W/C 16th December 2019

Monday 16th December

Just to give you all a heads up the blog aka me will be taking a break over the Christmas and New year period, so this will be the last blog post of 2019. We obviously have Christmas and then we will have the first anniversaries of Frankie 29th December and then Mollie 5th January, passing and to be fair I just want to spend time with Jay and Dembe quietly remembering them both. It is difficult as well with them both being on a Sunday which is the day I normally type up the blog from the hard copy I have kept during the week. So the blog will be back up and running on Monday 13th January 2020. I will do a round up of Christmas and New year in that post and of course there will be lots of photos.

If you are missing Dembe you can keep up to date with him on his Facebook page The Dembe Diaries, where odd bits and pieces will be posted during this period.

Dembe was out early for a walk today as Jay was on his usual silly o’clock start time today. Dembe then came straight back to bed and we slept until after 7am. Nearly a lie on!

I did some sewing today well embroidery really. Dembe amused himself whilst I was at the machine. He was incredibly excited when his dried cows ears arrived today. I got him a bag of 50! That should keep him chewing for a while.

I found out this evening that I have won a doggy treat hamper ( contents worth £80 ) . The competition was a quiz that was being run to celebrate being in business for 15 years. Happy dogs made the announcement via their Facebook page.

I was so surprised and very chuffed as it took me ages to find all the answers to the quiz.

Tuesday 17th December

Busy day here as today is Jays last day off before Christmas, which seems crazy but yes Christmas is next week. He has lots of jobs to do one of them being picking up the hamper from Happy Dogs!

Mike and Alison popped over at 10.15am with a card and a present for Dembe. He is such a spoiled boy. I am so grateful to all the people who buy him things. We all can’t thank you enough.

He was walking around carrying this doing the typical Labrador whole body wag. Every time anyone looked like they might try to take it off him he put his head down and turned away. He did keep going up on the sofa trying to give Alison a kiss.

Jay brought back the hamper which was enormous

It was filled with lots of brilliant things. There is a new lead which will be fab for agility training. There is a high viz vest for Dembe to wear when it is dark on his early morning or evening walks. Lots of toys, a tugger, some balls, treat dispenser and Dembe’s absolute favourite a dinky duck, for my dinky dot.

He also really likes the tub of dried meaty treats, full of gorgeous sounding things like Tripe sticks and Beef Trachea. Stinky as hell but he absolutely loves it. There were so many lovely things in the hamper it was brilliant and a wonderful surprise.

Wednesday 18th December

Uncle Paul popped over very early this morning, thankfully after Dembe had his walk. I gave Dembe a cows ear to chomp on and get him to calm down as he tends to get very over excited with Paul. Probably because he visits us the most and we don’t tend to get many visitors. Paul said how much calmer he was so hopefully that’s a tool in our arsenal.

Jay is on a late night tonight so Dembe hasn’t slept much this morning as when his pack is all together he likes to get as much attention from them as possible.

I managed to get some machine embroidery done in the afternoon as Dembe conked out, As soon as I finished and sat on the sofa he jumped on me and grabbed my thumb.

He has done this since he was a tiny pup, he just sits there holding it in his mouth. He is such a quirky little thing.

Something he loves to do when it is just me and him at home on an evening is to emoty his toy box out completely and scatter his toys all over the lounge floor.

As it was just me and the boy we went up to bed early. The weather is absolutely rotten and as if by magic the wind really started up making lots of noise and causing the loft hatch to bang and the letter box to rattle. This upset Dembe and he started to bark and then run down stairs and bark. He wasn’t frightened he was guarding me bless him and he takes that job very seriously. Eventually he settled back down and went to sleep on my lap.

Thursday 19th December

This bloody rain it never seems to stop. I have decided to ask Santa for a dinghy or a small sail boat as driving anywhere will be impossible if this continues. Jay braved it and took Dembe out for an early walk as he is on a 6am start again. Dembe came back to bed after being dried off and stayed with me until gone 7am.

