Well yesterday ( Sunday) the last of the decking and it’s joists have been removed so for the time being ( for safety ) Dembe is restricted to just the small patio in the back garden. Its going to be 6 – 8 weeks before he has a garden to play in again but so far he is coping ok. Just has got his head in every plant pot that is within biting distance.
As you can see from the garden….well mud pit it’s not a safe environment for a puppy.
He was a very sleepy boy today, probably because he had so little sleep the day before with the decking being removed and Mark coming over to help. Also because he was such a good boy he had two walks up on the common as a reward hence a knackered pup today.
Having his ginger nuts on display seems to be his normal Monday morning sleeping pose!
I managed to get this beautiful shot of Dembe today. It’s so cute his ears are always doing this.
As Jay was on an early Dembe had a nice walk on the common this evening.
Tuesday 26th March
As Jay is (as normal) day off today he took him up the common nice and early. He met up with Dembe’s girlfriends the two female British Bulldogs, who adore him but will steal his tennis ball. Dembe had a really good play with them.
We are having issues with Dembe whingeing in the car . He started doing it age 10-11 weeks and he is getting more and more vocal. Up until then he was really good in the car and used to go straight to sleep. He whinges if I am in the back with him or if I am in the front with him. We don’t know why he is doing it as he can move around despite being belted in. He isn’t in pain, it isn’t an excited whine it’s an attention whine or I need the toilet whine. But he will always have been outside for a wee before being put in the car. He also does it on the way home from a walk or trip out in the car. Which means he will have been to the toilet etc We are clueless but our new plan of action is to ignore him and see if that gets him to drop the volume of the whinging.
On the second trip out of the day the whingeing although still there was much quieter. However he has now started barking at people outside the car. Today was the first day that he has ever done it. Probably because he is so much taller now he can see clearly out of the window. He does very much see his role as being the protector of the family. I just don’t want him barking at everything outside the car because we had that with the Weimaraner’s and its a bloody nightmare.
Wednesday 27th March
I’m usually pretty good at either writing my notes about Dembe straight into my diary for him or onto the blog in the drafts section. For some reason Wednesday is completely blank. However as a back up I always look at photos in my phone as very rarely is there a day when I haven’t taken a photo of him.
For some reason this week it has been all about his toys. The blue dinosaur in the photos was one of the first toys that I bought him. Until now it has been part of his bedroom toys. He has a few toys upstairs which he plays with for about 30 minutes every night before he settles down to sleep. He plays with these as well if we go upstairs during the day. This week he has been slowly bringing all his upstairs toys downstairs and neither Jay or I have noticed him do it.
He has also been playing with toys that he hasn’t touched for a while. However the best game he has had is emptying the contents of his toy box all over the lounge floor. As soon as you try to tidy up and put them back in the toy box he trots behind you and takes them out again. This has been this weeks game which started on Wednesday!
Thursday 28th March
As Jay was on his only late night of the week Dembe was taken up the common for a nice walk. He had missed his two Bulldog girlfriends but he met two chocolate labs who were more than happy to play with him. He really is fascinated with Labrador’s, he likes any dog that will play with him but he knows a Labrador. The whole reason we went for a Labrador after losing the Weimaraner was that our eldest girl Mollie had always been fascinated with Labrador’s, particularly black Labs. She would make a bee line to a Lab, flirting and playing. So we allowed Mollie to make the decision for us, years ago so it feels like we have her blessing. Even though it is bloody hard trying to carry on without them.
Dembe has claimed his first pair of slippers. Jay had a pair of star wars slippers that he wore occasionally . Dembe would steal them out of Jays bedroom no matter where he hid them and sit and chomp on them. Tonight Dembe managed to chew the ends off both toes so I had to get them off him and put them in the bin. I didn’t want him eating the inside of the slipper!
My dad popped over in the afternoon to pick up some of the things he has been storing at ours over the winter. Dembe was very excited as it was around 4pm, from 4pm until 4.30pm / 5pm he can be very bouncy and today was no different. He was mad though bouncing around like a rabbit!
He did however settle really well in the evening and we went upstairs at 18.30 as we were both shattered.
It was quite funny as when Jay got home from work Dembe barked at the sound of him coming through the door. Like I said earlier in the week he takes his role of being our protector very seriously.
Friday 29th March
I can’t believe our little ball of fluff is 19 weeks old already, where the hell has the time gone? I am so glad I have all the photos of him at 8 weeks old when he was tiny, standing in his food bowl. He has grown so much in such a short space of time.
He is such a gorgeous boy and I love him so much. I don’t even mind that I am permanently covered in dog hair because he is moulting at the moment as his adult coat comes in.
He has another two wobbly teeth on the bottom next to his canines. He has so many adult teeth come through now it is no wonder his favourite thing to do at the moment is chew. His Antler chews have taken a real bashing.
Jay was on a middle shift today so Dembe had a walk around the block this morning to burn off some energy. He came across an adult Labrador that was out on a run with its owners. He was absolutely fascinated by the grown up Labrador, sadly it was on the other side of the road but he was transfixed until it passed by.
He has been very cuddly all week, he keeps wanting on my lap and being hugged. He is such a very soppy boy.
Tonight was the first time he had been up to my parents caravan. He met Maggie last week but it went much better outside at the van. Although despite just having a walk Dembe was manic with excitement. Bouncing around all over the place and getting deeply frustrated at the fact that my parents dog a Jack Russell terrier wouldn’t play with him and was more into being petted by myself and Jay.
As soon as we got in the car to go home Dembe was out like a light. It made for a very quiet evening!
Saturday 30th March
Today it seems my primary role is ensuring his lordship gets fed and to hold onto his nyla bone / antler / tugger whilst he chews the hell out of it. He obviously has some teeth coming through at the back as everything is being rammed to the back of his mouth and being chomped on.
Saturday evening after Jay got home from work and Dembe had a walk we went over to my parents caravan. Dembe was much more confident this evening as he knew where he was. He and my parents dog Maggie were playing, running after the ball and chasing each other. Dembe had the time of his life and we had a very quiet evening!
Sunday 31st March
Well after running riot with Maggie today Dembe is absolutely shattered. Firstly he slept until gone 6am ( the clocks changed last night so in old money it was 5.10am) and then after he had his breakfast he then slept until 8am ( 7am ) which for him is pretty good going. He was a bit active for about an hour and then flaked out again.
Jay took him out for a walk on the common at around 10am
He has been sleeping beside me all day . In the UK it is Mothers day today, I have had a lovely card and box of chocolates from my boy. He is such a gorgeous pup and loves his mum.
He has been very good as I was outside with Jay this morning pointing out what pots can be thrown away and what still had plants in. We had to shut him in the house whilst doing this as there was no barrier onto the quagmire which is the back garden currently! Whenever we leave him in the house alone ( when we are in the garden) he just puts himself on one of the sofas and goes to sleep. I always panic he will be chewing something but he hasn’t yet…..he is still only 5 months old and there is lots of chewing to come I am sure.
As Jay isn’t working today he has had another walk on the common this afternoon. He has come in had a drink and then gone straight back to sleep. Must be a growing day combined with too much fun yesterday, He has been so tired hardly any toys have been touched today as well.
This week and probably much to Dembe’s disgust we are going to be working on his barking. He currently barks at anything that makes a noise , which although at the moment is quite cute as he has a little puppy bark in 6 months time when he gets an adult bark won’t be so cute or funny.
He started this morning by barking at my epilator as I was sorting my legs out before my physio session on Tuesday. As soon as I started it up he lunged forward and started barking at it. In our house we have small bags of treats everywhere so good behaviour can be rewarded and that teachable moments are recognised. So with the epilator still going I made Dembe sit and wait. Once he had been quiet for 30 seconds I rewarded him with a treat and lots of verbal praise. This dog goes crazy for a “whose a good boy”. Within 5 minutes he got it, if I stay quiet and don’t bark mum will give me a treat and make a fuss. I love how switched on he is. After 5 minutes he took himself up to the top of the bed and settled down on the pillows.
The next challenge was the vacuum cleaner, as unless he is in his crate or sat on my lap he barks at it constantly. So working along the same lines as we did with the epilator the vacuum cleaner was switched on, Dembe barked, I then asked him to sit and wait. When 30 seconds were up he was rewarded with a treat. It took a bit longer with the vacuum cleaner as it is bigger and noisier but he got it. (The vacuum cleaner has been out a couple of times a day since Monday and he is not barking at it any more.)
Today was a day of firsts as this evening it was Dembe’s first trip in the back of the car alone. Since the 11th of January whenever he has been in the car I have been in the back with him. Purely because I have been terrified that he could fall down between the front and back seats. I know I have been over protective, I know that it is the symptom of my anxiety and trying to control things. Hopefully now that I am getting some help for this – it’s been triggered by losing Mollie and Frankie, I can stop being so over protective. The car journey went really well. He was fine in the back of the car by himself. In fact he settled a lot quicker in the back alone than he did when I was there with him.
Yesterday at Pets at Home we bought Dembe a wobble kong and a treat ball. So on Monday lunchtime I gave him part of his lunch in his treat ball and part in the wobble Kong. He loved it.
Tuesday 12th March
The weather is foul again windy and raining again. We have another storm on the way Storm Gareth and there is an amber warning from 9pm tonight. As I have a Physiotherapy appointment at 12.15 this afternoon, we took Dembe up to Woodbury common at around 08.30am. Both boys came back to the car looking like drowned rats.
Dembe was so dirty that we put him straight in the shower – one of his most favourite places. He doesn’t really enjoy the shampoo part but he does love getting in the shower cubicle with me. This was the dirtiest he has ever been, the shower tray is full of sand and red mud. However he now smells as fresh as a daisy and won’t be dropping sand everywhere. The common is on an ancient pebble bed so the ground is incredibly sandy. So our car gets filled with sand along with our vacuum cleaner!
On our trip to the Physiotherapy centre ( as I had done this morning) Dembe travelled in the back of the car alone. Today marked the first time Jay had taken Dembe out alone in the car as he dropped me off and then headed up to a different part of the common to give Dembe another quick walk. This part of the common had a wood and it was the first time Dembe had experienced it. He loved running around amongst the trees. Jay said he was very brave going off and then running back to him.
As Dembe will eventually be trained up to be an assistance dog the Physiotherapy centre are brilliant and allow him into the waiting room. He has become a firm favourite with staff and clients. So many people have been following his progress and delight in his visits.
It was a busy day for the pupster as he also got to meet his (human) Grandma and Granddad ( my parents ) for the first time. He was on his best behaviour and my mum seemed to instinctively know that he loves his ears being scrunched and cuddled. It is what I do to him. Well I say best behaviour…I was just talking about his humping and he gave them a live demonstration, 3 times!
He also saw our neighbour Nicky, although he wasn’t that bothered as he was in the middle of having his dinner. I reckon a bomb could go off and he wouldn’t stop eating! He was a pretty tired pup and early on in the evening was sparko.
Wednesday 13th March
As expected after all the cut and thrust of yesterday Dembe has been a very sleepy puppy. He has alternated between sleeping on me, sleeping on the sofa and sleeping on his bed. He is a very cuddly and full of kisses today.
I managed to capture this one as Dembe decided my chest was the best place to attempt to have a nap!
As you can see it took a bit of moving around to find the best place to sleep on mum!
This afternoon Dembe has been a bit more active so I have been starting to teach him lie down. I tried a few weeks ago but he was quite resistant to it. I tried today and he was much more open to it and on 2 occasions he laid down on command without any assistance from me. I was really impressed as this command can take a bit of perseverance to get. I know with Frankie and Willow it took a couple of weeks for them to get it. Obviously just because he did it twice out of 20 times that I asked him to do it, does not mean that he has got it. This will be a work in progress until every time the command “lie down” is said he lies down without any help from me.
Dembe has 4 wobbly teeth, the last time we saw the vet he said in the next few weeks Dembe would start to lose his baby teeth. Both the front top two and the bottom front two are wobbly. It will just be 24 hours or so and these shall be gone. No wonder he is chewing like crazy on his antler chews and his huge Nyla bone. I played tug with him early and fully expected to find one of his baby teeth embedded in the toy! I can wobble them with my finger. So it really won’t be long at all.
We had a surprise in the post today, Jays sister sent us this beautiful picture. I have to say I teared up a little as today has been one of those days that I have felt the loss of Frankie and Mollie quite keenly. This made my day as it is our little family
Thursday 14th March
Well Dembe’s wobbly teeth are hanging on in there. They are incredibly loose and I would be very surprised if they make it through the day. He is chewing like crazy on all his toys bless him so his gums must be hurting him. There is a little bit of blood on the Antler chew so I will keep an eye on that but I think it is the beginning of his molars erupting. Poor little sausage.
Both Dembe and I are shattered today. All he wants to do is cuddle up beside me and sleep. He has had some very manic weeks so it is always a surprise when he suddenly then drops the energy level down. I think he is having another massive growth spurt. He is looking taller and longer this week. He is very heavy, I haven’t weighed him but I can no longer lift him off the floor. If I need to pick him up he needs to be on a bed or sofa as I just can’t manage his weight now. It is a bit sad as it shows how much he is growing up but he is such a wonderfully loving boy. All my boy dogs have been very loving and soppy but Dembe is off the chart and what is really beautiful is that he also loves Jay so much.
Every night when I get up for the loo ( which is several times) he gets up with me, he wanders into Jays room, checks that he is ok and then sits at my feet. He then escorts me back to bed. He really does see his role as looking after me.
Jay took Dembe up the common after work as now the evenings are lighter for longer even with a 6pm finish he can have a good off the lead walk. After being quite sedate all day he is a loon this evening. Finally collapsing at 8pm,
Friday 15th March
Dembe has lost his first tooth. I have no idea when it came out, it was there first thing but a few hours later it was gone. He still has the two loose bottom to but they won’t make it through the day.
As Jay is on a late night we got Dembe up the common at 8.40am so that he could have a walk in a busy area, so he is meeting people and other dogs. He loves this walk as it is the one that includes the woods and he loves scrambling about in there and following scents, Jay bumped into a couple who breed Labradors and they stopped and asked Jay where he had got him from and were very complimentary about his looks and temperament. Everyone who knows anything about Labradors goes nuts when they meet him, telling us how gorgeous he is. Dembe went straight to sleep on our return.
