W/C 23rd March 2020

Well this week has been a shit show to put it bluntly. I haven’t managed to keep Dembe’s diary up to date due to the Covid situation. Hubby is now home from work for 12 weeks due to the meds he takes meaning he is at high risk of serious complications / death should he contract Covid-19. So this week it will just be photos.

As of Monday night the UK was put on a lock down which meant the end of dog training and the end ( before it had even started) of Dembe using a dog walking service. It has been hard to get our heads around it. Dembe is loving his daddy being home but he is having to adjust to the change in our routines. He is still as wonderful and gorgeous as ever.

Monday 23rd March

Today Dembe was definitely picking up on my anxiety about Jay being at work. He played me up all day long barking and just being very needy. Eventually he wore himself out. Just before Jay got home he went to sleep of course!

Tuesday 24th March

Much calmer today with us both home.

Wednesday 25th March

We decided to upcycle some furniture. Dembe decided every time the sander was on he was going to bark at it and try to sniff it! Not at all dangerous.

He was shattered in the evening. As he is now having two long walks a day he is much more settled in the evening.

Thursday 26th March

Friday 27th March

He is loving the dry weather and being able to get out and sit in his favourite chair.

Saturday 28th March

Sunday 29th March

W/C 2nd March 2020

Monday 2nd March

Dembe and I had a very quiet day today as we were both shattered after helping dad with the decorating last week. I am sure Jay went back to work for a rest. I was so knackered I went up to bed for a nap at 2pm and slept until 4.30pm.

Dembe was so good and got straight back into the routine of Jay being in work. He is quite like Mollie in that he knows the difference between his dad in his work uniform and dad in his civvies and what it means.

I took a couple of good photos on Sunday.

Tuesday 3rd March

Dembe was taken up the common by Jay nice and early. They went to the model airfield where they met an elderly chocolate Labrador. The old boy was more than happy to play with Dembe although he did struggle to keep up with him.

I had the doctors at 10.10am so Jay and Dembe dropped me off and had a wander around town. He went around the market where the pet shop stall were feeding hims sausage! He also went into a friends shop, which is also great experience for him. It was very busy down the town and lots of noisy traffic. It didn’t phase him which was great as it means our early environment training has paid off.

waiting for a belly rub

We had dog training this evening, after a week of reduced barking Dembe decided to be a gobshite. In the end Martin came over and got him to be quiet. It is for attention and when he gets bored, wants you to play etc. So at dog training he hates standing around doing nothing. SO I have asked Jay in future when Martin is talking to do sit and stay exercises with Dembe. That way he thinks he is still working and he should be quiet. He never barks on a walk or when moving at dog training. It purely is a boredom thing. At home he liked to bark if he felt Jay and I were ignoring him but he has stopped doing that now.

About 20 minutes into the session the barking was under control. Dembe seems to need a 30 minute warm up before he is in the right place to learn. Which is strange as he gets a walk before he goes, I think however as he sees his mates before class maybe he gets too excited and it takes time for him to get back into the learning zone. By the end of the lesson Dembe and Jay were working beautifully together. It was so choreographed they looked like they were dancing or working to music.

I do worry that we expect an awful lot from him when he still is only a babe in arms at 15 months. Mind you however old he is he will always be our puppy.

Wednesday 4th March

Dembe decided this morning that we all needed to be out of bed at 5.45am which made him supremely popular! By 7.15am I was hanging out of my arse! He however was beside me on the sofa snoring his head off the little bugger.

I am so pleased with how he is getting on with his home cooked meals. What a joy it is now to feed him, I no longer get so stressed out and upset that he isn’t eating properly. He is looking fab and he is definitely moulting less since changing him over to the majority of his meals being fresh food.

Today Uncle Paul came over. Dembe always gets over excited when Paul comes to visit so I put him in the kitchen and shut the baby gate before letting Paul in. I kept him behind the gate until I knew he was calm. He let me down on the barking front but that was because he had slept all bloody morning and was now wide awake and raring to go.

Sleeping before Paul arrived

I got a great photo of Dembe sleeping in the afternoon

bawls out

As I crept up on him I started to take photos. This next photo as he wakes up and sees me is hilarious

Every time I look at the photo I can’t stop laughing. His face is so funny!

Thursday 5th March

Jay was on an early today so he took him on a walk around the streets, Dembe refused to go for a poo, which was a bit silly as he won’t be going out again until Jay gets home tonight. Although he does have access to the garden.

I got some sewing done in the morning but I managed to mess up my neck, so by 2pm I have a crippling headache. I can barely string a sentence together so Dembe and I went up to bed. Dembe was a super star, he was a bit perturbed by my oxygen being on for so long and came and gave my nasal cannula a good sniff. He then settled down and went to sleep on my bed.

I got up at 4.30pm as I knew Jay was coming home at 5pm. Dembe and I sat by the window.

Friday 6th March

Jay is on a late today so he took Dembe out for a nice long walk to ensure he would be ok for the rest of the day. Jay will be taking him out again when he gets home at around 10pm and Dembe has access to the garden all day.

Unfortunately at around 4.30pm Dembe starting crying and going to the front door. It was clear that he needed a poo. I am unable to walk him, I just can’t walk very far at all. My mobility scooter was in the back of my husbands car and Dembe still isn’t trained to walk alongside me, with me holding the lead. So I had no way of getting him out for a walk. I kept letting him out in the garden but it became very clear I would have to get Jay to pop home on his lunch break and take him around the block.

Jay got home and took him out for 15 minutes. Dembe had two huge dumps almost immediately, so I was right he had been complaining that he couldn’t go for a walk. When he got back from the walk I was expecting him to settle but he didn’t we ended up playing find it bunny for an hour. By the end I had him finding bunny in the washing machine drum and from the tumble dryer!

Eventually he did settle at around 19.30pm. When Jay got in he took Dembe out around the block again to ensure he wouldn’t want to get up too early.

Saturday 7th March

Jay is on another bloody late. It is quite rare that Jay works two on the bounce , I just hope Dembe doesn’t kick off tonight like he did last night.

As he was working until late Jay took Dembe out first thing and then again at 11am to ensure he had got everything out that he could. On Dembes walk he was playing with a female black Labrador that was much bigger than him and had a whale of a time.

Dembe has been very vocal today

He has always been a very vocal dog, from about 9 weeks old he was expressing himself.

We are having to stay up later than usual as I am waiting for a delivery from Hermes ( so surprised it never ever turned up). So I switched on Crufts to see what Dembe would do, as you can see it didn’t stay on for long as he insisted on attempting to talk to the dogs on the tv.

Sunday 8th March

Dembe decided we all needed to get up at 6.30am. I managed to keep him occupied for 15 minutes whilst I came to and got some fluids and meds into my system. I decided to get up and crack on with Dembe’s food preparation for the month. I may have gone slightly overboard but I want to ensure that if the Corona virus comes to this house at least Dembe has food. All it will take is food to be got out of the freezer and defrosted and he is ready to go.

Jay got Dembe out and took him up to Woodbury Castle for a nice long walk to burn off some energy. It appears to be working as he is snoring his head off beside me.

