W/C 1st June 2020

Monday 1st June

Dembe has been a really good boy today whilst Jay ( with a bit of help from me) did some DIY jobs around the house. He was so cute every time we bent down to pick something up he would come running and then kiss us. He is such an affectionate little lambchop.

The weather has been really hot, so when Jay took Dembe up the common he thought he would take him for a swim. Dembe raced ahead and it wasn’t until Jay caught up with him that he realised that all the water had evaporated and Dembe was having a terrific time rolling around n the mud. I had a phone call from Jay to let me know that towels and dog shampoo would be needed!

He was such a good boy as we shampooed him and then hosed him off in the garden. He loved laying outside in the sunshine whilst he dried off.

Jay is on holiday this week so Dembe is loving all the extra daddy & Dembe time.

Tuesday 2nd June

Dembe started crying at 4.39am and I was not impressed. 5am is bad enough every morning but just after 4.30am is taking the piss! I rolled over and ignored him, he slept for a bit and then went and got his daddy up at 5am.

Dembe is very unsettled this morning Jay has gone to visit his parents who he hasn’t seen since December. It took 90 minutes before he finally collapsed and went to sleep.

He was so excited when Jay got home, running around grabbing toys and dropping them at Jays feet. He always brings Jay a gift every time he returns home be it from work or just out of the house.

It was very close all day Tuesday, I was struggling with the heat as was Dembe. He flaked out in the evening and lay asleep on the rug.

Wednesday 3rd June

Dembe saw Martin the dog trainer today, as Martin was collecting a pallet that we were getting rid of. Dembe’s tail was going mad and he was barking to get Martins attention. They haven’t seen each other since March. We are all desperate to get back to our training sessions.

I tried to take a selfie with the boy but he was refusing to co-operate !

He was toy obsessed today constantly bringing us toys. His puppy that he chose at the indoor market last year has been a firm favourite this week.

Tonight Dembe settled in with me for the night after spending last night with his dad.

Thursday 4th June

Dembe has been in a funny mood all day, obsessed with finding all his toys that he has managed to push under the sofa. He cried for 30 minutes straight until Jay moved the small sofa and behind it we found his half chewed bulls tail. Then after he ate that he cried again at the small sofa and beside it we found his small pink teething ring that he hasn’t played with in ages and has had since he was 8 weeks old.

He then wanted to play with it all day long

Dembe has also started another little thing this week of stealing my slippers when I am on the sewing machine. Today he stole both my slippers, one was in the garden and one was in the bathroom when I went to put them on!

Dembe’s favourite game with Jay is what we call nudge. Dembe and Jay knock a ball backwards and forwards to each other. Dembe will play this for ages and will only play it with Jay. So we have had countless games of nudge this week whilst Jay has been off.

Friday 5th June

A year ago today we started our obedience training lessons.

I will be honest if we hadn’t paid for the course we would have never have gone back after that night. ( nothing to do with Happy Dogs)

Dembe was 7 months old and was the worst behaved pup there. Basically he looked like he had snorted a line of coke and then took some speed to liven things up a little. He continually barked at all the dogs wanting to play. Looked like a yo-yo as he bounced off the end of the lead. He was an absolute nightmare, Jamie and I were mortified as he wasnt the dog we knew and loved.

If I had been grading the lesson I would have given us a 0/10 . And not a hope in hell of ever improving.

We took on Martin’s advice , we practiced what we had learned every day. I practiced multiple times a day getting the figure of 8 lead on and off him so he would be used to it by the following week and we ditched the harness.

I was dreading week 2 just in case he was even worse but he surprised us all and paid us back in spades by being an absolute angel and I dont think anyone could believe the difference in him.

Dog training isnt a once a week thing, it’s every day multiple times a day. It is a commitment, you get out of your dog what you put in. You wouldnt expect to learn French doing one hour a week, so it annoys me when people think you only need to do the training exercises for the duration of the class.

I wouldn’t be without Dembe and I cant thank Happy Dogs enough for all their help and support

If you want to read about our first night at dog training you can find it here https://thedembediaries.com/2019/06/10/w-c-3rd-june-2019/

As my back was really bad I went up to bed early. Jay sent me some photo’s via messenger to make me laugh as Dembe was making a silly face and sleeping in a strange position!

Saturday 6th June

As my back is bad I am having a quite day. Dembe seems to be enjoying that.

He was less impressed though as I started to write this week’s blog entry copying it over from the hard copy I keep

After Sprout had been lobbed at me for possibly the 4th or 5th time I asked Jay to play with Dembe whilst I carried on with the blog post. They played on the floor together for around an hour and then played nudge for 30 minutes. Dembe is sound asleep now after that manic 90 minutes.

Tomorrow his uncle Paul will see him for the first time since March. We are socially distancing having a coffee in the back garden. Dembe has always adored Paul so I think he is going to go cray cray!

Jay got sent to pets at home with a list today. Im pretty sure the list didn’t contain the words new toy or elephant!

Sunday 6th June

Dembe got up early with me which is a rarity as normally he likes staying upstairs with his dad. He settled down beside me and went straight to sleep.

As predicted Dembe went crazy when Paul arrived and was basically throwing himself at Paul. He has missed him as much as we have. He has known Paul since he was tiny and out of all our friends he is probably the one person that he see’s on the most regular basis so not to have seen him since March is the longest time ever. I’m always amazed how dogs remember people.

W/C 25th May 2020

Monday 25th May

It is bank holiday Monday here in the UK, Jay is working as he is having the weekend off. He was supposed to be going to see Guns and Roses in Concert on Saturday but due to Covid-19 that has all been put on hold until next year. For some bizarre reason I have been awake since 4am so at least we have all had some time together before he goes to work. Dembe is fine he thinks it is an ordinary work day.

Dembe and I are both struggling with the heat, it seems to have got hot out of nowhere. As his old cool mat is ruined as I didnt store it properly I have ordered him a new one.

Jay manages to finish early so he cleans out Dembe’s paddling pool and refills it much to Dembe’s delight. He is splashing around and enjoying himself out in the garden for ages this afternoon whilst I crack on with some embroidery pieces I am working on.

After all the running around in the garden this afternoon he conks out just past 7pm! Jay can’t believe how loud he is snoring but I point out to him but it is still nowhere near as loud as Frankie Morris when he was alive!

Tuesday 26th March

Jay has two late nights this week and today is the first of them, he gets Dembe out around 5.30am and then they both head back to bed. Dembe has got really good at settling down and going back to sleep in the morning. When he was very young we didn’t have a hope in hell of getting him to settle. Now he is more than happy to go back to bed.

Whenever I try to take photos of my crochet Dembe always manages to photo bomb it so today I used him as a prop as I took a quick a shot to show my progress in the last 24 hours. He is so good he never makes a fuss.

In the afternoon Dembe and I played in the garden

He loves to take my slippers and try to chew the label off the inside. I am always finding my slipper out in the garden.

