W/C 25th February 2019 Dad’s on holiday

Monday 25th February

Dembe had the vets today for his last jab lepto 4, although we have been able to take him out for around 3 weeks now we haven’t been able to take him out in boggy areas or standing water just to be on the safe side. In a week’s time he will be fully covered for 4 strains of Leptospirosis.

Kate the lovely lady at the vets and another massive fan of Dembe’s was waiting for his lordships arrival and she came out from behind the reception desk to have a cuddle. She was amazed at how much he had grown in the last week. Dembe was really good and had a nice cuddle, we were taken through to the consulting room quite quickly – Jay and I would have liked to have spent some more time with Kate as she has just been so supportive through all of the trauma of losing the dogs and then getting Dembe who she calls our miracle dog.

We were really keen to get Dembe weighed today as he hadn’t been done for a month. Last month he weighed 6.7kg and this month he weighs 10.8kg which means he has put on 1.25kg each week. His growth chart is hysterical as it is almost a straight line going upwards. I was waiting to be told that he was overweight or something, even though I know there is not an ounce of fat on him. We are really careful with his food and treats because if he becomes overweight this could damage his joints. However the vet was very pleased with his growth and weight.

We asked for some advice regarding his dew claws as all our weims were docked and had dew claws removed ( it was the done thing back in 2003-2006 however the law has changed on this practice and it is now illegal unless they are going to be sold as working dogs). We are concerned with how long the claw is growing and wanted advice on how much this needed trimmed back. Thankfully Dembe’s claws are light in colour so you can see that you should just remove the light tips and no further. The vet gave us comprehensive advice and we are happy now that we know what to do regarding their length.

Dembe had his injection, given to him by a student ( who was very nice) and he had a delayed reaction. He was fine as it was done but about a minute later he got really fizzy, cried, scratched his neck and then ran to me wanting to have a cuddle and some reassurance. Poor baby.

On Sunday we opened the whole garden up for Dembe so he has a bigger place to explore and run around in, after only being allowed on the patio. His main source of entertainment now is attempting to eat stones ( pebbles ) and compost. Its driving us to distraction so Jay has gone and bought some chicken wire type mesh to section off all the pots so he can’t get himself covered in dirt and eat stones!

Monday in the car

Monday in the car (1)

sunbathingMonday

on the decking Monday.jpeg

 

Also I managed to leave my slippers unattended and they got Dembae’d ( pronounced Dem – bayed)

slippers eaten by Dembe

Tuesday 26th February

Today we went to see our friend Sandra, who popped by last week and is another member of the ever expanding Dembe fan club. Before we went to Sandra’s Jay took Dembe out on the common to burn off some energy. He met a five year old black Labrador who wanted to play.

Sandra lives in a lovely cottage surrounded by a huge garden, which Dembe adored. He would have spent the whole visit out there if he could. Jay took the opportunity to do some training, teaching Dembe sit and stay, using the wait signal. We use the wait signal when putting Dembe’s slow feeder bowl, as otherwise he would knock it clean out of our hands. We also use the same signal to have him wait patiently when having his harness put on and his lead. He knows the command means to sit and wait patiently until he is told that he can move. Dembe was amazing as it was the first time there was any distance involved, I have been working on it at home but this surpassed all of that.

Dembe spent the rest of the day asleep after tearing around Sandra’s garden. He did in the evening attempt to go down the stairs by himself, he managed three and then chickened out.

 

at Sandra's (1)

at Sandra's

Wednesday 27th February

Dembe is so good, he never demands to be walked. We have deliberately not stuck to any routine when we take him out so he never gets wound up and over excited like the Weimaraner’s used to. He is quite happy to be walked whenever we decide to do it. He has access to the garden to do his business and he rarely poo’s on a walk anyway. In that respect he takes after his Uncle Frankie and his Granddad Travis ( our first Weimaraner).

Dembe had a lovely time on the common chasing after the ball and working on his recall with Jay. We work on his recall every opportunity that we can as we know when he hits about 6 months old he may decide to ignore it and just do his own thing. Hopefully by continually positively reinforcing it he won’t be as bad as some teenage dogs get. I don’t think I could cope if he ran off and disappeared. At the moment he never wanders very far and when Jay throws the ball if he feels it is too far away from Jay he just refuses to go and get it unless Jay goes with him.

Dembe was stuck to me like glue yesterday. He normally potters around behind me about 70% of the time, the other 30% he watches but doesn’t follow. Today he was following me so closely that his nose was continually touching my calf! We call this behaviour herding and Frankie used to do this all the time to me, going up the stairs, moving between rooms my calf would get a nudge by his nose! I have no idea why he did it but it would appear Dembe has the same habit. I have to be really careful when he is doing this as I can end up falling over him.

 

Thursday 28th February

Probably going to sleep very early last night ensured Dembe was awake at 4.30am and ready for his breakfast. I tried to make him wait until 5am his normal time but he was making a fuss ( we live in a small terraced house so didn’t want to upset the neighbours ) so gave in at 4.45am. We then went back to sleep.

Dembe seems to have discovered his bark again today, everything seems fair game to be barked at. He took exception to the printer churning out some information for me this morning, he ran away from it and stood on his bed and barked at it. He stood in the kitchen and barked we have no clue about what. He also barked up in my bedroom at my slippers. Apparently he wants everyone to know he has a voice.

At 9am we met Ellie, Bruce and Paul down the beach. We had a lovely time, although again Dembe refused to take the hint that he was annoying Bruce. Dembe became obsessed with Bruce’s tail, he is obsessed with his own but he was a bit mental over Bruce’s today. And guess what he barked at it and danced around like a boxer in the ring. It was really funny watching him bark at the tail, even though Bruce seemed unaware it was his tail that Dembe was obsessed with. They actually got much closer together and were running for the ball together. It was good that they could share the same place. Bruce told Dembe off at one point but it’s all hair and teeth ( or handbags at dawn) and a warning shot. He is trying to teach this rambunctious pup some manners and Dembe is just thinking it is all a game.

Ellie took some cracking photos – I always seem to forget to get my phone out.

at the beach 1

at the beach 2

tail obsession

Dembe Jay and Bruce

D J Breceived_258623665060376

it was this big!.jpeg

me and Dembe

my ball

beach.jpeg

Dembe was insistent on bring the ball back to me every time despite it being Jay who threw the ball for him. He was very good at giving it to me  but all that running back and forth really tired him out. He had the longest run about he has ever had and as its all off the lead he runs himself ragged. He has slept every since he got home only waking up for his lunch.

Later on in the afternoon we went over to Sandra’s again for Dembe to meet her husband Trevor. Trevor is a professional wild life photographer and took some wonderful photo’s of Dembe. He also got some action shots of Dembe running in their garden. Dembe was thrilled to be in his favourite place again and was running around like a loon enjoying all the open space.

By the time we got home Dembe was thoroughly shattered  and ate his dinner and slept the evening.

tired after a busy dayIMG_20190228_181018_217

 

Friday 1st March

Today we had nothing planned for outside the house as it has been such a busy week we all just wanted to chill. Dembe was still knackered after his busy day yesterday so has slept a lot. He normally has a few days a week where he sleeps loads and he hasn’t really had it this week as we have been doing so much. Tomorrow he has his first puppy socialisation class and we will be seeing Leanne and Liam in the afternoon. So today is just a day for relaxing.

We went up the common with Dembe at 11.00am as the weather was sunny and quite warm. I stayed in the car as I can’t manage a walk due to my various medical conditions. So it was daddy and Dembe bonding time. They both love spending this time together.

 

Sorry for the quality of the video my husband shot it and was trying to throw a ball at the same time. It was quite nice for me to see them on the walk together.

Shortly after we arrived back from the walk Sandra arrived with a DVD of the photo’s that Trevor had taken yesterday afternoon. I managed to view the disc on an old laptop of mine and they are wonderful . I can’t thank him enough for the photos he has captured not only a wonderful image but also his character. Dembe was really excited at seeing Sandra and had a lovely play with her. They are so funny together as Dembe does these weird barks which sounds like he is trying to have a conversation with her. She is the only person he does this with and its very sweet.

As soon as Dembe had his lunch he was out like a light.

knackered pup

In the afternoon hubby and I cracked on with some jobs around the house that had been needing to be completed for months if not years. As it involved paint / painting Dembe was separated from us by a baby gate but some how still managed to get a streak of paint on his ears. It made us laugh because all our dogs have managed to get paint on themselves. Including the now famous paint incident involving three Weimaraners, a four hour clear up and a lot of teas. That happened in the week that they had destroyed an Xbox 1, tore up 200 cigarettes and countless other bits of damage. One day my heart won’t sink as I recount the story. It took me 7 years to be able to laugh at it.

Saturday 2nd March 

Today was a busy day for the pupster, he had a walk on Woodbury Common with Jay at 8.30am. Thoroughly enjoyed himself and came home a little muddy. He loves exploring the common with his daddy and chasing after the ball. He had a quick wipe down and then we organised ourselves for his next big adventure puppy socialisation classes.

There were only two other puppies at the class, a cocker spaniel called Red (5 months) and a Silver Blue French Bulldog  called Loki, that was absolutely tiny but hilariously funny as it had little man syndrome / Napoleon syndrome. Loki kept Red and Dembe in their place at one point he had Red on his back and was holding his throat. All from a dog that in all reality was about the size of a large Guinea pig.