Dembe has been knackered today and slept much of the day which has been great for me as I have been able to crack on with my embroidery machine quilt.

Jay is out to the cinema this evening and it has left Dembe very unsettled. He has cried for Jay He really does love having his pack together. Eventually he settled down and went to sleep Velcro’d to my side. He raced downstairs when Jay got in at 11pm, thankfully he didn’t bark.

Friday 20th December

As you all know form reading previous posts, Dembe has a thing about his vegetable toys. At the moment he is mad keen on his sprout again. As we know he loves this toy we couldn’t resist buying this sprout Christmas decoration for him when we saw it a few weeks ago.

I spent a bit of time today finishing up sewing jobs ready for Christmas . So Dembe had to entertain himself. He was in a playful mood so in the evening we had a long game of find it as Jay was on his second late night of the week. By the time we toddled off to bed Dembe was shattered.

Saturday 21st December

Jay was on an early today so he took Dembe out for a quick walk up the common in the dark. Dembe has got used to going out at night / in darkness, so isn’t as bothered as he used to be and will leave the car. When he was smaller he would refuse to leave the house before 7am! I won a high viz vest in the Hamper so we have been using that as well as his bicycle light and it makes it much easier for Jay to see him.

We had a cuddly afternoon

Dembe went to sleep on the coats at 4,30pm desperately wanting his dad to come home so he could have a walk.

Sunday 22nd December

Its been a busy day today with Christmas right around the corner. We had friends come over. Liam who is 6 played football with Dembe using his sprout toy as the ball. By the time Liam left Dembe was shattered he had a wonderful time.

I just want to say to everyone thank you for the reading Dembe’s blog, thank you for the likes and comments. Merry Christmas and Happy new year. See you all in January 2020.

W/C 19th August 2019

Monday 19th August

Dembe was a very sleepy boy today. We seem to have days where he is manic and days where he sleeps all day long. He either likes to sleep on me / next to me or on the small sofa in the lounge, scooched up on cushions.

For some reason today Dembe wanted to bark at everything, no idea what was bothering him but every little noise he heard that came from outside was being barked at. Noises like kids playing, neighbours talking, cars driving past were being barked at . He was even running upstairs and barking out of Jays bedroom window which is something Mollie used to do. It was very strange. He also spent a lot of time in his favourite place on the window ledge.

We did have lots of cuddles which was gorgeous. I managed to capture this photo and I realised how much it looked like a photo I took 9 months ago when he was 9 weeks old.

When we got back from taking Dembe out for his walk this evening we came across a curled up hedgehog on our front garden. We managed to get Dembe inside without seeing it.

We took him across the road to my neighbours house as their garden although enclosed backs on to a lane where it would be safer and more full of food sources for him / her. I checked him over and there were no parasites or open wounds.

Tuesday 20th August

Dembe didn’t wake up until 5.30am for his breakfast, Jay was so out of it when I woke him he started having a go at me for letting him oversleep by an hour. I didn’t say anything as I knew he was still half asleep. He had woken up thinking it was Monday. He did apologise later and said he had got confused and was convinced he was going to be late for work.

When Dembe woke up for the second time he was determined to have all the pack together, so he went into Jays room to wake him up.

A friends husband popped up today to borrow my wheelchair for his wife Julie. She is recovering from a huge operation on her ankle and can’t weight bare at all at the moment. Get well soon Julie. Dembe was really shy with Nigel to begin with, we think it is because we don’t have many male visitors to the house and not ones he doesn’t know. Dembe kept running over to me and standing over me. We haven’t seen him act like that before ( but with the barking yesterday he seems a bit out of sorts) . By the time Nigel left, Dembe adored him and was playing tug, ball and kissing Nigel. It was very sweet. After Nigel left Dembe was shattered.

We had a lovely walk together in the afternoon, we went out longer than normal which was good fun, although my mobility scooter really didn’t like the gradient. Dembe led the way all the way around our little circuit. He went straight to sleep when we got in and we had to wake him up for dinner.