Paul popped over this morning as he was delivering two bedside cabinets for me. It is so sweet now watching Dembe react to people he knows. He went crazy for Paul, his tail was thumping against me, as I picked him up so he didn’t attempt an escape as Paul and his colleague brought the units in. Paul has been the first person that I have seem Dembe really recognise. Which is really special as Paul is such an important part of our lives. Paul made a real fuss of him.
Dembe was out for the count again soon after Paul left. Although he soon woke up when Sandra popped in. As soon as he heard her voice he jumped up and his tail was wagging furiously. He really loves Sandra too. She is the only person he gets really vocal with and will make noises like he is trying to have a conversation with her. He had us in stitches today as he was making noises we hadn’t heard before.
Whilst Sandra was here I noticed that Dembe had lost both the bottom teeth that were wobbly. I have no idea where he has lost them and they are so dinky its highly unlikely we will find them. he has probably swallowed them. The tooth fairy is going to be busy tonight.
We have had a lovely play upstairs this afternoon and I managed to get this cracking photo
Dembe is 17 weeks old today and we have had him 9 weeks today. This may sound really odd but Jay and I have really struggled with getting our brains to accept that he is really ours. Finally for me it is starting to sink in.
Saturday 16th March
Dembe has been really cuddly again today, I was trying to embroider a sweatshirt and he just wanted to sit on my lap the whole time which was a bit awkward.
Every time I needed to do a colour change I would have to put him down on to the floor. Dembe would immediately start jumping up at my legs wanting back up on my lap. He is so big now that unless I am sat on the sofa he really isn’t going to be able to sit on my lap when I am at the machine for very much longer which makes me sad. He is growing up way too quickly.
Where Dembe has lost teeth his new adult teeth have already erupted through the gums. I am amazed at the speed considering there was nothing there at all yesterday just gums! You can see how tall he is getting when he jumps up on his back feet his front feet are at waist height.
He has had a manic hour or so when he wanted the ball thrown continuously. He took his soft toy skunk outside as well this afternoon, he then proceeded to drop it on the decking and then pee on it! So that has had to go in wash! I don’t know what Skunk did to deserve such treatment and I really don’t know if the squeak will still work when it has dried out.
Dembe has now crashed out and is sat beside me on the sofa.
Sunday 17th March
Dembe has lost his 4th tooth this morning, I got so close to almost having one of his baby teeth to treasure forever and then the little bugger swallowed it. His adult teeth are coming through very quickly. The gummy look doesn’t last long as his adult teeth start pushing through within 12 hours.
Everything I wear now is covered in red / yellow Labrador hair. The vet did say to us on 25th February that his adult coat would soon start to come through and would mean he would start moulting… a lot. He wasn’t wrong. It looks like I have had my hair cut and sprinkled the hair everywhere! The Weimaraner’s had very short hair so although they would moult, Willow just seemed to permanently moult, you didn’t really end up covered unless you wore black jeans. Every item of outer clothing is covered in his hair although there doesn’t seem to be masses of it in the vacuum cleaner.
He is growing so quickly, out and about on the walk he looks tiny especially next to full grown dogs, In the house he seems huge you only have to compare photos of when he was 8 weeks old to now to see the difference in him. Sometimes it feels like if you blink you will miss part of his development into a full grown dog. In the grand scheme of things he is still a baby at 17 weeks. He still fits his first harness although it won’t be long and he will be in the next size up. His coat is also getting very red, he is a mixture of deep red and very pale yellow. His dad was fox red and his mum was very pale.
Today has been full on as the garden revamp has started, our decking has been down for 15 years and is very rotten and frankly in places dangerous. Dembe has been having great fun digging holes in it. We were going to leave the revamp until the summer but it has deteriorated so badly due to the heavy rain we have been having that it had to go. This will be a project that takes a few months and for much of that Dembe will be confined to the patio again for his own safety until its safe for him to be in the rest of the garden. Thank you to all our friends who have been pitching in to help. I am so proud of Jay for insisting that he took this project on himself as he wanted to be able to sit back when it was completed and know that he had done this for Dembe.
Dembe and I were back to our normal routine today as Jay has gone back to work after his weeks holiday. Dembe has been a soppy little pup today wanting lots of cuddle’s and sleeping loads.
I think I have said before about how he always manages to get in the shower with me in the mornings. Today was no different. Yet again we have a wet dog
Sorry for the picture quality but he was refusing to sit still as usual. I have so many photos that I have had to delete which are just a yellow blur as he has run towards me as I have tried to take the photo.
He was ecstatic when Jay came home for lunch. It’s always really nice to see him get so excited when his daddy gets home. Especially as he is my dog, due to the amount of time I spend with him but he really loves his dad too.
We’ve played lots of games today, tug and chasing the ball. He seems to have boundless energy for such a little pup. In reality it is a lot of activity in a short space of time followed by long periods of calm and sleep.
Jay took Dembe for a walk around the block tonight after work. Due to Dembe only being allowed 15 mins total walk time per day ( to protect his joints) at the moment he is having one long walk ( his full 15 mins ) a day. This will increase again on Friday as he is 16 weeks old ( 4 months) and he will be allowed to have 20 minutes a day.
At some point I am sure I have told you how Dembe likes to sleep at night. It’s mainly as close to me as he can possibly get. I managed to snap this one tonight.
I had to move my head to take the photo, his nose has to be touching me! If he is sleeping at my feet he will rest his head on my left leg.
Tuesday 5th March
Jay is day off today so Dembe was taken up to Woodbury common for a walk. He deliberately took him to an area he knew would be busy as he wanted to keep Dembe used to meeting other dogs. Dembe is very sweet in the fact he is a little obsessed with other Labrador’s. Today he met a black lab and a Collie. He wanted to play with them but they were more interested in Jays bag of treats that he carries. Dembe was very confident though and trotted up to meet the dogs under his own steam.
There have been various jobs around the house being done today, we keep trying to use different tools so that Dembe gets used to the noise. Today was the turn of the sander, he was a little perturbed at first and then realised it was all ok and settled back down to sleep.
We have a slight issue developing with Dembe and the Hoover. When Dembe is in his crate the hoover doesn’t bother him at all or the steam mop. He is quite happy getting his treats out of a frozen kong toy. However when he is not in his crate the hoover gets barked at non stop whether it is on or off. He is ok if he is up on the sofa with me, it is when he is on the floor that he feels the need to bark. At the moment it is quite cute but give it 12 months and its a big dog bark it isn’t going to be any fun at all!
Wednesday 6th March
Jays shift today is late night, so that means that Dembe can get a nice off the lead walk up the common. The weather was pretty grotty, gusty winds and peeing down, thankfully Dembe didn’t care at all. Come rain or shine a walk is a walk to him.
They have been doing a lot of land management on the common and areas that were full of tree’s or gorse bushes have been cut down. So where there used to be a tiny path to the pond, it is now all flat and the pond is in clear view of the main path.
Jay decided to take Dembe to the pond to see what he would do. Initially Dembe was just paddling around in the edge of the water. As Jay had wellies on he thought he would go out a bit further to see if Dembe would follow him. The next thing Jay saw was a blonde streak launching himself into the water and having a swim. Jay was gutted that it happened so quickly he was unable to take a video or some photographs for me to be able to see it.
By the time my boys got back to the car they were like a couple of drowned rats. Thankfully with Dembe’s little swim he wasnt that muddy and just needed a quick wipe down with a towel when we got home. I can never get over how quickly Dembe’s fur dries. The Weims fur seemed to soak up the water and take an age to dry. Dembe just needs a towel dry and he is there. This is probably due to the fact the breed was originally used to retrieve fish, so needed a good water proof coat.
The sound you hear on the video is the wind and rain buffeting the car!
Back of the car post swim!
Thursday 7th March
We have just had the best night ever with Dembe, he has slept from 10pm until 5am. He only woke up at 5am because I jolted awake in a panic as he hadn’t been out during the night. If I hadn’t woken him he probably would have managed to sleep a while longer.
This morning Jay took him out for a small walk around the block before work as he was on a 9-6 shift. We had hoped it may help him burn off some energy but no he was still as mad as ever.
On the whole Dembe is pretty much house trained, although he still has the odd accident. His accidents are due to Jay and I forgetting we aren’t dealing with an adult dog. On Sunday morning he had a wee on Paul’s carpet, I was absolutely mortified. This happened because we didn’t let him out for a wee before we went to Paul’s. If we had of done this wouldn’t have happened. Thankfully Paul took it a lot better than I did!
Last night I got into bed and my feet hit a cold wet patch at the end of my bed. Yep Dembe had a wee on my bed during the afternoon. I know exactly when it happened and why it happened. I was busy doing something when he whined at me. I assumed he was bored and told him to wait. Clearly he couldn’t. I am just glad he didn’t do it on the carpet and that I have a large drum washing machine and tumble dryer! I can’t be cross about either occasion as both of them were down to human error not canine.
Today I have been teaching Dembe how to go down stairs, up until now he has been carried. However he is getting very big and very heavy, my back doesn’t allow me to do it anymore and he hates sitting on my lap as I scoot down the stairs on my bum. So I decided today was the day he would learn.
It took around 10-20 minutes to get him down the stairs, it was done with the lure of cocktail sausages on each step and gently feeding him bits of sausage, The hardest part for Dembe seemed to be starting. Once he overcame that he was easily managing the stairs. For the next few trips downstairs I was making him do at least half of them. It was an all day training session on and off.
After all those stairs it was time for a sleep!
Friday 8th March
Upstairs with Dembe this morning, he was in my room and I was in the bathroom. When I went to go downstairs I looked around the bedrooms and Dembe was nowhere to be found. I then stood at the top of the stairs and could hear Dembe taking a drink from his water bowl in the kitchen. The little bugger had only done the stairs all by himself! I was so proud of him as I knew how scared he was yesterday of taking that first step. It is also his 4 month birthday today so its been a momentous day.
All the books I have read say that Labrador’s are a quiet breed, rarely bark etc. They obviously forgot to tell Dembe that, he is very vocal and at times he sounds like he is trying to have a conversation. He does this with Sandra every time he sees her. It is quite funny as the more she speaks to him the more noise he makes.
Dembe is a bit of an exhibitionist, he delights in humping his bed inside his crate whenever we have visitors. It wouldn’t be so bad but he likes to make eye contact with me or our guests as he is banging away at his bed! I have enquired with other Broadleaf owners and it seems to be a bit of a thing for the boys. As long as it stays confined to his crate and not on human legs etc he can continue to have his sexy time!
I forgot to say that Dembe was taken on a very early walk this morning – 5.30am. Initially he was a little spooked with it being dark, it was his first walk in the dark. Once he got over his fear he was fine and was pottering alongside Jay with not a care in the world. From today he can have 20 minutes exercise a day, so we are splitting this up into two 20 minute walks.
For his evening walk Dembe was treated to a walk up the common where Jay used to walk our Weimaraners. It’s nice that we have this continuity but it is so bittersweet. Some days when Jay gets back to the car I am waiting to see Frankie and Mollie jumping into the car, our grey ghost and in pops our blonde bombshell Dems. It is difficult for my brain to adjust after all these years. Just goes to show what you actually see and what the mind decides to make up for you.
Saturday 9th March
Today I have seriously wondered if Jay slipped some speed into Dembe’s breakfast. He has been manic for a lot of the day.
The little tike got soaked again whilst I was having a shower and tried to steal a bar of soap!
Here he is perched on the end of my bed dripping wet, Excuse the bomb site behind him we tend to live in our house and aren’t always Instagram ready.
I have discovered that he is not a fan of Andrex which is sad because he is an Andrex puppy! He found a toilet roll and proceeded to shred it whilst I was in the kitchen getting a drink. I could hear him chasing something around the room, I am thankful that he managed to wedge what was left of the roll under the sofa. It looked like someone has sprinkled confetti all over the lounge floor. I did manage to laugh it could have been so much worse.
Dembe is now going up and down the stairs no bother at all, which is great to see. This morning first thing Jay and I left him at the top of the stairs to see what he would do and after a couple of minutes he made his way downstairs. After that he has been going up and down them like he has been doing it the whole time he has lived here which is 8 weeks.
All he has wanted to do today is play outside with his football. I bought him a proper leather football a few weeks ago and he adores it. Its got teeth marks all over it but he doesn’t care. When he first got it, it was almost bigger than he was and he struggled to pick it up. Now he carries it around no problem at all.
This week Dembe has definitely got taller and longer. I am amazed at how quickly he grows. It’s like you close your eyes for a second and he is bigger again. His head still seems quite small and he hasn’t lost any teeth yet but you can see his jaw bone has grown as the gaps between his teeth have got much larger. He is still a bit of a biter so we are working on that.
Sunday 10th March
Its been horrendously windy overnight and there have been tree blown down. thankfully Dembe slept through it. Our previous dogs would have had us awake all night as they were frightened of loud noises. Even when Dembe nearly got blown over having a poo he didn’t bat an eye lid.
This morning Dembe has been up the common. Jay tried to get him into the pond again but he wasn’t having any of it. Too cold I would imagine.
We decided that we would head over to Pets at Home today as we hadn’t seen our favourite lady for ages due to me coming down with that awful virus a few weeks ago. Thankfully she was there and thank goodness I had a 10% off voucher as the little boy was thoroughly spoilt. We got him a treat ball, so he has to nudge it along the floor to get his lunch / dinner out of it, a wobble Kong so he has to push that to dispense treats, a huge Nyla bone, an enormous antler for him to chew as he is chewing a lot at the moment and wanted to ensure he preferred that to the furniture. We also got two more Kong Tennis balls which are his favourite. So he did very well.
The lady who we see at Pets at home was working so made a real fuss of Dembe. She is so lovely, I was asking after her as the last time we had seen her she was suffering with a burst eardrum bless her. I apologised for it taking us so long to get back to the store. she treats us so well, the queue for the till was so long as their was only one cashier on. Our lovely lady took us over to an empty till and put us through. Bless her heart, she is so kind. I hope Pets at Home realise what an asset this member of staff is.
When we got home we gave him his lunch in the treat ball and it took him far longer to eat his lunch than it normal would of. He has seen a treat ball before, it was last week at his puppy socialisation class so he knew what to do straight away.
He has spent the rest of the day sleeping and having cuddles.
Dembe had the vets today for his last jab lepto 4, although we have been able to take him out for around 3 weeks now we haven’t been able to take him out in boggy areas or standing water just to be on the safe side. In a week’s time he will be fully covered for 4 strains of Leptospirosis.
