Monday 11th 2019
This week and probably much to Dembe’s disgust we are going to be working on his barking. He currently barks at anything that makes a noise , which although at the moment is quite cute as he has a little puppy bark in 6 months time when he gets an adult bark won’t be so cute or funny.
He started this morning by barking at my epilator as I was sorting my legs out before my physio session on Tuesday. As soon as I started it up he lunged forward and started barking at it. In our house we have small bags of treats everywhere so good behaviour can be rewarded and that teachable moments are recognised. So with the epilator still going I made Dembe sit and wait. Once he had been quiet for 30 seconds I rewarded him with a treat and lots of verbal praise. This dog goes crazy for a “whose a good boy”. Within 5 minutes he got it, if I stay quiet and don’t bark mum will give me a treat and make a fuss. I love how switched on he is. After 5 minutes he took himself up to the top of the bed and settled down on the pillows.
The next challenge was the vacuum cleaner, as unless he is in his crate or sat on my lap he barks at it constantly. So working along the same lines as we did with the epilator the vacuum cleaner was switched on, Dembe barked, I then asked him to sit and wait. When 30 seconds were up he was rewarded with a treat. It took a bit longer with the vacuum cleaner as it is bigger and noisier but he got it. (The vacuum cleaner has been out a couple of times a day since Monday and he is not barking at it any more.)
Today was a day of firsts as this evening it was Dembe’s first trip in the back of the car alone. Since the 11th of January whenever he has been in the car I have been in the back with him. Purely because I have been terrified that he could fall down between the front and back seats. I know I have been over protective, I know that it is the symptom of my anxiety and trying to control things. Hopefully now that I am getting some help for this – it’s been triggered by losing Mollie and Frankie, I can stop being so over protective. The car journey went really well. He was fine in the back of the car by himself. In fact he settled a lot quicker in the back alone than he did when I was there with him.
Yesterday at Pets at Home we bought Dembe a wobble kong and a treat ball. So on Monday lunchtime I gave him part of his lunch in his treat ball and part in the wobble Kong. He loved it.
Tuesday 12th March
The weather is foul again windy and raining again. We have another storm on the way Storm Gareth and there is an amber warning from 9pm tonight. As I have a Physiotherapy appointment at 12.15 this afternoon, we took Dembe up to Woodbury common at around 08.30am. Both boys came back to the car looking like drowned rats.
Dembe was so dirty that we put him straight in the shower – one of his most favourite places. He doesn’t really enjoy the shampoo part but he does love getting in the shower cubicle with me. This was the dirtiest he has ever been, the shower tray is full of sand and red mud. However he now smells as fresh as a daisy and won’t be dropping sand everywhere. The common is on an ancient pebble bed so the ground is incredibly sandy. So our car gets filled with sand along with our vacuum cleaner!
On our trip to the Physiotherapy centre ( as I had done this morning) Dembe travelled in the back of the car alone. Today marked the first time Jay had taken Dembe out alone in the car as he dropped me off and then headed up to a different part of the common to give Dembe another quick walk. This part of the common had a wood and it was the first time Dembe had experienced it. He loved running around amongst the trees. Jay said he was very brave going off and then running back to him.
As Dembe will eventually be trained up to be an assistance dog the Physiotherapy centre are brilliant and allow him into the waiting room. He has become a firm favourite with staff and clients. So many people have been following his progress and delight in his visits.
It was a busy day for the pupster as he also got to meet his (human) Grandma and Granddad ( my parents ) for the first time. He was on his best behaviour and my mum seemed to instinctively know that he loves his ears being scrunched and cuddled. It is what I do to him. Well I say best behaviour…I was just talking about his humping and he gave them a live demonstration, 3 times!
He also saw our neighbour Nicky, although he wasn’t that bothered as he was in the middle of having his dinner. I reckon a bomb could go off and he wouldn’t stop eating! He was a pretty tired pup and early on in the evening was sparko.
Wednesday 13th March
As expected after all the cut and thrust of yesterday Dembe has been a very sleepy puppy. He has alternated between sleeping on me, sleeping on the sofa and sleeping on his bed. He is a very cuddly and full of kisses today.
I managed to capture this one as Dembe decided my chest was the best place to attempt to have a nap!
As you can see it took a bit of moving around to find the best place to sleep on mum!
This afternoon Dembe has been a bit more active so I have been starting to teach him lie down. I tried a few weeks ago but he was quite resistant to it. I tried today and he was much more open to it and on 2 occasions he laid down on command without any assistance from me. I was really impressed as this command can take a bit of perseverance to get. I know with Frankie and Willow it took a couple of weeks for them to get it. Obviously just because he did it twice out of 20 times that I asked him to do it, does not mean that he has got it. This will be a work in progress until every time the command “lie down” is said he lies down without any help from me.
Dembe has 4 wobbly teeth, the last time we saw the vet he said in the next few weeks Dembe would start to lose his baby teeth. Both the front top two and the bottom front two are wobbly. It will just be 24 hours or so and these shall be gone. No wonder he is chewing like crazy on his antler chews and his huge Nyla bone. I played tug with him early and fully expected to find one of his baby teeth embedded in the toy! I can wobble them with my finger. So it really won’t be long at all.
We had a surprise in the post today, Jays sister sent us this beautiful picture. I have to say I teared up a little as today has been one of those days that I have felt the loss of Frankie and Mollie quite keenly. This made my day as it is our little family
Thursday 14th March
Well Dembe’s wobbly teeth are hanging on in there. They are incredibly loose and I would be very surprised if they make it through the day. He is chewing like crazy on all his toys bless him so his gums must be hurting him. There is a little bit of blood on the Antler chew so I will keep an eye on that but I think it is the beginning of his molars erupting. Poor little sausage.