Dembe was a little overwhelmed by it all and that really surprised us as out on the common or on the beach he loves meeting other dogs. However Red was manic, leaping over people, charging around and bumping into Loki and Dembe. Dembe initially wanted up into my arms to get away from the pair of them. However when some treats were introduced he was happier. There was a treat ball, that dispensed treats as Dembe nudged it along the floor. As he picked that up so easily the lady that runs the class brought out a wobble Kong, so instead of rolling it along the floor the dog has to nudge the Kong to make it wobble which will make the treats fall out. Dembe had that cracked in a matter of minutes. He spent the rest of the class hoovering up the treats whilst Red and Loki play fought. He would get a bit handbags when they nudged into him whilst he was eating, it was hilarious that there was utter chaos beside him but he was just happy eating….can’t think who he reminds me of.

ball pit

Dembe was the only dog who ventured into the ball pool. Jay put some treats in there so he could have fun snuffling them out.

he wouldnt pose for photos

He wasn’t being very co-operative when having his photo taken today. I have countless photos of a blurred head!

The rest of the day was action packed too. Our friend Angie popped over to meet Dembe, bringing a toy for him and flowers for me. It was really lovely to see her. Angie has known us for years and had met the dogs properly a few months before they passed away. It was hard as yesterday for some reason the tears weren’t far from the surface, although I love talking about our Weims, it can be difficult to not let the emotion overwhelm me. Last night I found a video of them all on my husbands Instagram account and sobbed my heart out.

Then later on that afternoon Leanne and Liam came over, it was lovely to see them and I really enjoy their Saturday afternoon visits. Liam was surprised that Dembe had grown again and I had to explain to him that Dembe would be bigger every time he see’s him for at least the next 12 months. Liam’s confidence around Dembe is increasing with every visit. As soon as Liam came in he went into Dembe’s toy box and picked up the ball so he could throw it for him. Liam is adorable and Dembe really enjoys spending time with this very special 5 year old.

Dembe was pooped after all the excitement today and was asleep from just before 6pm for the rest of the night.

 

Sunday 3rd March

Dembe has another busy morning ahead but then he can chill for the rest of the day. This morning we are off to Uncle Paul’s house, where we haven’t been since Dembe was around 9 weeks old. However he has seen Paul on a regular basis as he pops into ours, so he knows him and loves the cuddles.

This morning Dembe decided he was going to have a shower. I knew that was going to be the case when I walked into the bathroom and found him trying to launch himself into the toilet bowl. You forget how big he has grown and how with each extra centimetre a whole new world of trouble can be got into. I died of shock this week when he jumped up at the hob and his feet were nearly on the top of it. I don’t encourage jumping up, I don’t like dogs that jump up, so he was swiftly told to get down.  As you can see not getting on top of jumping up means that they can land themselves in trouble with things like burnt paws etc. What shocked me though was how tall he had become in such a short space of time. Where is my little dinky dot?

Dembe wandered into the shower whilst I was having mine and had a good wash. He does love the shower and we regularly just let him get wet and don’t shampoo him as we don’t want to disturb the natural oils in his coat. However he has been a mucky pup this week and I wanted him to be as fresh as a daisy to see his uncle Paul.

Paul's house

Paul's house

pauls (1)

Dembe had a lovely time and was thoroughly shattered by the time we left. He fell asleep in the car on the way home. After such a busy week he had a very long nap in the afternoon.

w/c 18th February 2019 – a very social week

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.

Sam & Dembe

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

sleeping beauty

sleepy boy

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.

cuteness overload

 

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.

 

ball

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.

new harness (1)

new harness

 

skinned rabbit

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!

that face

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.

up the common.jpeg

 

dembe on the common

Dembe was tired after his jaunt to the common so had a little nap

sleepy baby .jpg

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

tall boy

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 pulling out the blankets to get inside the bed

do not disturb

inside the bed

fast asleep in the bed

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.

w/c 11th Feb 2019 new things

Monday 11th Feb

Today is a day of firsts – Dembe has worked out that if he pushes the patio door with his nose it will slide open. The door was slightly ajar as the patio was being washed down with the hose. The next thing we knew Dembe was trying to bite the water coming out of the hose pipe.

Then just 20 minutes later he jumped from the floor up to my lap as I was sat on the sofa. He hasn’t jumped from the floor to the sofa yet so that was a bit of a shock. Since the end of last week he has been jumping off the sofa with ease but never on it.

After a dry two weeks on the toilet training front – well we presumed dry, I caught the little bugger having a wee on the lounge rug. The annoying thing was I was just about to call him to get him out on the patio. I wasn’t impressed as the rug now needed to be cleaned with biological detergent to break down the urine so it doesn’t become a regular spot – however I might be a little late. As checking the rug that evening I discovered an even bigger wet patch. The rug has been binned RIP rug, three Weimaraners wreaked havoc on you but you couldn’t cope with a 12 week old yellow lab. It was a valiant effort but sadly not enough.

Jay brought Kat home with him for lunch today and yes she couldn’t believe how much he had grown in the last few weeks. He is still very dinky though, especially when you see him out in the real world.

His obsession today has been chasing his tail, most days at some point he will attack his own tail but today for some reason his poor tail couldn’t do anything right. Dembe was like a kid who had discovered that spinning around makes you dizzy and walk funny. I have never seen him chase his own tail as much as he did today. He has been full of beans all day. Thank goodness Jay is on an early and he will be walked this evening.

Monday morning pose
Monday morning pose

 

finally asleep
Asleep this evening – photo taken by Jamie Morris

 

Tuesday 12th February

Dembe was down on the beach at 08.30 this morning, we met a friend of ours called Richard and his dog Whisky who is a springer spaniel. Unfortunately Whisky was a bit too full on for Dembe  and he became very timid, running back to me on the slipway or hiding behind his dads legs.

I used my mobility scooter again which is just wonderful as it gives me so much freedom.

down the beach
Jay with Dembe down the beach
mobility scooter on the slipway
Me sat on my mobility scooter on the slipway

Eventually Dembe got over his nerves and got a bit braver. It seems he is happier meeting dogs in a gentle manner whilst everyone is calm or on leads. A bouncy springer that reminded me of tigger daunted him.

Dembe also got to meet my hairdresser today Rachel, he was very intrigued by the gown she put over my clothes to stop them getting covered in hair. He was very good and went to sleep on his kitchen bed whilst she worked and didn’t try to get up and play with all the hair that was on the floor.

It was a very busy day as in the afternoon I had a physio session. I can’t believe it but we got away with it again having Dembe in the waiting room. Again everyone came out to meet him. Dembe was very well-behaved and adored all the attention from the staff. My physio Jane is such a darling, as she was replacing the tissue cover on the examination couch I asked her if I could have the cardboard tube as Dembe loves chewing them. She dived out the room and came back with 3 more. So the spoilt boy has 4 to destroy.

cardboard tube from the physio

He went crazy over them when we got home, charging about all over the place.

Whilst I was in my physio session Jay took Dembe for a quick stroll around the block to ensure there were no puddles in the waiting room. He ran into a lovely lady called Lo from O and P silver, who made our needle-shaped rings. She recognised Dembe from my photo’s on Facebook before she recognised Jay.

needlering

So the little pup had a wonderful day full of adventures and cuddles.

destroying my toy box
Dembe doing his favourite thing, emptying his toy box and then chewing the inside. He killed it this week.

 

Wednesday 13th February

We are attempting to push Dembe’s wake up time to nearer 6am than the current 4.30am -5am as the wake up times are killing me and impacting my health. He is waking up because he is starving hungry typical lab. I don’t care how hungry he is 5am is not breakfast time. We are still splitting his breakfast into 2 parts to stop the choking. Breakfast is the only meal he goes totally crazy for. He is happy at every meal time but he is happy to the point of hysteria at breakfast time.

Today’s training mission is to stop his naughty habit of jumping up and throwing himself at the fridge freezer, whenever the fridge door is opened. It won’t be long and he will be tall enough to jump to the height of the bottom shelf of the fridge so it needs working on now. It is a behaviour that has come out of nowhere, so needs stamped on now. I am also working on being able to open the front door without him charging for it.

Both training sessions went well and I was able to open the front door without having to pick him up. Believe me he needs to learn this fast as he is getting so heavy and I am going through quite a difficult time with my back so I don’t need any additional strain placed on it. I really wouldn’t be surprised if he was around the 8 kilo mark now. He will be weighed in 2 weeks so it will be interesting to see how much weight he has put on in 4 weeks.

The training with the fridge door is going well, even though he still runs into the kitchen when the fridge is opened he is now sitting and waiting and no longer throwing himself at the door. To assist with training I am walking around with a pocket full of treats so that I can be timely with his rewards. He is so switched on that he is a joy to work with however because he is so easy to work with its easy to move on too quickly when you think the problem has been sorted. So I am determined to keep up with both bits of training as they are equally as important as each other.

Dembe was made famous today as his photo’s were shown on TV today on the Sewing Quarter channel 687 on Sky ( you can also watch live on YouTube and Freeview) .