Kate the lovely lady at the vets and another massive fan of Dembe’s was waiting for his lordships arrival and she came out from behind the reception desk to have a cuddle. She was amazed at how much he had grown in the last week. Dembe was really good and had a nice cuddle, we were taken through to the consulting room quite quickly – Jay and I would have liked to have spent some more time with Kate as she has just been so supportive through all of the trauma of losing the dogs and then getting Dembe who she calls our miracle dog.
We were really keen to get Dembe weighed today as he hadn’t been done for a month. Last month he weighed 6.7kg and this month he weighs 10.8kg which means he has put on 1.25kg each week. His growth chart is hysterical as it is almost a straight line going upwards. I was waiting to be told that he was overweight or something, even though I know there is not an ounce of fat on him. We are really careful with his food and treats because if he becomes overweight this could damage his joints. However the vet was very pleased with his growth and weight.
We asked for some advice regarding his dew claws as all our weims were docked and had dew claws removed ( it was the done thing back in 2003-2006 however the law has changed on this practice and it is now illegal unless they are going to be sold as working dogs). We are concerned with how long the claw is growing and wanted advice on how much this needed trimmed back. Thankfully Dembe’s claws are light in colour so you can see that you should just remove the light tips and no further. The vet gave us comprehensive advice and we are happy now that we know what to do regarding their length.
Dembe had his injection, given to him by a student ( who was very nice) and he had a delayed reaction. He was fine as it was done but about a minute later he got really fizzy, cried, scratched his neck and then ran to me wanting to have a cuddle and some reassurance. Poor baby.
On Sunday we opened the whole garden up for Dembe so he has a bigger place to explore and run around in, after only being allowed on the patio. His main source of entertainment now is attempting to eat stones ( pebbles ) and compost. Its driving us to distraction so Jay has gone and bought some chicken wire type mesh to section off all the pots so he can’t get himself covered in dirt and eat stones!
Also I managed to leave my slippers unattended and they got Dembae’d ( pronounced Dem – bayed)
Tuesday 26th February
Today we went to see our friend Sandra, who popped by last week and is another member of the ever expanding Dembe fan club. Before we went to Sandra’s Jay took Dembe out on the common to burn off some energy. He met a five year old black Labrador who wanted to play.
Sandra lives in a lovely cottage surrounded by a huge garden, which Dembe adored. He would have spent the whole visit out there if he could. Jay took the opportunity to do some training, teaching Dembe sit and stay, using the wait signal. We use the wait signal when putting Dembe’s slow feeder bowl, as otherwise he would knock it clean out of our hands. We also use the same signal to have him wait patiently when having his harness put on and his lead. He knows the command means to sit and wait patiently until he is told that he can move. Dembe was amazing as it was the first time there was any distance involved, I have been working on it at home but this surpassed all of that.
Dembe spent the rest of the day asleep after tearing around Sandra’s garden. He did in the evening attempt to go down the stairs by himself, he managed three and then chickened out.
Wednesday 27th February
Dembe is so good, he never demands to be walked. We have deliberately not stuck to any routine when we take him out so he never gets wound up and over excited like the Weimaraner’s used to. He is quite happy to be walked whenever we decide to do it. He has access to the garden to do his business and he rarely poo’s on a walk anyway. In that respect he takes after his Uncle Frankie and his Granddad Travis ( our first Weimaraner).
Dembe had a lovely time on the common chasing after the ball and working on his recall with Jay. We work on his recall every opportunity that we can as we know when he hits about 6 months old he may decide to ignore it and just do his own thing. Hopefully by continually positively reinforcing it he won’t be as bad as some teenage dogs get. I don’t think I could cope if he ran off and disappeared. At the moment he never wanders very far and when Jay throws the ball if he feels it is too far away from Jay he just refuses to go and get it unless Jay goes with him.
Dembe was stuck to me like glue yesterday. He normally potters around behind me about 70% of the time, the other 30% he watches but doesn’t follow. Today he was following me so closely that his nose was continually touching my calf! We call this behaviour herding and Frankie used to do this all the time to me, going up the stairs, moving between rooms my calf would get a nudge by his nose! I have no idea why he did it but it would appear Dembe has the same habit. I have to be really careful when he is doing this as I can end up falling over him.
Thursday 28th February
Probably going to sleep very early last night ensured Dembe was awake at 4.30am and ready for his breakfast. I tried to make him wait until 5am his normal time but he was making a fuss ( we live in a small terraced house so didn’t want to upset the neighbours ) so gave in at 4.45am. We then went back to sleep.
Dembe seems to have discovered his bark again today, everything seems fair game to be barked at. He took exception to the printer churning out some information for me this morning, he ran away from it and stood on his bed and barked at it. He stood in the kitchen and barked we have no clue about what. He also barked up in my bedroom at my slippers. Apparently he wants everyone to know he has a voice.
At 9am we met Ellie, Bruce and Paul down the beach. We had a lovely time, although again Dembe refused to take the hint that he was annoying Bruce. Dembe became obsessed with Bruce’s tail, he is obsessed with his own but he was a bit mental over Bruce’s today. And guess what he barked at it and danced around like a boxer in the ring. It was really funny watching him bark at the tail, even though Bruce seemed unaware it was his tail that Dembe was obsessed with. They actually got much closer together and were running for the ball together. It was good that they could share the same place. Bruce told Dembe off at one point but it’s all hair and teeth ( or handbags at dawn) and a warning shot. He is trying to teach this rambunctious pup some manners and Dembe is just thinking it is all a game.
Ellie took some cracking photos – I always seem to forget to get my phone out.
Dembe was insistent on bring the ball back to me every time despite it being Jay who threw the ball for him. He was very good at giving it to me but all that running back and forth really tired him out. He had the longest run about he has ever had and as its all off the lead he runs himself ragged. He has slept every since he got home only waking up for his lunch.
Later on in the afternoon we went over to Sandra’s again for Dembe to meet her husband Trevor. Trevor is a professional wild life photographer and took some wonderful photo’s of Dembe. He also got some action shots of Dembe running in their garden. Dembe was thrilled to be in his favourite place again and was running around like a loon enjoying all the open space.
By the time we got home Dembe was thoroughly shattered and ate his dinner and slept the evening.
Friday 1st March
Today we had nothing planned for outside the house as it has been such a busy week we all just wanted to chill. Dembe was still knackered after his busy day yesterday so has slept a lot. He normally has a few days a week where he sleeps loads and he hasn’t really had it this week as we have been doing so much. Tomorrow he has his first puppy socialisation class and we will be seeing Leanne and Liam in the afternoon. So today is just a day for relaxing.
We went up the common with Dembe at 11.00am as the weather was sunny and quite warm. I stayed in the car as I can’t manage a walk due to my various medical conditions. So it was daddy and Dembe bonding time. They both love spending this time together.
Sorry for the quality of the video my husband shot it and was trying to throw a ball at the same time. It was quite nice for me to see them on the walk together.
Shortly after we arrived back from the walk Sandra arrived with a DVD of the photo’s that Trevor had taken yesterday afternoon. I managed to view the disc on an old laptop of mine and they are wonderful . I can’t thank him enough for the photos he has captured not only a wonderful image but also his character. Dembe was really excited at seeing Sandra and had a lovely play with her. They are so funny together as Dembe does these weird barks which sounds like he is trying to have a conversation with her. She is the only person he does this with and its very sweet.
As soon as Dembe had his lunch he was out like a light.
In the afternoon hubby and I cracked on with some jobs around the house that had been needing to be completed for months if not years. As it involved paint / painting Dembe was separated from us by a baby gate but some how still managed to get a streak of paint on his ears. It made us laugh because all our dogs have managed to get paint on themselves. Including the now famous paint incident involving three Weimaraners, a four hour clear up and a lot of teas. That happened in the week that they had destroyed an Xbox 1, tore up 200 cigarettes and countless other bits of damage. One day my heart won’t sink as I recount the story. It took me 7 years to be able to laugh at it.
Saturday 2nd March
Today was a busy day for the pupster, he had a walk on Woodbury Common with Jay at 8.30am. Thoroughly enjoyed himself and came home a little muddy. He loves exploring the common with his daddy and chasing after the ball. He had a quick wipe down and then we organised ourselves for his next big adventure puppy socialisation classes.
There were only two other puppies at the class, a cocker spaniel called Red (5 months) and a Silver Blue French Bulldog called Loki, that was absolutely tiny but hilariously funny as it had little man syndrome / Napoleon syndrome. Loki kept Red and Dembe in their place at one point he had Red on his back and was holding his throat. All from a dog that in all reality was about the size of a large Guinea pig.
Dembe was a little overwhelmed by it all and that really surprised us as out on the common or on the beach he loves meeting other dogs. However Red was manic, leaping over people, charging around and bumping into Loki and Dembe. Dembe initially wanted up into my arms to get away from the pair of them. However when some treats were introduced he was happier. There was a treat ball, that dispensed treats as Dembe nudged it along the floor. As he picked that up so easily the lady that runs the class brought out a wobble Kong, so instead of rolling it along the floor the dog has to nudge the Kong to make it wobble which will make the treats fall out. Dembe had that cracked in a matter of minutes. He spent the rest of the class hoovering up the treats whilst Red and Loki play fought. He would get a bit handbags when they nudged into him whilst he was eating, it was hilarious that there was utter chaos beside him but he was just happy eating….can’t think who he reminds me of.
Dembe was the only dog who ventured into the ball pool. Jay put some treats in there so he could have fun snuffling them out.
He wasn’t being very co-operative when having his photo taken today. I have countless photos of a blurred head!
The rest of the day was action packed too. Our friend Angie popped over to meet Dembe, bringing a toy for him and flowers for me. It was really lovely to see her. Angie has known us for years and had met the dogs properly a few months before they passed away. It was hard as yesterday for some reason the tears weren’t far from the surface, although I love talking about our Weims, it can be difficult to not let the emotion overwhelm me. Last night I found a video of them all on my husbands Instagram account and sobbed my heart out.
Then later on that afternoon Leanne and Liam came over, it was lovely to see them and I really enjoy their Saturday afternoon visits. Liam was surprised that Dembe had grown again and I had to explain to him that Dembe would be bigger every time he see’s him for at least the next 12 months. Liam’s confidence around Dembe is increasing with every visit. As soon as Liam came in he went into Dembe’s toy box and picked up the ball so he could throw it for him. Liam is adorable and Dembe really enjoys spending time with this very special 5 year old.
Dembe was pooped after all the excitement today and was asleep from just before 6pm for the rest of the night.
Sunday 3rd March
Dembe has another busy morning ahead but then he can chill for the rest of the day. This morning we are off to Uncle Paul’s house, where we haven’t been since Dembe was around 9 weeks old. However he has seen Paul on a regular basis as he pops into ours, so he knows him and loves the cuddles.
This morning Dembe decided he was going to have a shower. I knew that was going to be the case when I walked into the bathroom and found him trying to launch himself into the toilet bowl. You forget how big he has grown and how with each extra centimetre a whole new world of trouble can be got into. I died of shock this week when he jumped up at the hob and his feet were nearly on the top of it. I don’t encourage jumping up, I don’t like dogs that jump up, so he was swiftly told to get down. As you can see not getting on top of jumping up means that they can land themselves in trouble with things like burnt paws etc. What shocked me though was how tall he had become in such a short space of time. Where is my little dinky dot?
Dembe wandered into the shower whilst I was having mine and had a good wash. He does love the shower and we regularly just let him get wet and don’t shampoo him as we don’t want to disturb the natural oils in his coat. However he has been a mucky pup this week and I wanted him to be as fresh as a daisy to see his uncle Paul.
Dembe had a lovely time and was thoroughly shattered by the time we left. He fell asleep in the car on the way home. After such a busy week he had a very long nap in the afternoon.
Today was a very special day for Dembe as he got to meet his number one fan Sam, along with his sister Gemma and his mum Sarah. Sarah and I used to work together many years ago, she knows both myself and Jamie, we have kept in contact via social media since I left work in 2008.
Sam is besotted by dogs and had been following Dembe through his mums Facebook account and the photos I had been sending Sarah. As Sam is away at college during term time we had to wait for him to be home so that he could come over with his mum and sister. Apparently it was all Sam had been talking about that morning and for a few days prior. He had even brought Dembe a present which he adores and has been playing with loads.
I was a little nervous as Dembe on occasion can be boisterous like all puppies can. I think I feel the boisterousness more because I have been so used to my old doggies ( and calmer doggies) that I have forgotten what a whirlwind of energy they can be. I didn’t want him getting over excited and hurting Sam by accident. I couldn’t have been more blown away by the intelligence shown by Dembe. He was very gentle around Sam and very calm. It was as if he sensed that Sam needed that and adopted the body language and temperament to be the best pup he could. This photograph taken by Sam’s mum Sarah encapsulates the joy both of them shared on meeting.
This makes my heart melt every time I look at it. Dembe was very careful around Sam’s ears to ensure he didn’t interfere with his hearing aids. I made sure that Sam got plenty of one on one time with Dembe.
Gemma was a little hesitant as she was scared of dogs but by the end of the visit was confidently approaching Dembe and petting him. It was lovely to see her confidence grow. Both Sam and Gemma asked great questions about puppies and dogs. Sam was planning what he was going to buy Dembe for Christmas even though I told him that Dembe would just like to see him. I felt very humbled.
Dembe did manage to embarrass me though as he has a bit of a humping habit and today was no exception. Which lead me having to explain it is more a dominance thing than a sexual thing at the moment. Nightmare LOL !
After all the excitement of the visit Dembe slept a lot of the afternoon
He did wake up later on that afternoon and had a mad half hour playing with the toy Sam had given him.
I managed to capture this one of Dembe when he had just woken up from a nap.
Tuesday 19th February
As each week passes Dembe’s character develops a little more. There isn’t a day that goes by when he doesn’t have me in stitches. Dembe wakes at 5am every morning and wants his breakfast, no matter how hard we try we can’t get him much past 5.30am. However now the little minx has access to the stairs after having his breakfast and going to the toilet he now goes back up to bed and will sleep until 06.30am – 07.00am. At least I can also get back to sleep and the 5am wake ups are no longer feeling like they are slowly killing me.
Jay took him up the common today for a run around and a chase of the ball. He loves meeting new dogs and exploring the great outdoors.
In the early afternoon I wasn’t feeling well so took myself up to bed, I was fully expecting Dembe to join me upstairs but he must have sensed I needed to rest and he stayed downstairs with Jay. A little later on I came back downstairs, Dembe greeted me like I had been gone for days bless him. I needed to get some sewing jobs completed so Dembe came out in the kitchen with me and slept on his bed.
