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.