We needn’t have worried about him being so tired as he got a second wind about two hours later and we were playing out in the garden with him.

Wednesday 21st August

Dembe had breakfast at 5am, Dembe had been stirring for a while. Jay decided to stay up as he was taking Dembe out for a walk before work. Either Dembe settled or I was so knackered that I went back to sleep and I didn’t wake up until they got back from their walk at the model airfield.

As Dembe hates going out for an early walk Jay had to bribe him with two cocktail sausages to get him out of the front door. He really isn’t a morning dog! Just as well Jay went out early, as part way through the walk he got a call to ask him to go in earlier. Good for us as it means he will be home earlier .

Dembe is following around the house, to the point I am tripping up on him. I am really suffering bad headaches at the moment due to my neck coming out of alignment when I sleep and I am sure Dembe is picking up on the fact it makes me feel so rotten.

He was again on the window ledge watching the world go by!

Uncle Paul popped over today to collect a parcel that I had delivered here for him. Dembe was over excited, he just loves Paul so much he gets silly. He embarrassed himself as he knocked Paul’s coffee into his lap ( thank god it didn’t burn him) as he brought his football over for Paul to throw for him but barged into him. I could have died. Paul took it in his stride and said it didn’t matter. I really wish that Dembe didn’t get so excited when he see’s some people as he then ends up behaving like a hooligan until he calms down.

I managed to finish the quilting on my quilt today. It still needs bound but the hardest part is done. Dembe has been so well behaved whilst I have done this and just entertained himself or slept whilst I worked on it.

Thursday 22nd August

Oh my days my head is even worse today. I am having to wear my soft collar a lot of the time to keep the pressure off my neck. Dembe is being very good and looking after me. Jay is on a late night so got Dembe out nice and early for a good walk.

He has been on the window sill every day this week, at least twice a day. He loves it there.

I went up to bed at 7pm but Dembe wouldn’t come up with me. He has started waiting for Jay to come home so refuses to move away from the small sofa by the front door. He won’t come up to bed now until Jay gets home after 10pm. I hate it as Frankie and Mollie always used to come up to bed with me, it feels weird being in bed by myself. Willow would always wait for her dad so would sleep on the landing or half way down the stairs so she could see him get in before everyone else. He only started doing this last week. I had hoped it was a one off. I hope at some point he decides to stay with me until his daddy gets in. But I won’t force him to stay upstairs.

Friday 23rd August

Dembe woke me up at 6.30am by dropping a tennis ball on my face! Not even remotely funny, I haven’t had a great nights sleep and he has been crying trying to wake me up since he came back upstairs after his breakfast.

As Jay is on a 10-7 shift he got Dembe up the common quite early. He went to the model airfield again where they met another Labrador aged 17 months called Sid. They had a crazy time playing together, they played chase which is Dembe’s favourite. By the time he got home he was hot and knackered.

We have been messing around today having cuddles on the bed. My head yest again is crap so I have been lying down on and off trying to ease the feeling of pressure at the base of my skull. During one of these play periods Dembe has managed to scratch my arm with his dew claw. My skin is very fragile due to Ehlers Danlos Syndrome so what would be a normal scratch on others is this on me

As the weather is really nice I got Dembe’s paddling pool out. He went crazy! I haven’t seen him like that since the garden was revamped and he got to play on it for the first time! He was running to the back of the garden and then leaping into the paddling pool. For his own safety in the end I had to turn the hosepipe off as I was terrified he was going to slip and then really injure himself. We still had fun out in the garden though. Just calmer fun. I also got his solar fountain out and had that running.

Saturday 24th August

This photo really made me laugh today

Especially when captioned with “Truth be told Dembe was never going to win the World Championship of Hide & Seek” or “has anyone seen Dembe? I can’t find him”. He is such a silly sausage sometimes all Jay and i can do is laugh at him.