Dembe is really enjoying having what we call the big boys bed downstairs to lie on, he also loves a ball that is his favourite.
Wednesday 20th February
Dembe managed to escape out of the front door this morning. I didn’t even see him do it, I just had a feeling that he had managed to get past me and then I turned around and saw him sauntering down the drive. It was a very real heart in mouth moment. Thankfully we have worked hard on recall training from the minute he got home with us six weeks ago ( on Friday ) . I also always walk around with a pocket full of treats these days so on calling him back I was able to reward him. Even though he seemed a little annoyed that his jaunt had come to a premature end.
Its a busy week for Dembe and I as today he is meeting my best friends dog Bruce. He met Ellie a while back but she hasn’t seen him for around 3-4 weeks. Bruce is a cockerpoo who they have rehomed.
With the benefit of hindsight it would have been better to get Bruce and Dembe to meet on neutral territory. Dembe was full of himself as he was on his home turf and Bruce because this was a new house and new people / dog was feeling insecure. Unfortunately Dembe was just too much for Bruce today and was ignoring Bruce’s cues to leave him alone and back off. In order to keep the peace I had to keep Dembe on a long lead, so that I could prevent him from annoying Bruce who was finding the situation a bit stressful. Eventually both calmed down but not before I was utterly exhausted. We have arranged to meet up at the beach next week as we need to get them used to each other so we can spend time at each others houses.
Dembe’s new walking / car harness has arrived today. He really loathes his car harness and I am sure it is because it doesn’t fit properly, its huge around his chest but fits around his tummy. This new harness fits brilliantly and there is no fighting to get it on him. He also has a nasty habit of pulling on the lead especially if I am out with them on my scooter to the point where he chokes himself. I am terrified that he will pull too hard one day and manage to pop the collar – a safety device to stop him hanging himself should he jump up and catch his collar he can’t hang himself. That is another reason why I never have had any of my dogs in a collar with a buckle as they don’t have this safety feature. It’s fine if you only ever put a collar on when you are walking but all our dogs have worn collars all the time unless having a shower.
After a visit and an escape Dembe was shattered and conked out on his big boys bed with his head on the floor. He looked like a skinned rabbit all stretched out.
Thursday 21st February
Dembe isn’t jumping up on the sofa this week, last week he managed to misjudge the distance and went bouncing off. He is jumping off ok but he is insisting on being lifted up. Today he has started jumping back up again and is doing well!
He has always been an affectionate pup but today he is being very soppy. I can’t go anywhere without being showered in kisses and given cuddles. He is such a loving pup I really couldn’t be without him. Even when he is annoying me by following me everywhere and I mean everywhere!
He met Sandra today as she popped in to see us. He was going crazy whilst Sandra was here. They were playing together and rolling the ball on the floor which he loves. I have said that we will pop up and see them next week as Jay is on holiday. Sandra did manage to terrify him by holding the paper that had just come through the door in front of him. It is hilarious at the things this dog will spook at, a folded newspaper being the funniest so far. I let him play with the paper once Sandra had left so that he could work out there was nothing to be afraid of.
Sarah came over for lunch today when Jay came back. She hasn’t seen Dembe for a few weeks and was amazed at how much he had grown. For the first time ever Dembe was interested in what someone was eating and I thought Sarah may lose her chicken sandwich if she wasn’t vigilant!
He was a very good boy today as I needed to do some sewing as I was starting to go stir crazy. He slept on his bed in the kitchen as I worked away at the machine.
Dembe did his first ever bark at the front door this evening. I heard Jays car on the drive so knew he was coming despite being in the kitchen. Dembe obviously hadn’t heard him and when he heard the front door open unexpectedly he barked. I was very proud of him, although he was soon throwing himself on Jay to let him know how much he had missed him!
Friday 22nd February
Dembe is 14 weeks old today and has been home with us for 6 weeks. To be honest it feels like a lot longer. I still miss Mollie and Frankie desperately and found myself breaking down a few times this week over nothing in particular, I was just telling Dembe how much his uncle Frankie would have adored him and how much Mollie would have loved him to play with on the common. It sometimes surprises me how very raw it feels. Mollie passed away 7 weeks ago and Frankie 8 weeks ago and I miss them so very much. I am sobbing whilst writing this, I know the pain will go away at some point but I am having nightmares about their passing. It was brutal and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
Jay took Dembe up the common this morning as he was on a late shift, we still had to rush around though as Jay had a hospital appointment to squeeze in before work as well. Jay took these shots of him yesterday, the first ones we have of him on the common.
Dembe was tired after his jaunt to the common so had a little nap
We have noticed that since Monday Dembe has stopped humping his bed, maybe he wore himself out after Monday? Who knows but its rather nice he isn’t doing it at the moment as it does get a bit embarrassing.
However replacing the humping with jumping up is not cool either. All day at every opportunity the dog that never jumped up, jumped up. I had to stop sewing at one point as his paws can touch the edge of the kitchen table, he managed to knock a pair of scissors and a seam ripper off. I wasn’t expecting him to be able to reach that already so that was a bit of a shock!
Saturday 23rd February
I had a bit of a shock this morning as I started typing up Dembe’s diary from my notes and looked up to see this
When did he get so big? He is so tall already. When he first came home we couldn’t see him the other side of the coffee table. When he jumped up his paws only just made it to the top of the table. In a blink of an eye he has just grown so very much. It made me chuckle to see him watching me type up his weekly exploits.
Dembe was very good today as I did a bit more sewing and cleared the decks so that I could do some embroidery on Sunday as I have been itching to stitch out a design.
Every afternoon around 3pm Dembe and I go upstairs and have a play on the bed. We have upstairs toys that consist of his baby blanket which he left the breeders with, a blue dinosaur, a huge cuddly elephant and a myriad of cardboard tubes of assorted sizes. I have a lie down to recharge my batteries whilst having a game of tug with whatever toy Dembe has taken a fancy too.
This week his lordship has developed an annoying habit of lunging on top of my keyboard when I am using it. It is very annoying as he keeps doing it at the most inopportune times, like trying to place an order or chatting to someone on messenger. He really does pick his moments.
He has also become obsessed with peoples drinks, well really just mine. It started with every night when we go to bed licking the squash bottles my overnight drinks are kept in. ( due to various medical issues I drink litres of fluids overnight) . He would jump off the bed the minute the bottles were set down on the floor and lick them. He would even try to barge in front of me and drink from the bottle every time I tried to take a sip. Today he has been pushing his luck and has managed to knock over my can of Irn Bru not once but twice. I had just finished clearing up the lake of the orange liquid all over my coffee table and put the table runner in the wash, when he knocked it over again. He was called quite a few things and none of them were good boy Dembe. Its my fault after the first time I should have transferred the drink into a glass. And perhaps moved it further from the edge. It is hard to stay cross with him for long as he looks at you with those big brown eyes and you end up stroking him and kissing him.
Sunday 24th February
Today is the first day of Jays holiday from work. It is his first holiday from work since November. He took two weeks off work at the start of January as he was so unwell after the shock of losing the dogs so quickly. Dembe really helped him, well both of us. We would have been so lost with out him. So we have lots planned to do this week. The first job is sorting out the back garden so that it is clean and safe for Dembe to play in.
From the time Dembe came home until this morning he has been limited to our patio for playing outdoors and using as his place to go to the toilet between walks. It has been washed down every other day with Dettol and hosed down after every poo. Sorry of that is TMI. We haven’t let him explore the decking as it would have been too difficult to keep an eye on him in the middle of the night to ensure he was safe. Now he is bigger he needs the outdoor space to explore and play in. It meant moving around some plants. We realised that we had two in the garden that could potentially cause problems if not made difficult for him to come into contact with as they are poisonous. The other dogs never bothered with the Japonica or the Ivy, we have had them both since 2004. The Japonica is in a huge tub that is too big to get through our patio doors – it was a squeeze when the tub was empty! So to get rid of the Japonica would mean killing it, after all these years it just seems sad. So we have moved it into the far corner of the garden and put lots of smaller pots around it making it difficult to reach. As he never goes out in the garden without one of us keeping an eye on him he can’t suddenly decide to get to it come hell or high water.
The banister at the end of the garden also needed screening off. Before when we bred puppies we would put chicken wire along the banisters and attach with cable ties. It looked ugly but did the job. This time I have bought some cheap bamboo screening and we have wedged that between the banisters and the plant pots. It has actually given us some more privacy which is lovely as we are quite overlooked. So the garden is now Dembe proofed.
He has spent most of the day exploring and refusing to go to sleep. He also wouldn’t go to the toilet out there and had an accident on his new rug. I managed to pick him up just as he started – with no warning! and take him to the back door. The rug has been cleaned with biological washing liquid to breakdown the urine so it doesn’t become a favourite place to pee. Eventually though he did relent and at 16.30 he had a wee and a poo in the back garden hurrah!
Due to the fact he didn’t sleep from the minute he woke up until about 14.30, he finally collapsed as I was sat at my embroidery machine. Only he decided to turn his bed into a sleeping bag. The crafty devil managed to work out how to undo the poppers on the back and then crawled inside. We couldn’t stop laughing.
Dembe is cracking us up at the moment as because every time one of us goes in the freezer he dives in his crate. The reason being is I make him frozen kongs for when he goes in his crate. He goes crazy when a kong comes out and practically throws himself in the crate and spins around until he gets the kong. Jay has just got me some ice so I can have a medicinal Vodka tonic and Dembe has jumped inside his crate!
More Dembe Diaries next week, when next Saturday he has his puppy socialisation session.
Today is a day of firsts – Dembe has worked out that if he pushes the patio door with his nose it will slide open. The door was slightly ajar as the patio was being washed down with the hose. The next thing we knew Dembe was trying to bite the water coming out of the hose pipe.
Then just 20 minutes later he jumped from the floor up to my lap as I was sat on the sofa. He hasn’t jumped from the floor to the sofa yet so that was a bit of a shock. Since the end of last week he has been jumping off the sofa with ease but never on it.
After a dry two weeks on the toilet training front – well we presumed dry, I caught the little bugger having a wee on the lounge rug. The annoying thing was I was just about to call him to get him out on the patio. I wasn’t impressed as the rug now needed to be cleaned with biological detergent to break down the urine so it doesn’t become a regular spot – however I might be a little late. As checking the rug that evening I discovered an even bigger wet patch. The rug has been binned RIP rug, three Weimaraners wreaked havoc on you but you couldn’t cope with a 12 week old yellow lab. It was a valiant effort but sadly not enough.
Jay brought Kat home with him for lunch today and yes she couldn’t believe how much he had grown in the last few weeks. He is still very dinky though, especially when you see him out in the real world.
His obsession today has been chasing his tail, most days at some point he will attack his own tail but today for some reason his poor tail couldn’t do anything right. Dembe was like a kid who had discovered that spinning around makes you dizzy and walk funny. I have never seen him chase his own tail as much as he did today. He has been full of beans all day. Thank goodness Jay is on an early and he will be walked this evening.
Tuesday 12th February
Dembe was down on the beach at 08.30 this morning, we met a friend of ours called Richard and his dog Whisky who is a springer spaniel. Unfortunately Whisky was a bit too full on for Dembe and he became very timid, running back to me on the slipway or hiding behind his dads legs.
I used my mobility scooter again which is just wonderful as it gives me so much freedom.
Eventually Dembe got over his nerves and got a bit braver. It seems he is happier meeting dogs in a gentle manner whilst everyone is calm or on leads. A bouncy springer that reminded me of tigger daunted him.
Dembe also got to meet my hairdresser today Rachel, he was very intrigued by the gown she put over my clothes to stop them getting covered in hair. He was very good and went to sleep on his kitchen bed whilst she worked and didn’t try to get up and play with all the hair that was on the floor.
It was a very busy day as in the afternoon I had a physio session. I can’t believe it but we got away with it again having Dembe in the waiting room. Again everyone came out to meet him. Dembe was very well-behaved and adored all the attention from the staff. My physio Jane is such a darling, as she was replacing the tissue cover on the examination couch I asked her if I could have the cardboard tube as Dembe loves chewing them. She dived out the room and came back with 3 more. So the spoilt boy has 4 to destroy.
He went crazy over them when we got home, charging about all over the place.
Whilst I was in my physio session Jay took Dembe for a quick stroll around the block to ensure there were no puddles in the waiting room. He ran into a lovely lady called Lo from O and P silver, who made our needle-shaped rings. She recognised Dembe from my photo’s on Facebook before she recognised Jay.
So the little pup had a wonderful day full of adventures and cuddles.
Wednesday 13th February
We are attempting to push Dembe’s wake up time to nearer 6am than the current 4.30am -5am as the wake up times are killing me and impacting my health. He is waking up because he is starving hungry typical lab. I don’t care how hungry he is 5am is not breakfast time. We are still splitting his breakfast into 2 parts to stop the choking. Breakfast is the only meal he goes totally crazy for. He is happy at every meal time but he is happy to the point of hysteria at breakfast time.
Today’s training mission is to stop his naughty habit of jumping up and throwing himself at the fridge freezer, whenever the fridge door is opened. It won’t be long and he will be tall enough to jump to the height of the bottom shelf of the fridge so it needs working on now. It is a behaviour that has come out of nowhere, so needs stamped on now. I am also working on being able to open the front door without him charging for it.
Both training sessions went well and I was able to open the front door without having to pick him up. Believe me he needs to learn this fast as he is getting so heavy and I am going through quite a difficult time with my back so I don’t need any additional strain placed on it. I really wouldn’t be surprised if he was around the 8 kilo mark now. He will be weighed in 2 weeks so it will be interesting to see how much weight he has put on in 4 weeks.
The training with the fridge door is going well, even though he still runs into the kitchen when the fridge is opened he is now sitting and waiting and no longer throwing himself at the door. To assist with training I am walking around with a pocket full of treats so that I can be timely with his rewards. He is so switched on that he is a joy to work with however because he is so easy to work with its easy to move on too quickly when you think the problem has been sorted. So I am determined to keep up with both bits of training as they are equally as important as each other.
Dembe was made famous today as his photo’s were shown on TV today on the Sewing Quarter channel 687 on Sky ( you can also watch live on YouTube and Freeview) .
