Walkies w/c 4th February

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!

asleep on my slipper

04_02 vetbed pickfords
Dembe decided that the vet bed looked better in the middle of the lounge rather than at the front door.

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.

toy box

toy box 2


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!

dembe sleepingon the sofa

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.

smiling in his sleep again

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 friday

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.


sleepy boy

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

in the toy box again

toy box (1)

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.

A momentous week w/c 28th Jan 2019

Monday 28th January

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.

Monday 28

Monday 28 (1)


chilling Monday 28th



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.

Tuesday 29

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!

weds 30th (1)


weds 30th (2)
I had to knock up this bumper to stop Dembe pushing his toys underneath the TV unit.


spooky 30th Jan
Tonight I was looking for some paperwork and came across Frankie and Mollies Vaccination records. It is really spooky that in all the years Frankie had this card ( which was 12 years) I never noticed the photo on the card was of a yellow Labrador. It seems like a sign .


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.


thurs 31st Jan

31st Jan (2)

31st Jan

31st Jan (1)

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.

Friday 1st feb




sleepy boyIMG_20190201_054726_451

sleepy boy 2


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.

Saturday2nd feb


red eyed boy after his walk
Looks at those red eyes


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

worn out pup



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 ).

new cage
Spot the pup


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.


dembe Sunday x

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.

Hubby goes back to work w/c 21st January

Monday 21st January

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.

end of first day with dembe alone

dembe monday 21st


start of dembes kitchen bed
I managed to make a start of Dembe’s kitchen bed which will be a box cushion with his name on it.


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.

dembes bed finished
I managed to sew Dembe’s bed together on Monday evening and attach the kam snaps Tuesday


dembe's personalised mug (1)
Dembe’s personalised mug arrived today. It will go up on the kitchen shelf with all the dogs personalised mugs.



dembe tuesday lunchtimereceived_908006699590455


dembe tuesday


dembes bag started
Dembe’s tote bag started
reverse of dembes bag
Reverse of Dembe’s bag


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.

dembe weds


bag finished front
Bag finished, front view


bag finished reverse
Reverse of bag ( satin stitched around the raw edge of the applique)


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.

pets at home

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.

dembe in the car

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.

babies are 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.

on the sofa with me

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.

good boy at the back door

playing with the ball
yes I am in my PJs, I felt so awful that day I didn’t shower or get dressed.


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.

sleepy baby

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.

W/C 14th January – our first full week as puppy parents!

Monday 14th

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.

dembe checking out his mug

dembe and his eb mug

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.

his favourite place to sleep this wek


tues dembe


dembe with teddy

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.

dembe and jay

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.

dembe wednesday


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.

dembe smiling whilst he sleeps 16_01

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.

dembe on his dads bedding


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.

saturday dembe

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.

New big boy collar

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!

saturday dembe

Imogen took some lovely photos of him today

imogen 1st visit (2)

imogen 1st visit (1)

imogen 1st visit


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.

sunday dembe

sunday dembe
This was him first thing this morning emptying out his toy box which he couldn’t even reach into this time last week and then dragging it across the lounge.


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.

dembe favouriteplace to sleep
I finally managed to catch him in his favourite place to sleep, with his head in hubby’s slippers.
me and the boy having mummy cuds
He is a very affectionate dog and will sit on my lap having a cuddle for ages. I intend to have as many cuddles like this as possible as it wont be long and he will be too big. They grow up so fast.
dembe's tote bag
I managed to get some embroidery done today and started on Dembe’s tote bag. We need to take so much stuff with us when we go out I thought I would make him his own bag.


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.

Week Commencing 7th January 2019


Today we travelled to Broadleaf Gundogs to view 2 yellow male Labrador puppies that are remaining from the litter. To be honest I am glad of the distraction and to be out of the house. The pain of losing Frankie and Mollie is overwhelming, everywhere in the house reminds us of what we have lost. They were never just dogs to us.

The two puppies are absolutely gorgeous. I admit I am hesitant as I am concerned that we maybe rushing into this to try to avoid the pain and grief but I also know I don’t want to spend another minute than I have to without a dog. I am even missing the sound of the dogs feet on the laminate flooring which Jay and I always used to call tap dancing. The hole they have left is huge. I am unsure if I can love another dog this soon. I know Jay has fallen apart. In all our nearly 22 years together I have only seen him cry 4 times and each of those was when we have lost one of our babies ( dogs).

Jay is suffering and I decide that for his sake I can learn to love a dog if we decide to put a deposit down today.

The kennels are fab, immediately on entering we are greeted by a load of adult Labradors. If I could have got away with it I would have laid on the floor and just cuddled them all. We have both missed the feel of a dog and the love they give and Mollie has only been gone since Saturday.