 

Thursday 14th February

Dembe didn’t wake up until 5.40am this morning which felt like a lie on! It is the first time in weeks he has slept so late. He was taken out at 12.30am for his last toilet trip ( we go to bed very early) which as usual was a success. He woke me up this morning by smothering me in kisses. He is such an affectionate loving boy.

As Jay is on late night he took him up on to the common for a run around, I stayed in the car as I was still exhausted after Tuesday. Dembe loves having a large open space to run around in and chase after a ball. He loves exploring a new environment. He was a little muddy when we got home so his legs were washed off and his belly was given a wipe down. He is so good I know the Weimaraner pups would never have put up with that but he just sits there happy with you doing whatever you need.

I had a bit of a shock today as Dembe jumped up at the baby gate that is blocking off the stairs and his paws can sit on the top of it. He is just growing up way too fast. In the space of nearly 5 weeks he has just shot up his legs are longer, his body is longer his snout is longer. He is still dinky, you can really see how small he is when outside but inside he is looking enormous especially when his head is level with the lounge coffee table.

chewing his cardboard tube
enjoying his cardboard tube from my physiotherapist
cuddled up to my snuggle topIMG_20190213_092112_547.jpg
Cuddled up with my snuggle top
my view every time I go to the toilet
My view every time I go to the bathroom!

on my bed day time rest

As I was so tired after Tuesday we had our first ever upstairs afternoon lie down for an hour. Due to Dembe needing out frequently I have been having my lie downs on the sofa until today. I wanted to see how he would cope so I set my alarm for an hours time and had a lie down. He entertained himself, no accidents and snuggled in with me. So I know now if I am having a very rough day he will come back up to bed without too many problems.

Friday 15th February

As I said on Monday it was a day of firsts and today was no different. Dembe has learned how to jump up on the sofa unaided. I was in the kitchen and it had got suspiciously quiet, I came into the lounge and saw Dembe curled up on the sofa asleep. I also knew I hadn’t left him there, by the time I got my phone out to take a photo he had woken up. It now means nothing  is safe .got up on the sofa unaided

Later on in the morning he jumped up beside me again unaided so it wasn’t a one off.

on the sofa beside me

I needed to take something upstairs and normally I would lock the baby gate behind me and within 30 seconds Dembe would be whingeing. Today I decided to do a little experiment , I left Dembe on the sofa and went upstairs leaving the baby gate open, dead silence, no whinging, I did this several more times during the day and there was still no whinging. It was obviously the physical barrier that was upsetting him as without it there was no crying and yet he didn’t even attempt to get upstairs. It maybe time to remove the babygate and see how we get on.

I decided to do some embroidery on my machine this afternoon, normally Dembe would follow me into the kitchen and put himself to bed. However today he decided to stay put on the sofa with his head on the arm so that he could keep an eye on me just like his uncle Frankie used to.

watching me whilst in the kitchen

I can’t believe he is 13 weeks old today and has been home with us for 5 weeks now. He is such a huge part of our lives.

Saturday 16th February

Jay was late night again today so we took Dembe up to the common for a run around . I stayed in the car as I have woken up with a headache and vertigo.  Dembe thoroughly enjoyed his walk and was playing with other dogs, which is a relief as I thought maybe he had suddenly become frightened of other dogs after reacting the way he did on Tuesday. But he is fine and is being a lot braver with every meeting.

Today Dembe decided to channel Satan again, barking and growling was immense fun and he was doing it to inanimate objects and humans. He was also over excited all day which meant he was jumping up and nipping inappropriately at the small humans we had here. Thankfully he didn’t bite them, I was mortified and had to give him a time out in the kitchen to calm down, which he was shocked at because I have never removed him from a room completely. He did calm down and was allowed back in. The time out seemed to stop the barking also.

It was a day of many visitors, before the day’s end we had another 4 people visit us and Dembe kept getting over excited which resulted in him being removed from the situation. Every time someone went to stroke his head yesterday it was seen as an opportunity to chew their fingers. If someone ignored him he started barking at them. It made me a bit sad that he was being naughty but he is a baby and he is testing the boundaries .  I am stopping the behaviour before it escalates by removing him and allowing him to calm down. He is very good when I put him behind the baby gate as he just sits and watches and doesn’t make a sound.

With other things he is doing really well, he now no longer jumps at the fridge when we open the door and he sits patiently waiting when Jay puts his lead on. He will also wait when I open the front door and allow visitors in or take in deliveries. It is amazing when you have been used to dogs that went mental when the door went and had to be shut in the kitchen when visitors arrived. Everyone has their off days and I think yesterday was one of those for  him.

We decoded to remove the baby gate yesterday at the bottom of the stairs to see how we would get on without it there and if he would go upstairs if he had the opportunity. He wasn’t interested and only attempted to go upstairs once and was quickly dissuaded when I told him no.  We have had to move our large wicker basket up into my room as it would just be too tempting for him to use as a chew toy.

Sunday 17th February

Dembe woke me up at 5.30am this morning but as I was asleep before 8pm last night ( shattered after all the visitors) it didn’t feel too bad. Dembe woke me with a whiney yawn he had obviously been awake for a little while and all other attempts to rouse me had failed.

By 7.45am we were down the beach, it never ceases to amaze me how busy the seafront is all day long. Dembe loves the beach and meeting new dogs and there were plenty of them this morning. He is getting much braver with meeting new dogs and Jay is really good handling those situations. I would be terrified my immediate urge is to pick him up – which is awful as I am miles away from him on the slipway, I watch holding my breath. Jay just gets on his haunches and pets the dog that has come over for a sniff and makes a fuss of them. Left to me I’d have picked him up and run away. At least with Jay being so confident Dembe doesn’t pick up on any fear.

He has been pretty tired since his walk this morning and has been sleeping either on the sofa beside me or on the dogs bed I made for our Weimaraners.

Sunday Dembe

And yes that is my slipper behind him!

The rest of his day has been spent sleeping, he is obviously having another growth spurt or he wore himself out yesterday with all his exuberence. We were planning on having a quiet day today as Jay and I both needed to recharge our batteries, so with Dembe being so tired it has worked to our advantage.

Next week will be fun, on Monday he will be meeting his admirer Sam who is on half term from College and then on Wednesday my best friend Ellie will be bringing her dog up (Bruce) to meet Dembe.

Have a great week everyone xxx

Walkies w/c 4th February

Monday 4th February

Last night our friends Tracey and Chris came over, Dembe had an absolute ball and was very keen on Chris. Tracey couldn’t believe how big he had got since the last time she had seen him which was about two weeks ago. To tell you the truth Jay and I still struggle with how much he has grown in the short time we have owned him. He must be at least 4 times the size he was when we brought him home.

Dembe was knackered Monday morning, it must be another growing day. I manage to get this footage of him fast asleep snoring his head off.

 

He doesn’t snore the whole time he is asleep he probably has one or two snoring sessions a day, it is incredibly loud for something that small. As you can see Dembe is a very contented little pup.

Daddy came home at lunchtime and brought Sarah back with him, she is Tracey’s daughter. Sarah hadn’t seen Dembe for around 3 weeks so was in shock at how quickly he had grown and didn’t look like a tiny pup anymore.  He still feels very tiny to us, I suppose he would do after the Weimaraner’s but he has changed a lot in the last three weeks.

This evening Dembe went out for a walk alone with Jay, as he wanted to get some lead training done with him. Its very difficult to get Dembe to concentrate when he is busy trying to catch me up in my mobility scooter. Dembe jumped over the threshold himself up until now we have been having to lift him over it and then put him down on the drive. He has finally worked out it is ok to go out of the front door. Jay said he knows where our home is now. When he turns back into our street he races along until he gets to our drive and then ploughs into the front door.

Peace has been shattered in the bedroom, where Dembe and I sleep. Due to my chronic insomnia and Jays snoring we are in separate rooms. Dembe has worked out how to use the huge box cushion dogs bed ( that I made for the Weims ) as a step and get up on the bed himself. He is so pleased with himself it is hilarious. Inside Jay and I are groaning as it means it will be days until he works out he can get down the same way and then nothing in the bedroom is safe!

asleep on my slipper

04_02 vetbed pickfords
Dembe decided that the vet bed looked better in the middle of the lounge rather than at the front door.

Tuesday 5th February

Today Jay is day off and we have planned to take Dembe down to the beach . The weather isn’t great, it is foggy and drizzling but it will be good for Dembe to go somewhere different and to meet some other dogs, as this is the last week really of imprinting and making sure he isn’t frightened of stuff. After week 12 you have two further weeks but fear has started to creep back in, that’s why the last three weeks have been a whirlwind of activity where we have tried to ensure that he comes across as many different things as possible, so that when he is older nothing bothers him.

 

We got to the beach at 11.15 It was really grey and miserable and cold. I had leggings on under my jeans and gloves on but I was still freezing. There were lots of dog walkers at the beach, which was surprising with how crap the weather was. I used my mobility scooter so I was unable to go on the beach, wheels and sand don’t go, so I videoed Dembe and Jay from the slipway.

 

Despite running himself ragged on the beach he was still full of energy for the rest of the day. His favourite thing to do is to empty his toy box out multiple times and his most favourite time ti do it is just after you have tidied up.

toy box

toy box 2

 

Today Dembe managed to open the baby gate – it hadn’t been shut properly because at age 45 both Jay and I struggle to shut it properly. He pulled it open with his teeth, the first I knew about it was when I heard a Dembe on the stairs and he came running into my bedroom where I was changing into my PJ’s. It is safe to say there is never a dull moment with this dog around!

