Monday 4th February
Last night our friends Tracey and Chris came over, Dembe had an absolute ball and was very keen on Chris. Tracey couldn’t believe how big he had got since the last time she had seen him which was about two weeks ago. To tell you the truth Jay and I still struggle with how much he has grown in the short time we have owned him. He must be at least 4 times the size he was when we brought him home.
Dembe was knackered Monday morning, it must be another growing day. I manage to get this footage of him fast asleep snoring his head off.
He doesn’t snore the whole time he is asleep he probably has one or two snoring sessions a day, it is incredibly loud for something that small. As you can see Dembe is a very contented little pup.
Daddy came home at lunchtime and brought Sarah back with him, she is Tracey’s daughter. Sarah hadn’t seen Dembe for around 3 weeks so was in shock at how quickly he had grown and didn’t look like a tiny pup anymore. He still feels very tiny to us, I suppose he would do after the Weimaraner’s but he has changed a lot in the last three weeks.
This evening Dembe went out for a walk alone with Jay, as he wanted to get some lead training done with him. Its very difficult to get Dembe to concentrate when he is busy trying to catch me up in my mobility scooter. Dembe jumped over the threshold himself up until now we have been having to lift him over it and then put him down on the drive. He has finally worked out it is ok to go out of the front door. Jay said he knows where our home is now. When he turns back into our street he races along until he gets to our drive and then ploughs into the front door.
Peace has been shattered in the bedroom, where Dembe and I sleep. Due to my chronic insomnia and Jays snoring we are in separate rooms. Dembe has worked out how to use the huge box cushion dogs bed ( that I made for the Weims ) as a step and get up on the bed himself. He is so pleased with himself it is hilarious. Inside Jay and I are groaning as it means it will be days until he works out he can get down the same way and then nothing in the bedroom is safe!
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.