Wednesday 27th March

At long last Dembe’s Cool Mat arrived, it is huge it covers most of the 3 seater sofa which is ideal as it means that Dembe can stretch out on it. The heat today is stifling and we are both struggling with it.

My back is really bad today so I am not able to do much at all.

Thursday 28th May

Jay is late night again today, so once again he has taken Dembe out early and returned to bed. When I got up at 8.30am I wandered into his room and found them like this

Neither of them stirred as I took the photo and I didnt see them for another hour!

Again another bad back day that was lived through a haze of painkillers and pain.

Friday 29th May

He is loving the cool mat! His second one for upstairs is arriving today not that he is spoiled. It means I don’t have to carry anything upstairs as I can’t hold anything heavier than a mug at the moment as my back is just awful. Sorry Dembe this is your blog and I’m moaning all over it. He has been a good boy and knows that I am not right and is sticking to my side constantly.

Saturday 30th May

It is crazy hot again, Dembe is being a very good boy whilst his dad sorts out the garden shed and then paints some shelves.

We moved some bits around in the garden and Dembe seems to approve. Jay got the the rattan sunbed off the shed roof and Dembe has now claimed that as his.

Jay found 2 footballs down by our shed and gave them to Dembe who thought all his Christmases had come at once with having all these footballs to play with. The heat is ridiculous though and we have all had to come indoors to get out of it for a bit.

Sunday 31st May

Dembe is such a good boy, he is modelling my crocheted shawl I managed to complete last night

My little puddin’ looked after me during the night as I had another migraine…deep joy. He came in and cuddled up to me. When I told him to go and get his daddy for me off he went with his blue dinosaur in his mouth to wake up his dad.

Thankfully due to the new med’s the worst part of the attack was short lived and I have felt groggy all day but not horrendous.

He is loving the sun bed we got out for the garden yesterday however it appears that he now thinks this is his and not mine.

Sunday has been spent having lots of Dembe cuddles.

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 10th February 2020

Monday 10th February

From Sunday afternoon Daddy and Dembe bonding time

Jay was on an early today so he took Dembe out at around 5am before he then had to shoot off into work. Today Dembe needed to be on his best behaviour as I was holding the inaugural session of The Stitchin’ Bitches – a small craft group I was hoping to set up to meet once a month and discuss our craft projects / get hints and tips from like minded others.

Dembe went a bit crazy when Gill the first person to arrive came in but by the time Sue and Sandra came he had calmed right down. He was a very good boy and was loving all the extra attention he was getting from our visitors. The meeting went well and Dembe was shattered after they left.

We had a very quiet rest of the day but I have to share this video with you, which we took this evening. Dembe goes absolutely crazy for cheese and will jump from one sofa to another – sometimes he covers a space of around 2 metres. Normally he does a spin midair but tonight he didn’t. But it is still quite impressive!

Tuesday 11th February

Jay was day off today so he took Dembe for a nice long walk up the common . We had to hose him off after his walk as he was covered in mud splashes. He went out again just before 10am as we were heading into Exeter and wanted to ensure that he didn’t need the toilet whilst we were out. I needed to drop my sewing machine off for a service and for a repair.

Dembe was beautifully behaved in the sewing machine shop. It has really horribly steep steps and he was a bit scared of them but with patience and gentle encouragement he managed them no problem at all. When he first got into the shop Jenna ( the lady who owns the shop) petted him. Dembe sat straight down and gave her his paw so he melted her heart immediately.

When we got back home Dembe had a very long sleep, he normally sleeps for most of the morning but with going out he hadn’t been able to do that. We took him out again just after 3pm for his afternoon walk. Again he had to be washed off on his return.

As dog training had been cancelled on Sunday we were having a double session this evening, one hour of agility with one hour of obedience after. Due to this we had our dinner early

Dembe decided to stick to sitting practically on top of me whilst I was eating!

Dembe enjoyed his agility training session. We have decided for the time being it will be his last agility session as he refuses to do half the obstacles and spends a lot of the time waiting around to use the ones he will do. This inevitably leads to him barking because he is bored. Also I can’t stand the idea of having to listen to this obnoxious poisonous woman sit and slag everyone else off in the room for an hour every Sunday. It is a shame but she really is the most vile individual I have had the misfortune to come across. She literally drains the life out of you. Good luck to anyone who is unlucky enough to be sat beside her in the next class. This isn’t a criticism of the dog trainers we use, we love them. It is just I can’t have another 5 weeks of dealing with this woman for the good of my own mental health.

Due to Dembe having agility before obedience he was a barky little sod throughout the whole of this lesson. As soon as he was stood still not doing anything he would bark. It was one of the worst sessions we had been at with him. It really crushes your confidence with him when he behaves like that and it only seems to be the training centre that he behaves likes this. I am sure he likes the echo that his bark makes in the barn.

Wednesday 12th February

Dembe and I had a really lazy day today as we were both shattered after the two hour training session. I was also in a bad way with my neck and back so needed a quiet day. We spent the day on the sofa.

As Jay was on a late night he took him out for a very long walk first thing. They met a female black Labrador on the walk and they played chase. Dembe came home so covered in mud that he actually looked like a black Lab so he had to be washed off out in the back garden again.

Sadly today there was news of a confirmed case of Alabama Rot in Budleigh Salterton which is just down the road from us. There is a high chance that this dog was walked on Woodbury Common like Dembe is. So it is very worrying indeed as the fatality rate for Alabama Rot is 90%. The only guidelines are to avoid walking in woods and to wash off your dog after each walk. They are no closer to working out what it is that is causing this awful disease and why some dogs contract it and others dont.

When Jay got home just after 10pm he took Dembe for a walk around the block so that he went to the toilet before bed time.

Thursday 13th February

I got woken up at around 3am by Dembe coming in to check on me as the storm was raging outside. It sounded like stones were being thrown against my window – it was huge bits of hail and then out of nowhere we had Thunder and Lightning. Thankfully Dembe just snuggled down beside me and slept. I am so relieved that the wind and the storms don’t seem to bother him.

Jay took Dembe out for another long walk this morning as unfortunately this week he has two late nights on the bounce. Dembe was pickled again so he had to be hosed down outside to ensure all the mud was off him. Especially after hearing yesterdays news. I am also checking him daily to ensure he has no lesions on him.

Dembe was a happy boy as his Cows ears were delivered this afternoon and the ones that have come this time are bloody huge.

Unfortunately Dembe has started getting a bit funny with his food again. He is eating but he is starting to walk away from meals and not seem that bothered about them. So before Jay went to work we went into the kitchen and cooked up three huge instapots full of different meals for Dembe. We have cooked so much that we have had to bring in the small freezer from outside for extra storage. We have put it in my room as that is the only place we have the space for it that is near a socket. So now he has two kinds of Lamb stew and I made him another batch of Scooys stew as that is definitely a favourite. Since changing him over to home cooked meals I have always tried to ensure he doesn’t eat the same meal twice in a day but clearly he is a dog that needs more variety. So fingers crossed this helps him. He is looking really good and much trimmer since switching to home cooking. I was going to cook him another meal but I have run out of containers for him.