Wednesday 6th February

Overnight I woke up to go to the loo, put one foot on the floor but it was on Dembe. He was curled up asleep in my snuggle top on the floor. I have no idea how he got there, whether he jumped off the bed or if he fell off. I didn’t hear him crying and I am so fine tuned to him crying that I wake up immediately. I plonk him back on the bed and he continues to sleep.

I can hardly believe it but Dembe went from 8pm until 5am with only one toilet break at 12.30am. It is the longest he has ever slept. Obviously it was all that sea air! It shows in his behaviour this morning that he had a long sleep as he is absolutely manic he was on the go from 5am until 9.15am when he finally went to sleep!

dembe sleepingon the sofa

I managed to get some embroidery done this morning, when we knew we were getting Dembe one of my concerns was how would I manage to fit in any sewing or embroidery with a pup in the house. For the first few weeks after Mollie and Frankie passed away I was too upset to sew. I began to panic a bit because when I forced myself to sew it didn’t bring me any peace or joy. Thankfully this week my sewjo has returned and when I am in the kitchen at my machine Dembe settled down on his bed and goes to sleep. He is an ideal sewing room companion.

Jay came home for lunch today and brought with him Bungle, who is Jays best work mate. I have known Bungle for years ( his name is Adam but his nickname is Bungle) in fact in a previous lifetime I did his new starter induction at work. Jay wanted to show Dembe off to him plus Bungle has a huge bushy beard and beards are on the list of things to ensure Dembe has encountered. Thankfully the majority of our male friends have facial hair. On a bad day I could probably boast a moustache at the very least!

I managed to catch this today on video, Dembe suckling in his sleep. Mollie our Weimaraner did this her whole life, she was still doing it at 14 years old. It is so sweet.

 

Thursday 7th February

During the night I wake up ( again for the loo) and find Dembe is sleeping on the huge box cushion dogs bed at the foot of my bed. He looks quite comfortable there. After last night and nearly standing on him I am turning the light on to go to the loo. He doesn’t look too impressed that the light is on. I scoop him up and put him back on the bed. I am now beginning to wonder if he can jump off the bed now. I leave a note for myself to coat the bedroom furniture in bitter apple spray…again just in case.

Dembe has started hoovering his breakfast, he has a nasty choke this morning due to eating too fast and that is with the slow feeder bowl ( not the lime green one that has bits sticking out of it). I have to pat his back to ensure he brings it all up. Unperturbed he is still trying to eat whilst he chokes. I decide that we won’t be using this bowl again as he has figured out how to eat quickly from it, which defeats the object.

Jay is on a late shift today so we decide that we will go to the beach and let Dembe have a run around as he won’t get a walk tonight.  Our lives have totally changed since Frankie and Mollie left us. We have been set in a routine for 12 years and its all gone now. As Jay is no longer getting up at silly o’clock to walk the dogs he is now sleeping through, which now means that instead of him getting up at 9.30am – 10am ( he would get up at 3am / 4am and then go back to bed at around 5am – 6am) he is up at 7am, 7.30am at the very latest. We would never go anywhere before he went to work on a late night unless I had a medical appointment as there just wasn’t time. Its weird now as the morning seems to last forever. I am up everyday at around 5am as that is when Dembe wakes.

The beach is surprisingly busy for 9.30am there are lots of exercise groups taking place. I would have loved that when I was fit and well. There are mums jogging with their prams, a group of ladies doing HIT with weights, medicine balls and kettle bells. I am impressed and feel a right lump sat on my mobility scooter.

This time I go right to the end of the slipway so I am level with the beach. Dembe is having a ball, there are two Golden Retriever Pups 10 months old who are up for a play. Dembe is obsessed with their tails and is trying to leap up and grab them. He then runs around like a little rabbit doing circles between them. Which has us and the Retriever owner in stitches. However the older pups have enough of this crazy hound and one of the Retrievers decides to turn Dembe over and dump him on the sand. Dembe looks a little surprised but is ok. We have seen this behaviour before, Travis our first Weimaraner did it to Mollie on her first walk on the common and she did it to both Frankie and Willow when they joined her on their first walk. Its like a right of passage. Dembe is wet and covered in sand but he understands that the Retrievers no longer wants to play and runs up to Jay wanting his ball thrown.

We walk Dembe up and down the sea front for 10 minutes and then return to the beach to allow him to run around a bit and let off some steam. Jay is throwing the ball for him and bringing it back. He really loves his ball and as he is bringing it back I can see him watching me intently. I am at the bottom of the slipway again, so Dembe brings the ball over to me and drops it in my hand. He is so used to the mobility scooter that he just see’s it as part of me when we are out and about. It really touches me that at his tender age that he has worked out he needs to bring it to me and drop it in my hand, rather than drop it on the floor like he does with his dad. I am so proud of him my heart could burst.

The beach wears him out for the rest of the day and he sleeps in the kitchen whilst I have a play on my embroidery machine.

smiling in his sleep again

He always looks like he is smiling when he sleeps. He is a very contented pup, who loves us as much as he loves his food!

Friday 8th February

This morning in an attempt to stop the choking I switch over to Dembe’s lime green slow feeder. Unfortunately within seconds of starting his breakfast he had started choking again. It is really frightening when it happens, you feel so helpless. Tomorrow I decide we shall split his breakfast up into two to try to prevent him choking. Its the only meal of the day that he goes crazy over. He loves his food but he just eats way too quickly at breakfast time.

As Jay is late night again today we had initially planned to go to the beach again, however on googling the tide times we find out it is a high tide. It is also very windy and raining as storm Erik makes its presence felt. As the skies lighten we also realise that one of our fence posts has sheared off and the two connecting fence panels are flapping about in the wind. As Jay and I hadn’t seen any weather forecasts or just hadn’t taken any notice it is a bit of a surprise. The beach plans are cancelled.

Dembe has been with us 4 weeks today and is 12 weeks old. This means his daily walking allowance goes up by another 5 minutes, so he is now allowed 15 minutes a day. Jay decides that he will give Dembe a lead walk around the streets this morning. He sets a timer on his phone so he knows that he has only had 15 mins on the lead. It is a shame as 15 minutes is not enough to wear Dembe out but it is necessary to ensure his joints are protected. I wonder now if I was to blame for Frankie’s bad hips and back, I used to walk him and all our previous dogs for at least an hour a day when they were pups. There just wasn’t the guidance on dogs joints like there is today. It is strange how much things have changed in the last 15 years.

Dembe and Jay return looking like drowned rats. Dembe decides to have a mad five minutes running around the house like a crazed rabbit. I eventually manage to pin him down long enough to dry him off. Drying Dembe with a towel is an endurance sport. He see’s towels, clothes or anything dangling in front of him as a toy. So drying him takes a bit of subterfuge. I tend to have one  bit of towel in one hand which I use to distract him and then dry him with the other. I am always amazed at how quickly he dries, it must be to do with the oils on his fur. Frankie used to take an age to dry his fur seemed to absorb the water where as with Dembe it seems to just sit on top of it.

Dembe is really good when Paul ( not uncle Paul ) comes over to fix the fence post. He does though get under both mine and Pauls feet so I end up trying to pick him up. He is getting a bit big for this course of action – its fine for my husband ( but even he is saying what a lump Dembe is these days) but my arms have always been weak so with my back in the equation sadly I won’y be able to lift him for much longer. Thankfully despite the fact that the fence post has been flailing about in the wind the garden area that we have Dembe confined to is still secure.

It’s really strange after all these years to have a dog that doesn’t bark at people coming into the house, that doesn’t need to be put in the kitchen or fed a jumbone so that they don’t frighten your guests. The stupid thing was that once the dogs settled down they were really soppy but their barking could be very intimidating. Dembe rarely makes a sound unless he is growling or barking at his ball. It is really weird however he has had a crash course in meeting people in the last 4 weeks, I lost count at 50.

Dembe loves to sit next to me on the sofa, he is a mummy’s boy. He loves Jay and goes crazy when he gets in from work or home at lunch time but he adores me. Its nice because I had such a close relationship with Frankie and I miss that. Its understandable that he is really bonded with me when I am with him five days a week for 11 hours a day.

dembe friday

Dembe’s latest trick is to chew my slippers when I am wearing them. I wear Ugg type boot slippers and don’t notice him chewing until I go to move my feet. You do need eyes in the back of your head with him.

He is the stair master now and can climb them with ease, we limit his stair climbing to once or twice a day to protect his joints. We are working on going down stairs but as they are so steep and he is so little we only let him do the bottom 5 steps.

Saturday 9th February

Dembe can now jump on and off the bed in my room whenever he likes. He doesn’t even need to use the 2 huge box cushion dogs beds as steps anymore. This made bed time last night a bit of a trial as he spent the first 30 minutes running around like a lunatic showing off his new skill. Thankfully when The Archers theme tune went off at the end of the episode he twigged it was bed time and finally collapsed on the pillow beside me.