We have a choice of 2 puppies one is so pale gold / yellow in colour that he is almost white. I play with him whilst sat on the floor. The breeder has placed a more red colour Labrador in Jay’s arms. I immediately see the look of peace in Jays eyes. Its the first time since… well you know. The puppy is contentedly staring into his eyes and I know my choice isn’t coming into this. To be honest the pale puppy is gorgeous also but the puppy Jay has is in the process of stealing his heart.

Dembe will be ready for collection on Friday 11th January. We chose the name Dembe years ago, its from a Character in the tv show The Blacklist. We knew it was a perfect name for a dog when this time came. We had also discussed the breed, we kept going around in circles and kept coming back to Labrador. It is a bit spooky that Dembe’s mum is called Willow, that was the name of our dog that passed away in December 2017. It seems like fate is intervening.

Today has been such a bitter sweet day after losing Frankie and Mollie so suddenly. Our house is not a home without a dog.


Tuesday 8th January

So many jobs to do before Dembe’s arrival on Friday. My anxiety levels have soared and now my obsessive list making has come to the surface. When I am anxious having a list makes me feel in control when I feel a situation has spiralled out of control. I suffered badly last year after suffering numerous bereavements in quick succession. It had relented a little only to resurface after… well I am guessing you know what.

Jay on the other hand is paralysed by his anxiety, he is struggling to hold even a basic conversation due to the overwhelming level of grief he is suffering. We are having the same conversation over and over again. Normally I would have lost my temper on the 4th occasion of telling him the same thing but I know how much he is suffering. Neither of us has slept a night through since last Friday where we nursed Mollie through the night. Jay is waking every morning around 2.30am / 3am the time he would normally have taken the dogs out….that’s a long story and for another day. I am waking up around midnight – 1am and not getting back to sleep. I am existing on 4 hours a night.

Jay has made a start on cleaning the patio, so we have taken a trip to the recycling centre to get rid of stuff that I have been asking him to tip for months! We have also been to the range and picked up some more puppy bits. Yesterday we had a trolley dash around Pets at Home. Thankfully a friend told us to ask for the Puppy booklet which gets you 10% off. As we haven’t had a puppy in the house for around 11-12 years we are having to start at the very beginning.

My anxiety is rising at the prospect of there being a puppy in the house. I am worried that I won’t know what to. I have ordered books and looked online. I feel so out of my depth. Jay keeps telling me to stop over thinking it. I know it is because a puppy is an unknown quantity and I have no way of controlling it.

Wednesday 9th January

We are so desperate for the touch, smell and company of a dog that we are now meeting friends with dogs. As Frankie was never very good with other dogs, I have never met a lot of my friends dogs. For those of you new to this blog I am disabled and have mobility problems. You can find out more about me at http://www.themyastheniakid.com.

Today we met a huge Rottweiler, although we know he can be very boisterous he was an angel with us. He cleaned my face for me at least 4 times! It was wonderful to be able to give a dog a cuddle and utter the words “good boy” .

We paid our second visit of the week to Pets at Home – just to reassure you all I’m not receiving any money from this and I am in no way promoting them. We needed some more puppy bits.

I need to buy some shelves as for years I have stored my medication box on the floor – with old dogs that never took any interest in my medications that was fine. Now we have a puppy that due to his breed will be interested in everything. So to be safe I want a shelf that will be well out of puppy range.

Today we had friends drop over some baby gates so that we can keep the kitchen and the upstairs hallway out of reach. When I will be home alone with Dembe I need to be able to keep him safe as I can’t go running off after him.

I’ve also had to sort out my mobility scooter, it has needed new batteries forever. I want to be able to go out with Jay and Dembe when he is taken out to get used to the outside world and when he is finally allowed to have proper walks after his jabs. A friend loaned her husband to come over and open up the battery compartment so I could take measurements of the battery and see what we needed. He managed to tell us of a place locally that sells batteries so our plan is to head out tomorrow and buy them.

Today has been really hard. We are trying to keep as busy as possible. We hate not having a dog here and we are missing our babies (dogs) more than I thought possible.


Thursday 10th January

Today we had a list of jobs to get through which we are calling operation puppy proofing. Jobs completed today were

  • patio bleached and cleaned
  • Dog food bin cleaned
  • Treats put into Kilner jar
  • baby gate placed around the stairs
  • dog cage cleaned and disinfected
  • dog bed washed and dried
  • my bedroom puppy proofed
  • Crate set up for Dembe to sleep in
  • Batteries bought for my mobility scooter
  • throw bought for Dembe’s crate
  • Batteries fitted in Scooter
  • Pine handles removed from the Irish Dresser and replaced with metal ones.