Friday 14th February

Happy Valentines day. Dembe ensured he got a card for his dad! It is also mine and Jays 23rd anniversary of being a couple.

I haven’t been up to much the last few days as I have been so out of it due to some medication I am taking due to my back being in spasm. Thankfully Dembe has worked out that something is wrong and has dropped his energy levels accordingly.

He is loving the cows ears, so much so he was desperate to show me the tiny piece he had in his mouth on Friday.

He makes me laugh so much when you talk to him as he tilts his head and raises his eyebrows as you can see above!

On Friday afternoon I decided to lay the blanket out that I am working on to see how big it is. Dembe decided that it definitely needed lab tested.

Saturday 15th February

We had some visitors today as Sam is home from college on his half term. Dembe amazes me, Sam is profoundly disabled and Dembe is so gentle and so in tune that he needs to help Sam. It is so amazing to witness. Dembe was playing. The only person he would give his toy to was Sam, same with the cows ear he was chewing, only Sam was presented with it.

Also Dembe climbed up onto the sofa and very gently kissed Sam, where as with Sams mum Sarah he just charged her and pinned her down waiting for a cuddle. I am in awe of my little boy and his ability to discern the differences between a completely different species. It does make you wonder who is the most intelligent human or animal.

When Dembe realised that Sam was getting ready to leave he staged a bit of a sit in and sat on Sams lap.

Dembe is just so gentle even when he is giving Sam a kiss. He always gives Sam’s glasses a clean and licks Sams hearing aids. But normally when Dembe kisses you he drowns you – he is a wet kisser. Not when he kisses Sam. It is just a sight to behold. I don’t think anyone would believe it unless they actually saw it happen.

Dembe was exhausted after our visitors.

Sunday 16th December

Whilst Storm Dennis ( yes another storm this weekend after Storm Ciara last weekend) rages outside it is a very quiet day in the Morris household. Jamie is full of cold and feeling dreadful. He went back to bed at 11am. I am sat downstairs on my tod whilst Dembe is cuddled up to his dad upstairs.

Dembe has had a nice long walk this morning ……finishing with him being hosed down in the back garden. We have also made the last dish for Dembe’s a la carte menu which is just called rice and meat – beef mince, rice, carrot and spinach. Now just waiting for it all to cool so it can go in the freezer.

This morning Dembe had his one pot wonder for the first time in days and wolfed it down so the variety thing is definitely getting him interested in his food again.

We are on half term now for dog training so we wont be back until a week Tuesday.

W/C 9th September 2019

Monday 9th September

Today Dembe and I were totally shattered after our busy Sunday. He spent a lot of the day sleeping and I spent a lot of the day being jealous of the fact he was! I felt barely human until gone 2pm.

Dembe had quick bursts of energy during the day which mainly consisted of emptying his toy box all over the lounge floor. He is loving his new antler chews which Jay bought him yesterday and the bear that Julie & Nigel gave him.

Tuesday 10th September

Jay had the day off work today so at around 10.30am we took Dembe to the vets to be weighed. He now weighs 32kg and is 23 inches at the shoulder. The vet staff said he was ok as he has a waist but we need to be careful from now that he doesn’t get overweight. The thing is if anything he is having less of everything he was having before so it was a bit of a shock to find out he now weighed 32kg. Which was the same weight as Willow our Weimaraner who passed in 2017.

We went up to Tesco after the vets to do some more socialisation and environmental training with him. We only popped in for 3 items but it took us 40 minutes to get around such is the size of the Dembe fan club. He got so much love from the staff and customers, who were all brilliant at asking for petting him.

This afternoon we cut his stupidly long dew claw. We had to wait until he was asleep and then practically pin him down as he hates his nails being cut. We have done it regularly since he came home with us but for some reason he has decided the nail cutters are the work of the devil! This was the glare I got afterwards.

Tonight was our first night back at dog training after the summer break. It was good to get back to it. Dembe was good apart from the barking trying to get a Giant Schnauzers attention all evening. He tried to get Suki’s attention all night with a variety of vocal techniques. Thankfully when doing the exercises he was quiet! He did some work with the trainer and refused a biscuit when the trainer offered it to him. Probably because he knew there was better on offer. He was then given a bit of dried liver, which he chewed. To be fair Dembe has always chewed his food but it surprised the trainer who joked he was the first Labrador he had met that chews his food!

Dembe does get bored easily and when he does he lays on the floor refusing to move. Jay now starts dancing in front of him to get him moving as it is something different. Dembe always jumps right up!

Jay is becoming so much more confident training Dembe, the bond between them is just deepening through this which I love. I get to spend every day all day with Dembe so its important Jay has some Dembe love too.

Wednesday 11th September

Dembe and I were both shattered after Tuesday. We had a really lazy day with lots and lots of cuddles on the sofa.

I had spoken to the trainer last night about a few issues I was having with Dembe – grooming being one, he has always hated this from being a puppy. At 8 weeks old a brush on his fur would send him into attack mode. His baby brush is covered in teeth marks. So as advised by the trainer today I started the first of his daily grooming sessions. It went very well, by the end of it I think I may have convinced Dembe that this is a nice thing to do. There was a lot of bribery involved and treats given but my goodness what a lot of hair came off him.

A friend popped over with my raffle prize today. Dembe disgraced himself by lifting up her skirt and then shoving his nose in her crotch. I wanted to die. It is the first time he has done that to anyone and no one was expecting it. This was what Frankie used to do to all my female friends and I would always knew who had their period because his nose wouldn’t leave their crotch the whole time they were here. Thankfully everyone laughed it off as just Frankies thing, some probably actively avoided us that week! I have no clue why Dembe did this but he has also just done this to my mum ( who popped over on Saturday morning). Maybe another thing to speak to the trainer about.

He loves walking around with his antler chew in his mouth looking like a pipe.

Dembe has started being picky with his food. It is taking him an hour to eat his evening meals. There is nothing wrong with him as he is eating treats etc fine and he will sit and beg at the fridge whilst he is supposed to be eating his dinner. In fact he has slowed down so much with his eating that we have switched back to a normal bowl rather than his slow feeder.

Thursday 12th September

Dembe and I are still bloody shattered. I have no clue what is up with us this week. All we both want to do is sleep. Jay is on an early and left the house just after 6am. The next thing I knew it was 8.20am and we were both only just waking up. I could have slept for hours but my back was sore and I had to take my morning meds.

I groomed Dembe again this morning and got even more off him. He sat for me better today and I didn’t have to chase him around the lounge, which is always a bonus!

At lunchtime Jay came home and because the weather was dry we sat outside for a bit and we played ball for a bit with Dembe.

He slept loads this afternoon whilst I did some sewing. I did wonder how on earth I would get to do anything when he first came home with us. He had to be watched like a hawk and always had to be as close to me as possible. Now however he will happily take himself upstairs and sleep on Jays or my bed . He will also sleep in the lounge and ensure he can see me by always being in my eyeline.