Jay in his wisdom decided to get up at 4.30am I have no idea why. I wasn’t impressed as Dembe is such a light sleeper especially after 4am as his stomach seems to know it is breakfast time! I got Jay to come and get him after I was woken up having my face washed and the tip of my nose gently chewed. I suggested to him to split Dembe’s breakfast up into two parts in the hope it would stop him choking. As it was 4.30am I also told him to wait until at least 5am before feeding him. I don’t want Dembe thinking whenever he wakes up we will feed him as otherwise he will be deciding its breakfast time at 1am such is his hunger!

It must be another growing day today as he has been asleep for hours this morning. He reminds me so much of Frankie with the little things he does. He has now started sleeping ensuring he is touching me so he knows if I move. The Weimaraners used to do that and my left leg would go numb with the weight of their heads on my leg. This was Dembe this morning.

 

20190209_084145

I have just had to move him as he looked like he was going to fall off the sofa with his head hanging off the side. As I woke him up for no good reason he has stropped down the end of the sofa. He still looks like he is smiling in his sleep.

20190209_132525

sleepy boy

Sunday 10th February

As Dembe was so calm and sleepy yesterday it would seem only fitting that today he would decide to channel Satan again. This dog has been on the go for massive chunks of the day.

He obviously decided to lull us into a false sense of security this morning by giving us a 40 minute lie on. From 5.20am until 11am he didn’t stop. This included a rather wet and windy walk on the common at 8.30am so that he could run around off the lead and have his ball thrown. He is obsessed by his ball. He was covered in mud by the time he got back to the car so ended up having to have a shower. He doesn’t mind that at all, quite often when I am having a shower he will wander in and get soaked. It makes us laugh that we have gone from dogs that would do anything to avoid a bath to a dog that just wants a bath all the time. He even chases the hose on the patio and gets soaked doing that. He makes us laugh with his antics.

He did finally collapse at 11am and kept me company out in the kitchen. However at 11.30am he started to let me know he wanted his lunch. We go through this every lunch and dinner time, at least 30 minutes before his meal is due he will start to remind you that he needs fed. As he is still a baby he gets fed 3 times a day,  I think his sole focus of the day is when he can have his next meal. He will go to the dog food storage box and start jumping up at it or nosing it, just to remind you where it is. You know in case you have forgotten from last time. Teaching him to do stuff is relatively easy as he is so food orientated.  He gets fed breakfast between 5am and 6am, trying to nudge it more towards 6am as he is now trying to get up early to have is breakfast. He has lunch at midday and then dinner is anytime between 5pm and 6.30pm depending on when Jay finishes work and when Dembe has been walked.

After he had his lunch he decided to sleep on the sofa next to Jay until 2pm . From 2pm until 4.30pm he didn’t stop. We have been throwing the ball for him in the lounge, playing tug, messing around with his soft toys. He just kept going and going. At 4pm he started doing his lunatic circuits around the house where he crashes into everything. Jay was shocked at how fast he is, I told him he does this everyday just normally you are at work. Finally he settled down and went to sleep. He was pretty full on but funny. At one point he turfed all his toys out of his toy box and climbed inside

in the toy box again

toy box (1)

I couldn’t get my camera on my phone on quick enough as initially he was leaning back with his purple rhino in  his mouth. He looked adorable.

He has been very vocal today, he has barked at the hoover and at the ironing board. Both of which he has seen on a daily basis since coming home with us. His toys have also been growled at. He is funny as he can go days without making any noise and then like today sounds like he is trying to have a conversation with us.

A momentous week w/c 28th Jan 2019

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.

Monday 28

Monday 28 (1)

 

chilling Monday 28th

 

 

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.

Tuesday 29

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!

weds 30th (1)

 

weds 30th (2)
I had to knock up this bumper to stop Dembe pushing his toys underneath the TV unit.

 

spooky 30th Jan
Tonight I was looking for some paperwork and came across Frankie and Mollies Vaccination records. It is really spooky that in all the years Frankie had this card ( which was 12 years) I never noticed the photo on the card was of a yellow Labrador. It seems like a sign .

 

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.

 

thurs 31st Jan

31st Jan (2)

31st Jan

31st Jan (1)

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.

Friday 1st feb

 

 

 

sleepy boyIMG_20190201_054726_451

sleepy boy 2

 

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.

Saturday2nd feb

 

red eyed boy after his walk
Looks at those red eyes

 

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

worn out pup

 

 

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 ).

new cage
Spot the pup

 

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.

 

dembe Sunday x

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.

Hubby goes back to work w/c 21st January

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.

end of first day with dembe alone

dembe monday 21st

 

start of dembes kitchen bed
I managed to make a start of Dembe’s kitchen bed which will be a box cushion with his name on it.

 

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.

dembes bed finished
I managed to sew Dembe’s bed together on Monday evening and attach the kam snaps Tuesday

 

dembe's personalised mug (1)
Dembe’s personalised mug arrived today. It will go up on the kitchen shelf with all the dogs personalised mugs.

 

 

dembe tuesday lunchtimereceived_908006699590455

 

dembe tuesday

 

dembes bag started
Dembe’s tote bag started
reverse of dembes bag
Reverse of Dembe’s bag

 

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.

dembe weds

dembe

bag finished front
Bag finished, front view

 

bag finished reverse
Reverse of bag ( satin stitched around the raw edge of the applique)

 

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.

pets at home

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.

dembe in the car

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.

babies are 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.

on the sofa with me

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.

bowl

 

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.

good boy at the back door

playing with the ball
yes I am in my PJs, I felt so awful that day I didn’t shower or get dressed.

 

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.

sleepy baby

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.

W/C 14th January – our first full week as puppy parents!

Monday 14th

We had a very good night in bed at 8pm as we were all shattered , he was taken out at 3am for the toilet and then slept until 06.45am.

Dembe is really starting to change, I swear he is bigger than he was three days ago! Today we heard his first ever growl and bark. He caught sight of his reflection in a glass door and thought he would let it know who was boss. Despite me being stuck in bed with a migraine at the time I did chuckle. He also gets very frustrated with not being able to reach into his toy box so that gets barked at too!

Whilst I was stuck in bed Jay had to supervise Dembe alone for the first time. I came too as I had been sleeping, as Jay came up the stairs. I was fully expecting Dembe to be put on the bed with me whilst Jay used the bathroom. However the bathroom door closed and I didn’t get Dembe. When Jay emerged I asked him if he had taken Dembe with him, no he replied I have shut him in his cage, he is happily playing with his toys. I told Jay when he opened the door to reward Dembe with a small bit of roast beef. Dembe goes crazy for roast beef, he has worked out that the roast beef is kept in the fridge and if he is in the kitchen when the fridge is opened he sits bolt upright waiting to see if anything is coming his way. At the moment we are just using this treat for crate training as we want a super special treat for this.

Dembe’s character is emerging more and more. Today whilst Jay was fitting a baby gate Dembe strolled up and then stole the screwdriver out of his hand. To get it back roast beef had to be used! The only time roast beef has been used for anything other than crate training.

We have had a couple of accidents in the house today. Mainly because he was doing so well we got complacent. We have been back on it ever since as we were disappointed to have let him down. However he keeps throwing us as initially he would run to the back door to keep us on our toes he now also runs to the front door, which means he has to be carried to the back door. We think its because it has the only bit of carpet in the whole of the downstairs in front of it and it still contains the scent of our previous dogs. He is probably just marking his territory. Thankfully its all been cleaned and now we just watch his tail when he is over by the front door. He has a very rhythmic tail movement when he is about to go to the toilet that is completely different to his other tail movements. He’d be a rubbish poker player!

Dembe has still been meeting lots of people and dogs. Nothing much seems to phase him.

dembe checking out his mug

dembe and his eb mug

For those of you new to me and Jay we are avid Emma Bridgewater Pottery collectors. When I found the Yellow Labrador mug on line I had to have it!

 

Tuesday 15th January

Today I have been feeling very low, I love Dembe with all my heart but I am really missing Frankie and Mollie ( I have missed Willow everyday since she passed away). Whats worse is I keep calling Dembe , Frankie which feels like a knife to the heart. I am angry that I am causing this pain to myself but I have been saying the name Frankie for 12 years and Dembe for just 4 days. As I have always said Dembe is very much an addition to our family not a replacement. He is a very different dog to any of the others we have owned in the past. All dogs have their own personalities and quirks, we are learning his.

Dembe has had a very busy day, he was awake from 5am and was a demon from the off. I am wondering who came in the night and stole my calm placid puppy and replaced him with Satan. He is biting everything, running around like a lunatic. He then had a sleep between 6am and 7am and then went off like a coiled spring again. At around 9.30am he took himself off to the kitchen and went to sleep on his dad’s slippers.

his favourite place to sleep this wek

 

tues dembe

 

dembe with teddy

For the rest of the day he has been an angel, he met my best friend Ellie who brought him a lovely teddy bear. He also met 4 children who were fantastic with him as they have a fully grown Rotti called Maui, so a 8 week old puppy is nothing to them. He was playing tug of war with the girls plaits which brought about squeals of laughter. He was such a very good boy.

Today he discovered the joy of chasing a ball, so as he was loving careering through the lounge I decided to use the opportunity to get him to learn to fetch and retrieve. He cottoned on very quickly that if he gave me the ball back I would roll it along the floor again for him. I have also got him to master sit today and he will sit on command. He is so eager to learn and loves any fuss. His tail goes mental when you tell him he has been a good boy.