Thursday 14th February
Dembe didn’t wake up until 5.40am this morning which felt like a lie on! It is the first time in weeks he has slept so late. He was taken out at 12.30am for his last toilet trip ( we go to bed very early) which as usual was a success. He woke me up this morning by smothering me in kisses. He is such an affectionate loving boy.
As Jay is on late night he took him up on to the common for a run around, I stayed in the car as I was still exhausted after Tuesday. Dembe loves having a large open space to run around in and chase after a ball. He loves exploring a new environment. He was a little muddy when we got home so his legs were washed off and his belly was given a wipe down. He is so good I know the Weimaraner pups would never have put up with that but he just sits there happy with you doing whatever you need.
I had a bit of a shock today as Dembe jumped up at the baby gate that is blocking off the stairs and his paws can sit on the top of it. He is just growing up way too fast. In the space of nearly 5 weeks he has just shot up his legs are longer, his body is longer his snout is longer. He is still dinky, you can really see how small he is when outside but inside he is looking enormous especially when his head is level with the lounge coffee table.
As I was so tired after Tuesday we had our first ever upstairs afternoon lie down for an hour. Due to Dembe needing out frequently I have been having my lie downs on the sofa until today. I wanted to see how he would cope so I set my alarm for an hours time and had a lie down. He entertained himself, no accidents and snuggled in with me. So I know now if I am having a very rough day he will come back up to bed without too many problems.
Friday 15th February
As I said on Monday it was a day of firsts and today was no different. Dembe has learned how to jump up on the sofa unaided. I was in the kitchen and it had got suspiciously quiet, I came into the lounge and saw Dembe curled up on the sofa asleep. I also knew I hadn’t left him there, by the time I got my phone out to take a photo he had woken up. It now means nothing is safe .
Later on in the morning he jumped up beside me again unaided so it wasn’t a one off.
I needed to take something upstairs and normally I would lock the baby gate behind me and within 30 seconds Dembe would be whingeing. Today I decided to do a little experiment , I left Dembe on the sofa and went upstairs leaving the baby gate open, dead silence, no whinging, I did this several more times during the day and there was still no whinging. It was obviously the physical barrier that was upsetting him as without it there was no crying and yet he didn’t even attempt to get upstairs. It maybe time to remove the babygate and see how we get on.
I decided to do some embroidery on my machine this afternoon, normally Dembe would follow me into the kitchen and put himself to bed. However today he decided to stay put on the sofa with his head on the arm so that he could keep an eye on me just like his uncle Frankie used to.
I can’t believe he is 13 weeks old today and has been home with us for 5 weeks now. He is such a huge part of our lives.
Saturday 16th February
Jay was late night again today so we took Dembe up to the common for a run around . I stayed in the car as I have woken up with a headache and vertigo. Dembe thoroughly enjoyed his walk and was playing with other dogs, which is a relief as I thought maybe he had suddenly become frightened of other dogs after reacting the way he did on Tuesday. But he is fine and is being a lot braver with every meeting.
Today Dembe decided to channel Satan again, barking and growling was immense fun and he was doing it to inanimate objects and humans. He was also over excited all day which meant he was jumping up and nipping inappropriately at the small humans we had here. Thankfully he didn’t bite them, I was mortified and had to give him a time out in the kitchen to calm down, which he was shocked at because I have never removed him from a room completely. He did calm down and was allowed back in. The time out seemed to stop the barking also.
It was a day of many visitors, before the day’s end we had another 4 people visit us and Dembe kept getting over excited which resulted in him being removed from the situation. Every time someone went to stroke his head yesterday it was seen as an opportunity to chew their fingers. If someone ignored him he started barking at them. It made me a bit sad that he was being naughty but he is a baby and he is testing the boundaries . I am stopping the behaviour before it escalates by removing him and allowing him to calm down. He is very good when I put him behind the baby gate as he just sits and watches and doesn’t make a sound.
With other things he is doing really well, he now no longer jumps at the fridge when we open the door and he sits patiently waiting when Jay puts his lead on. He will also wait when I open the front door and allow visitors in or take in deliveries. It is amazing when you have been used to dogs that went mental when the door went and had to be shut in the kitchen when visitors arrived. Everyone has their off days and I think yesterday was one of those for him.
We decoded to remove the baby gate yesterday at the bottom of the stairs to see how we would get on without it there and if he would go upstairs if he had the opportunity. He wasn’t interested and only attempted to go upstairs once and was quickly dissuaded when I told him no. We have had to move our large wicker basket up into my room as it would just be too tempting for him to use as a chew toy.
Sunday 17th February
Dembe woke me up at 5.30am this morning but as I was asleep before 8pm last night ( shattered after all the visitors) it didn’t feel too bad. Dembe woke me with a whiney yawn he had obviously been awake for a little while and all other attempts to rouse me had failed.
By 7.45am we were down the beach, it never ceases to amaze me how busy the seafront is all day long. Dembe loves the beach and meeting new dogs and there were plenty of them this morning. He is getting much braver with meeting new dogs and Jay is really good handling those situations. I would be terrified my immediate urge is to pick him up – which is awful as I am miles away from him on the slipway, I watch holding my breath. Jay just gets on his haunches and pets the dog that has come over for a sniff and makes a fuss of them. Left to me I’d have picked him up and run away. At least with Jay being so confident Dembe doesn’t pick up on any fear.
He has been pretty tired since his walk this morning and has been sleeping either on the sofa beside me or on the dogs bed I made for our Weimaraners.
And yes that is my slipper behind him!
The rest of his day has been spent sleeping, he is obviously having another growth spurt or he wore himself out yesterday with all his exuberence. We were planning on having a quiet day today as Jay and I both needed to recharge our batteries, so with Dembe being so tired it has worked to our advantage.
Next week will be fun, on Monday he will be meeting his admirer Sam who is on half term from College and then on Wednesday my best friend Ellie will be bringing her dog up (Bruce) to meet Dembe.
Last night our friends Tracey and Chris came over, Dembe had an absolute ball and was very keen on Chris. Tracey couldn’t believe how big he had got since the last time she had seen him which was about two weeks ago. To tell you the truth Jay and I still struggle with how much he has grown in the short time we have owned him. He must be at least 4 times the size he was when we brought him home.
Dembe was knackered Monday morning, it must be another growing day. I manage to get this footage of him fast asleep snoring his head off.
He doesn’t snore the whole time he is asleep he probably has one or two snoring sessions a day, it is incredibly loud for something that small. As you can see Dembe is a very contented little pup.
Daddy came home at lunchtime and brought Sarah back with him, she is Tracey’s daughter. Sarah hadn’t seen Dembe for around 3 weeks so was in shock at how quickly he had grown and didn’t look like a tiny pup anymore. He still feels very tiny to us, I suppose he would do after the Weimaraner’s but he has changed a lot in the last three weeks.
This evening Dembe went out for a walk alone with Jay, as he wanted to get some lead training done with him. Its very difficult to get Dembe to concentrate when he is busy trying to catch me up in my mobility scooter. Dembe jumped over the threshold himself up until now we have been having to lift him over it and then put him down on the drive. He has finally worked out it is ok to go out of the front door. Jay said he knows where our home is now. When he turns back into our street he races along until he gets to our drive and then ploughs into the front door.
Peace has been shattered in the bedroom, where Dembe and I sleep. Due to my chronic insomnia and Jays snoring we are in separate rooms. Dembe has worked out how to use the huge box cushion dogs bed ( that I made for the Weims ) as a step and get up on the bed himself. He is so pleased with himself it is hilarious. Inside Jay and I are groaning as it means it will be days until he works out he can get down the same way and then nothing in the bedroom is safe!
Tuesday 5th February
Today Jay is day off and we have planned to take Dembe down to the beach . The weather isn’t great, it is foggy and drizzling but it will be good for Dembe to go somewhere different and to meet some other dogs, as this is the last week really of imprinting and making sure he isn’t frightened of stuff. After week 12 you have two further weeks but fear has started to creep back in, that’s why the last three weeks have been a whirlwind of activity where we have tried to ensure that he comes across as many different things as possible, so that when he is older nothing bothers him.
We got to the beach at 11.15 It was really grey and miserable and cold. I had leggings on under my jeans and gloves on but I was still freezing. There were lots of dog walkers at the beach, which was surprising with how crap the weather was. I used my mobility scooter so I was unable to go on the beach, wheels and sand don’t go, so I videoed Dembe and Jay from the slipway.
Despite running himself ragged on the beach he was still full of energy for the rest of the day. His favourite thing to do is to empty his toy box out multiple times and his most favourite time ti do it is just after you have tidied up.
Today Dembe managed to open the baby gate – it hadn’t been shut properly because at age 45 both Jay and I struggle to shut it properly. He pulled it open with his teeth, the first I knew about it was when I heard a Dembe on the stairs and he came running into my bedroom where I was changing into my PJ’s. It is safe to say there is never a dull moment with this dog around!
Wednesday 6th February
Overnight I woke up to go to the loo, put one foot on the floor but it was on Dembe. He was curled up asleep in my snuggle top on the floor. I have no idea how he got there, whether he jumped off the bed or if he fell off. I didn’t hear him crying and I am so fine tuned to him crying that I wake up immediately. I plonk him back on the bed and he continues to sleep.
I can hardly believe it but Dembe went from 8pm until 5am with only one toilet break at 12.30am. It is the longest he has ever slept. Obviously it was all that sea air! It shows in his behaviour this morning that he had a long sleep as he is absolutely manic he was on the go from 5am until 9.15am when he finally went to sleep!
I managed to get some embroidery done this morning, when we knew we were getting Dembe one of my concerns was how would I manage to fit in any sewing or embroidery with a pup in the house. For the first few weeks after Mollie and Frankie passed away I was too upset to sew. I began to panic a bit because when I forced myself to sew it didn’t bring me any peace or joy. Thankfully this week my sewjo has returned and when I am in the kitchen at my machine Dembe settled down on his bed and goes to sleep. He is an ideal sewing room companion.
Jay came home for lunch today and brought with him Bungle, who is Jays best work mate. I have known Bungle for years ( his name is Adam but his nickname is Bungle) in fact in a previous lifetime I did his new starter induction at work. Jay wanted to show Dembe off to him plus Bungle has a huge bushy beard and beards are on the list of things to ensure Dembe has encountered. Thankfully the majority of our male friends have facial hair. On a bad day I could probably boast a moustache at the very least!
I managed to catch this today on video, Dembe suckling in his sleep. Mollie our Weimaraner did this her whole life, she was still doing it at 14 years old. It is so sweet.
Thursday 7th February
During the night I wake up ( again for the loo) and find Dembe is sleeping on the huge box cushion dogs bed at the foot of my bed. He looks quite comfortable there. After last night and nearly standing on him I am turning the light on to go to the loo. He doesn’t look too impressed that the light is on. I scoop him up and put him back on the bed. I am now beginning to wonder if he can jump off the bed now. I leave a note for myself to coat the bedroom furniture in bitter apple spray…again just in case.
Dembe has started hoovering his breakfast, he has a nasty choke this morning due to eating too fast and that is with the slow feeder bowl ( not the lime green one that has bits sticking out of it). I have to pat his back to ensure he brings it all up. Unperturbed he is still trying to eat whilst he chokes. I decide that we won’t be using this bowl again as he has figured out how to eat quickly from it, which defeats the object.
Jay is on a late shift today so we decide that we will go to the beach and let Dembe have a run around as he won’t get a walk tonight. Our lives have totally changed since Frankie and Mollie left us. We have been set in a routine for 12 years and its all gone now. As Jay is no longer getting up at silly o’clock to walk the dogs he is now sleeping through, which now means that instead of him getting up at 9.30am – 10am ( he would get up at 3am / 4am and then go back to bed at around 5am – 6am) he is up at 7am, 7.30am at the very latest. We would never go anywhere before he went to work on a late night unless I had a medical appointment as there just wasn’t time. Its weird now as the morning seems to last forever. I am up everyday at around 5am as that is when Dembe wakes.
The beach is surprisingly busy for 9.30am there are lots of exercise groups taking place. I would have loved that when I was fit and well. There are mums jogging with their prams, a group of ladies doing HIT with weights, medicine balls and kettle bells. I am impressed and feel a right lump sat on my mobility scooter.
This time I go right to the end of the slipway so I am level with the beach. Dembe is having a ball, there are two Golden Retriever Pups 10 months old who are up for a play. Dembe is obsessed with their tails and is trying to leap up and grab them. He then runs around like a little rabbit doing circles between them. Which has us and the Retriever owner in stitches. However the older pups have enough of this crazy hound and one of the Retrievers decides to turn Dembe over and dump him on the sand. Dembe looks a little surprised but is ok. We have seen this behaviour before, Travis our first Weimaraner did it to Mollie on her first walk on the common and she did it to both Frankie and Willow when they joined her on their first walk. Its like a right of passage. Dembe is wet and covered in sand but he understands that the Retrievers no longer wants to play and runs up to Jay wanting his ball thrown.
We walk Dembe up and down the sea front for 10 minutes and then return to the beach to allow him to run around a bit and let off some steam. Jay is throwing the ball for him and bringing it back. He really loves his ball and as he is bringing it back I can see him watching me intently. I am at the bottom of the slipway again, so Dembe brings the ball over to me and drops it in my hand. He is so used to the mobility scooter that he just see’s it as part of me when we are out and about. It really touches me that at his tender age that he has worked out he needs to bring it to me and drop it in my hand, rather than drop it on the floor like he does with his dad. I am so proud of him my heart could burst.
The beach wears him out for the rest of the day and he sleeps in the kitchen whilst I have a play on my embroidery machine.
He always looks like he is smiling when he sleeps. He is a very contented pup, who loves us as much as he loves his food!
Friday 8th February
This morning in an attempt to stop the choking I switch over to Dembe’s lime green slow feeder. Unfortunately within seconds of starting his breakfast he had started choking again. It is really frightening when it happens, you feel so helpless. Tomorrow I decide we shall split his breakfast up into two to try to prevent him choking. Its the only meal of the day that he goes crazy over. He loves his food but he just eats way too quickly at breakfast time.
As Jay is late night again today we had initially planned to go to the beach again, however on googling the tide times we find out it is a high tide. It is also very windy and raining as storm Erik makes its presence felt. As the skies lighten we also realise that one of our fence posts has sheared off and the two connecting fence panels are flapping about in the wind. As Jay and I hadn’t seen any weather forecasts or just hadn’t taken any notice it is a bit of a surprise. The beach plans are cancelled.
