with Jay. A little later on I came back downstairs, Dembe greeted me like I had been gone for days bless him. I needed to get some sewing jobs completed so Dembe came out in the kitchen with me and slept on his bed.
Dembe is really enjoying having what we call the big boys bed downstairs to lie on, he also loves a ball that is his favourite.
Wednesday 20th February
Dembe managed to escape out of the front door this morning. I didn’t even see him do it, I just had a feeling that he had managed to get past me and then I turned around and saw him sauntering down the drive. It was a very real heart in mouth moment. Thankfully we have worked hard on recall training from the minute he got home with us six weeks ago ( on Friday ) . I also always walk around with a pocket full of treats these days so on calling him back I was able to reward him. Even though he seemed a little annoyed that his jaunt had come to a premature end.
Its a busy week for Dembe and I as today he is meeting my best friends dog Bruce. He met Ellie a while back but she hasn’t seen him for around 3-4 weeks. Bruce is a cockerpoo who they have rehomed.
With the benefit of hindsight it would have been better to get Bruce and Dembe to meet on neutral territory. Dembe was full of himself as he was on his home turf and Bruce because this was a new house and new people / dog was feeling insecure. Unfortunately Dembe was just too much for Bruce today and was ignoring Bruce’s cues to leave him alone and back off. In order to keep the peace I had to keep Dembe on a long lead, so that I could prevent him from annoying Bruce who was finding the situation a bit stressful. Eventually both calmed down but not before I was utterly exhausted. We have arranged to meet up at the beach next week as we need to get them used to each other so we can spend time at each others houses.
Dembe’s new walking / car harness has arrived today. He really loathes his car harness and I am sure it is because it doesn’t fit properly, its huge around his chest but fits around his tummy. This new harness fits brilliantly and there is no fighting to get it on him. He also has a nasty habit of pulling on the lead especially if I am out with them on my scooter to the point where he chokes himself. I am terrified that he will pull too hard one day and manage to pop the collar – a safety device to stop him hanging himself should he jump up and catch his collar he can’t hang himself. That is another reason why I never have had any of my dogs in a collar with a buckle as they don’t have this safety feature. It’s fine if you only ever put a collar on when you are walking but all our dogs have worn collars all the time unless having a shower.
After a visit and an escape Dembe was shattered and conked out on his big boys bed with his head on the floor. He looked like a skinned rabbit all stretched out.
Thursday 21st February
Dembe isn’t jumping up on the sofa this week, last week he managed to misjudge the distance and went bouncing off. He is jumping off ok but he is insisting on being lifted up. Today he has started jumping back up again and is doing well!
He has always been an affectionate pup but today he is being very soppy. I can’t go anywhere without being showered in kisses and given cuddles. He is such a loving pup I really couldn’t be without him. Even when he is annoying me by following me everywhere and I mean everywhere!
He met Sandra today as she popped in to see us. He was going crazy whilst Sandra was here. They were playing together and rolling the ball on the floor which he loves. I have said that we will pop up and see them next week as Jay is on holiday. Sandra did manage to terrify him by holding the paper that had just come through the door in front of him. It is hilarious at the things this dog will spook at, a folded newspaper being the funniest so far. I let him play with the paper once Sandra had left so that he could work out there was nothing to be afraid of.
Sarah came over for lunch today when Jay came back. She hasn’t seen Dembe for a few weeks and was amazed at how much he had grown. For the first time ever Dembe was interested in what someone was eating and I thought Sarah may lose her chicken sandwich if she wasn’t vigilant!
He was a very good boy today as I needed to do some sewing as I was starting to go stir crazy. He slept on his bed in the kitchen as I worked away at the machine.
Dembe did his first ever bark at the front door this evening. I heard Jays car on the drive so knew he was coming despite being in the kitchen. Dembe obviously hadn’t heard him and when he heard the front door open unexpectedly he barked. I was very proud of him, although he was soon throwing himself on Jay to let him know how much he had missed him!
Friday 22nd February
Dembe is 14 weeks old today and has been home with us for 6 weeks. To be honest it feels like a lot longer. I still miss Mollie and Frankie desperately and found myself breaking down a few times this week over nothing in particular, I was just telling Dembe how much his uncle Frankie would have adored him and how much Mollie would have loved him to play with on the common. It sometimes surprises me how very raw it feels. Mollie passed away 7 weeks ago and Frankie 8 weeks ago and I miss them so very much. I am sobbing whilst writing this, I know the pain will go away at some point but I am having nightmares about their passing. It was brutal and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
Jay took Dembe up the common this morning as he was on a late shift, we still had to rush around though as Jay had a hospital appointment to squeeze in before work as well. Jay took these shots of him yesterday, the first ones we have of him on the common.
Dembe was tired after his jaunt to the common so had a little nap
We have noticed that since Monday Dembe has stopped humping his bed, maybe he wore himself out after Monday? Who knows but its rather nice he isn’t doing it at the moment as it does get a bit embarrassing.