Its been crazy here only just managed to squeeze all Dembe’s meals into the freezers. At least I wont have to cook for him for quite a while !

W/C 24th February 2020

Monday 24th February

Today marks the first day of Jay’s holiday from work, he has the next 7 days off. For his first day off however he had to make himself scarce as I was holding my second meeting of The Stitchin’ Bitches, the craft group I founded. Dembe was beside himself, he simply adores all the attention he was getting from all the ladies.

One of my friends had made scones and brought clotted cream and jam. Dembe was being given bits of everyone’s scones on the sly. It is a wonder he could move after.

It was really sweet how he focused his attention onto Imogen, who had lost her own dog Bors, just a month earlier. I remember how Bors had comforted Jay and I after losing our dogs last year. It was beautiful to see Dembe giving all that love to Imogen.

For some reason when it is just Jay and I in the house Dembe has decided to be very naughty and just bark all the bloody time. It is driving us crazy.

Tuesday 25th February

Dembe was knackered after yesterday and was quite happy to snooze all day long. Jay and I needed to make a start on decorating his bedroom after planning that this would be our job during his holiday. Dembe however was not impressed that he wasn’t allowed to be in the same room as us 100% of the time whilst furniture etc was moved.

He is really barky again today and has now started howling when Jay leaves the house . He gets very upset when Jay ( not in uniform leaves him at home). When Jay is in and out of the house wearing his work uniform he is fine but oh my days it is the end of the world when his dad goes out to the shops and we are left. He really does love his whole pack being together silly monkey.

Today I cooked Dembe Mackerel and potato bake from the Lilys Kitchen cookbook. It was supposed to be sardines but I didnt have any tins of those. Bloody hell it stank the house out but he seemed to enjoy it!

Tonight we had dog training, on the whole it was a very good session but Dembe is still being a bugger with his barking. Martin gave us another technique to try with him when he starts barking. We are to ignore him and start talking to each other. If he continues to bark we are to leave the room. It worked at training with just the talking. The minute he realised we weren’t taking any notice he gave up – after about three barks. I will be very interested to see if this will work at home as the barking is becoming a real problem as it is all the time.

There were a few people absent from the training session this week so there were only 3 dogs which was nice as it meant each person had a larger area to work in. Tonight we were working on recall past temptations. Both boy dogs ( Dems included) were heavily distracted by a scent on the floor of the barn tonight. I have a sneaky suspicion that a female dog in another class maybe coming into season – could be a few weeks off yet but Frankie could always pick up on Willows seasons at least 5 weeks before they started. As a result Dembe disgraced himself by having a wee on the floor, it was a scent rather than a full bladder empty thank goodness but still embarrassing.

Dembe did really well on the recall past distractions and Martin pulled Jay aside during the session to tell him what an excellent trainer he was becoming and that it has been a joy watching not only the bond between him and Dembe grow but also Jays confidence as a trainer. Jay of course will never believe that for a second. But it is nice to have it confirmed by Martin.

Wednesday 26th February

Dembe was knackered after yesterdays training session. This week so far Dembe has been really good at not getting us up at the crack of dawn and waiting until 6.40am – which is a lie on these days!

He has been much better behaved today whilst we are continuing sorting out his daddys bedroom. Much less barking and he took himself off to my room and went to sleep.

For the first time in around 17 years we have managed to paint and not get anything on a dog! We are all knackered.

Dembe is really enjoying his home cooked meals again now we have added in another 3 dishes to his menu. He was getting fed up when we were down to just two different flavours.

Thursday 27th February

Dembe really hasn’t been happy about his dad going out and leaving both me and him at home. Weirdly when Jay is in his work uniform Dembe doesn’t react but in his civvies it is the end of the world for Dembe.

Another day of decorating, Dembe has been very good and has been obeying the leave and stay commands. Today whilst we were working he could lie on Jays bed and watch us. We removed the carpet, vinly and underlay from Jays room today. Dembe found that very strange indeed and had to sniff every inch of the exposed floorboards.

It has been quite sad for us in some ways decorating the bedroom. This was the room where Frankie and Willow were born, along with the rest of the first litter and the second litter. The Vinyl was laid for the puppies and the whelping box to make it easier for us to clean up after them. Jay gets very attached to these things and it has hurt his heart this week and made him very quiet. On a number of occasions I have had to explain to him that memories are held in our hearts and minds not objects. The house can’t be a shrine forever and it is time no matter how hard to move on now that we have had Dembe for over a year. It isn’t fair on him to live in the other dogs shadows.

Friday 28th February

More decorating!

Dembe spent the time laying in the hallway with his toes just inside the bedroom – the room he wasn’t allowed to come into! If he wasn’t there he was on my bed sleeping. He reminds me so much of our first dog Travis who was so good with things like that and was more than happy to spend the time sleeping on our bed.

He has been beautifully behaved for such a young pup ( he is 15 months) . He can be trusted not to be getting himself into trouble, even when it goes silent. The only other dog that we could trust like that was Travis. Mollie, Frankie and Willow were all destroyers. Silence meant sofas, kitchen units or Xbox ones were being destroyed.

I think all this rain is getting to Dembe now, after every walk he needs to be hosed off. He is now running onto the gravel and has to be coaxed back so he can be washed off. Yet if it was a muddy pool on the common he would be straight in there.

Saturday 29th February

Its a leap year and to celebrate Dembe woke us up by vomiting bile all over the hall carpet, my carpet and the stair carpet at 4.30am! Deep bloody joy! No idea what the issue is but he was given a zantac and that sorted out his tummy and he has kept everything down ever since. Although he was very suspicious of the cheese triangle that the zantac was hidden in so I fed it to him in small pieces.

At around 10am I noticed that Dembe had the tiniest little fleck of paint on his tail. So we haven’t got away with no paint on him but it is the smallest amount ever!

At around 10.30am the people arrived to collect Jays treadmill that we had sold to them. Another memory leaving the house this week. When Frankie was a pup I had him trained to use the treadmill on the command of jog jog. Again this has hit Jay hard and made him very sad. To be honest I will be the same when my room is done. There is a huge patch of stained carpet at the end of my bed. This was where Travis our first dog was really poorly when he was dying. I have never been able to replace the carpet despite the massive stain on it. Silly what things we hang onto and the importance they can hold.

We are having a day off from the decorating today. Dembe is making the most of it by snuggling up to each of us in turn. He was a right flirt when the young lads were here to collect the treadmill. One of the youngsters was very enamoured with him. Dembe was going a bit crazy jumping between the sofas and having a cuddle. At least now there will be load of room on Jays floor for Dembe’s wicker basket.

We are all feeling a little knackered from our 4.30am puking dog alarm call this morning.

W/C 17th February 2020

Monday 17th February 2020

As Jay was on an early today Dembe had a lead walk around the housing estate before his daddy went into work. Dembe then came back up and went back to sleep with me when Jay went off to work.

As usual Dembe knew his daddy was on his way home for lunch before I said anything. I walked into the lounge and found him on daddy watch again!

He did the same again in the evening as it is still light now when Jay finishes on an early shift, which feels like the first time in forever.

We had quite a lazy day today just pottering about and having lots of cuddles.