He decided to play silly buggers again with his dinner. He sat and begged at the fridge, we left his food down until he finished it and he got nothing extra until his plate was clear. He is just trying it on at the moment.

Friday 13th September

Dembe was an utter pain in the arse overnight, constantly moving around on and off the bed. He went into Jays room at 1.30am after Jay had taken him outside in case he wanted the toilet but all he did was lie down on the grass. He spent the majority of the night with Jay after that. Thankfully we all got some sleep then.

He didn’t wake up for breakfast until 6.30am but again he messed about for well over an hour eating it. He kept walking away from his bowl, begging for food or getting toys out of the toy box.

As Jay was on a late night he took him for a nice long walk up the common this morning. He came back absolutely shattered – shit nights sleep perhaps? He went straight to sleep for a few hours.

My friend Sandra popped over at Midday. Dembe greeted her like an old friend and showed none of the nervousness or fear that he did last week. In fact he covered her in kisses he was that pleased to see her. Sandra stayed for an hour or so and Dembe just wanted her attention the whole time.

Dembe was very good again whilst I did a little bit of sewing. He is such a cuddly boy today. I don’t remember a day where i have been kissed as much by him.

He ate his dinner fine tonight as there was the addition of a tin of sardines in tomato sauce mixed in. He is a cheeky fecker.

Saturday 14th September

Mum and dad popped over this morning as Jay is working 10-7 today so we will both be too knackered to go to the van tonight. Maggie was hilarious running into the house picking up Dembe’s duck and then trying to run back out of the house with it. Dembe as usual got over excited so I had to have him on the lead for a bit as he wanted to do zoomies in the house which I won’t allow as there are too many things he could bang into and injure himself on.

He was shattered after their visit and barely mustered a bark when his dad came home for lunch. As it was nice we sat outside for part of Jays break.

Dembe was really crazy by the time Jay got home from work despite having a walk in the morning. On his walk this morning he was playing with a German Shepherd, his owner asked Jay if his name was from the TV show The Blacklist. When Jay confirmed it was he said ” that is so F**king Cool”. So Jay and I had a proud parent moment as our furry kid has a cool name LOL

Sunday 15th September

Dembe woke up at 6am for his breakfast, he was still a little toad about eating his food. He ate half of it then left it for 90 minutes until after he got back from his walk and was ravenous! He polished it off in one go then.

We promised our friend Becky that we would go to Tesco Honiton today to see her as she was working. She really wanted to meet Dembe. We had a nightmare journey with Google maps taking us on a journey of epic proportions. It was utterly ridiculous as we found ourselves being taken through Ottery St Mary. In all the years I have driven to Honiton ( obviously not the last 6 years as I have had no licence!) I have never ended up going through Ottery St Mary! We totally ignored Google maps on the way home and went the way we knew.

We got to Tesco at around 11am and it was very quiet, which was great for us as obviously this was a new environment for Dembe and he wouldn’t have his usual fan club like he does when we go to his normal branch.

He wasn’t perfect but as he didn’t do a dump in the aisle I will take it as a win. His behaviour was good it is just we have really high expectations forgetting that he isn’t even 10 months old until tomorrow and everyone has off days. His main issue today was continually climbing up onto my lap , well when I say continually it was only about 4 times and I eventually managed to get him to stop.

He was so knackered he slept all the way home and has barely moved since! Quiet day ha ha ha!

Week commencing 12th August 2019

Monday 12th August

I can’t remember if I wrote about this last week or not but we are in the process of changing Dembe’s food over to Arden Grange, from the Breeders own Kibble. There is nothing wrong with the breeder Kibble it is just clear that Dembe just doesn’t get on with it. Since he was a tiny pup his poop has stunk and I don’t mean a little bit. If he had a poop in the garden you could smell it in the lounge. Obviously Jay and I aren’t new to dog owning, we know dog poo smells but even three Weimaraners had nothing on this. If he had a poop on a walk it would take 3 poo bags to subdue the smell but it still stank and he was also going 4 plus times a day.

Since we started to change over to the new food the smell of his poop has decreased 100 fold and the amount of wind he has been suffering from has also reduced. He would be able to clear a room before, as his wind stank even more than his poop. He really seems to enjoy the taste of Arden Grange. Currently we are keeping his food at half and half whilst we use up the last of his old kibble.

Dembe is being very sweet when Jay leaves for work at the start of the day or after he has had lunch. Once Jay shuts the front door Dembe scrambles onto the window ledge and watches him leave. Sometimes he will stay on the window sill for up to an hour just to see if Jay is coming back. Also about 30 minutes to an hour before Jay gets home from work he will get on the window ledge and keep watch.

Tuesday 13th August

As usual Jay was day off today so he got Dembe out nice and early up at the model airfield. He has started to delicately put his feet in puddles, he has always avoided them before. He doesn’t seek them out but will now get his feet wet.

Dembe has been full of beans all day. He spent a lot of the morning / early afternoon on the window sill watching the world go by. It seems to be his thing at the moment. God knows what the neighbours think when they see an almost fully grown Labrador squeezing himself onto the ledge.

In the afternoon we all went back to the airfield and took a different walk. We came across a dog walker with 6 dogs, all who played with Dembe. jay had to take his hat off and I had to take my sunglasses off as one of the dogs a lovely brown Springer Spaniel didn’t like people wearing hats and sunglasses. The walkers black Lab stole Dembe’s American football. This is always very popular with all the dogs we come across and every walk time is spent copaxing whomever has stolen it to give it back.

We also came across a fox red / blonde Labrador that was a year old and if you looked quickly you couldn’t tell the difference between Dembe and him. We asked if he was a Broadleaf dog but he came from Cullumpton and was a year old. They did look incredibly similar.

Dembe is still not cocking his leg as yet when he wee’s. He is definitely scenting on his walk doing lots of tiny wee’s, he tentatively lifts his back leg off the floor but it doesn’t go to a full cocking of the leg.

His poo is most certainly less smelly with the Arden Grange, only needed to be wrapped in one poo bag and I didn’t spent the rest of the walk gagging!

Wednesday 14th August

Jay took Dembe up to Woodbury Castle this morning where they bumped into the lady who has 5 Labradors all different colours. They have been bumping into each other since Dembe was tiny and all her boys love having a game of chase with him. About 20 minutes after they had left the house I got a message from Jay to say they were both soaking wet and could I get some towels ready for their return. The weather is really crappy today.

I gave Dembe a new Yak chew today. He now knows that “get cheese” means he needs to find his Yak cheese chew. He has known the “where’s your kong” means to go and find his kong toy. You can also ask him to “find Crocodile” and he will retrieve it from the toy box.

Another day another arse end of a dog hanging off the window sill.

I went up to bed at 18.30 as I was tired and in pain. Jay wouldn’t be home until gone 10pm. For the first time ever Dembe flatly refused to stay upstairs with me. He kept going downstairs and sleeping on the small sofa by the front door or in his bed. Normally he comes up to bed with me and stays there only getting up when Jay gets home. I kept getting up and checking that he was ok.