My arm is looking a bit of a mess today as more of the bruising has come out. Thankfully it isn’t hurting anymore.

My head was muzzy again today so I have taken it quite easy, well as easy as I could manage. In the evening we went over to my parents van after Dembe had his walk. He had a good game of chase with Maggie going crazy and stealing her raw hide again.

Sunday 25th August

Dembe having a snooze after his walk up the common with daddy this morning. Today they went to Woodbury castle but as it was early and very misty they didn’t see another soul the whole time they were out.

As I am writing up this week’s diary entries into his Blog, Dembe has got on the window sill and is watching me work. He likes lying so that his nose is almost touching my shoulder. He looks like he is reading what I am writing!

Jay is on holiday now for a week so we shall be spending lots of time together, which Dembe will love. He loves his pack being all together,

W/C 24th June 2019 2nd week of Holiday

Monday 24th June

This is Jays second week of his holiday, Dembe has really enjoyed having us both home. Jay took him out early for his walk and then at around 10am we went to the local garden centre (different one from last week) . We had a wander around the grounds and then we went to the cafe as they had an easily accessible outside area.

I’d give Dembe a 7/10 for his behaviour at the garden centre as I wish he would just learn to settle down rather than be terrified he is missing out on something. We actually call him FOMO ( fear of missing out) . He did bark and although it was embarrassing I am going to give him a pass for this one. There was a lady being pushed in a squeaky wheel chair. It sounded just like one of Dembe’s squeaky toys. As soon as she was pushed past her Dembe gave a couple of barks. We know he doesn’t have issues with wheelchairs, he has seen me in mine, he saw loads at the hospital last week. The barking was triggered by the squeaking.

He did cry a few times and he spent the time moving between Jay and I getting treats. The staff were telling us how well behaved he was for such a young dog. Although he let himself down by jumping up at the waitress when she brought a tray over. Again that is also our fault because Jay had given him too much lead.

After the garden centre we popped to the vets to get Dembe weighed as we have cut down his food due to the amount of treats he is getting due to training and to prevent him from getting fat. He weighed in at 26.6kg so his weight gain has slowed, we don’t want him losing weight we just don’t want him packing it and getting tubby.

The vet popped his head around the door and gave him a quick once over and he said that he is still growing so not to panic. He is big for a labrador, just to check I measured him against one of my quilting rulers and from the floor to his shoulder is 23 inches so just under 2ft at the shoulder. The vet told us to keep doing what we are doing.

Tuesday 25th June

I was knackered after all our running around yesterday so haven’t written much in his dairy for today. We spent the afternoon lying on my bed which he always loves.

He had his first taste of Lamb breast bone today which he loved and polished off very quickly.

He spent a bit of time in the garden in his favourite chair as well.

Wednesday 26th June

Oh dear Dembe doesn’t seem to get on with Lamb. He had a couple of runny poos this morning. Thankfully last weekend I bought some stuff to settle canine dicky tums so we gave him a syringe full of that, which he happily took. It did the trick as his stomach calmed right down and his poos went back to being firm. Probably TMI

The little toad had me up at the crack of dawn – 5.30am and refused to go back to sleep. Within 30 minutes of being downstairs he was on his back snoring his head off. Why this wasn’t possible to achieve upstairs I have no idea. Who knows what goes on in the canine mind other than how to get mummy wrapped around my paws.

We had obedience training this evening and he did really well. He did have a bit of a bark tonight ( all the dogs did at some point) but that was because we were right by the five bar gate at the entrance of the barn and he could see the farm cat wandering around the yard. It was winding him up no end mainly because he has never seen a cat before.

We made a bit of a boo boo before class and gave him his usual walk. He found a six month old puppy to play with so by the time we got to class he was hot and in play mode rather than work mode so we took the first 20 minutes just getting him to the right level of energy to work.

It was quite funny as the trainer kept going on about the sound of the fridge door, I think me telling him about this last week had tickled him. Dembe no matter where he is in the garden or house will come to you in the kitchen if you open the fridge door. We use it quite often if he is refusing to come indoors or if he is upstairs. It is funny that one of our recall commands is the sound of the fridge opening.