Tuesday 18th February

Really crazy busy day today by my standards, quite a normal day for anyone who doesn’t suffer with a chronic illness. Jay was day off and we had a long list of jobs to get through.

At 10am Dembe had his year health check and his vaccinations. The last time he had his vaccinations he was put up on the table, this time the lump was on the floor. Before he had his jabs the vet weighed him, he came in at 33.3kg which was a bit of a surprise as he certainly isn’t looking pudgy at the moment. The vet was really pleased with him, said she goes much more by body condition, Dembe has a clearly defined waist, you can feel his spine when you run your hand along his back and you can feel his ribs without seeing them. She said he may get heavier again but as long as that is muscle mass and not fat it is ok. We were chuffed to bits as basically we have been avoiding the vets for such a long time due to being made to feel like we had a horrendously obese dog. The vet asked me what I was feeding him as he was in such good condition.

Dembe managed to show us up in the vets by cocking his leg and scenting. I am guessing he wanted to show off that he is a big boy now and can do big boy wee’s!

With Dembe in the car we then headed into Exeter to the sewing machine shop as my machine was ready to be picked up after its service. As both Dembe and I were knackered we stayed in the car whilst Jay went and collected it. Dembe is definitely getting much better at being in the car and no longer makes such a fuss. We have worked out that many times the fuss was simply he needed to go to the toilet. So now any car journey longer than just going up to the common he has a quick walk around the block so that he is comfortable.

We were then home for a few hours before I had to head off to my Physiotherapy session. Whilst I was at that Jay took Dembe out for a nice walk on the common. He had a swim whilst he was there and played with a black Labrador called Reggie.

In the evening we had obedience training, Dembe had a really good session . One of the other owners came up to Jay before the session and asked him how much training time he was putting in with Dembe between lessons as he couldn’t get over how well Dembe was doing. That made us super proud parents!

Wednesday 19th February

As Jay is late night Dembe has had a really long walk on the common this morning. With all of us home he was really quite active this morning , bringing us toys and chucking crocodile around.

He also tried to get involved in my blog post for the other site I run The Myasthenia Kid. He is just letting me know he thinks cuddles are more important than that silly nonsense.

In the afternoon he took himself up to bed whilst I did some sewing. I needed to check that my machine was now running smoothly again after developing a fault. So far so good.

We were both shattered so were in bed and settled down for the evening by 18.30 which is unusual for the both of us. When Jay got in just after 10pm he took Dembe around the block for a walk to ensure he had been able to go to the toilet.

Thursday 20th February

I don’t remember much of today. I was terribly ill with a hemiplegic migraine the likes of which I have never suffered so severely from before. It is now Sunday and I am still struggling with the associated amnesia from the day before and the day after. I am going to see the doctor in a weeks time to get checked out as I was so very ill and to be honest the level of memory loss has frightened me. Jay had to take the day off work as I wasn’t safe to be at home alone or look after Dembe. I have vague memories of Dembe asleep on my feet at points during the day whilst I went between hurling my guts up and being semi conscious.

Jay however did manage to take this video of Dembe having a word with the recycling men

Friday 21st February

I am still struggling with amnesia after my migraine. Jay has left notes all over the place for me so I remember to do stuff. One of which being to feed Dembe. Dembe is sticking close by me and barking a lot at any noise he hears outside bless him.

Saturday 22nd February

Much the same as yesterday I am afraid. Dembe and I having a lot of cuddles. I did manage to get some sewing done. But that is pretty automatic for me. Other than that I do remember we played find it bunny for a bit. I confused Dembe as for the first time I hid bunny upstairs in Jays room. It took him an age to find bunny!

Sunday 23rd February

We have knocked Agility training on the head for the time being, so we have done a few bits of housework and played with Dembe. He loves having the whole pack together. Earlier when Jay nipped to the shop he started howling as Jay had left us. If Jay leaves us when he is wearing his uniform for work it is ok but he isn’t allowed to leave in his everyday clothes! Dembe was not happy!

He had a lovely long walk in the afternoon

I love the way he is trying to sleep with one eye open so he can continue to keep an eye on me!

W/C 3rd February 2020

Monday 3rd February

Today has been a very lazy day. Jay was on an early so he took Dembe out up the common before going to work.

We had lots of cuddles on the sofa and we played find it, with find it bunny.

I caught him looking out the window waiting for his dad to get home at lunch time. As soon as he hears my message ping on my phone to let me know that Jay is on his way home he will get up on the sofa and stand guard. Some days he is up there before I get a message.

As soon as he see’s his dad reverse onto the drive he will either go to the door or he will run to his toy box and get a toy to greet his dad with. The retriever part is strong in him, he loves to walk around with a toy in his mouth. At the moment he likes carrying around his pheasant toy. This changes from day to day which toy he is favouring.

He was full of beans this evening before Jay got in. He waits by the door lying on the sofa arm.

When Jay gets home from work he doesn’t get a toy brought to him as Dembe knows he will be going out for a walk!

Tuesday 4th February

Jay is day off today.

Dembe is really barky and a bit crazy today so I am dreading dog training this evening as if he is barking and naughty at home it usually continues in class the little sod.

Dembe did really well did exceptionally well at obedience class this evening . He got got picked out of the group to show off his recall skills. Martin the trainer took Dembe down the other end of the barn and got Jay to call Dembe back when Dembe wasn’t expecting it. He went off down the barn like a rocket. I don’t think I have ever seen him move so quickly. They then repeated it doing a front present. Dembe veered off course and came over to me so I ignored him, Jay called him again and he shot off back to Jay. He did the front present beautifully.

Wednesday 5th February

Dembe started at 6am to try and get me up but I managed to keep him occupied until 6.50am. Jay got him out at by 7.30am. Jay said he was going crazy on the walk running around like a loon.

Dembe slept quite a bit during the day as he was knackered from his walk and dog training last night. He sprang into action at 5am demanding his toys to be thrown for him.

Thankfully I kept him entertained and managed to wear him out. He did settle down quickly when we went up to bed . Jay took him out around the block when he got in from work and Dembe did lots of big boy wee’s. So proud of him.

Thursday 6th February

Dembe is eating loads at the moment and I am not surprised as it is supposed to be turning colder in the next few days.

We had a slow start to the morning as I had woken up with a migraine and was feeling quite out of it for a while. Dembe was quite happy to lie beside me on the sofa sleeping bless him.

I find it quite crazy when I compare his photos from last year to the ones I have here as he was tiny this time last year and now he looks so grown up. But he will always be our baby,

At 5.30pm I had a doctors appointment so Jay dropped me there and then he and Dembe headed to the beach walking through the town to get there. It was a really good training session for him, by the time he worked out he was going to the beach he was beside himself with excitement. He was desperate to get onto the sand and as Jay took him down the steps he took his lead off. Dembe jumped the last 5 steps straight onto the beach. Not as good as our previous Weimaraner Mollie who Jay let off who then jumped the sea wall dropping at least 8 foot onto the sand below. Thankfully without injury.

Dembe had a whale of a time running around, doing zoomies. He was playing with the other dogs on the beach and he had a swim in the sea. As it was dark he was noticing the waves coming up behind him and got a drenching. He ran himself ragged.