Both Dembe and I are shattered today. All he wants to do is cuddle up beside me and sleep. He has had some very manic weeks so it is always a surprise when he suddenly then drops the energy level down. I think he is having another massive growth spurt. He is looking taller and longer this week. He is very heavy, I haven’t weighed him but I can no longer lift him off the floor. If I need to pick him up he needs to be on a bed or sofa as I just can’t manage his weight now. It is a bit sad as it shows how much he is growing up but he is such a wonderfully loving boy. All my boy dogs have been very loving and soppy but Dembe is off the chart and what is really beautiful is that he also loves Jay so much.
Every night when I get up for the loo ( which is several times) he gets up with me, he wanders into Jays room, checks that he is ok and then sits at my feet. He then escorts me back to bed. He really does see his role as looking after me.
Jay took Dembe up the common after work as now the evenings are lighter for longer even with a 6pm finish he can have a good off the lead walk. After being quite sedate all day he is a loon this evening. Finally collapsing at 8pm,
Friday 15th March
Dembe has lost his first tooth. I have no idea when it came out, it was there first thing but a few hours later it was gone. He still has the two loose bottom to but they won’t make it through the day.
As Jay is on a late night we got Dembe up the common at 8.40am so that he could have a walk in a busy area, so he is meeting people and other dogs. He loves this walk as it is the one that includes the woods and he loves scrambling about in there and following scents, Jay bumped into a couple who breed Labradors and they stopped and asked Jay where he had got him from and were very complimentary about his looks and temperament. Everyone who knows anything about Labradors goes nuts when they meet him, telling us how gorgeous he is. Dembe went straight to sleep on our return.
Paul popped over this morning as he was delivering two bedside cabinets for me. It is so sweet now watching Dembe react to people he knows. He went crazy for Paul, his tail was thumping against me, as I picked him up so he didn’t attempt an escape as Paul and his colleague brought the units in. Paul has been the first person that I have seem Dembe really recognise. Which is really special as Paul is such an important part of our lives. Paul made a real fuss of him.
Dembe was out for the count again soon after Paul left. Although he soon woke up when Sandra popped in. As soon as he heard her voice he jumped up and his tail was wagging furiously. He really loves Sandra too. She is the only person he gets really vocal with and will make noises like he is trying to have a conversation with her. He had us in stitches today as he was making noises we hadn’t heard before.
Whilst Sandra was here I noticed that Dembe had lost both the bottom teeth that were wobbly. I have no idea where he has lost them and they are so dinky its highly unlikely we will find them. he has probably swallowed them. The tooth fairy is going to be busy tonight.
We have had a lovely play upstairs this afternoon and I managed to get this cracking photo
Dembe is 17 weeks old today and we have had him 9 weeks today. This may sound really odd but Jay and I have really struggled with getting our brains to accept that he is really ours. Finally for me it is starting to sink in.
Saturday 16th March
Dembe has been really cuddly again today, I was trying to embroider a sweatshirt and he just wanted to sit on my lap the whole time which was a bit awkward.
Every time I needed to do a colour change I would have to put him down on to the floor. Dembe would immediately start jumping up at my legs wanting back up on my lap. He is so big now that unless I am sat on the sofa he really isn’t going to be able to sit on my lap when I am at the machine for very much longer which makes me sad. He is growing up way too quickly.
Where Dembe has lost teeth his new adult teeth have already erupted through the gums. I am amazed at the speed considering there was nothing there at all yesterday just gums! You can see how tall he is getting when he jumps up on his back feet his front feet are at waist height.
He has had a manic hour or so when he wanted the ball thrown continuously. He took his soft toy skunk outside as well this afternoon, he then proceeded to drop it on the decking and then pee on it! So that has had to go in wash! I don’t know what Skunk did to deserve such treatment and I really don’t know if the squeak will still work when it has dried out.
Dembe has now crashed out and is sat beside me on the sofa.
Sunday 17th March
Dembe has lost his 4th tooth this morning, I got so close to almost having one of his baby teeth to treasure forever and then the little bugger swallowed it. His adult teeth are coming through very quickly. The gummy look doesn’t last long as his adult teeth start pushing through within 12 hours.
Everything I wear now is covered in red / yellow Labrador hair. The vet did say to us on 25th February that his adult coat would soon start to come through and would mean he would start moulting… a lot. He wasn’t wrong. It looks like I have had my hair cut and sprinkled the hair everywhere! The Weimaraner’s had very short hair so although they would moult, Willow just seemed to permanently moult, you didn’t really end up covered unless you wore black jeans. Every item of outer clothing is covered in his hair although there doesn’t seem to be masses of it in the vacuum cleaner.
He is growing so quickly, out and about on the walk he looks tiny especially next to full grown dogs, In the house he seems huge you only have to compare photos of when he was 8 weeks old to now to see the difference in him. Sometimes it feels like if you blink you will miss part of his development into a full grown dog. In the grand scheme of things he is still a baby at 17 weeks. He still fits his first harness although it won’t be long and he will be in the next size up. His coat is also getting very red, he is a mixture of deep red and very pale yellow. His dad was fox red and his mum was very pale.
Today has been full on as the garden revamp has started, our decking has been down for 15 years and is very rotten and frankly in places dangerous. Dembe has been having great fun digging holes in it. We were going to leave the revamp until the summer but it has deteriorated so badly due to the heavy rain we have been having that it had to go. This will be a project that takes a few months and for much of that Dembe will be confined to the patio again for his own safety until its safe for him to be in the rest of the garden. Thank you to all our friends who have been pitching in to help. I am so proud of Jay for insisting that he took this project on himself as he wanted to be able to sit back when it was completed and know that he had done this for Dembe.