Dembe really struggles with understanding that Jay will be late home. He understands early shifts and 9-6. He has a bit of bother with 10-7 as he will quite often start to wait for Daddy to get home from 5pm. A late shift really does unsettle him.

He knows the sound of Jays car now and will only bark when Jays keys are in the door. He is a lot quieter than Frankie, Willow or Mollie were.

Thursday 15th August

Dembe woke up at 5.30am and had his breakfast but he wouldn’t settle back to sleep. He kept wandering between Jay who was downstairs and me up in bed. His campaign to get the pack together eventually worked as I got up at 6.45am giving up on the hope of having some uninterrupted sleep. Which is why I refer to him quite often as the blonde bastard. I really need my sleep as it is always so broken, so I get very grumpy when I get less than I need,

As my eyesight was so poor today a mixture of dry eyes and an unknown neuromuscular disorder I was really limited to what I could do. So much of the day was spent playing with Dembe or giving him lots of cuddles. In the afternoon we played tug of war, oh my days he nearly pulled me off the bench on quite a few occasions!

Of course after lunch when Daddy went back to work and before he got home Dembe was on the window sill.

As Jay didn’t get back until 7pm there was a bit of waiting around. He got taken out for a nice walk to tire him out.

Dembe has a thing for spicy food, if Jay and I have curry he sits and drools. All the dogs we have owned have been crazy about spices.

Friday 16th August

Oh my goodness Dembe is 9 months old today!

Taken the day he turned 9 weeks old
Taken the day before he turned 9 months old

We had another very cuddly day together. Mostly spent with me in disbelief that our tiny little pup has turned 9 months old. It seems to have whizzed by. In all those 9 months he has only spent 8 weeks away from us. I couldn’t imagine life without him now, he is just so bonded to both of us. I have never known such a happy dog, Jay only has to walk into the room and Dembe’s tail goes mental. He loves us both so much and we love him so much more.

I attempted to take a selfie of us having a cuddle to celebrate his 9 month birthday, this was the best shot I got!

I love these two shots of him on the window ledge again. Every day he is up on the ledge watching the world go by or waiting for his daddy.

Saturday 17th August

Today Uncle Paul came over, Dembe adores Paul so was going absolutely crazy. It was the worst behaved he has been. I know why, it was because Jay is on an early shift as he was yesterday, which means Dembe doesn’t get walked until the evening. He was like a coiled spring, trying to dive on top of Paul, whipping him with his tail. In the end I got a brand new Yak chew out and let him have it. After a carrot and a dentastix it was the only thing that calmed him down! Thankfully Paul adores him and when I explained why he was being a nutcase he was fine!

After all that excitement Dembe spent the afternoon asleep!

Can’t believe how grown up he looks in this photo

Sunday 18th August

New day, new window ledge shots. He is utterly addicted to sleeping / being on the window ledge. He either spends ages looking out or he sleeps facing into the room. We think it is because the window is south facing so he has the heat of the sun on him.

He has been on the window ledge about 4 times since we all got up at 7.30am.

We have had a bit of a play in the garden. He loves playing in the garden with the tugger that our friend Angie bought him.

This afternoon we went for a walk on Woodbury common. We went to a different area for a change, which was nice as there wasn’t a soul there. Dembe was in ball carrying mode rather than wanting it thrown and he was happy to trot along beside us. He has got so good with the mobility scooter.

We are now going to have a relaxing rest of the day and he will be having sardines with his dinner as he hasn’t had them yet this week.

W/C 5th August 2019

Monday 5th August 2019

Dembe was a very sleepy boy this morning, snoring his head off beside me on the sofa. He keeps making me giggle as it just isn’t possible for something so cute and dinky to snort like a warthog.

He has been entertaining himself whilst I got some sewing done this morning. I am still working on my scrappy quilt. In the afternoon we cuddled on the sofa. I had a bit of a panic when I realised I hadn’t taken any photos of him today. So I woke him up and took this one. As you can see from the glare he wasn’t impressed.

Everyone who has seen this photo agrees he looks like a stroppy teenager.

He did forgive me later and lay on my lap holding my thumb in his mouth. He is so gentle he just likes holding my thumb, doesn’t suck it or lick it just gently holds it between his teeth.

At 17.45 Sam, Sarah and Gemma came over to see Dembe. They haven’t seen him for a while. Sam is Dembe’s biggest fan, it is so lovely to see them together. Dembe came out of the kitchen once Sam was settled, ran over to Sam, jumped up and gave Sam a kiss. All very gently, he is super aware that he needs to be gentle with Sam which is just brilliant as it isn’t anything we have taught him.

Gemma, Sam’s sister, confidence has really grown with Dembe and she is no longer terrified of him. She interacted with him on her own initiative which was lovely to see. Before she has always been too scared to as she thought he would bite or jump. He does jump on occasion but he doesn’t bite he mouths. Sam bought Dembe two kong tennis balls so Dembe thought all his Christmasses had come at once! Sam spoils Dembe something rotten buying him presents. I have told him he doesn’t need to bring anything as Dembe is always just so happy to see him.

Dembe spent most of the visit trying to work out how to carry two tennis balls in his mouth. I got Sam to feed Dembe treats which they both enjoyed. It is funny as Dembe always licks Sam’s glasses – which he never does to me or his dad. He also always snuffles around Sam’s hearing aids, which must be very loud. He is exceptionally gentle though.

Tuesday 6th August

We took Dembe up the Common by 8.15am and gave him a good run around. We took him there early as we wanted to get to the vets pretty early so it would be quiet and Kate could see him for a bit. He needed to be weighed and get his worming tablet. I had been panicking that he was going to weigh in at 32kg and be told he needed to go on a diet so I was relieved when the scales read 29.4kg. Kate said he is still growing and that he was a very big dog. He still seems so tiny to us and he is now heavier than Mollie ever was. Actually he is probably heavier than Travis was.

I gave him his worming tablets when we got home from the vets. As he is now nearly 30kg he needs three. Normally he eats them straight out of my hand so I gave them to him with a few slices of sausage. He ate one tablet and spat two out and made no effort to eat them so I folded them in some ham and then went down no problem.

In the afternoon we went to Woodbury Castle for a walk and I accompanied the boys on my mobility scooter. It is such a shame that over the last two weeks Dembe’s recall has really deteriorated. He has decided it is now optional whether or not he comes back. We have gone back to basics with him. I know it is hormone related as the humping of his bed has resumed, which hasn’t happened in months.

This evening we popped over to see Uncle Paul. Uncle Paul and Dembe adore each other, they both just get so excited when they see each other. We haven’t been over to his house for a while so Dembe was running around like a loon and jumping on the furniture. Thankfully Paul was ok with that. He told me the only dog that will ever be allowed in his house would be Dembe. Paul has made a lovely job of his garden lots of pots with flowers in, it really is something special. Thankfully Dembe left them alone.