Later that evening I collapsed in severe pain, I was by myself as Dembe was in with Jay. I stumbled towards the bathroom and sat there for a bit wondering if the pain was going to ease up at all. As I made my way back to bed I fell. Dembe came out of the bedroom saw me on the floor and ran straight into Jays room and woke him up by nibbling his hand. I was in so much pain I was unable to speak. Jay helped me get back to bed and Dembe was glued to my side. eventually the pain died down and I managed to get to sleep around midnight. It was only then that Dembe went back in with his dad.

Friday 7th February

Dembe is stuck to me like glue today after me having a migraine and then my bowel adhesion’s playing up last night. We didn’t really do much today as I was feeling so rank. Jay took Dembe out before work so he had a good run and he was mroe than happy just to curl up with me on the sofa.

At 7pm Dembe took himself up to bed which is practically unheard of. I knew he was knackered from being on duty looking after me.

Saturday 8th February

Today is my parents wedding anniversary! Happy anniversary.

This photo of Dembe totally sums how I am feeling today, utterly drained. There is a huge storm tomorrow “Storm Ciara” so I am trying to get all the jobs done that I would do on a Saturday and Sunday with help into one day and it is exhausting when my batteries are already drained!

Dembe came to life later that evening! He was having a mad hour or so after his dinner whilst waiting for Jay to get home.

Sunday 9th February

My god it is windy. We woke up at 6am to find one of the fence panels flapping in the wind. It is only a yellow warning currently and that increases to an amber warning at 8am. We managed to get outside at around 7.30am to fix the fence panel. The wind was so strong I nearly got blown off my feet and I am no shrinking violet. Dembe isn’t keen on the wind and keeps barking at it.

So far so good we still have power but the next postcode are over from us has lost power. I have candles and a gas stove should that happen here. I am racing to get Dembe’s blog completed and set up ready to publish in case of loss of power.

Dog Agility training got cancelled at around 10.30am due to the weather.

The amber warning will be in place until 9pm this evening so I am signing off early. Stay safe.

Happy New Year

This weeks Diary update won’t be in diary form as it will just be a round up of the last few weeks and will mainly be photographs.

On Monday 23rd December we were visited by Sam, Gemma and Sarah. Dembe was a good boy and behaved himself. He was spoilt rotten by Sam, who bought him some tennis balls ( they are still played with daily) a bone shaped chew and a tin of sardines which Dembe had for breakfast on Christmas morning.

On Christmas Eve it was just me and the boy as hubby was working for the first time in nearly a decade on this day. Dembe spent much of the day asleep on or near me.

Dembe was spoilt rotten Christmas day, he had his tin of sardines from Sam for breakfast and then he had all his presents to open.

This is just some of the toys he got. We got him a pop up tunnel which he went through twice on Christmas morning but has refused to go through ever since. He got a new food bowl, so many bags of treats, toys a new lead for his obedience training class. He really was a lucky pup.

However I think if Dembe could talk he would tell you the best bit of Christmas day was sitting on his dads lap having a cuddle.

It was a real Dembe and daddy love in. They couldn’t get enough of each other and it was really lovely to see. Whenever Jay is off work Dembe is glued to his side, yes he is my dog but he adores his dad as well.

Jay and I got a really lovely gift from Imogen, Leanne and Liam. A photograph of all the dogs together.

On Boxing day ( 26th Dec ) Dembe and I were both shattered, we had a very lazy day indeed. I think all the excitement and lead up to Christmas hit us both. We had lots of snuggles on the sofa.

27th December 2019
28th December 2019

The 29th December marked the one year anniversary of Frankie’s passing. It was a tough day, having Dembe made it bearable. It was much harder than either of us anticipated it would be and we knew we would have to do it all over again the following week when it would mark the one year anniversary of Mollie passing.

30th December 2019

Dembe managed to get in one last swim in 2019 up on Woodbury Common on 31st December. Jay didn’t have to coax him in, Dembe dived right in. He is a real water baby, he swims so well.

1st January 2020

The next photo is one of my most favourite ever taken of Dembe

2nd January 2020
2nd January 2020
3rd January 2020

Red Dinosaur a Christmas present from his uncle Paul has been a firm favourite. This gets taken up and down the stairs on a regular basis. He loves carrying it around, when you try to take it from you he runs away. With me he knows all he has to do is run up the stairs and I can’t get him, he then pokes it through the banister! Sometimes he is just too bloody clever for his own good.

4th January 2020

I can’t get over how grown up he looks in this photo. Where has my tiny pup gone? They grow so fast in the space of just a few months. He will always be our baby though no matter how old he is.

Sunday 5th January

I woke up on Sunday night and found him lying in his bed with the fox blanket covering his eyes lying on his back with not a care in the world. Today was hard due to it being the first anniversary of Mollie passing away. We had a very quiet day at home.

Monday 6th January

He still loves nothing more than having a cuddle on my lap.

Tuesday 7th January

We had our first training session of 2020 tonight. Dembe has been bumped up to the advanced class as he is training at a much higher level. He was a little rusty, well Jay was for the first 20 minutes, after that they had a superb training session. He has made a new friend a little white dog think it maybe a Maltese or Bichon crossed with something maybe as it was too big and chunky to be a poodle but had the same curly hair. His new friend is called Rupert and he spent some of the class doing his silly come hither half bark / howls to get his mates attention. Martin has asked us to work together next week as both our dogs are picking stuff up quicker than the other dogs. Dembe was actually watching Rupert to work out what he needed to do. It amazes me how clever he is sometimes. He learned last night that us saying 2 to him also means leave. So we will be working on that this week when we do training sessions each day.

Tuesday 7th also marked the one year anniversary of us meeting Dembe for the very first time.

Wednesday 8th January
Thursday 9th January
Thursday 9th January
Friday 10th January
Saturday 11th January

Saturday 11th January is Dembe’s Happy Gotcha Day! I can’t believe he has been ours for a whole year.

W/C 2nd December 2019

Monday 2nd December

Dembe was shattered today after Agility training yesterday and refused to get up and go for a walk before Jay left for work at 6am. Dembe stayed in bed with me whilst Jay got ready which is most unusual as he normally goes into scrounge mode as soon as he wakes.

Poor baby has an upset tummy today and has done 3 huge mounds of very loose poo in the garden which were an absolute delight to pick up as you can imagine! We think he is wheat intolerant, he is fine in himself, not even a gurgling tummy. Just not a solid poo in sight so he has been dosed up with some tummy meds to settle everything down. He didn’t want his breakfast when we got up but at 8.30am came into the kitchen looking for food so ate it then. He didn’t eat his dinner last night so I gave him that so it didn’t over load his tum with a bigger meal ( his breakfast is his biggest meal of the day) . Thankfully he isn’t being sick bless him.

His bottom is a weapon of mass destruction, it smells so bad I am gagging and trying to not be sick. He is passing it without making a sound so the first I know of it is when the smell hits me. It is making my eyes water.

I managed to get some more Christmas decorations up, Dembe insisted on joining me and climbing onto my lap covering me in kisses. He is so soppy. He has been such a good boy and left all the decorations alone.