We found out this evening that we have been putting his lead on incorrectly some of the time. It is annoying because in the instructions it doesn’t state there is a wrong way and a right way. It just assumes that everyone will walk their dog on their left. Jay is right handed but dominant left hand – I know that is weird right, so he walks Dembe on the right. Which means the lead needs putting on slightly differently. The trainer has shown us how to do it so we both know now how it goes on. Hopefully it will be a lot more comfortable for Dembe now.

I can’t get over how big he looks in this photo.

Thursday 27th June

Yesterday we put the gazebo up and sorted out the garden ready for our BBQ on Saturday afternoon / evening. Dembe was a really good boy and stayed plonked on his chair whilst it was all done. He was a bit annoyed that his paddling pool was emptied but was thrilled as soon as it started to be filled up again.

It was crazy hot yesterday so we didn’t walk him a second time . We kept hosing him down and playing in the paddling pool, he was more than happy. Even I was struggling at times with the heat and came over faint a few times. Dembe has been using his cooling mat a lot at the moment.

Friday 28th June

Dembe is 33 weeks old today, it seems a lifetime ago that he was a little tiny bundle of energy.

I am dreading Jay going back to work next week as Dembe is crying constantly when Jay leaves the house to go shopping etc. He really loves the “pack” being all together. The crying constantly has only started this week and as you can imagine is highly irritating . He has only ever cried once when Jay has gone to work and that was when he was tiny and it lasted only 30 seconds. Now he will stand at the window for ages.

It is very warm again today but with some gusty wind it is making it more bearable for me and the mutt. Todays activity has mainly been standing on the sofa and barking out of the window.

We went over to my parents caravan this afternoon and Dembe had another play with Maggie. He was shattered after that and was flat out in the back of the car.

Just as well as we will be having an early night due to having friends over tomorrow for a BBQ.

Saturday 29th June

Dembe doesn’t know quite what to make of what is happening in the house as stuff is being moved and cleaned etc. He got very excited at one point and was running around like a loon. We had to stop him as he had been in his paddling pool and we were terrified he was going to slip over and hurt himself.

His new ID tag came in this morning’s post. I wasn’t expecting it until next week as I only ordered it yesterday. I love it. I have wanted a copper coloured ID tag for him for ages but just couldn’t find one I really liked.

It was really strange as the tag the design had on Etsy used the name Frankie. Which was the name of my beloved boy who passed away at the end of December 2018. Another weird coincidence there have been so many with Dembe.

Dembe was brillaintly behaved during the BBQ only once jumping up trying to get someones food. He was fascinated with beer though and we caught him a few times trying to drink out of any glasses that were on the floor. He kept us all amused with his crocodile throwing antics especially when he managed to throw him straight into his outdoor water bowl.

He was so tired by the time everyone left at 10.20pm that Jay had to carry him up to bed.

Sunday 30th June

Dembe was shattered and didn’t wake up for breakfast until Jay woke up at 6.30am in a panic thinking he hadn’t locked the front door last night ( he had drunk rather a lot). Dembe came straight up to bed afterwards and only got up at 9am because I got up. I had struggled to get to sleep last night and was still awake at 2am this morning,

Dembe really doesn’t want to move at all today and is just very cuddly. I am so proud of the way he behaved last night. He was so much calmer around my friends little boy Liam and when Liam fell asleep on the sofa Dembe stayed in the lounge with him guarding him. Dembe stayed on the sofa opposite so he could have a full view of the lounge and could keep an eye on Liam.

We had lots of lovely feedback from our guests at how well behaved Dembe was and that his training was paying off. It was lovely to have such a calm dog that didn’t bat an eyelid as people wandered into the house unannounced as I told all our guests just to come straight in. Not that he ever barks at the door anyway.

All of us have pretty much spent the day like this! Have a good week folks.