Wednesday 7th August

Jay was on a 9-6 today so took Dembe out before heading off to work. I was pottering around all morning when my parents turned up with Maggie. It is really weird that Maggie will play up at the caravan but runs and hides in my house. Dembe gets massively over excited when Maggie comes over and gets boisterous. I was trying to explain to my parents that the majority of the time he is pretty calm chewing his bones / antlers / yak chews or having cuddles.

In the evening we popped over to my parents caravan, where Maggie and Dembe played. Dembe was naughty and stole Maggie’s rawhide chew. He hasn’t had one of those before and he thought it was ace. Maggie wasn’t impressed when she noticed.

He looks like a lardy seal in this photo that my husband took!

By the time we got home Dembe was fit for nothing and crashed in his basket!

Thursday 8th August

Well would you believe it??? Dembe slept until 6.21am unheard of. Yep no wake up call by him at 5am wanting his breakfast. It was so confusing both Jay and I assumed that the other must have got up for him. The shenanigans at the caravan last night must have worn him out.

I was still in bed when Jay took Dembe out for a walk. He took him for a long walk as he is on a late night tonight. He met lots of his doggie friends and had a massive game of chase which is his absolute favourite game in the whole world. He then slept for the rest of the morning still worn out from running around with Maggie the day before.

The weather was really oppressive, very humid and it was making me feel rough so in the afternoon I decided to have a lie down on the sofa as I didn’t think Dembe would settle if I went up to bed. As quick as a flash Dembe was up on the sofa too and lying on my chest.

He is so very cuddly and always just wants to be near me. He stayed on me for about 20 minutes and then got on and climbed onto the other sofa. After a few hours lying on the sofa I felt a bit better so I decided to sort out my quilt and get the three layers together.

I will never make the mistake again of trying to baste an almost king-size quilt whilst Dembe is in the house. When I started he was fast asleep, I just got the back flat on the floor when he woke up and decided that he would sit on it.

I managed to get the wadding onto the quilt backing by bribing Dembe with several frozen carrots which he immediately took upstairs to my my room to eat. It was all down hill from there!

He thought the quilt top would be the best place in the entire house at that moment to do spinnies ( chasing his own tail). I managed to convince him it wasn’t and he did for a time stay on the sofa for me.

The minute my back was turned he jumped off the sofa and sat on the quilt top again. By the time I had finished I was drenched in sweat due to the humidity. Cursing myself for having started this, when I should have waited until Jay took him out on a walk.

Friday 9th August

Dembe is 39 weeks old today, so we have owned him for 31 weeks. It seems like so much longer.

Jay was on another late night today so he took Dembe out for a nice long walk. He went to the Model Airfield and bumped into the lady that has 5 Labradors, who he runs into a lot and all the dogs play nicely together. Jay said it was Labrador central up there today and Dembe was in his element getting lots of lovely comments, what a nice boy he was, what a gorgeous face he has etc. That always makes Jays heart swell with pride.

I got some quilting done in the afternoon so Dembe slept in the lounge on the large sofa so that he could see me whilst I was working. When I finished for the day we had lots of cuddles on the sofa.

He was a bit cheeky this evening and was constantly trying to make a move on my dinner.

I had to keep lifting my plate out of the way of his snout. He would then start airlicking because he couldn’t get anywhere near it

We had a very cuddly Friday evening.

Saturday 10th August

I was really unwell today, my eyeball had managed to stick to my eyelid overnight and caused another corneal abrasion. Same eye as before (7th July). I was feeling so unwell that Jay came home from work to look after me. I ended up having to go to the minor injuries unit to get treatment for the corneal abrasion as I had a constant feeling that I had something stuck under my eyelid.

Once home we had a really quiet day with Dembe glued to my side

Thumbsucking again.

I keep forgetting to mention that this week Dembe has started to go into Jays room in the mornings after he has had his breakfast. He comes back upstairs checks on me and has a quick cuddle then he gets up and sleeps in Jays room for a couple of hours. It is the first time since the baby gate came off that he has changed the room he is sleeping in. Jay had been feeling very left out as our previous dogs used to divide their time between him and me at night. Since they passed away he has been sleeping alone ( we have separate rooms as he snores and i have insomnia. ) which he has found hard to get used to. I am so happy for him that Dembe has started going in with him.

Sunday 11th August

Thankfully my eye was feeling an awful lot better this morning. In fact I was feeling much better than I had done yesterday as a whole thank goodness.

Jay is off out to a family meal today so it will be me and Dembe home alone for a few hours this afternoon. Due to him having to travel Jay took Dembe out for a longish walk first thing this morning. As it was Sunday and early the common, well the bit where he went was empty and they saw no one. Give it a few hours and it will be teaming with people.

My plans today are to write up Dembe’s blog post – almost done and just chill – doing, as yesterday was quite stressful due to my eye injury. Dembe is as usual incredibly cuddly and looking gorgeous as always .

Ever since Jay left to go to the meal an hour ago Dembe has been on the window sill looking for him. He hates it when his whole pack isn’t together. Plus he knows it is Sunday and normally Jay would be here all day. Bless him. He has to learn that we do go out even if it is rarely!

This week we have booked a stay in a hotel for next year and we will be taking Dembe with us. We are so excited as it will be the first time Jay and I have gone away since 2006.

Week Commencing 15th July 2019

Monday 15th July

As usual for Monday Dembe and I were left to our own devices as Jay was on an early. As I caught up with The Handmaids Tale from Sunday night, Dembe amused himself.

I managed to get a bit of sewing done. Dembe tried to run off with a strip of fabric that I was working on. Joining 2 inch wide strips of fabric into one giant length. He picked up the end that was on the floor, the top of it being under the presser foot of my sewing machine. He is a right little tea leaf, I have found pin cushions ( thankfully no pins), my quilting gloves, stabiliser for embroidery and one of my bras on his chair in the garden!

We all went up to Woodbury common when Jay was home from work. I used my scooter up there, as I have mobility issues. It was the first time I have been up there on it with Dembe off the lead. I have always been nervous before that I would run him over. However he was brilliant. He kept well away from the wheels and only approached me when I was at a standstill. Every time I stopped he jumped up on my lap!

Tuesday 16th July

Dembe is 8 months old today, how quickly those months have gone by. It means we have owned him for 6 months. We can’t imagine life without him.

We took Dembe to the Doctors surgery today as I had an appointment with one of the gp’s. You can read about our experience here – https://wp.me/p4zBAs-yp. I don’t want to fill Dembe’s blog up with such a negative experience that I am still cross about. He was a good boy it is a shame the doctor wasn’t on her best behaviour.

The receptionist thought Dembe was wonderful as did the many patients who he met in the waiting room. He made an old chap’s day as he allowed him to fus him and had a long chat with Jamie about dogs. It was clear this old guy hadn’t spoken to anyone for ages and was head over heels for Dembe. We were so pleased with how he behaved that we are considering getting him registered as a PAT dog ( Pets as therapy) where he visits hospitals and hospices and just spreads some love.

We had a wonderful walk on the common this afternoon, I went up on my scooter again as this area was much flatter . We even had a chinook fly over the top of us and Dembe didn’t bat an eyelid.