Thankfully this evening he is back to solid poo…probably TMI

Tuesday 3rd December

I was awake at 4am due to injuring my back and neck yesterday . Dembe stayed asleep whilst I sorted out pain medications. At 5am I gave up and came downstairs, he then went into Jays room and woke him up as he wanted us all together.

At 11am we took Dembe out for a quick walk ( he had one earlier) as we wanted to ensure that he was fully toileted before we took him to Darts Farm, where he would be working for the first time in ages.

It was very busy at Darts Farm but Dembe was absolutely brilliant. Totally focused on Jay and waiting for his commands. He got petted by a few people but they all asked if it was ok before they did. We are always happy to accommodate if we are asked first.

Dembe had his first go in a lift today. He wasn’t too sure and had a little panic. He tried to jump up on my lap and managed to hit the accelerator of the mobility scooter. Thankfully I had the where with all to immediately remove the key to cut the motor, so I only moved an inch or so. He did get down and then calm down. The lift journey was seconds as it just goes up around 10 stairs to the right of the lift. It was just the first time he was in such an enclosed space.

Temptation was all around him in Darts and he touched nothing. Even the cuddly toys left on the floor were ignored along with all the tasty morsels in the food court area. Many dogs would have struggled to run the gauntlet of all those fabulous items. Dembe knows once he has his jacket on he is working and he is to follow Jay at all times.

He was shattered when we got home. He slept for much of the afternoon and was quite surprised when we got his lead out in the evening ready to go to agility training.

Hi Christmas decoration arrived whilst we were out at Darts Farm

Tonight was class 5 out of 6 classes of his Obedience training. We finished on a real high as Martin the trainer told both Jay and the other handler that they were both working at an advanced level. Martin said he wished he videoed the session as it was so good. Both dogs were off the lead doing sit, stay and walking to heel in each others presence. Back in June / July when we were doing level one beginners I would never ever have dreamed that Dembe would be the super star he is now. I told Martin that had we not have paid the money for the lessons after week one I would have never had returned due to being mortified at his behaviour. Now he is a star pupil. We use so much of what Martin at Happy Dogs has taught us at home. One of Dembe’s favourite games is leave – where we ask him to leave a toy and then after 30 seconds we allow him to take the toy back on the command of take. He also loves the “find it” game where we hide his bunny given to him by Imogen and Dembe has to sit and stay whilst it is hidden then we give him the “find find” command. His tail goes nuts and he has now started to rely on his nose more when searching rather than being purely visual which is how he started.

I was welling up watching Jay and Dembe work together as a team, they are clearly devoted to each other. They have both really grown in confidence.

Wednesday 4th December

Dembe was shattered after all that running around yesterday, he slept for the majority of the day.

He even took himself up to bed in the afternoon which is unheard of.

We are having issues getting him to eat again, it seems that he likes a new food for a few days and then decides that its not that good and makes a meal ( pun intended) out of eating it. Jay and I have to be his cheerleaders as he eats . We have tried making him snuffle for it, handing it to him. If it was a cocktail sausage / piece of ham he would take your fingers off. I think he is always going to be a pain in the arse when it comes to eating his food.

Jay and I are getting excited as we are taking him to meet Santa Paws on Saturday.

Thursday 5th December

Dembe spent the whole night cuddled into me either curled up between my waist and knees or with his head on my face, I love it when he sleeps like this, it makes me feel so loved. When I come back to bed after nipping to the toilet during the night he gives me a kiss to let me know he is there. I have never known such a sensitive and affectionate dog.

He did however wake at 5am , so we got up and I let him out. He was a good boy this morning leaving Jay alone until gone 6.30am before going upstairs and waking him up.

Jay and Dembe got lost on the common today, it was quite amusing as when Jay described the area where they had got lost I knew where they were immediately, as I had got lost there years ago with our Weimaraners Mollie and Travis. It was very boggy so Dembe had to be washed off outside when he got home.

Today he scoffed his breakfast.

We played loads in the evening as Jay was late night Dembe wouldn’t be getting another walk. It was hilarious as we were playing “find find” with his blue dinosaur, at one point he couldn’t find it, so he went to his toy box and pulled out his bunny toy that we normally play find find with. He is too bloody clever for his own good.

In the afternoon the oxygen engineer came to check my machine and canister, Dembe was very barky probably because he didn’t hear the door go as he was asleep on my bed and the next thing he knew a strange man was in the house. He did calm down though and then started showing off by going and getting the toys I was asking for from his toy box. The engineer was well impressed by him!

He was so manic this evening it was hilarious, all of a sudden it went quiet I looked down and he was asleep on the floor with his monkey.

Friday 6th December

Today Dembe’s Emma Bridgewater Tiny Tree Decoration arrived

Since 2017 we have had these decorations with the dogs names on, so we have Travis, Mollie, Willow and Frankie our Weimaraners who are now sadly all passed on. And now we have Dembe’s tiny to go with them.

He was a very cuddly boy today wanting to spend the afternoon curled up on my lap

Oh Hubby and I also treated ourselves to, some pint mugs

DD – Dembe’s dad

DM – Dembe’s mum

Saturday 7th December

Today is the day that Dembe gets to meet Santa Paws. We haven’t been to the place before so Dembe maybe a little nervous. We have ensured he has had a quick walk around the block so he doesn’t disgrace himself.

Dembe was very good considering he has never seen someone in fancy dress! He just barked at the photographer and that was only once. As soon as Santa told Dembe to sit he started to pose it was so funny. So here are some shots that Jay and I took. The first photo is the photographers

Love this outtake
he looks like he is smiling

Dembe has been shattered ever since and has slept beside me on the sofa.

Sunday 8th December

Dembe had a lie on this morning and didn’t wake up until 7am. Both Jay and I were in shock. He had a nice long walk up at the Airfield with Jay and then we had a bit of a chill out before his last agility training session of this year.

This week the trainer made a mega long tunnel with a bend in it. Dembe was the first dog to go through it. He adores doing the tunnels and gets so excited we have to try and bring him down again. He was also getting the hang of the weave poles a bit better and managed every other pole. He still doesn’t like the seesaw. I think we will have to go to the wobble board and build his confidence up from there. He just loves agility so much that we have signed him up for the next course in January 2020. Not that he is at all spoiled by us. Jay and I also enjoy it and it gets us out of the house on a Sunday.

W/C 11th November 2019

Monday 11th November

This week has been quite nostalgic as incredibly our little pup turns one on Saturday. We can’t quite believe that it is happening. He is still our tiny baby, who needs protecting.

Jay was back on an early shift today. Dembe and I have our morning routine down pat, so he gets restless after 9am if he hasn’t been given his frozen Kong to entertain him whilst I get myself sorted for the day. He always runs upstairs and goes into my room, hiding between my wall and the bed. Its his favourite spot for eating the contents of his kong. Sometimes I forget he is there and it is only when I hear the slurping I remember.