Friday 11th January

Awful nights sleep, between 9pm and midnight I am constantly waking up. From midnight until 1am nightmares / flashbacks surrounding the passing of both our dogs. Its too distressing for me to even talk about at the moment. I know that it is my subconscious attempting to process what has happened but on the night before you are travelling to pick up your new addition and need to be with it and not groggy.

Jay joined me downstairs at 5am, thankfully he had slept, especially when he would be doing a round trip of approx 220 miles today.

We ended up leaving early as we were ready to go and we needed fuel etc. Thank goodness we did as we got stuck in a traffic jam for nearly 30 minutes on the M4. We arrived bang on 11am at Braodleaf Gun dogs.

It took me until Dembe was on my lap in the car on the way home for me to fully accept that he was ours. I had been so frightened all week that I wouldn’t be able to love him, that we were rushing things. Within ten minutes of having him in my arms my heart had melted. He was an absolute angel in the car. We had been prepared for a projectile puking pup due to travel sickness but there was nothing. He slept and snored the whole way home.

He spent the majority of the journey home lying in my arms snoring.

Who wouldn’t fall instantly in love with him?

As soon as we got home we took him straight out onto the patio, he was such a good boy and went for a wee. I thought he was finished and brought him back in. Unfortunately he wasn’t and had a wee on the kitchen rug. That was my error not his. He has been brilliant on the toilet training front. It is just a case of watching him and knowing, on waking, after eating, after playing he will need to go outside to go to the toilet.

His first meal was fun, he needs to learn some table manners but he was very hungry bless him as we had driven through his lunch time.

After his lunch he had a nap

He is cuddled up to his comfort blanket provided by the breeder. When we bred dogs we did the same thing and provided tea towels that were left in the whelping box and in the dogs bed so that it is filled with the scents of their litter mates and mum. It helps to provide them with something recognisable in their new home. Dembe has loved having his and is one of the items he has played with the most since arriving home.


We had our first visitors also this afternoon, a friend and his 3 year old son, Dembe took it all in his stride. He was pretty tired from the car journey so spent most of the visit asleep on my friends chest.

As Dembe wasn’t wearing a collar we decided that we would start getting him used to a collar as soon as possible. So later that day we put on a very soft puppy collar. I was expecting him to throw a hissy fit but he was fine. In fact he didn’t seem to notice it at all. Which has pleased me no end as some pups can be an absolute nightmare to deal with whilst you are getting them used to them.


He was a very good boy overnight….apart from my husband putting him on the bed as he was chewing his wooden crate! He settled very quickly. We went to bed at 9pm, took him out for a wee at midnight and then out again for a poo at 2.45am. After that we all slept through until 06.30am. He had been being fed around 6am at the breeders but I am hoping to move his body clock around a bit as 7am is more acceptable to me! I only woke up because I had set an alarm on my phone.

Saturday 12th January:

Dembe was on the go from the minute he got up. He went straight out for a wee, ate his breakfast with gusto and then had a poo! good lad.

We had to get cracking today as we had quite a few people lined up to pay us a visit. We wanted to get Dembe’s socialisation off to a flying start so that he is a happy confident dog. The breeder has provided us with a checklist of things we need to try and cover over the next 4 weeks – this is where he will still be fearless and new experiences accepted more easily than after this period. From 16 weeks it is much harder for a puppy to accept new experiences without fear and it will take much more work to build his confidence. Having had dogs that were terrified of their own shadow, we really want Dembe to be confident and know he can trust us completely.

As we don’t have children we are arranging for lots of our friends that do have kids to bring them over and meet him. I put a request out on social media for people who were willing to help to contact me. Its been so successful that I have had to create his own social calendar to keep up with who is coming when. We basically need the house to be like Piccadilly circus, with just Jay and I it is too quiet and not a place a pup would learn to cope with a lot of noise or visitors. Next week he has a play date with new people including children and dogs practically every day next week. We are also planning outings for him so that he can get accustomed to different noises and environments.

This evening Dembe is shattered, he has met 7 different people ( in our home) including one delivery man and three children. He has coped brilliantly with all of it. My friend Sarah took some wonderful photos of him



I took this one of him earlier in the day…what a bizarre way to sleep!

We also managed to squeeze in another visit to Pets at Home for a car harness for him. There he met another 6 people including children so in total he met 13 different people. He took it all in his stride.