Wednesday 17th July

Dembe is a very tired boy today. He has slept most of the day away.

He was only happy today as long as he was in the same room as me at all times. I tried a bit of training with him with the light pull today but he flatly refused to put it in his mouth. He was quite happy to touch it with his nose but not the mouth!

He had a nice walk with Jay on the common after work this evening.

Thursday 18th July

Due to Dembe sleeping all day yesterday he was an utter maniac today.

I was sorting through the dirty laundry seperating colours from whites / lights I looked up and out into the garden to find him outside with my bra ( second time this week) and my tropic bamboo washcloth! He does this in a blink of an eye. In the house his stolen items always end up on my bed or beside it. Usually Jays socks and pants. When he takes stuff into the garden he likes to take it to his favourite chair. I had to go and rescue them both.

As he was so crazy I did some training exercises with him, I have found he gets crazy when he needs mental stimulation and he loves doing some tasks and they calm him down. So we worked on stay training, I managed to get 2 metres away and him staying in a lying down position for 30 seconds. I didn’t push it as I know he can get frustrated easily, especially when he can’t fathom the point of it. I also managed to get him to lie down without having to point to the floor ( in the past even touch the floor to get him to do it). We did a few cycles of training over the hour and he calmed right down as he had been mentally stimulated – and had mummy’s undivided attention.

We treated Dembe to a tin of sardines tonight with his dinner. He loves Sardines but oh my they are smelly. We give him sardines in tomato sauce as he doesn’t need the extra oil or brine. His breath stinks for hours after LOL

We won £128 on the lottery last night – I found out this morning so I bought him a Trixie Poker Box 1. An brain training activity for him. I can’t wait for it to arrive.

Photo taken by Jamie
photo taken by Jamie
photo taken by Jamie

Friday 19th July

Dembe is 36 weeks today!

Jay is on a 9-6 today so Dembe got out for a walk by around 7.20am just as well because crocodile was being thrown around the lounge from before 7am.

I wasn’t expecting it but Dembe’s Poker box arrived today, so that was a lovely surprise. He was immediately inquisitive.

The light is terrible in the house today as it is pouring with rain and looks more like a November day than the height of summer. So you will have to excuse the lack of photos etc today.

Dembe worked out in a few minutes how to open the box that has a flip lid. He took a bit longer with the lid that has the red handle on. Instead of grabbing it with his mouth he nudges it with his nose. He is dead proud of himself when he gets the treat out of the bos. I think it will take a bit longer to get him to take the lid off with the string handle and pull the drawer open but I didn’t want a toy that he could master in a day as that would be a complete waste of money. He is funny though as he goes over and checks it at least once an hour just to see if any new treats have been deposited. The flip top lid is always open as he does that one so easily!

He had a lovely play on the common this evening he met a one year old Cairn terrier called Poppy. As Dembe is so used to his best mate Maggie chasing him when we visit my parents he now thinks that is the job of all small dogs and poppy was only too happy to oblige! He got back to the car exhausted.

I posted this photo on Instagram and then got instantly mummy shamed for the fact he isn’t in a crate in the boot of the car and not wearing a harness. Firstly he can’t go in the back of the car as my scooter is in there. I have problems walking, even a fold down scooter is bulky. We now own a 7 seater car so even with that boot space there. is no room. Especially if I have my fixed frame wheelchair in there. He isn’t wearing a harness currently as we haven’t been able to find one that fits him properly. They are usually too tight on his neck and too wide on the body.

However I did appreciate that the person was acting out of concern and she was right in the fact if we were involved in a crash all the force would be taken through his neck. What I didn’t appreciate was the fact she did it publicly as a shaming act. There was nothing stopping her private messaging me, that is what I took offence to. After doing some research on the internet I found a harness that doesn’t break the bank and has been crash tested unlike the majority of harnesses on the market. Having taken his measurements this one should fit him well.

I don’t agree with putting dogs in the boots of car’s unless it is strictly necessary. The boot of the car is the crush zone, it is designed to crush like a concertina, crate or no crate a dog could be killed if you were ploughed into from behind. What she couldn’t see from the photo is that we have a safety net between the front seats and the rear seats so he can’t be catapulted forward between seats, plus the seat belt attachment he has on means he can’t move to between the seats. I do take her point on his neck being at risk which is why the harness is arriving today.

So I have had my first experience of being mummy shamed! It’s been a long time coming. It’s hilarious as normally people try to shame me over my sewing machines / embroidery machines or my Emma Bridgewater pottery collection.

Saturday 20th July

Oh my word Dembe is a demon child this morning. He woke me up by crying at 05.8am as he wanted his breakfast, Jay has worked a lot of earlies this week which means he gets his breakfast at 4.30am, so now he was up and hungry. He had his breakfast but the little blonde bastard wouldn’t settle. He made it quite clear one of us needed to get up. As Jay will be working until 10pm tonight I thought it had better be me. I gave up at 6.20am. My back was killing me as well so it suited me.

Every toy was out of the box by the time Jay got up at 7.30am, by 8am it was clear Dembe needed a walk as he just wouldn’t settle. However even after his walk he was being a pain in the bum finally going to sleep at 10am

He is now tucked up beside me out for the count as I transfer from his paper diary to his blog this weeks events!

Dembe’s new chews arrived today, I got him some Yak chews after seeing them recommended on various Labrador groups on Facebook. I think he likes it, I haven’t seen him for close to an hour now as he is having a good chomp. I saw him briefly and despite all that chewing there was barely a dent on the chew. He is carrying it around constantly like it is his most prized possession .

Dembe’s new harness arrived today it is called The Slow Ton harness and is one of the few on sale in the UK that have been crash tested. It fits him really well. If anyone is interested they are available from Amazon.

Sunday 21st July

I have no clue as to what is going on with Dembe at the moment but he is insisting the whole household is up and downstairs before 7am. After having a few weeks of being “allowed” to sleep on until 7.20am this is killing me. He basically sits on the bed and cries until you get up. It doesn’t matter if you stroke him he continues to cry. He has always been a whinger and thankfully I have seen on a Facebook Labrador book that this unfortunately is quite common. Before I have always panicked that he is in pain etc so rush to him to check him over. It turns out it is just he wants attention because he has been deprived of attention for a whole two minutes!

As he was so bouncy Jay took him out before 7.30am. He gave him a nice walk on what we call old common, which is called old common by us as that is the place on the common we have known the longest. He has finally settled in his bed and is fast asleep.

He has lost his Yak chew somewhere in my room. The carpet looks like someone has really bad dandruff as it has got all the tiny flakes of Yak chew all over it. At least it doesn’t smell bad just smokey.

It got really warm this afternoon, before we took him out for a walk Dembe and I were messing about on my bed, playing with toys and having a cuddle. He still likes having a cuddle during the day whenever he can.

Every time I see this photo it makes me laugh. He looks like he has taken the selfie and I have photobombed him! The look in his eye says I’m with the crazy lady!