I can quite honestly say I don’t know what I would do without Dembe He gives me the reason to get up in the morning, a lot of the time because he has woken me up by bouncing one of his toys off my head. He is my company during the day. Jay was right when he said around 12 months ago when I said I didn’t know if I wanted to be tied by another dog once we had lost the Weimaraners, we needed a dog and I needed it more than him. I am so glad we have Dembe, the empty house would have killed me.

He was so good at understanding that Jay was back at work today, there was no crying when he left the house, which he has done all week when Jay popped out to the shops.

We have had a day filled with cuddles.

I sent Dembe’s photo to happy dogs last Sunday- the one where he was falling asleep sitting up after his agility training class. They loved it and used it on their facebook page.

Tuesday 12th November

We are a bit thrown this week as Jay is working today and not his usual day off. I have a hospital appointment tomorrow so Jay has swapped his shifts so he can take me. Dembe seems to be fine with the change but it is me that is convinced it is Wednesday today.

Dembe decided this morning that I shouldn’t start sewing until much later so he sprawled over my legs and had a cuddle. He refused to move and I was struggling to get my mojo going.

We have had lots of cuddles today, he is so affectionate. Every time there was a long stitch out on the embroidery machine, we played or had cuddles.

Again I have got really emotional at the thought of him turning one. There are so many things upsetting me about it, the fact he is no longer a baby ( he will always be our baby ), that that marks one less year with him ( I think that I have become very hung up about worrying about him passing away after we lost Frankie and Mollie at the start of the year within 7 days of each other. This has caused me major anxiety all year if I am honest). I try really hard not to think about it but it is very hard after the events at the start of the year. Jay is struggling to understand why the thought of Dembe turning one has me in floods of tears. I wish I knew why it is effecting me so badly.

We had dog training this evening, Jay felt he was letting Dembe down but he wasn’t. Considering he normally hasn’t worked a full day before attending he did very well. Once Dembe settled he also did really well. Jay is far too hard on himself.

Wednesday 13th November

Jay was (finally) day off today, so he took Dembe down the beach for his morning walk. Dembe had a wonderful time playing with other dogs and swimming in the sea.

Jay said that there were a couple of barrel jelly fish that had washed up. Thankfully Dembe steered clear. Dembe needed a quick hose down when he got home to remove the salt from his coat. He was absolutely ravenous and wanted his breakfast immediately.

We had a quiet morning, Dembe took himself up to my bed for a bit and had a sleep.

Jay took Dembe out again at 2pm as I had a hospital appointment at 4pm. Due to road closures we were going to have to leave at 3pm. Unbelievably we managed to get a parking space straight away, so Jay and Dembe walked with me to the main entrance. Jay gave Dembe a walk around the hospital grounds and used it as a training session for him. It is a good environment to do it in as it is noisy and lots of people. It replaces the tranquility of the training room.

We got home at 16.45 and Dembe was starving as his dinner was late. He then after dinner went crazy for a bit throwing his sprout and crocodile around the lounge.

Thursday 14th November

Dembe went and woke Jay up just after 6am this morning when he worked out that he just wasn’t getting anywhere with me! Jay had him up the common before 7am . It was chilly at minus 1 but Dembe was still keen to get a swim in

I have been working on my embroidery machine this morning and instead of sloping off upstairs Dembe has been sleeping on the sofa with his head pointed towards the kitchen table so he can keep an eye on me.

It has been a day of cuddles and play with Dembe

As Jay was on a 10-7 today we spent the late afternoon on the sofa. Dembe slept and allowed me to carry on with my crochet.

Friday 14th November

Jay has two late nights on the bounce this week, so we decided that we would go and get Dembe’s birthday present today. First though we went to The Range and did some Assistance dog Training with him. He did really well and was very well behaved. We stopped and chatted with a member of staff and he patiently waited. He walked on his lead like an angel. I am not easily pleased and those of you who have read the blog from the beginning know that I will be very honest about how he behaves. I do have high standards. I am so impressed with him and everyone who see’s him when he is wearing his vest are always amazed at how young he is and how calm he is. Obviously he has his moments but not when he has his yellow jacket on.

After The Range we took his jacket off and we went to Pets At Home, where he got to choose his birthday present. He went mental for a huge Monkey and the staff were laughing at how excited he was.

We gave it back to him when we got home and then he kept carrying it around wagging his whole body. He wouldn’t let Jay or I near it as it was all his.

Monkey ( we are so original ) has been dragged all over the house and shown to us.

We had quite a quiet day with Jay being on a late night.

Saturday 16th November

OMG baby boy is 1!

Happy birthday Dembe

Jamie contacted the presenter John Scott and asked him to do a shout out for Dembe’s birthday which he did bless him. This is the 3rd time Dembe has been on or mentioned on the show since January this year.

Dembe had so many birthday wishes sent to him on social media it was really wonderful. People said some really gorgeous things about him. They have loved seeing him grow up over the year and how he has mended our broken hearts, He really has.

Here are some photos of when he was really tiny which in someways seems like a lifetime ago and in others like it was yesterday.

This is him now, the handsome devil

He had a lovely birthday and had lots and lots of treats.

Sunday 17th November

Dembe just wouldn’t settle last night and didn’t go to sleep until well past 11pm. As a consequence he didn’t wake up until gone 6.50am. I had to check the clock twice as I just couldn’t believe it. I was sure the little bugger would have me up at 5am!

Jay took him out for a nice long walk this morning up on the common. We avoided the beach due to the fact he was sick at Agility training last week possibly because he had sea water. He was starving when they got home. At around 10am a friend and her husband popped over for an hour and Dembe was giddy as a goat. I was dreading training as he was so excitable. He did however have a long nap once they left.

We then took him up to Woodbury common again for a run around and the toilet before attending agility training at 12.30pm. Dembe was confused and it wasn’t until we arrived that he twigged where we were and got excited.

Today Dembe built on what he learned last week and he has now jumped over two little jumps. He started learning how to do the seesaw. He was very nervous at first and would only put his front paws on and then would jump off again. Jay and Martin worked with him and the third time Jay took him to the SeeSaw he actually started going on it. I was discussing with Martin that it took Dembe a while to be brave enough to climb down the stairs. We did it over many training sessions to build his confidence up. Martin said Dembe is a thinker which makes him ideal for assistance work because he thinks about what he does. When he is acting like a loon it can be hard to see but when he gets that yellow jacket on he is a different dog.

He also started learning the weave poles as well. He loves the agility training and his bond with Jay is incredible.

Dembe was absolutely shattered after his agility training session again. He has been conked out for most of the afternoon and is snoring his head off on the sofa beside me now.

W/C 4th November 2019

Monday 4th November

Today was the first proper day of Jays holiday, I have the dentist at 9am , Dembe had me up at 5.30am so there was no chance at all of me sleeping in. He really hasn’t got the hang of this clock change thing. I hope he gets better at it as he gets older otherwise he is only going to be getting up at the right time of the year 6 months at a time!

Dembe got a nice long walk before he took me to the dentist. HE and Dembe stayed outside whilst I went in for my appointment as it was just an in and out one. Jay said he was very whingey when I was gone. When I came back he was so excited, you’d think I had been missing for months not a few moments.