We also quickly went down the sea front today so that Dembe could experience some different sights and sounds.

dembe and jay

For the first time we attached a lead to his collar, he believes this is just another chew toy. I can see he maybe a lead chewer like his Uncle Frankie so a metal lead will need to be purchased.

 

Wednesday 16th January

 

Today Dembe  had his first trip to the vets for his puppy check,  to ensure his jabs are compatible with what our veterinary surgery uses and to register his microchip number with them. Thankfully the jabs are compatible however out vet uses Lepto 4 not lepto 2 so he will have an extra jab to cover him for the 4 strains of leptospirosis ( Weils Disease). We want him to be covered as Jays favourite place to walk the dogs is on Woodbury common which at this time of year can be quite wet and boggy. So until he has been fully vaccinated it will be road walks once he is safe to do so.

We have been using this practice for at least 11 years and wouldn’t take any of our animals we have owned or own anywhere else. However this trip is a bit traumatic for both Jay and I. Both trips to the vets recently have been to have our elderly Weimaraners p.t.s, both out of the blue so there was no preparing ourselves for what happened.

We were totally overwhelmed by the surgery staffs kindness. A lady who worked there, who always loved Frankie had bought Dembe a welcome to your new home card and a purple Rhino Kong toy. It made me cry but they were happy tears and plus I was just really worked up with being there again so soon after losing Mollie and Frankie. We had made sure we arrived at the vets early so this lovely lady could have lots of puppy cuddles.  However due to it being quite busy we ended up being there a lot longer than we had planned. Dembe was an absolute star, he never fussed or cried even though he was probably bored rigid being held and not allowed on the ground to play.

Whilst he was at the vets he had lots of cuddles with various members of staff. Which again is great for his socialisation. They all couldn’t believe the size of his feet and everyone keeps telling us what a big boy he will be. However I remember Frankie as a puppy and I can’t remember him ever being as small as our Dinky Dot Dembe, which obviously he was. Frankie had feet the size of side plates, well ok that maybe a slight exaggeration but they were huge. To me Dembe’s feet look in proportion to the rest of him but it will be interesting to see if he is a big Labrador as both his parents seemed quite small in comparison with Frankie and Mollie.

The rest of the day was spent quietly, I think the events of the last 2-3 weeks are beginning to catch up on us. Its very hard when you are grieving, you can either hide away from life and that would have broken both of us or you can just grab life with both hands and keep going.

Dembe is now sitting on command every time I ask him to and occasionally he is also giving me his paw when asked or not asked, whatever takes his fancy.

The baby gates have now been installed on my bedroom door and on the kitchen / lounge door. This meant Dembe had to be crated for a while to keep him safe whilst this was done. He did very well as it was the longest he had been crated for. He did cry a little towards the end but as soon as he saw me he stopped and he calmly came out. He was rewarded for being such a good boy with a tiny piece of roast beef.

He is such an affectionate boy, who divides his time equally between myself and Jay. Everyone who meets him falls in love with him.

dembe wednesday

 

Thursday 17th January

Today was the first day in ages we were totally free from visits or appointments. It has been enormous fun ensuring that Dembe is socialised with all our friends, their children and various different places / sounds but it is also bloody tiring.

The job for today was getting my mobility scooter looked at, on Sunday when we had been trying to adjust the seat height we had inadvertently jammed the bar so it wouldn’t move at all. We tried numerous things to free it but weren’t getting anywhere. I searched YouTube and various websites to no avail. I thought that we may have even broken it, so our hail Mary pass was to take it to a place that did repairs.

We travelled over to Devon Disability Collective in Marsh Barton, I didn’t ring as I thought we could either leave it there to get looked at or they would tell us it couldn’t be repaired. It was a good opportunity to get Dembe accustomed to longer car rides as we both have family that live over an hour away and we want to be able to visit them without a dog crying / barking in the car for the whole journey.  Thankfully Dembe from the start has been brilliant in the car, most of the time he just sleeps.

Within a minute of Jay going into the building, he came back out again with a man that said he would try to help us. Five minutes later it was all fixed. A liberal coating of silicone lubricant and a hammer had prised the seat adjustment bar back out and now I would be able to use the mobility scooter whenever I wanted. I offered to pay the man for his time but he wouldn’t accept any payment, so Dembe gave him a cuddle instead.

dembe smiling whilst he sleeps 16_01

Until Dembe I had never seen a dog smile in his sleep. Dembe seems to have a permanent grin on his chops whilst he snores….loudly. Every day I am a little more in love with him, which I didn’t think was possible. The change in Jay has been miraculous, obviously having Dembe doesn’t take the pain away but it makes it liveable. Jay’s colour has changed before we got Dembe he was an awful grey colour at times I thought he was going to die of a broken heart. I have never seen him look so ill. His mood has lifted also and he now wants to go back to work and see people. Before Dembe’s arrival and his socialisation training Jay was hiding away.  It has been so good for him and me.

In the evenings Dembe likes to sleep on the sofa next to Jay. He does sleep in some very strange positions.

thurs16thjandembe

I also managed to do some sewing late Thursday afternoon. I hadn’t touched my machines for two weeks as I just couldn’t concentrate and didn’t want to. I needed to use the machine so that Dembe wouldn’t be frightened of the noise it made. The only thing that scared him today was the sound of the ironing board so we will need to ensure over the next few days it is put up and down a few times so he gets used to the noise.

To celebrate the fact that my mobility scooter was up and running we went down to the seafront again. This time I was able to ride alongside Jay and Dembe instead of being stuck on the bench as I had been earlier in the week. It was fantastic actually being able to take part properly rather than sitting on the side lines.

Today he met a 12 week old pug and they had a good sniff of each other. He also met his very first baby (well probably closer to a one year old) Dembe was fascinated as was the baby!  He gave her lots of kisses and her face really beamed.

 

Friday 18th January

Today we needed to get out and about and run some errands so it was an excellent opportunity to get Dembe in the car again and being around lots of noise and people. I have now lost count how many people he has met. I know by Monday we were in the mid twenties. By the end of this week its probably going to be double that.

We had to pop into the vets to give them some paperwork. So this meant a lot of cuddles and attention from staff and clients. We then went to the town centre, this was the busiest environment Dembe had been in with traffic ( including lorries and buses) lots of people of all different ages and lots of dogs. Dembe took it all in his stride and he was exceptionally well behaved as he was held in Jays arms for close to an hour. We get stopped wherever we go with people wanting to ask about him and give him a cuddle. Everyone raves about how beautiful he is. I think he is too even though I am a little biased. I do think his nose will be out of joint when he has passed the cute puppy stage and the humans are no longer cooing over him!

We had two lots of visitors in the afternoon and unusually he was awake through both. Normally at least one lot of our visitors ends up disappointed as Dembe has crashed and is fast asleep. That is the life of a puppy though, like babies they can and do sleep a lot. Dembe got a bit over excited this afternoon as he was chasing after a 3 year old. He found that enormous fun and then he started bombing around the house without chasing anyone. He was well and truly hyped up by the time our second visitors arrived with their 12 week old Cockerpoo. Which despite being 3 weeks older than Dembe was less than half his size and probably less than half his weight.

Dembe was up for a good game of rough and tumble as he had obviously had his litter mates to play with who were all the same sort of size he was. The Cockerpoo was having none of it and spent most of the visit either in her owners arms or trying to get in her owners arms. Being a Labrador all Dembe wanted to do was chase and let off some steam, we had hoped that they would play nicely together and run around the house. The Cockerpoo was very timid and found Dembe just overwhelming. Such a shame as I would have loved to see him burn some of his energy up.

Dembe is obsessed with anything that smells of his Dad, he likes to sleep on his daddy’s slippers and when Jay washed his bed linen today Dembe saw a chance to ensure he was immersed in the smell.

dembe on his dads bedding

 

Saturday 19th January

The day got off to a cracking start with me managing to take my evening medications instead of my morning medications first thing. That left me feeling quite spaced out and drunk for a few hours this morning. After several coffees it did seem to get better and we managed to get out to Pets at home over in Exeter – where I used my mobility scooter. Again I am not receiving any financial reward etc for mentioning them just to make it clear. We went to the Exeter one as the aisles are bigger and I was less likely to trash the place. Dembe had out grown his puppy collar and needed his first big boys collar. It was also another good opportunity to go out in the car.

We didn’t even get into the shop before Jay and Dembe were stopped by his adoring fans. He is so good and when the ladies are cooing over him ( Dembe obviously) he always managed to give one of them a kiss which melts their hearts even more. Dembe got to meet another baby in the store, who was fascinated by him, he gently kissed her fingers and she stroked his ears. It amazes me that he will play rough on occasion with Jay and I but when dealing with children and babies he is very gentle.

We took Dembe all over the shop. We showed him the rabbits and the guinea pigs, he wasn’t bothered. Although I would imagine that it would be a different ball game should he have been allowed to be on the floor with them. He is obsessed with breaking the necks of all his cuddly toys, everything gets picked up by the throat and then shook. Even his tiny comfort blanket with the teddy bear on that came from the breeder gets tossed around!