A tiny little video from up on the common –

Dembe in his new car safety harness

W/C 8th July 2019

Monday 8th July

It was just Dembe and I today as Jay was on an early. Dembe is being very cuddly and affectionate. He just wants to spend the day curled up beside me being stroked. I love it when he is my soppy boy. Every time I sat on the sofa today he had to be beside me, putting his head on my lap.

We did a training session in the bathroom , getting him to touch the light pull which has the baby kong on the end of it, with his nose. He has developed a bit of an aversion to the light pull since last week. Initially it looked so promising and that he would get it really quickly. Thankfully I taught him the touch command a few weeks ago – he runs between my open palms and touches each with his nose.

I also tried him with some bubbles today, you know the kind you have as a kid to blow. All Dembe did was play bow and then bark at them. He couldn’t understand what the bubbles were at all and why they kept disappearing.

Sadly his solar fountain has broken so his paddling pool is without its water feature. Thankfully it has been a straight forward return. It is very disappointing when he loved it so much.

Tuesday 9th July

We took Dembe up to Tesco again this morning . We had planned to go out for lunch at sit in the pub beer garden but it was really hot when we left the house and it was 26 when we left Tesco so far too hot and uncomfortable for Dembe even in the shade.

He was brilliant again around Tesco again. The fact that Jay can have Dembe’s lead in one hand and a basket in the other and Dembe behaves like an angel totally amazes me. We could never have done that with any of our other dogs.

I pootle along behind on my mobility scooter. Dembe has stopped attempting to jump up on my lap whenever he is alongside me. It has been a bit of a nightmare ever since he was tiny that as soon as I was next to him he would immediately try to jump up on my lap. I am so pleased that he no longer does this as I was always so worried I would run him over. He now sits very nicely to the side of me and has a cuddle.

Idiot here forgot to take any photos! **facepalm** Lots of members of staff approached us to tell us how well behaved Dembe was and they were all really good at asking us if he could be stroked, as they knew he was working.

Dembe has been following me everywhere to the point that I am falling over him at times. Frankie used to do this if my health was going to decline he was my early warning system. I think Dembe is doing the same.

I did get some lovely photos of Dembe and Jamie as they came back to the car after their walk on Tuesday afternoon.

As the training with the baby kong on the light pull isn’t going well I decided to make a dummy retrieval toy ( kind of) to attach to the light pull. I allowed Dembe to play with it for a few minutes once it was made and then attached it to the light pull. He is much happier touching this and picking it up.

Wednesday 10th July

Well I now know why Dembe was following me everywhere and wouldn’t let me be alone. I have woken up to a horrendous allergic reaction to my eye ointment that I put in over night. My eyes have all swollen and the skin on my face is burning. It is very uncomfortable. I noticed yesterday that my under eye are looked a bit swollen but as I am on salt tablets I presumed it was water retention. Thankfully with piriton and ice packs it has gone down enough for me to go to Dembe’s obedience training class tonight.

Tonight was Dembe’s last obedience training level 1 class. Jay and I got the trainer a thank you card and gift as we had all had such a brilliant time and enjoyed ourselves. The difference in all of us is enormous, Jay finally plucked up the courage tonight to answer some of the questions. I don’t think he has said more than two words previously. I have enjoyed getting out of the house every week even if both Dembe and I are shattered the following day. Dembe has come on in leaps and bounds but that is due to the hard work Jay has put in on the walks. Also the bits I have been able to manage to do in the house.

We were the only people to complete the whole 6 week course. We have signed up to do level two in September. DEmbe didn’t have a great lesson but he had been absolutely crazy all day, he had been doing zoomies at 7am. So he really isn’t in the right mindset to be fully focused.

Thursday 11th July

I was in the kitchen when I looked out into the back garden and found Dembe asleep like this. He had even knocked a pillow down so that he could rest his head on it on the table. He was absolutely shattered all day after dog training.

He has been really cuddly all week and when I wasn’t doing my bits and pieces all he wanted to do was have a cuddle.

At 17.30 he got quite upset as he had got it into his head that his dad was coming home any minute and parked himself by the front door.

He wouldn’t leave the front door until he had heard Jay on the speaker phone talking to me. Jay was on a late finish so wouldn’t be home until 9pm. Dembe was really unsettled all night even when Jay was home. Dembe went downstairs to sleep for a bit until he eventually came back upstairs ar around 11pm.

Friday 12th July

Can you believe it Dembe is 35 weeks old today. Next Tuesday he will be 8 months old. He is no longer my tiny little baby puppy. But with each day he gets cuter.

As Jay was on an early start he thought he would take Dembe out for a lead walk before he went to work. Twice he tried to get Dembe to leave the house and go for a walk and twice Dembe ran away and hid. He really isn’t an early morning mutt. He doesn’t like going out for his morning walk before 8am. He is such a funny little dog.

Dembe was hosed down in the garden at around 9am and as always he barged into the shower. Whilst I sorted myself out he decided to sleep in his dogs bed. With each passing week he seems to get bigger and the bed gets smaller.

He got it right today and was waiting at the door when his dad came home

He got taken out for a nice walk and we popped over to my parents van and he got to play with Maggie their dog. By the time we got home it was dinner ( for all of us ) and then bed.

Saturday 13th July

Dembe has been a little bugger all week attacking the potted palm out in the back garden. He does this really quietly for ages and then gives himself away when he strolls into the lounge with a huge leaf in his mouth. I got so fed up with his garden antics this morning I had to shut the back door to prevent more damage.

The door is rarely shut at the moment due to the lovely warm weather so the muppet managed to walk into the door a little bit later on. Thankfully he isn’t hurt , his pride was hurt really. For the rest of the day he was a bit hesitant on going through the door and who can blame him.

When he hasn’t been destroying my garden he has been a very cuddly bunny again. I love it when he puts his ears right back and makes his head look all domed shaped. He is so cute.

he decided this afternoon he would lie on my lap for an hour and have a cuddle.

When Jay got back from work we took Dembe out for a walk and then popped to my parents van so he could see his mate Maggie. Our friend Hilary was there with her husband and they both adore Dembe so he had lots of fuss from everyone. He was shattered by the time we got home. But he enjoyed himself.

Sunday 14th July

Dembe and I had a rotten nights sleep at 1am I was awoken by the start of a migraine. Pain in my face and down the my neck and the back of my head. I stumbled out of bed and tried to locate my soft neck collar. I have found the faster and earlier I can get this on the less potent the migraine. It is being caused by my neck coming out of alignment as I sleep and it is deeply frustrating. I got my collar on and climbed back into bed. Dembe got out of his bed on the floor and climbed up next to me. He put his paw on my arm is if to say “it’s ok mummy I am here” and we both attempted to get some sleep. It didn’t go to well as I just couldn’t get comfy. Dembe was also insisting that he escorted me to and from the bathroom. So we were both shattered come getting up time.

Its been a quiet day, Jay took Dembe up to Woodbury castle to let him burn off some energy. He had a play with a couple of dogs and enjoyed himself.

We laughed ourselves silly at Dembe dropping the subtle hint that he would like some sausages!

We have had lots of cuddles and play today.