Sunday 13th January:

Every day since his arrival Dembe has become much more confident in his environment. Today he is now zooming around the lounge and kitchen at full pelt like a maniac. Hubby and I are in stitches at his antics. He reminds us in lots of ways of Mollie, Frankie and Willow. Dembe’s waggy tail when eating and drinking is exactly like Mollie used to do. Frankie never liked to be cuddled to sleep, if I ever tried to pet him he would get up and move away. The rest of the time Frankie would be soppy as hell and Dembe is exactly the same, he doesn’t like to be touched when he is trying to sleep. The rest of the time he loves cuddles. He is very much like Willow in the way he will go to anyone to have some attention. We always used to call Willow the cuddle whore, he is no different. He is very happy being stroked and adored, even by complete strangers. Its really nice to see his personality developing.

This morning he had his first shower. As we don’t have a bath, as physically I can’t get in and out of it, it was important that he gets used to having a shower. I quickly had a shower, Jay held Dembe just outside of the shower cubicle for a bit so he could hear the water running and know that it was ok. He then placed Dembe on my lap he sat very still, I was worried he may panic and tear my skin to shreds but he was so well behaved. Jay applied a small amount of shampoo and got him washed off. After his shower Jay towel dried him. We were both amazed at how quickly he dried off. He enjoyed the hairdryer as well which was nice, as none of our dogs have ever liked having a bath or having the hairdryer near them so we wanted to make a massive effort with Dembe so that he can be bathed as and when necessary.

He is coping well with all the strange noises being in a new environment brings. He is no longer scared of the hoover, this morning I kept him on my lap as he looked quite keen to give it a bit of a chase whilst Jay used it. He has also been exposed to the steam mop this morning and he couldn’t work that out. He is fine with the washing machine and tumble dryer, they have been in action since Friday.

Today I lay on the floor whilst he played with his two current favourite toys, a teething ring and a small duck toy with a tugger rope coming off the end. I wanted to take a photo for the blog but what I ended up with was this!

He came charging towards me tail wagging furiously and then tried to nibble the phone!


His favourite game at the moment seems to be dragging his puppy bed into the centre of the room which is quite a feat as it is much larger than him. We keep joking we will have to put a house brick in the bottom of it.

We’ve had a reasonably quiet day today as Jay and I are really feeling it after all the loss, sleepless nights and many visitors. Even Dembe seems knackered today and has slept a lot.

Dembe has met 4 new people today, my next door neighbours and my good friend Heather and her daughter Sophie. He was great with all of them.

On top of having a shower today he has also had his nails clipped. Due to having Ehlers Danlos Syndrome my skin is very fragile, as he isn’t really walking anywhere that would get his nails to wear down naturally I had to clip them today as he has scratched me a few times accidentally. I am always weary of puppy nails after Willow sliced my eye lid open ( you could see the fat under the skin), due to it being in the crease all that could be done was steri strips applied and kept on for a week. It was quite painful! So now as soon as puppy nails seem to get too long or start snagging on clothing I like to just snip the ends off with a pair of human nail clippers. By doing this on a regular basis it also gets the dog used to having his feet handled and means you can trim nails when they are an adult without them getting wound up and possibly snapping at you.

It feels like we have had Dembe here for weeks but in reality its really just been two whole days. By the time this is published he will have been with us 3 days. It feels like a whirlwind. He has settled in so well and loves us both rather than favouring one of us over the other. He has really helped Jay cope with his feelings of loss and depression since losing his girl Mollie. He does provide me with a focus but the sadness of losing Frankie and Mollie in such quick succession is still there. I still have the odd cry and I am sure I will for years to come.

My anxiety is still quite bad as I am panicking about doing things right and whether or not we have done enough training with him and then I realise its been just a little over 60 hours and Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Next week we have quite a few visits scheduled both at home and visiting others. He also needs to see the vet for a new puppy check and to book in for his next lot of vaccinations.

Meet Dembe

Love at first sight

We met Dembe on January 7th 2019. We had two puppies to choose from. Jamie my husband had literally fallen apart in front of me when his dog Mollie had passed away just two days prior to our visit. It had been particularly horrific and I think it will haunt us for years to come.

I felt that as I had chosen our first dog Travis back in 2003, well actually he chose me, it was Jays turn to choose our new dog. The breeder handed Jay one of the pups ( now Dembe ) whilst I played with the other pup whilst sat on the floor. Every so often I would take a sneaky glance at Jay and I could see that he and Dembe had chosen each other. My opinion didn’t matter as long as Jay was happy.

I hoped that this little ball of fluff and sharp teeth would help my husband and me heal. Our hearts had been shattered in the space of two weeks. The house was empty and we were so lost. It seemed that having to wait until Friday 11th January would take forever to arrive, even though it was just days away.