He was however fascinated by the fish, which is quite apt as Labradors were originally bred to retrieve fish. He was staring at them through the glass and looked as if he could just jump straight in and swim alongside them. His little brow was furrowed with concentration.

saturday dembe

This afternoon we had some more visitors and Imogen got to meet Dembe for the first time. She fell in love with him. Leanne and Liam were surprised at just how much he has grown over the last week. He looks less puppy like and more miniature dog. Last week he couldn’t get into his toy box, this week he can pull it over tip everything out of it and then crawl inside it. He has also managed to jump down from the sofa once, I had left him asleep and gone into the kitchen, within seconds I heard a thump and he was walking into the kitchen. He is now desperate to get onto the sofas under his own steam. He is  attempting run ups in the hope it gives him enough of a chance to get up but so far it hasn’t worked. Thankfully at the moment he is staying on my bed at night and not wandering around the bedroom. It has been puppy proofed if he does, I mean he is going to at some point. For the moment though he is quite happy to snuggle with me.

saturdaydembe
New big boy collar

Today I had him showing off his sit and paw to our visitors. I am really excited for tomorrow as we are going to a dear friends house and he hasn’t seen him since last Saturday. It will be the first house Dembe has been to, so there is also the worry that he will have an accident!

saturday dembe

Imogen took some lovely photos of him today

imogen 1st visit (2)

imogen 1st visit (1)

imogen 1st visit

 

Sunday 20th January

Wow its been a day of firsts today. Dembe ate his full amount of food at breakfast this morning. We had been struggling to get him to eat the full 90g portion, so had been giving him less in the morning and adding the rest between his lunch and dinner. This morning however he scoffed his 70g and came looking for more. Hopeful he would eat it I added the left over 20g and that was scoffed as well. I have been panicking that he wasn’t eating all of his breakfast, even though he was getting his full quota of food for the day. He must be having another growth spurt at he polished off his lunch today in the quickest time ever.

sunday dembe

sunday dembe
This was him first thing this morning emptying out his toy box which he couldn’t even reach into this time last week and then dragging it across the lounge.

 

Another first was going into a strange house. We visited our dear friend Paul today, who met Dembe last Saturday and has been smitten ever since. Paul’s house was fully carpeted so I was a bit panicked that Dembe may have an accident, however with careful monitoring we were able to avoid accidents and Dembe was more than happy to show off his toilet training skills. He went out for 4 wee’s and a poop during our 90 minute visit.

Normally Dembe is very active between wake up and about 9.30am, then crashes for a few hours and sleeps. Today he has been on the go from the moment he got up. We could see he was getting tired at Paul’s house but he just wouldn’t give in to it. He was having too much fun playing with his ball and toys and running around like a loon. When we got into the car, he settled immediately and went to sleep. Jay popped into the shop as we needed some supplies, Dembe slept through it all, even when Imogen jumped into the car and had a chat with me, he just continued to sleep.

This afternoon Dembe had a visit from Bev and Harry. He was spoilt rotten by them and had a whole goodie bag full of treats and new toys. This dog must be the most spoilt on the planet! He received a toy from Imogen on Saturday. Our friends have truly been wonderful and have made a real fuss of him. Dembe was quite active during their visit as I was worried he would sleep through it after wearing himself out at his Uncle Paul’s in the morning.

He has been really hungry all day polishing his meals off within minutes today, where as he has been fannying about the last 9 days when eating and we had to keep getting him to return to his bowl. He is shattered now and is fast asleep next to his dad on the sofa.

dembe favouriteplace to sleep
I finally managed to catch him in his favourite place to sleep, with his head in hubby’s slippers.
me and the boy having mummy cuds
He is a very affectionate dog and will sit on my lap having a cuddle for ages. I intend to have as many cuddles like this as possible as it wont be long and he will be too big. They grow up so fast.
dembe's tote bag
I managed to get some embroidery done today and started on Dembe’s tote bag. We need to take so much stuff with us when we go out I thought I would make him his own bag.

 

He hasn’t barked this much the whole time he has been here. His new glow in the dark ball was winding him up. Thanks Bev and Harry that gave us such a good laugh.

Week Commencing 7th January 2019

Monday:

Today we travelled to Broadleaf Gundogs to view 2 yellow male Labrador puppies that are remaining from the litter. To be honest I am glad of the distraction and to be out of the house. The pain of losing Frankie and Mollie is overwhelming, everywhere in the house reminds us of what we have lost. They were never just dogs to us.

The two puppies are absolutely gorgeous. I admit I am hesitant as I am concerned that we maybe rushing into this to try to avoid the pain and grief but I also know I don’t want to spend another minute than I have to without a dog. I am even missing the sound of the dogs feet on the laminate flooring which Jay and I always used to call tap dancing. The hole they have left is huge. I am unsure if I can love another dog this soon. I know Jay has fallen apart. In all our nearly 22 years together I have only seen him cry 4 times and each of those was when we have lost one of our babies ( dogs).

Jay is suffering and I decide that for his sake I can learn to love a dog if we decide to put a deposit down today.

The kennels are fab, immediately on entering we are greeted by a load of adult Labradors. If I could have got away with it I would have laid on the floor and just cuddled them all. We have both missed the feel of a dog and the love they give and Mollie has only been gone since Saturday.

We have a choice of 2 puppies one is so pale gold / yellow in colour that he is almost white. I play with him whilst sat on the floor. The breeder has placed a more red colour Labrador in Jay’s arms. I immediately see the look of peace in Jays eyes. Its the first time since… well you know. The puppy is contentedly staring into his eyes and I know my choice isn’t coming into this. To be honest the pale puppy is gorgeous also but the puppy Jay has is in the process of stealing his heart.

Dembe will be ready for collection on Friday 11th January. We chose the name Dembe years ago, its from a Character in the tv show The Blacklist. We knew it was a perfect name for a dog when this time came. We had also discussed the breed, we kept going around in circles and kept coming back to Labrador. It is a bit spooky that Dembe’s mum is called Willow, that was the name of our dog that passed away in December 2017. It seems like fate is intervening.

Today has been such a bitter sweet day after losing Frankie and Mollie so suddenly. Our house is not a home without a dog.

 

Tuesday 8th January

So many jobs to do before Dembe’s arrival on Friday. My anxiety levels have soared and now my obsessive list making has come to the surface. When I am anxious having a list makes me feel in control when I feel a situation has spiralled out of control. I suffered badly last year after suffering numerous bereavements in quick succession. It had relented a little only to resurface after… well I am guessing you know what.

Jay on the other hand is paralysed by his anxiety, he is struggling to hold even a basic conversation due to the overwhelming level of grief he is suffering. We are having the same conversation over and over again. Normally I would have lost my temper on the 4th occasion of telling him the same thing but I know how much he is suffering. Neither of us has slept a night through since last Friday where we nursed Mollie through the night. Jay is waking every morning around 2.30am / 3am the time he would normally have taken the dogs out….that’s a long story and for another day. I am waking up around midnight – 1am and not getting back to sleep. I am existing on 4 hours a night.

Jay has made a start on cleaning the patio, so we have taken a trip to the recycling centre to get rid of stuff that I have been asking him to tip for months! We have also been to the range and picked up some more puppy bits. Yesterday we had a trolley dash around Pets at Home. Thankfully a friend told us to ask for the Puppy booklet which gets you 10% off. As we haven’t had a puppy in the house for around 11-12 years we are having to start at the very beginning.

My anxiety is rising at the prospect of there being a puppy in the house. I am worried that I won’t know what to. I have ordered books and looked online. I feel so out of my depth. Jay keeps telling me to stop over thinking it. I know it is because a puppy is an unknown quantity and I have no way of controlling it.

Wednesday 9th January

We are so desperate for the touch, smell and company of a dog that we are now meeting friends with dogs. As Frankie was never very good with other dogs, I have never met a lot of my friends dogs. For those of you new to this blog I am disabled and have mobility problems. You can find out more about me at http://www.themyastheniakid.com.

Today we met a huge Rottweiler, although we know he can be very boisterous he was an angel with us. He cleaned my face for me at least 4 times! It was wonderful to be able to give a dog a cuddle and utter the words “good boy” .

We paid our second visit of the week to Pets at Home – just to reassure you all I’m not receiving any money from this and I am in no way promoting them. We needed some more puppy bits.

I need to buy some shelves as for years I have stored my medication box on the floor – with old dogs that never took any interest in my medications that was fine. Now we have a puppy that due to his breed will be interested in everything. So to be safe I want a shelf that will be well out of puppy range.

Today we had friends drop over some baby gates so that we can keep the kitchen and the upstairs hallway out of reach. When I will be home alone with Dembe I need to be able to keep him safe as I can’t go running off after him.

I’ve also had to sort out my mobility scooter, it has needed new batteries forever. I want to be able to go out with Jay and Dembe when he is taken out to get used to the outside world and when he is finally allowed to have proper walks after his jabs. A friend loaned her husband to come over and open up the battery compartment so I could take measurements of the battery and see what we needed. He managed to tell us of a place locally that sells batteries so our plan is to head out tomorrow and buy them.

Today has been really hard. We are trying to keep as busy as possible. We hate not having a dog here and we are missing our babies (dogs) more than I thought possible.

 

Thursday 10th January

Today we had a list of jobs to get through which we are calling operation puppy proofing. Jobs completed today were

  • patio bleached and cleaned
  • Dog food bin cleaned
  • Treats put into Kilner jar
  • baby gate placed around the stairs
  • dog cage cleaned and disinfected
  • dog bed washed and dried
  • my bedroom puppy proofed
  • Crate set up for Dembe to sleep in
  • Batteries bought for my mobility scooter
  • throw bought for Dembe’s crate
  • Batteries fitted in Scooter
  • Pine handles removed from the Irish Dresser and replaced with metal ones.