Dembe has been with us 4 weeks today and is 12 weeks old. This means his daily walking allowance goes up by another 5 minutes, so he is now allowed 15 minutes a day. Jay decides that he will give Dembe a lead walk around the streets this morning. He sets a timer on his phone so he knows that he has only had 15 mins on the lead. It is a shame as 15 minutes is not enough to wear Dembe out but it is necessary to ensure his joints are protected. I wonder now if I was to blame for Frankie’s bad hips and back, I used to walk him and all our previous dogs for at least an hour a day when they were pups. There just wasn’t the guidance on dogs joints like there is today. It is strange how much things have changed in the last 15 years.
Dembe and Jay return looking like drowned rats. Dembe decides to have a mad five minutes running around the house like a crazed rabbit. I eventually manage to pin him down long enough to dry him off. Drying Dembe with a towel is an endurance sport. He see’s towels, clothes or anything dangling in front of him as a toy. So drying him takes a bit of subterfuge. I tend to have one bit of towel in one hand which I use to distract him and then dry him with the other. I am always amazed at how quickly he dries, it must be to do with the oils on his fur. Frankie used to take an age to dry his fur seemed to absorb the water where as with Dembe it seems to just sit on top of it.
Dembe is really good when Paul ( not uncle Paul ) comes over to fix the fence post. He does though get under both mine and Pauls feet so I end up trying to pick him up. He is getting a bit big for this course of action – its fine for my husband ( but even he is saying what a lump Dembe is these days) but my arms have always been weak so with my back in the equation sadly I won’y be able to lift him for much longer. Thankfully despite the fact that the fence post has been flailing about in the wind the garden area that we have Dembe confined to is still secure.
It’s really strange after all these years to have a dog that doesn’t bark at people coming into the house, that doesn’t need to be put in the kitchen or fed a jumbone so that they don’t frighten your guests. The stupid thing was that once the dogs settled down they were really soppy but their barking could be very intimidating. Dembe rarely makes a sound unless he is growling or barking at his ball. It is really weird however he has had a crash course in meeting people in the last 4 weeks, I lost count at 50.
Dembe loves to sit next to me on the sofa, he is a mummy’s boy. He loves Jay and goes crazy when he gets in from work or home at lunch time but he adores me. Its nice because I had such a close relationship with Frankie and I miss that. Its understandable that he is really bonded with me when I am with him five days a week for 11 hours a day.
Dembe’s latest trick is to chew my slippers when I am wearing them. I wear Ugg type boot slippers and don’t notice him chewing until I go to move my feet. You do need eyes in the back of your head with him.
He is the stair master now and can climb them with ease, we limit his stair climbing to once or twice a day to protect his joints. We are working on going down stairs but as they are so steep and he is so little we only let him do the bottom 5 steps.
Saturday 9th February
Dembe can now jump on and off the bed in my room whenever he likes. He doesn’t even need to use the 2 huge box cushion dogs beds as steps anymore. This made bed time last night a bit of a trial as he spent the first 30 minutes running around like a lunatic showing off his new skill. Thankfully when The Archers theme tune went off at the end of the episode he twigged it was bed time and finally collapsed on the pillow beside me.
Jay in his wisdom decided to get up at 4.30am I have no idea why. I wasn’t impressed as Dembe is such a light sleeper especially after 4am as his stomach seems to know it is breakfast time! I got Jay to come and get him after I was woken up having my face washed and the tip of my nose gently chewed. I suggested to him to split Dembe’s breakfast up into two parts in the hope it would stop him choking. As it was 4.30am I also told him to wait until at least 5am before feeding him. I don’t want Dembe thinking whenever he wakes up we will feed him as otherwise he will be deciding its breakfast time at 1am such is his hunger!
It must be another growing day today as he has been asleep for hours this morning. He reminds me so much of Frankie with the little things he does. He has now started sleeping ensuring he is touching me so he knows if I move. The Weimaraners used to do that and my left leg would go numb with the weight of their heads on my leg. This was Dembe this morning.
I have just had to move him as he looked like he was going to fall off the sofa with his head hanging off the side. As I woke him up for no good reason he has stropped down the end of the sofa. He still looks like he is smiling in his sleep.
Sunday 10th February
As Dembe was so calm and sleepy yesterday it would seem only fitting that today he would decide to channel Satan again. This dog has been on the go for massive chunks of the day.
He obviously decided to lull us into a false sense of security this morning by giving us a 40 minute lie on. From 5.20am until 11am he didn’t stop. This included a rather wet and windy walk on the common at 8.30am so that he could run around off the lead and have his ball thrown. He is obsessed by his ball. He was covered in mud by the time he got back to the car so ended up having to have a shower. He doesn’t mind that at all, quite often when I am having a shower he will wander in and get soaked. It makes us laugh that we have gone from dogs that would do anything to avoid a bath to a dog that just wants a bath all the time. He even chases the hose on the patio and gets soaked doing that. He makes us laugh with his antics.
He did finally collapse at 11am and kept me company out in the kitchen. However at 11.30am he started to let me know he wanted his lunch. We go through this every lunch and dinner time, at least 30 minutes before his meal is due he will start to remind you that he needs fed. As he is still a baby he gets fed 3 times a day, I think his sole focus of the day is when he can have his next meal. He will go to the dog food storage box and start jumping up at it or nosing it, just to remind you where it is. You know in case you have forgotten from last time. Teaching him to do stuff is relatively easy as he is so food orientated. He gets fed breakfast between 5am and 6am, trying to nudge it more towards 6am as he is now trying to get up early to have is breakfast. He has lunch at midday and then dinner is anytime between 5pm and 6.30pm depending on when Jay finishes work and when Dembe has been walked.
After he had his lunch he decided to sleep on the sofa next to Jay until 2pm . From 2pm until 4.30pm he didn’t stop. We have been throwing the ball for him in the lounge, playing tug, messing around with his soft toys. He just kept going and going. At 4pm he started doing his lunatic circuits around the house where he crashes into everything. Jay was shocked at how fast he is, I told him he does this everyday just normally you are at work. Finally he settled down and went to sleep. He was pretty full on but funny. At one point he turfed all his toys out of his toy box and climbed inside
I couldn’t get my camera on my phone on quick enough as initially he was leaning back with his purple rhino in his mouth. He looked adorable.
He has been very vocal today, he has barked at the hoover and at the ironing board. Both of which he has seen on a daily basis since coming home with us. His toys have also been growled at. He is funny as he can go days without making any noise and then like today sounds like he is trying to have a conversation with us.
Well today Daddy’s hours have thrown us right out as instead of being on his normal early shift, he is working a late finish.
This afternoon we have been working on recall, as from Thursday this week Dembe will be allowed out for proper walks. Up until now he has only been allowed in our garden as we know it is free from un-vaccinated dogs and foxes. We have also sectioned off the garden so he has only been allowed on the patio. As our house and garden are very small, it’s quite difficult to be able to practice any proper training like walking on a lead.
I have been using The Happy Puppy Handbook by Pippa Mattison. I have also been reading her book The Labrador Handbook and a book by Gwen Bailey called The Perfect Puppy. I am happier using the techniques from The Happy Puppy Handbook, if I find that something isn’t working I can always change it up a bit and use the Gwen Bailey one. All of these books are available via Amazon – and again for clarity I have not received any financial incentive / reward for mentioning these.
I wait for Dembe to wander into the kitchen whilst I am sat in the lounge ( or vice versa ) and I say “Dembe Come” as soon as I hear him starting to come towards me I give 3 sharp pips on my whistle. When he gets to me he sits gives me a paw and he is rewarded with a treat. He is cottoning on very quickly and thinks this new game is enormous fun.
He is having a growing day today as he is sleeping loads, he has been quite content to sit up on the sofa with me.
Dembe and I head up for bed at around 8pm, he settles down very quickly. I am pleased because it is only the second time we have gone to bed without Daddy being home. Thankfully he can do the stairs very well now.
At 10pm I hear the front door go, Jay is home. Dembe sits bolt upright, despite his tiny size he is already acting as my protector. I tell him its daddy and he doesn’t growl, his tail starts to wag as he hears his daddy on the stairs. By the time Jay pokes his head around the door Dembe’s tail is going nuts. So very cute.
Tuesday 29th January
After having a very sedate Dembe yesterday, we have boisterous Satan channelling Dembe. From 5.30am until 10.25am when we left for my physiotherapy appointment he is on the go constantly. Everything that can be dragged into the centre of the lounge is dragged and every toy is emptied out of his toy box. It looks like a tiny yellow whirlwind has gone through the house.
At the Physiotherapy centre I sneak Jay and Dembe into the entrance hall, out of the eye line of the receptionist. Due to my disabilities my driving licence has been withdrawn and taxis to the centre are very expensive. So Jay has to take me to all appointments. Dembe is too tiny to be left at home for 90 minutes and we haven’t got anywhere close to leaving him in his crate that long. So there is no other choice than to bring him with us.
I go and sit in the waiting room. I have a clear view of Jay and Dembe because it is all glass. Jay just struts right up to the receptionist, explains the situation and asks very politely if Dembe doesn’t whine and make a nuisance of himself would it be possible for him to wait in the waiting room whilst I have my appointment. I really didn’t think we would be allowed but this is a private practice so I am guessing the rules are more flexible than the NHS.
Dembe loves all the attention that he gets from all the people in the waiting room. My physio arrives and I head off for my appointment. Whilst I am in there word gets round about the cute puppy in reception. Everyone from Doctors / Surgeons, admin staff and Physiotherapists come to have a cuddle. Despite being there for almost an hour he behaves brilliantly . By the time we get back home its time for his lunch and then he sleeps for the rest of the afternoon.
Wednesday 30th January
I can’t believe that in 24 hours time Dembe will be able to have his first walk out doors like a proper dog. He really needs it as at times he is crazy with all the energy he needs to burn off. He runs around like a mad March Hare, crashing into furniture and just generally letting off steam . Thankfully having had puppies before ( and bred two litters of Weimaraners 18 pups in total) we know that the week before they can go out for a walk tends to be the week they go utterly mental and this pup is no different.
Dembe and I are still sorting out our routine, at the moment because I am still poorly ( I am now on antibiotics for a chest infection and a sinus infection) I am not doing the normal things I would do during the day. Everything requires 4 times the effort and I am getting tired very easily. I have watched so much TV this week its shocking. Since I have been sewing I haven’t watched much TV at all. Now I am running out of things to watch.
Today Dembe has managed to get a black oil mark down his side, as he laid on the patio door runner. This evening he has had a shower as I had mine, I held him on my lap whilst I was sat on my shower stool. Jay applied the shampoo and thankfully Dembe was an angel . He is a water baby as Labrador’s are. Our Weimaraners hated water unless it was filthy dirty and stank to high heaven! Washing them was always a nightmare. We have the opposite issue with Dembe whenever the shower is going or the hose is on he has to dive under it.
He is also brilliant with the hairdryer and will happily sit whilst I gently dry him. All the Weims used to run out of the room whenever the hairdryer went on despite them hearing it everyday from birth. It was something I could never convince them was ok and wouldn’t hurt them. I am finding it amazing just how different the breeds are, it is true each dog has its own personality and each breed has things that is unique to them.
The oil came out and he is smelling lovely and clean again!
Thursday 31st January
Today marks the day that Dembe is now able to go out for a walk, he hasn’t a clue of course. Of course the weather is absolutely rancid, its freezing cold, blowing a gale and we’ve had a mixture of heavy rain, hail and sleet. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it is dry this evening as I really want him to be able to go out and explore. The plan is that I shall go out on my mobility scooter and just pootle along behind Jay and Dembe.
The weather doesn’t let up, by the time Jay gets home it is snowing heavily and its lying in places. It is still blowing a gale. We decide that Dembe if forced to go out in this may never want to leave the house again. He is very content running about on the patio chasing snowflakes.
He took an age to settle down tonight, normally he crashes at around 7.15-7.30pm, with us going up to bed at around 7.45pm. He was still running around at 8pm, dragging toys out and chasing his ball. Eventually as if someone has removed his batteries he drops at 8.30pm. I am very pleased as he has been on the go since around 5am this morning.
Friday 1st February
Last night we managed to have our first night of not getting up at midnight / 2am, he slept right through until 4.40am, which was ok as Jay was on an early shift and was getting up then anyway.
I forgot to say yesterday that Dembe has worked out that we haven’t been shutting the baby gate properly. Distracted on my laptop I looked up to find him making his way up the stairs. I don’t think I have moved that quickly in many years. So from then on we have had to close it properly. This dog is just way too clever.
I have tried to teach him to go downstairs today but he is too scared. I will wait to the weekend when Jay is here so he can be there to catch him if needed and I can lure him with a tasty treat.
Thankfully despite it being very cold, it has stayed dry all day. So today is the day we will take Dembe out for his first walk.
I managed to forget my phone so don’t have any photos. Dembe was very scared by the outside world. He refused point-blank to come out of the house so Jay had to carry him over the threshold. He was most concerned that I was going to leave him, so kept stopping walking. In the end I had to go in front of him in my scooter. We met our neighbour whilst out on the walk and he got to meet Skye again but this time nose to nose.
Dembe was absolutely shattered after his walk, he had his dinner and went to sleep for the rest of the evening.
Saturday 2nd February
Today we had a visit from Uncle Paul who couldn’t believe how big Dembe had got in the two weeks since he had seen him. Paul is really looking forward to looking after Dembe if Jay and I want to go out during the day or evening. We have made a plan that Dembe, Jay and I will go over to Paul’s when Jay is on holiday and have a chinese. None of us are night owls so it won’t be a late night however it is good for Dembe to keep seeing Paul so that he gets used to him so that when we do take the plunge and leave him it’s not a big deal.
Paul absolutely dotes on Dembe, he loved our other dogs as well. Dembe is very special to him as it’s the first one of our dogs he has got to know properly from puppyhood. We want Paul to be a very special figure in Dembe’s life, as Paul is in ours.
Although it was bitterly cold when Jay got home from work at 5pm, we took Dembe out for a walk ( 10 minutes ) . He again refused to come out of the house so Jay had to carry him over the threshold. However he was much happier once out, tonight I could be behind him without him panicking about where I was. He was much happier on the lead as well.
He was convinced we were going to do the same route as we had done the night before however we decided to change it up. The night before he had been quite scared by the traffic on the main road so we decided to go through the estate so it would be quieter and he could build his confidence up. He was like a different dog this evening and much happier.