He is very happy that his whole pack is together all the time at the moment. He has spent the majority of the day moving between us on the sofa having cuddles. He was thrown first thing this morning with both of us up and dressed so early. Now we are all back home he is much more relaxed.

Apparently my role is to hold his antler whilst he chews it

Tuesday 5th November

This morning we were up early again as I have an appointment at the eye hospital at 8.45am. Due to the heavy traffic we will have to leave very early to ensure we get there on time. The drive is just 18 miles but it will be at peak rush hour.

Again Dembe is very unsettled. We took him with us. Jay dropped me at the hospital entrance as he can assemble the scooter for me and then let me make my way to the appointment . Jay then found a parking space and walked Dembe up to the hospital entrance. It gave Dembe some good environmentalisation training – loud noises, people, mobility equipment, sirens etc It is also good practice for lead walking and keeping Dembe focused on Jay. Whilst they waited at the Hospital entrance they were approached by lots of people who all asked if it was ok if Dembe got some attention. Jay said it was so nice as he could watch people who were obviously really worried or stressed out, clock Dembe and then start smiling. It is so lovely that our boy brings that out of people. Hospital can be a very shitty place for some people so if he made some people smile then that’s brilliant.

When I came out of the doors Dembe clocked me immediately but Jay didn’t. Some poor lady was asking Jay if she could give Dembe a cuddle but I knew she wasn’t going to get a look in now that I had arrived.

We popped over to see Lo and pick up Jays ring that she had mended and made a size smaller. Dembe was really well behaved again. On the way back we went to the petrol station to get some fuel. The lady behind the counter saw that Jay had a dog lead around his neck and gave him two dog biscuits to give Dembe. That was so lovely of her.

After Dembe’s afternoon walk we popped into Pets at Home and Dembe was rather enamoured with a cuddly toy sprout. So that came home with us.

He was obsessed with it and hasn’t left it alone all week.

Tonight was also our first night back at dog training, level 3 obedience. IT was just Dembe and another dog this evening. There will only be three of us on the course which is nice. The training session went really well even when there were crazy loud fireworks going off that made it sound like the barn was in the middle of a war zone. Dembe coped brilliantly with the fireworks going off.

Dembe was so tired he fell asleep in the car on the way home.

Wednesday 6th November

Jay got Dembe out for a nice long walk early this morning. Then before we set off down to see my parents ( and Jay to see his) he took Dembe for a walk around the block. It is a 60 minute drive so we didn’t want Dembe getting fractious because he wanted a wee half way through the journey.

Dembe was much better in the car today. Tuesday and Monday he had cried for the majority of the journey. Dembe settled as soon as we hit the motorway, he slept for the majority of the journey.

He was very excited when we got to my parents house, so we kept him on a lead to begin with . When he started to calm down we then just kept his car harness on him so we had an element of control. Then when he calmed down further I removed the harness. His mate Maggie was there so he wanted to play. However Dembe was struggling with my parents wood flooring, he was sliding all over the place so I had to ensure that he didn’t go running around after Maggie so that he didn’t injure himself. I had picked him up a Yak chew at Pets at Home yesterday so that kept him entertained when Maggie hadn’t stolen it.

He never settled down completely at my parents possibly because Jay had gone to see his parents. But he did calm down enough to lie across my lap. When Jay got back from his parents he gave Dembe a walk around the block so he could relieve himself before the journey home. Jay had to find some grass for him though as Dembe really doesn’t like going on tarmac.

He slept all the way home in the car, that is his antler chew in a rather suggestive position.

Thursday 7th November

Dembe went out with his daddy at 7am and had a good explore over at the model airfield. At least they managed to avoid the rain this morning.

We decided that today we would do some training going around a shop again so we paid a visit to The Range at around 11am. Before we left the house Jay walked Dembe around the block so that he had a wee and didn’t play up when he was working. It was the first time in ages we have been out to a shop. The last time was when we went to see our friend at Honiton. He was very well behaved. He walked beautifully and Jay kept him on task. It was good being able to hear Jay instruct Debe and talk him through what he was doing. I like hearing him praise Dembe. They work together brilliantly as a team.

It was a very different kind of shop for Dembe to work in, narrow aisles, lots of people. Lots of stands at the end of aisles etc. Not much room to manoeuvre my scooter and certainly no room for Dembe to misbehave in. He did us proud, he walked like an angel.

Dembe was shattered when he came back and I think it was combined tiredness from all of this week as it has been busy

Jay took him out for a walk at 3pm and he got lots of cuddles and adoration from a group of walkers today .

Friday 8th November

We were all shattered today after having such a busy week this week. It may not seem a lot to many of you but when you have a chronic health condition , lots of outings in a short space of time, with no real down time to recover after is draining. So we had a quiet day today.

I had to do some repairs today to crocodile

He had been injured during an enthusiastic game of tug of war. Thankfully it wasn’t much more than a 5 minute job. My work was closely observed by Dembe.

Dembe just wanted cuddles all day

It didn’t change when I went to bed and was watching the TV in bed. Dembe slept with his head on my stomach

Saturday 9th November

This morning Jay decided to take Dembe down the beach, it was quite early and the sun was just rising.

Dembe had his very first go in the sea today

Jay videoed it for me as I was still in bed when they left for their walk.

In the evening we had friends over for our very first Strictly Come dancing evening! Dembe loved having all the attention and brought out sprout, crocodile and carrot to show everyone.

Sunday 10th November

Jay took Dembe to the beach again this morning and he had a proper swim and a play with a grown up yellow Labrador called Roxy.

At 12.30 we had our very first Agility Training for Fun session run by the same team that do the Obedience training – Happy Dogs who I can’t recommend highly enough. Dembe was squealing in the car after his quick run around on the common when he worked out that he was going to the training centre.

At first everyone just got used to all the training equipment out in the room and the new dogs . Then they started on very little jumps. Which Dembe aced and really enjoyed.

Then after doing a few circuits of this Dembe got to go in the tunnel

Dembe absolutely loved the class.

When he came home he was shattered. The only time he has moved is to change sofas

W/C 14th October 2019

Monday 14th October

I got woken up at 6.30am by having Dembe drop his new yellow tyre toy on my head. Not the best way to come around on a Monday morning. He is utterly obsessed with his new tyre toy and is taking it with him everywhere. I always get woken up by being brought a toy but usually he is carrying it in his mouth and its a soft toy like carrot so it doesn’t hurt if it is dropped on you!

Dembe destroyed a toy today for the very first time. It was a bit of a shock as we have made it to almost 11 months old without any deliberate toy destruction. It is a bit sad as he picked on one of the two pigs that I made Jamie last year. He started last week by chewing both piggies tails off. I thought it would stop there but he continued I looked up only to see him surrounded by a sea of white stuffing. Oh well. Piggie got put in the bin.

Today has been a tough day for emotionally, some decisions needed to be made and although they are ultimately for the good of my mental health and sense of worth, these are decisions that I weigh up for weeks before hand, they never come easily to me. Dembe seemed to sense my pain and crawled up onto my lap at every opportunity he could. Just lying on me letting me know that he was there for me. His ability to be in tune with me is scary sometimes. I worry about the burden that is placed on him but he seems to love his role as my protector. It is a shame humans aren’t more like dogs, at least they are honest with their feelings / likes and dislikes. They have pure motives and emotions.