 

Friday 11th January

Awful nights sleep, between 9pm and midnight I am constantly waking up. From midnight until 1am nightmares / flashbacks surrounding the passing of both our dogs. Its too distressing for me to even talk about at the moment. I know that it is my subconscious attempting to process what has happened but on the night before you are travelling to pick up your new addition and need to be with it and not groggy.

Jay joined me downstairs at 5am, thankfully he had slept, especially when he would be doing a round trip of approx 220 miles today.

We ended up leaving early as we were ready to go and we needed fuel etc. Thank goodness we did as we got stuck in a traffic jam for nearly 30 minutes on the M4. We arrived bang on 11am at Braodleaf Gun dogs.

It took me until Dembe was on my lap in the car on the way home for me to fully accept that he was ours. I had been so frightened all week that I wouldn’t be able to love him, that we were rushing things. Within ten minutes of having him in my arms my heart had melted. He was an absolute angel in the car. We had been prepared for a projectile puking pup due to travel sickness but there was nothing. He slept and snored the whole way home.

He spent the majority of the journey home lying in my arms snoring.

Who wouldn’t fall instantly in love with him?

As soon as we got home we took him straight out onto the patio, he was such a good boy and went for a wee. I thought he was finished and brought him back in. Unfortunately he wasn’t and had a wee on the kitchen rug. That was my error not his. He has been brilliant on the toilet training front. It is just a case of watching him and knowing, on waking, after eating, after playing he will need to go outside to go to the toilet.

His first meal was fun, he needs to learn some table manners but he was very hungry bless him as we had driven through his lunch time.

After his lunch he had a nap

He is cuddled up to his comfort blanket provided by the breeder. When we bred dogs we did the same thing and provided tea towels that were left in the whelping box and in the dogs bed so that it is filled with the scents of their litter mates and mum. It helps to provide them with something recognisable in their new home. Dembe has loved having his and is one of the items he has played with the most since arriving home.

 

We had our first visitors also this afternoon, a friend and his 3 year old son, Dembe took it all in his stride. He was pretty tired from the car journey so spent most of the visit asleep on my friends chest.

As Dembe wasn’t wearing a collar we decided that we would start getting him used to a collar as soon as possible. So later that day we put on a very soft puppy collar. I was expecting him to throw a hissy fit but he was fine. In fact he didn’t seem to notice it at all. Which has pleased me no end as some pups can be an absolute nightmare to deal with whilst you are getting them used to them.

 

He was a very good boy overnight….apart from my husband putting him on the bed as he was chewing his wooden crate! He settled very quickly. We went to bed at 9pm, took him out for a wee at midnight and then out again for a poo at 2.45am. After that we all slept through until 06.30am. He had been being fed around 6am at the breeders but I am hoping to move his body clock around a bit as 7am is more acceptable to me! I only woke up because I had set an alarm on my phone.

Saturday 12th January:

Dembe was on the go from the minute he got up. He went straight out for a wee, ate his breakfast with gusto and then had a poo! good lad.

We had to get cracking today as we had quite a few people lined up to pay us a visit. We wanted to get Dembe’s socialisation off to a flying start so that he is a happy confident dog. The breeder has provided us with a checklist of things we need to try and cover over the next 4 weeks – this is where he will still be fearless and new experiences accepted more easily than after this period. From 16 weeks it is much harder for a puppy to accept new experiences without fear and it will take much more work to build his confidence. Having had dogs that were terrified of their own shadow, we really want Dembe to be confident and know he can trust us completely.

As we don’t have children we are arranging for lots of our friends that do have kids to bring them over and meet him. I put a request out on social media for people who were willing to help to contact me. Its been so successful that I have had to create his own social calendar to keep up with who is coming when. We basically need the house to be like Piccadilly circus, with just Jay and I it is too quiet and not a place a pup would learn to cope with a lot of noise or visitors. Next week he has a play date with new people including children and dogs practically every day next week. We are also planning outings for him so that he can get accustomed to different noises and environments.

This evening Dembe is shattered, he has met 7 different people ( in our home) including one delivery man and three children. He has coped brilliantly with all of it. My friend Sarah took some wonderful photos of him

 

 

I took this one of him earlier in the day…what a bizarre way to sleep!

We also managed to squeeze in another visit to Pets at Home for a car harness for him. There he met another 6 people including children so in total he met 13 different people. He took it all in his stride.

 

Sunday 13th January:

Every day since his arrival Dembe has become much more confident in his environment. Today he is now zooming around the lounge and kitchen at full pelt like a maniac. Hubby and I are in stitches at his antics. He reminds us in lots of ways of Mollie, Frankie and Willow. Dembe’s waggy tail when eating and drinking is exactly like Mollie used to do. Frankie never liked to be cuddled to sleep, if I ever tried to pet him he would get up and move away. The rest of the time Frankie would be soppy as hell and Dembe is exactly the same, he doesn’t like to be touched when he is trying to sleep. The rest of the time he loves cuddles. He is very much like Willow in the way he will go to anyone to have some attention. We always used to call Willow the cuddle whore, he is no different. He is very happy being stroked and adored, even by complete strangers. Its really nice to see his personality developing.

This morning he had his first shower. As we don’t have a bath, as physically I can’t get in and out of it, it was important that he gets used to having a shower. I quickly had a shower, Jay held Dembe just outside of the shower cubicle for a bit so he could hear the water running and know that it was ok. He then placed Dembe on my lap he sat very still, I was worried he may panic and tear my skin to shreds but he was so well behaved. Jay applied a small amount of shampoo and got him washed off. After his shower Jay towel dried him. We were both amazed at how quickly he dried off. He enjoyed the hairdryer as well which was nice, as none of our dogs have ever liked having a bath or having the hairdryer near them so we wanted to make a massive effort with Dembe so that he can be bathed as and when necessary.

He is coping well with all the strange noises being in a new environment brings. He is no longer scared of the hoover, this morning I kept him on my lap as he looked quite keen to give it a bit of a chase whilst Jay used it. He has also been exposed to the steam mop this morning and he couldn’t work that out. He is fine with the washing machine and tumble dryer, they have been in action since Friday.

Today I lay on the floor whilst he played with his two current favourite toys, a teething ring and a small duck toy with a tugger rope coming off the end. I wanted to take a photo for the blog but what I ended up with was this!

He came charging towards me tail wagging furiously and then tried to nibble the phone!

 

His favourite game at the moment seems to be dragging his puppy bed into the centre of the room which is quite a feat as it is much larger than him. We keep joking we will have to put a house brick in the bottom of it.

We’ve had a reasonably quiet day today as Jay and I are really feeling it after all the loss, sleepless nights and many visitors. Even Dembe seems knackered today and has slept a lot.

Dembe has met 4 new people today, my next door neighbours and my good friend Heather and her daughter Sophie. He was great with all of them.

On top of having a shower today he has also had his nails clipped. Due to having Ehlers Danlos Syndrome my skin is very fragile, as he isn’t really walking anywhere that would get his nails to wear down naturally I had to clip them today as he has scratched me a few times accidentally. I am always weary of puppy nails after Willow sliced my eye lid open ( you could see the fat under the skin), due to it being in the crease all that could be done was steri strips applied and kept on for a week. It was quite painful! So now as soon as puppy nails seem to get too long or start snagging on clothing I like to just snip the ends off with a pair of human nail clippers. By doing this on a regular basis it also gets the dog used to having his feet handled and means you can trim nails when they are an adult without them getting wound up and possibly snapping at you.

It feels like we have had Dembe here for weeks but in reality its really just been two whole days. By the time this is published he will have been with us 3 days. It feels like a whirlwind. He has settled in so well and loves us both rather than favouring one of us over the other. He has really helped Jay cope with his feelings of loss and depression since losing his girl Mollie. He does provide me with a focus but the sadness of losing Frankie and Mollie in such quick succession is still there. I still have the odd cry and I am sure I will for years to come.

My anxiety is still quite bad as I am panicking about doing things right and whether or not we have done enough training with him and then I realise its been just a little over 60 hours and Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Next week we have quite a few visits scheduled both at home and visiting others. He also needs to see the vet for a new puppy check and to book in for his next lot of vaccinations.

Meet Dembe

Love at first sight

We met Dembe on January 7th 2019. We had two puppies to choose from. Jamie my husband had literally fallen apart in front of me when his dog Mollie had passed away just two days prior to our visit. It had been particularly horrific and I think it will haunt us for years to come.

I felt that as I had chosen our first dog Travis back in 2003, well actually he chose me, it was Jays turn to choose our new dog. The breeder handed Jay one of the pups ( now Dembe ) whilst I played with the other pup whilst sat on the floor. Every so often I would take a sneaky glance at Jay and I could see that he and Dembe had chosen each other. My opinion didn’t matter as long as Jay was happy.

I hoped that this little ball of fluff and sharp teeth would help my husband and me heal. Our hearts had been shattered in the space of two weeks. The house was empty and we were so lost. It seemed that having to wait until Friday 11th January would take forever to arrive, even though it was just days away.