As we were making our way back to the house on the other side of the road there was this huge Golden Retriever, I mean enormous. Jay and I are used to big dogs as Frankie was much bigger than a standard Weimaraner and weighed in at 40kg. This dog made Frankie look like a lap dog. He sat at the other side of the road desperate to meet Dembe, he was crying it was exactly the same reaction we used to get from Frankie when he saw puppies. Frankie really didn’t like any adult dogs other than Mollie and Willow but would go absolutely crazy when he met a puppy. When we had the second litter he spent more time with them than Mollie did and would lie on the floor letting the pups bite him and hang off him. He absolutely doted on them as if he was their dad. So it was very sweet to see this Golden Retriever having the same reaction to Dembe.
Jay was a little hesitant due to the size of the dog compared with Dembe but seeing how he was so excited to see a pup, I knew it would be ok. Jay walked Dembe over whilst I found somewhere suitable to cross over the road as with a mobility scooter I have to use dropped kerbs or it would be like something out of The Dukes of Hazard. The big dog was really gentle
and sniffed Dembe all over just checking him out, Dembe had a good sniff back.
As we turned back into our street it became clear that Dembe had identified where we lived, so that is good to know. He and Jay went racing on ahead. Dembe was desperate for his dinner as due to his walk he was late getting it. He ate his dinner and then again collapsed and slept the rest of the evening.
Sunday 3rd January
Today was rather momentous as today was the first time we have had Dembe off the lead in public. We decided during the week that if the weather was nice on Sunday that we would take Dembe up to the common and have a change of scenery. With the temperature at around 0 the ground was nice and hard rather than boggy and muddy. Ideal for a little pup to explore.
We took his ball with him and the whistle so we could practice recall. I have a trike that I can use that attaches to my wheelchair, the mobility scooter can’t be used on uneven terrain but the trike works brilliantly and means that I can accompany Jay and Dembe on their common walks.
Dembe was great with his ball and loved chasing after it, his recall was spot on too. I have been working on that since Wednesday so it was . As usual no photos as I can’t steer either a mobility scooter or a trike and take photos. I will get myself more organised in future. At present we are so wrapped up in the moment we don’t think to take photos of him when we walking him. It is all so brand new and exciting for all of us.
He has been flaked out ever since we got home
Jay went and got Dembe a bigger cage today as the one we borrowed from the lady who runs Exmouth in need, is now getting too small for him as he is growing at a rate of knots. The one we have for him now should last him well into adulthood. It is enormous and dominates our lounge – there really is nowhere else to put it. really we should need it only for the next 18 months to 2 years whilst he is at the height of his destruction phase ( Labrador’s are prolific chewers ).
Its been difficult keeping track of everything that has been going on this week as I have still been quite poorly from this double infection. At long last I am starting to get over it.
Its also a momentous week because we have had our first week with no house training accidents. Well done to Jay and I for watching him like a hawk! And Dembe for being patient.
This week marked the start of me having to manage looking after Dembe alone for several hours at a time whilst hubby was at work. Due to the loss of Mollie and Frankie in quick succession, hubby took some time off. The first week he was off he looked absolutely dreadful. He was so lost as his whole life revolved around the dogs. Dembe really helped him cope but hubby knew he needed to get back to work or he would end up in the position where he was fear going back. It was the right thing to do although I was freaking out at the responsibility of looking after Dembe.
Dembe is sleeping well through the night, especially as we tend to be up in bed by 8pm. He is taken out at 10-10.30pm for his last wee / poo then out again at 3-3.30 am and he will then sleep through until 6am at least. This week we will be working on increasing the time between toilet outings as he should be able to hold on longer now as he is getting a bit older.
This morning went by in a flash and was incredibly full on. I am permanently shattered at the moment, it’s the stress of being a new puppy mum, the constant anxiety I am suffering with mixed with the grief of losing Frankie and Mollie which can still be counted in weeks rather than months.
Jay popped in at lunch time with Tracey a friend of ours who he works with, She hadn’t met Dembe yet and absolutely loved him. A few hours later Sarah, Tracey’s daughter popped in. She had last seen him on the 12th January and was amazed at how much he had grown in just over a week.
We had no accidents today on the house training front, for which I am extremely proud. He is a very good boy and will wait for me to reach him rather than just go.
Dembe was very pleased when Daddy got home. I was very lucky he didn’t cry or pine for him whilst he was gone.
Tuesday 22nd January
Today Jay had another early shift, so I was alone from 06.15am with the boy. He is coping very well Jay going to work, Dembe and I spend our days together playing with his toys, using the play sessions to incorporate some training to keep things fun and interesting for him.
Dembe has mastered sit beautifully, we are now working on paw, which we have been doing on and off for a couple of days. I am just waiting for the penny to drop, repetition is key and so is patience. Dogs are funny they can seem like they aren’t getting it at all and then out of the blue they surprise you.
The boy has started hoovering up his meals, they are gone within 3 minutes and he then goes marching back into the kitchen like Oliver Twist. It is hard to resist those big brown eyes pleading with you but I know an over fed puppy can end up with horrendous joint problems in the future due to growing too fast. He certainly isn’t wasting away as I can feel he is heavier.
Daddy came home at lunch time again with a friend – Kat, she fell in love with him as everyone does. He did manage to kill the football he had been barking at by sinking his teeth into it.
In the evening Jay and I sit on the floor and play with him. We call it our bonding time and Dembe loves it.
Wednesday 23rd January
Well today marks another first for Dembe he met his first proper (human) baby. Baby Orla, who is just 6 weeks old came up to visit with her mum Sally. Sally and I used to work together many moons ago and have remained facebook friends. She answered my call when I asked for people to visit with or without children and with dogs etc.
Dembe was incredibly curious of the car seat and what was contained within, I had to hold him by the collar so he didn’t get over excited and then leap into it. I let him have a gentle sniff but wasn’t going to let him jump all over Orla.
It appears Dembe has a jealous streak which was quite amusing, he was not very impressed that Orla was sat on my lap and having a cuddle. He spent a fair amount of time trying to jump up on my lap. Thankfully with him being so dinky he can’t get any higher than my knee. He fell asleep on my foot in the end so he could be close by should I need rescuing from this interloper. I am glad there was no barking or growling from him. I think it was more he was very curious and wanted to know what baby Orla was doing on my lap.
Daddy was on a late finish so this would be a new experience for Dembe and I. Would we be able to occupy ourselves until bed time? Normally when Frankie and Mollie ( and Willow) were alive I would go up to bed around 4pm and watch something on Netflix or listen to the radio. I can’t manage running up and down the stairs with a puppy so I made myself comfortable on the sofa.
We have made great strides forward today, Dembe has now got Paw and will do either foot. We have been working on sit during exciting situations such as playing with a ball. That takes tremendous self control for a pup and he is doing very well.
Thursday 24th January
It was Dembe’s last jabs today. A week today he will be able to go out for walks. We had an early appointment as now we have Dembe there is no such thing as a lie on. Dembe was the first to be seen and John the vet was very impressed with him. He said what a lovely nature he had and how good he was with people. He praised our efforts at socialising him. We do now need to incorporate more socialising with other dogs so he learns doggie etiquette. We are planning to take him to puppy socialisation when he is 14 weeks.
Dembe was so much better on the examination table today and didn’t fuss as much when the vet was looking in his mouth and checking him over. John said what a lovely domed head he has and was asking us where we had got him from. We discussed with the vet about Dembe’s new habit of inhaling his food. I timed him and it is taking him two minutes 40 seconds to eat his 90g of kibble. He is having a lot of hiccups and is guffing a lot! And it’s not pleasant.
We had him weighed to ensure that he isn’t putting on weight too quickly and is growing well. Last week he weighed 5.6kg and this week he weighed 6.5kg so he has put on just under a kilo approx 2.2lbs in old money. John discussed with us slow feeding bowls or trying to give him his meals in two halves. We have decided to go for a slow feeding bowl as we think he will just continue to inhale his food.
This afternoon we ventured out to Pets at home in Exeter ( again I am not relieving any money for mentioning them, other pet shops are available). He got admiring glances again from everyone he came into contact with. We met up with a member of staff that we have seen on every visit and she wanted to put our photo on the stores Facebook page. I look terrible because at the time I was starting to come down with a virus that has knocked me for 6. My throat was feeling like I had swallowed a packet of razor blades and I was aching all over.
We picked up a slow feeder bowl from Pets at Home, Jay didn’t quite understand the principle of a slow feeder and as I was on the phone ( so couldn’t explain to him) he panicked as he felt Dembe couldn’t reach the his food, so tipped it into his normal bowl. Face palm. I ended up also ordering another slow feeder from Amazon.
People are always asking me how Dembe is in the car, he is really good as for the first week he was with us he travelled in the car pretty much everyday. 90% of his car journeys are spent like this.
The rest of the time he sits and plays with his toys. At the moment Dembe is too big for a small car harness and too small for the medium car harness so he stays in his booster seat and on a lead with me travelling in the back with him to ensure there is no wandering around the back seat as he is so little if he fell off the seat he would never get up again.
Thursday was a bitter sweet day for us as it was the day we had Mollie and Frankies ashes returned to us. We both shed a few tears but were pleased that they were finally home.
Friday 25th January
I had hoped that yesterdays sore throat and body aches would disappear overnight and it would just be a one day thing but I have been clobbered by the nasty virus that is going around town at the moment. I am cold one minute boiling hot the next, aching, nose dripping and just feel awful. Thankfully Dembe seems to pick up on the fact that I feel terrible and is really calm and quiet. He spent most of the day lying at my feet on the sofa.
It’s quite spooky as his Uncle Frankie used to sit in this position when I was poorly, obviously Frankie was a lot bigger.
Dembe’s new bowl arrives before lunch time. I am so weak I just about manage to take it out of the box.
As you can see from the constant tail wagging he is really enjoying his new bowl. It has really slowed his eating down, he is hiccuping a lot less and hasn’t been guffing as much either.
As a reward for Dembe being so good all day in the afternoon we had a play on the patio with his new tennis ball. I have been teaching him to sit before I will roll the ball for him.
Saturday 26th January
I was still feeling pretty rotten from this virus today, so hubby did a half day so I could go to bed in the afternoon. I only took one photo of Dembe all day as I was just so tired.
He was a bit manic this afternoon and hubby ended up having to play with him constantly. He also discovered the lounge window ledge and likes sitting on it looking at the outside world. He has also learned how to do the stairs this week. Although he needs to avoid stairs until he is 4 months old he also needs to discover them during this 4 week window so that he doesn’t become scared of them. Our stairs are quite steep so we were quite amazed that he managed them all. We made sure one of us was in front and one behind so that should he stumble we could catch him. He will just be allowed to go upstairs to bed for the time being, rather than being allowed to run up and down them to protect his joints.
He has really been using his front paws a lot this week. He is using them to push things away, wrap around your arm and to drag things towards himself. He is also jumping up a lot more. One target is the food bin in the kitchen that holds his grub. He is very keen to work out how to get into that the little devil.
The last two days he has been a bit whingey, he has got enough confidence now that he is trying it on. He cries at the baby gate that blocks the stairs purely because he wants to go upstairs and explore. He also sits and cries at my feet when I am sat on the small sofa as he wants to go on the window ledge. We are ignoring him as once you give into him you are effectively teaching him that if he sits and cries you will cave and give him what he wants. Having had dogs before I know how stubborn they can be. Mollie would stand and stare at me for 90 minutes trying to get me to give her cocktail sausages from the fridge or any other food treat she fancied. I would just have to ignore her because if I gave in once she would keep doing it – she did it almost daily as this dog was so stubborn and it was a battle of wills. She knew her dad would cave as he worshipped the ground she walked on. Weimaraner’s can be very stubborn. Thankfully it seems Labradors are not as strong willed…. I may have just jinxed myself.
Sunday 27th January
As I am still feeling quite rotten – I now have a cold which has gone into my sinuses ..lucky me, we have had quite a quiet day. However we have been playing lots with Dembe and doing some odd bits of training.
His over excited mouthing is definitely reducing massively, he now very gently takes your fingers in his mouth. That’s a great step forward as initially he was chomping quite hard.
His sit and paw are brilliant in fact he is so good at it he sometimes looks like one of those Cats you see in a Chinese restaurant.
Over the week we have had two accidents, just wee’s which is good. One was Tuesday morning where I lost track of him for a moment and he had a widdle by the front door. He had another accident this afternoon, which was both of our faults, we each assumed the other was watching him, so he watered the rug in the lounge after we missed his signal that he needed out. I am always gutted when this happens as I feel like we have let him down. I know today was particularly challenging as I am still feeling ropey. Dembe is doing so well on the toilet training front and he is consistently going to the back door ( after Tuesday’s incident ) .
Next weeks things to work on is for him to be calmer when his food is put down, so no jumping up. To discourage jumping up on humans, I started working on that this afternoon as he was jumping at my leg, so I would put him on the window ledge. Also to start working on his recall. All these will be done in a fun way as he still is only a tiny baby really. He was ten weeks old on Friday. Of course next Thursday marks the start of him being able to go for a walk.
We had a very good night in bed at 8pm as we were all shattered , he was taken out at 3am for the toilet and then slept until 06.45am.
Dembe is really starting to change, I swear he is bigger than he was three days ago! Today we heard his first ever growl and bark. He caught sight of his reflection in a glass door and thought he would let it know who was boss. Despite me being stuck in bed with a migraine at the time I did chuckle. He also gets very frustrated with not being able to reach into his toy box so that gets barked at too!
Whilst I was stuck in bed Jay had to supervise Dembe alone for the first time. I came too as I had been sleeping, as Jay came up the stairs. I was fully expecting Dembe to be put on the bed with me whilst Jay used the bathroom. However the bathroom door closed and I didn’t get Dembe. When Jay emerged I asked him if he had taken Dembe with him, no he replied I have shut him in his cage, he is happily playing with his toys. I told Jay when he opened the door to reward Dembe with a small bit of roast beef. Dembe goes crazy for roast beef, he has worked out that the roast beef is kept in the fridge and if he is in the kitchen when the fridge is opened he sits bolt upright waiting to see if anything is coming his way. At the moment we are just using this treat for crate training as we want a super special treat for this.
Dembe’s character is emerging more and more. Today whilst Jay was fitting a baby gate Dembe strolled up and then stole the screwdriver out of his hand. To get it back roast beef had to be used! The only time roast beef has been used for anything other than crate training.