However replacing the humping with jumping up is not cool either. All day at every opportunity the dog that never jumped up, jumped up. I had to stop sewing at one point as his paws can touch the edge of the kitchen table, he managed to knock a pair of scissors and a seam ripper off. I wasn’t expecting him to be able to reach that already so that was a bit of a shock!
Saturday 23rd February
I had a bit of a shock this morning as I started typing up Dembe’s diary from my notes and looked up to see this
When did he get so big? He is so tall already. When he first came home we couldn’t see him the other side of the coffee table. When he jumped up his paws only just made it to the top of the table. In a blink of an eye he has just grown so very much. It made me chuckle to see him watching me type up his weekly exploits.
Dembe was very good today as I did a bit more sewing and cleared the decks so that I could do some embroidery on Sunday as I have been itching to stitch out a design.
Every afternoon around 3pm Dembe and I go upstairs and have a play on the bed. We have upstairs toys that consist of his baby blanket which he left the breeders with, a blue dinosaur, a huge cuddly elephant and a myriad of cardboard tubes of assorted sizes. I have a lie down to recharge my batteries whilst having a game of tug with whatever toy Dembe has taken a fancy too.
This week his lordship has developed an annoying habit of lunging on top of my keyboard when I am using it. It is very annoying as he keeps doing it at the most inopportune times, like trying to place an order or chatting to someone on messenger. He really does pick his moments.
He has also become obsessed with peoples drinks, well really just mine. It started with every night when we go to bed licking the squash bottles my overnight drinks are kept in. ( due to various medical issues I drink litres of fluids overnight) . He would jump off the bed the minute the bottles were set down on the floor and lick them. He would even try to barge in front of me and drink from the bottle every time I tried to take a sip. Today he has been pushing his luck and has managed to knock over my can of Irn Bru not once but twice. I had just finished clearing up the lake of the orange liquid all over my coffee table and put the table runner in the wash, when he knocked it over again. He was called quite a few things and none of them were good boy Dembe. Its my fault after the first time I should have transferred the drink into a glass. And perhaps moved it further from the edge. It is hard to stay cross with him for long as he looks at you with those big brown eyes and you end up stroking him and kissing him.
Sunday 24th February
Today is the first day of Jays holiday from work. It is his first holiday from work since November. He took two weeks off work at the start of January as he was so unwell after the shock of losing the dogs so quickly. Dembe really helped him, well both of us. We would have been so lost with out him. So we have lots planned to do this week. The first job is sorting out the back garden so that it is clean and safe for Dembe to play in.
From the time Dembe came home until this morning he has been limited to our patio for playing outdoors and using as his place to go to the toilet between walks. It has been washed down every other day with Dettol and hosed down after every poo. Sorry of that is TMI. We haven’t let him explore the decking as it would have been too difficult to keep an eye on him in the middle of the night to ensure he was safe. Now he is bigger he needs the outdoor space to explore and play in. It meant moving around some plants. We realised that we had two in the garden that could potentially cause problems if not made difficult for him to come into contact with as they are poisonous. The other dogs never bothered with the Japonica or the Ivy, we have had them both since 2004. The Japonica is in a huge tub that is too big to get through our patio doors – it was a squeeze when the tub was empty! So to get rid of the Japonica would mean killing it, after all these years it just seems sad. So we have moved it into the far corner of the garden and put lots of smaller pots around it making it difficult to reach. As he never goes out in the garden without one of us keeping an eye on him he can’t suddenly decide to get to it come hell or high water.
The banister at the end of the garden also needed screening off. Before when we bred puppies we would put chicken wire along the banisters and attach with cable ties. It looked ugly but did the job. This time I have bought some cheap bamboo screening and we have wedged that between the banisters and the plant pots. It has actually given us some more privacy which is lovely as we are quite overlooked. So the garden is now Dembe proofed.
He has spent most of the day exploring and refusing to go to sleep. He also wouldn’t go to the toilet out there and had an accident on his new rug. I managed to pick him up just as he started – with no warning! and take him to the back door. The rug has been cleaned with biological washing liquid to breakdown the urine so it doesn’t become a favourite place to pee. Eventually though he did relent and at 16.30 he had a wee and a poo in the back garden hurrah!
Due to the fact he didn’t sleep from the minute he woke up until about 14.30, he finally collapsed as I was sat at my embroidery machine. Only he decided to turn his bed into a sleeping bag. The crafty devil managed to work out how to undo the poppers on the back and then crawled inside. We couldn’t stop laughing.
Dembe is cracking us up at the moment as because every time one of us goes in the freezer he dives in his crate. The reason being is I make him frozen kongs for when he goes in his crate. He goes crazy when a kong comes out and practically throws himself in the crate and spins around until he gets the kong. Jay has just got me some ice so I can have a medicinal Vodka tonic and Dembe has jumped inside his crate!
More Dembe Diaries next week, when next Saturday he has his puppy socialisation session.