Tuesday 15th October

Jay was day off today.

We took Dembe to the vets again to be weighed. Jay and I were so sure after his week of being on a diet he was looking better – it wasn’t a little diet this was quite extreme, cutting out 90% of his treats and cutting his food portion down. We felt that he was showing more signs of a waist and his ribs were becoming easier to feel.

He had put on 200g, I won’t lie I was devastated. We were working so hard to get this under control I couldn’t for the life of me work out how the F**k he had gained weight. Even Jay had lost more weight than usual this week as he had been doing so much more walking with Dembe. For him to gain made me worry that there was a medical reason behind his weight gain.

The vet nurse was very nice but it still felt like I was being lectured and that I was a shit dog owner. I don’t think the staff even think about what a contentious issue weight maybe for the owner. I have been bullied all my life over my weight, its the go to thing people use to upset me and always has been. Even though as a kid I was tall for my age and was no way overweight. So hearing them discuss Dembe’s weight like he was morbidly obese really punched my buttons. He did get them back though by pissing all over the floor and in the waiting room. Unfortunately that added to my feelings of inadequacy as we should have chucked him out in the garden before we went as he hasn’t pee’d inside for about 6-7 months, He must have been desperate to do that. Although to be fair it was his Auntie Mollie’s favourite thing to do, piss in the vets waiting room.

I also object to this being made such a humungous issue when 800g ago it wasn’t a problem. It’s not like he needs to lose 10 kg, he could probably do with losing 2-3kg. But they were quite happy with his weight at 32kg but 800g over… I was told that if I gave him any treats I was to take that out of his food allowance for the day. The problem is that Arden Grange don’t tell you what his foods calorie content is, so if he has one small frozen carrot I have no idea how much of his food should be removed from his total for the day. They had a poster in the consulting room stating that 100g of carrots is 30 calories. Yet if I fed Dembe 100g of carrots (4oz) he would be shitting through the eye of a needle. God knows what would happen if you gave that amount to a yorkshire terrier. These things are relative. Dembe has one small carrot not a sackful and I won’t feel guilty about giving him a carrot when he would normally have a denta stix.

So the vet visit upset me all day when normally we enjoy our visits down there. So I wont be going again for a while. Jay will weigh Dembe by picking him up and weighing on our home scales. He doesn’t need to go down for at least a month as we will need to check his weight for his worming tablets.

The day ended much better at dog training. We let Martin know that changing Dembe from a metal bowl to a ceramic bowl had solved 90% of his eating issues. Adding in the small portion of adult Arden Grange food had tipped it over to 100% successful along with also changing his meals to breakfast 65% of his daily amount and dinner 35%. He had a good look at Dembe and said what a difference in a week and that his waist was coming back, he was getting the tuck of his tummy back and more definition on his flanks. He couldn’t quite believe the poster about the carrots. Most people when putting their dogs on a diet would give carrots as a treat, to single them out as if they are a bad food seems a little strange, in my opinion.

We discussed the 200g weight gain and Martin said ignore it, Dembe could have been a bit bloated. He said to just keep doing what we are doing as it is obviously working by looking at Dembe. Dembe is already starting to look leaner.

At the end of the session, our last one for this course, Martin let all the dogs try going through the tunnel which is part of the agility training course. Dembe was terrified the first time he got led up to the tunnel and bolted back to me. However with me at the other end of the tunnel with Jay he couldn’t wait to try it out and his third go was even more successful he was so proud of himself. All the dogs that had a go loved it.

We have signed him up for a short agility training course on a Sunday from 10th November and we will be attending the new obedience training course when that starts on the 12th.

Wednesday 16th October

Can you believe it little Dembe Morris is 11 months old today. That has just flown by. Today Dembe surprised his dad when they were up the common by being brave and going for his very first swim

I am afraid it is a poor quality photo as Jay thought he had videoed it for me but alas he hadn’t. There was around a second of usable material so I managed to take this screenshot.

Up until today Dembe has never swum, when he was little and we took him to the beach he would run away from the tide coming in. But he has always loved the hosepipe and the shower, along with his paddling pool in the summer. Today with a little coaxing he had a swim, Jay said he was really good swimming in the proper position rather than trying to sit up in the water he was flat. I am gutted I wasn’t there and there isn’t any video.

Jay was on late night today so when Dembe was taken out it was for a nice long walk and well swim. We had to hose him off in the garden when he got back as he was covered in sand and mud. He is so good though and allows us to clean him off.

He was pretty shattered after his adventure this morning.

As it was dry this evening I threw the ball in the garden for him to use up some of his energy before I went to bed. Dembe decided to stay downstairs and wait for his dad.

Thursday 16th October

Dembe has been an incredibly cuddly and affectionate dog this week. He knows that I am feeling battered and bruised. He gets on my lap several times a day and just lies there until he either goes to sleep or he decides to go and get a toy.

Friday 18th October

I was waiting for ages for Dembe to settle down this morning so that I could crack on with what I wanted to do. He wanted to play, to be cuddled and then all of a sudden he ran over to his toy box picked up his carrot and gave it to me. Once I had his carrot he ran upstairs and went to sleep on my bed. He does this most mornings if I am on my sewing machine or embroidery machine. I would normally feel guilty that he has taken himself off to bed. No more though if he is going to go up there anyway even when I am not on my machines. It made me laugh that he gave me carrot to look after whilst he slept!

Again this afternoon all he wanted to do was lie on my lap. I was quite grateful that he was looking after me as I had such a terrible headache in the afternoon. It took me a while to work it out but I was having a low CSF headache. I suffered a spontaneous leak in 2016 and know the signs. My headache only went when I lay down for an hour, the minute I stood up it came back. Maybe that is what Dembe could sense yesterday and that is why he was stuck to me like glue?

Saturday 19th October

We had another cuddly day today. Jay was late so Dembe got taken on a long walk this morning so that he would be ok with only going out once today. Jay took him to the place where he had a swim on Wednesday and he had another swim.

I was so pleased to see it as this was the first time I have seen our boy swim and he took to it like a duck to water pardon the pun. He had Dembe in and out a few times .

Dembe having a swim

A friend popped over in the afternoon, we haven’t seen her in a while and she couldn’t get over how big he has got. I had to do two emergency surgeries on Dembe’s crocodile toys whilst she was here as there was a danger of him pulling out the stuffing. Both had seams rip due to playing. So I tend to do repairs as I see they need done rather than leave them.

We had a quiet rest of the day cuddling and playing.

Sunday 20th October

Dembe’s new food bowl arrived ysterday but his breakfast after his walk this morning was his first time having a meal out of it. Up until now we have been using a pasta bowl. I am so pleased that he seems to love his new bowl as much as we do.

He was so pleased after he had his meal we were laughing our heads off at his crazy waggy bum!

We have all had a lazy day as Jay is in work at 4am tomorrow which means he will be getting up at 2.30am. So we have kept everything very chilled out. Dembe just loves having his mum and dad at home with him. Although I don’t get my usual amount of cuddles with him.