We have had a couple of accidents in the house today. Mainly because he was doing so well we got complacent. We have been back on it ever since as we were disappointed to have let him down. However he keeps throwing us as initially he would run to the back door to keep us on our toes he now also runs to the front door, which means he has to be carried to the back door. We think its because it has the only bit of carpet in the whole of the downstairs in front of it and it still contains the scent of our previous dogs. He is probably just marking his territory. Thankfully its all been cleaned and now we just watch his tail when he is over by the front door. He has a very rhythmic tail movement when he is about to go to the toilet that is completely different to his other tail movements. He’d be a rubbish poker player!
Dembe has still been meeting lots of people and dogs. Nothing much seems to phase him.
For those of you new to me and Jay we are avid Emma Bridgewater Pottery collectors. When I found the Yellow Labrador mug on line I had to have it!
Tuesday 15th January
Today I have been feeling very low, I love Dembe with all my heart but I am really missing Frankie and Mollie ( I have missed Willow everyday since she passed away). Whats worse is I keep calling Dembe , Frankie which feels like a knife to the heart. I am angry that I am causing this pain to myself but I have been saying the name Frankie for 12 years and Dembe for just 4 days. As I have always said Dembe is very much an addition to our family not a replacement. He is a very different dog to any of the others we have owned in the past. All dogs have their own personalities and quirks, we are learning his.
Dembe has had a very busy day, he was awake from 5am and was a demon from the off. I am wondering who came in the night and stole my calm placid puppy and replaced him with Satan. He is biting everything, running around like a lunatic. He then had a sleep between 6am and 7am and then went off like a coiled spring again. At around 9.30am he took himself off to the kitchen and went to sleep on his dad’s slippers.
For the rest of the day he has been an angel, he met my best friend Ellie who brought him a lovely teddy bear. He also met 4 children who were fantastic with him as they have a fully grown Rotti called Maui, so a 8 week old puppy is nothing to them. He was playing tug of war with the girls plaits which brought about squeals of laughter. He was such a very good boy.
Today he discovered the joy of chasing a ball, so as he was loving careering through the lounge I decided to use the opportunity to get him to learn to fetch and retrieve. He cottoned on very quickly that if he gave me the ball back I would roll it along the floor again for him. I have also got him to master sit today and he will sit on command. He is so eager to learn and loves any fuss. His tail goes mental when you tell him he has been a good boy.
We also quickly went down the sea front today so that Dembe could experience some different sights and sounds.
For the first time we attached a lead to his collar, he believes this is just another chew toy. I can see he maybe a lead chewer like his Uncle Frankie so a metal lead will need to be purchased.
Wednesday 16th January
Today Dembe had his first trip to the vets for his puppy check, to ensure his jabs are compatible with what our veterinary surgery uses and to register his microchip number with them. Thankfully the jabs are compatible however out vet uses Lepto 4 not lepto 2 so he will have an extra jab to cover him for the 4 strains of leptospirosis ( Weils Disease). We want him to be covered as Jays favourite place to walk the dogs is on Woodbury common which at this time of year can be quite wet and boggy. So until he has been fully vaccinated it will be road walks once he is safe to do so.
We have been using this practice for at least 11 years and wouldn’t take any of our animals we have owned or own anywhere else. However this trip is a bit traumatic for both Jay and I. Both trips to the vets recently have been to have our elderly Weimaraners p.t.s, both out of the blue so there was no preparing ourselves for what happened.
We were totally overwhelmed by the surgery staffs kindness. A lady who worked there, who always loved Frankie had bought Dembe a welcome to your new home card and a purple Rhino Kong toy. It made me cry but they were happy tears and plus I was just really worked up with being there again so soon after losing Mollie and Frankie. We had made sure we arrived at the vets early so this lovely lady could have lots of puppy cuddles. However due to it being quite busy we ended up being there a lot longer than we had planned. Dembe was an absolute star, he never fussed or cried even though he was probably bored rigid being held and not allowed on the ground to play.
Whilst he was at the vets he had lots of cuddles with various members of staff. Which again is great for his socialisation. They all couldn’t believe the size of his feet and everyone keeps telling us what a big boy he will be. However I remember Frankie as a puppy and I can’t remember him ever being as small as our Dinky Dot Dembe, which obviously he was. Frankie had feet the size of side plates, well ok that maybe a slight exaggeration but they were huge. To me Dembe’s feet look in proportion to the rest of him but it will be interesting to see if he is a big Labrador as both his parents seemed quite small in comparison with Frankie and Mollie.
The rest of the day was spent quietly, I think the events of the last 2-3 weeks are beginning to catch up on us. Its very hard when you are grieving, you can either hide away from life and that would have broken both of us or you can just grab life with both hands and keep going.
Dembe is now sitting on command every time I ask him to and occasionally he is also giving me his paw when asked or not asked, whatever takes his fancy.
The baby gates have now been installed on my bedroom door and on the kitchen / lounge door. This meant Dembe had to be crated for a while to keep him safe whilst this was done. He did very well as it was the longest he had been crated for. He did cry a little towards the end but as soon as he saw me he stopped and he calmly came out. He was rewarded for being such a good boy with a tiny piece of roast beef.
He is such an affectionate boy, who divides his time equally between myself and Jay. Everyone who meets him falls in love with him.
Thursday 17th January
Today was the first day in ages we were totally free from visits or appointments. It has been enormous fun ensuring that Dembe is socialised with all our friends, their children and various different places / sounds but it is also bloody tiring.
The job for today was getting my mobility scooter looked at, on Sunday when we had been trying to adjust the seat height we had inadvertently jammed the bar so it wouldn’t move at all. We tried numerous things to free it but weren’t getting anywhere. I searched YouTube and various websites to no avail. I thought that we may have even broken it, so our hail Mary pass was to take it to a place that did repairs.
We travelled over to Devon Disability Collective in Marsh Barton, I didn’t ring as I thought we could either leave it there to get looked at or they would tell us it couldn’t be repaired. It was a good opportunity to get Dembe accustomed to longer car rides as we both have family that live over an hour away and we want to be able to visit them without a dog crying / barking in the car for the whole journey. Thankfully Dembe from the start has been brilliant in the car, most of the time he just sleeps.
Within a minute of Jay going into the building, he came back out again with a man that said he would try to help us. Five minutes later it was all fixed. A liberal coating of silicone lubricant and a hammer had prised the seat adjustment bar back out and now I would be able to use the mobility scooter whenever I wanted. I offered to pay the man for his time but he wouldn’t accept any payment, so Dembe gave him a cuddle instead.
Until Dembe I had never seen a dog smile in his sleep. Dembe seems to have a permanent grin on his chops whilst he snores….loudly. Every day I am a little more in love with him, which I didn’t think was possible. The change in Jay has been miraculous, obviously having Dembe doesn’t take the pain away but it makes it liveable. Jay’s colour has changed before we got Dembe he was an awful grey colour at times I thought he was going to die of a broken heart. I have never seen him look so ill. His mood has lifted also and he now wants to go back to work and see people. Before Dembe’s arrival and his socialisation training Jay was hiding away. It has been so good for him and me.
In the evenings Dembe likes to sleep on the sofa next to Jay. He does sleep in some very strange positions.
I also managed to do some sewing late Thursday afternoon. I hadn’t touched my machines for two weeks as I just couldn’t concentrate and didn’t want to. I needed to use the machine so that Dembe wouldn’t be frightened of the noise it made. The only thing that scared him today was the sound of the ironing board so we will need to ensure over the next few days it is put up and down a few times so he gets used to the noise.
To celebrate the fact that my mobility scooter was up and running we went down to the seafront again. This time I was able to ride alongside Jay and Dembe instead of being stuck on the bench as I had been earlier in the week. It was fantastic actually being able to take part properly rather than sitting on the side lines.
Today he met a 12 week old pug and they had a good sniff of each other. He also met his very first baby (well probably closer to a one year old) Dembe was fascinated as was the baby! He gave her lots of kisses and her face really beamed.
Friday 18th January
Today we needed to get out and about and run some errands so it was an excellent opportunity to get Dembe in the car again and being around lots of noise and people. I have now lost count how many people he has met. I know by Monday we were in the mid twenties. By the end of this week its probably going to be double that.
We had to pop into the vets to give them some paperwork. So this meant a lot of cuddles and attention from staff and clients. We then went to the town centre, this was the busiest environment Dembe had been in with traffic ( including lorries and buses) lots of people of all different ages and lots of dogs. Dembe took it all in his stride and he was exceptionally well behaved as he was held in Jays arms for close to an hour. We get stopped wherever we go with people wanting to ask about him and give him a cuddle. Everyone raves about how beautiful he is. I think he is too even though I am a little biased. I do think his nose will be out of joint when he has passed the cute puppy stage and the humans are no longer cooing over him!
We had two lots of visitors in the afternoon and unusually he was awake through both. Normally at least one lot of our visitors ends up disappointed as Dembe has crashed and is fast asleep. That is the life of a puppy though, like babies they can and do sleep a lot. Dembe got a bit over excited this afternoon as he was chasing after a 3 year old. He found that enormous fun and then he started bombing around the house without chasing anyone. He was well and truly hyped up by the time our second visitors arrived with their 12 week old Cockerpoo. Which despite being 3 weeks older than Dembe was less than half his size and probably less than half his weight.
Dembe was up for a good game of rough and tumble as he had obviously had his litter mates to play with who were all the same sort of size he was. The Cockerpoo was having none of it and spent most of the visit either in her owners arms or trying to get in her owners arms. Being a Labrador all Dembe wanted to do was chase and let off some steam, we had hoped that they would play nicely together and run around the house. The Cockerpoo was very timid and found Dembe just overwhelming. Such a shame as I would have loved to see him burn some of his energy up.
Dembe is obsessed with anything that smells of his Dad, he likes to sleep on his daddy’s slippers and when Jay washed his bed linen today Dembe saw a chance to ensure he was immersed in the smell.
Saturday 19th January
The day got off to a cracking start with me managing to take my evening medications instead of my morning medications first thing. That left me feeling quite spaced out and drunk for a few hours this morning. After several coffees it did seem to get better and we managed to get out to Pets at home over in Exeter – where I used my mobility scooter. Again I am not receiving any financial reward etc for mentioning them just to make it clear. We went to the Exeter one as the aisles are bigger and I was less likely to trash the place. Dembe had out grown his puppy collar and needed his first big boys collar. It was also another good opportunity to go out in the car.
We didn’t even get into the shop before Jay and Dembe were stopped by his adoring fans. He is so good and when the ladies are cooing over him ( Dembe obviously) he always managed to give one of them a kiss which melts their hearts even more. Dembe got to meet another baby in the store, who was fascinated by him, he gently kissed her fingers and she stroked his ears. It amazes me that he will play rough on occasion with Jay and I but when dealing with children and babies he is very gentle.
We took Dembe all over the shop. We showed him the rabbits and the guinea pigs, he wasn’t bothered. Although I would imagine that it would be a different ball game should he have been allowed to be on the floor with them. He is obsessed with breaking the necks of all his cuddly toys, everything gets picked up by the throat and then shook. Even his tiny comfort blanket with the teddy bear on that came from the breeder gets tossed around!
He was however fascinated by the fish, which is quite apt as Labradors were originally bred to retrieve fish. He was staring at them through the glass and looked as if he could just jump straight in and swim alongside them. His little brow was furrowed with concentration.
This afternoon we had some more visitors and Imogen got to meet Dembe for the first time. She fell in love with him. Leanne and Liam were surprised at just how much he has grown over the last week. He looks less puppy like and more miniature dog. Last week he couldn’t get into his toy box, this week he can pull it over tip everything out of it and then crawl inside it. He has also managed to jump down from the sofa once, I had left him asleep and gone into the kitchen, within seconds I heard a thump and he was walking into the kitchen. He is now desperate to get onto the sofas under his own steam. He is attempting run ups in the hope it gives him enough of a chance to get up but so far it hasn’t worked. Thankfully at the moment he is staying on my bed at night and not wandering around the bedroom. It has been puppy proofed if he does, I mean he is going to at some point. For the moment though he is quite happy to snuggle with me.
Today I had him showing off his sit and paw to our visitors. I am really excited for tomorrow as we are going to a dear friends house and he hasn’t seen him since last Saturday. It will be the first house Dembe has been to, so there is also the worry that he will have an accident!
Imogen took some lovely photos of him today
Sunday 20th January
Wow its been a day of firsts today. Dembe ate his full amount of food at breakfast this morning. We had been struggling to get him to eat the full 90g portion, so had been giving him less in the morning and adding the rest between his lunch and dinner. This morning however he scoffed his 70g and came looking for more. Hopeful he would eat it I added the left over 20g and that was scoffed as well. I have been panicking that he wasn’t eating all of his breakfast, even though he was getting his full quota of food for the day. He must be having another growth spurt at he polished off his lunch today in the quickest time ever.
Another first was going into a strange house. We visited our dear friend Paul today, who met Dembe last Saturday and has been smitten ever since. Paul’s house was fully carpeted so I was a bit panicked that Dembe may have an accident, however with careful monitoring we were able to avoid accidents and Dembe was more than happy to show off his toilet training skills. He went out for 4 wee’s and a poop during our 90 minute visit.
Normally Dembe is very active between wake up and about 9.30am, then crashes for a few hours and sleeps. Today he has been on the go from the moment he got up. We could see he was getting tired at Paul’s house but he just wouldn’t give in to it. He was having too much fun playing with his ball and toys and running around like a loon. When we got into the car, he settled immediately and went to sleep. Jay popped into the shop as we needed some supplies, Dembe slept through it all, even when Imogen jumped into the car and had a chat with me, he just continued to sleep.
This afternoon Dembe had a visit from Bev and Harry. He was spoilt rotten by them and had a whole goodie bag full of treats and new toys. This dog must be the most spoilt on the planet! He received a toy from Imogen on Saturday. Our friends have truly been wonderful and have made a real fuss of him. Dembe was quite active during their visit as I was worried he would sleep through it after wearing himself out at his Uncle Paul’s in the morning.
He has been really hungry all day polishing his meals off within minutes today, where as he has been fannying about the last 9 days when eating and we had to keep getting him to return to his bowl. He is shattered now and is fast asleep next to his dad on the sofa.
He hasn’t barked this much the whole time he has been here. His new glow in the dark ball was winding him up. Thanks Bev and Harry that gave us such a good laugh.