Today marks the first day of Jay’s holiday from work, he has the next 7 days off. For his first day off however he had to make himself scarce as I was holding my second meeting of The Stitchin’ Bitches, the craft group I founded. Dembe was beside himself, he simply adores all the attention he was getting from all the ladies.
One of my friends had made scones and brought clotted cream and jam. Dembe was being given bits of everyone’s scones on the sly. It is a wonder he could move after.
It was really sweet how he focused his attention onto Imogen, who had lost her own dog Bors, just a month earlier. I remember how Bors had comforted Jay and I after losing our dogs last year. It was beautiful to see Dembe giving all that love to Imogen.
For some reason when it is just Jay and I in the house Dembe has decided to be very naughty and just bark all the bloody time. It is driving us crazy.
Tuesday 25th February
Dembe was knackered after yesterday and was quite happy to snooze all day long. Jay and I needed to make a start on decorating his bedroom after planning that this would be our job during his holiday. Dembe however was not impressed that he wasn’t allowed to be in the same room as us 100% of the time whilst furniture etc was moved.
He is really barky again today and has now started howling when Jay leaves the house . He gets very upset when Jay ( not in uniform leaves him at home). When Jay is in and out of the house wearing his work uniform he is fine but oh my days it is the end of the world when his dad goes out to the shops and we are left. He really does love his whole pack being together silly monkey.
Today I cooked Dembe Mackerel and potato bake from the Lilys Kitchen cookbook. It was supposed to be sardines but I didnt have any tins of those. Bloody hell it stank the house out but he seemed to enjoy it!
Tonight we had dog training, on the whole it was a very good session but Dembe is still being a bugger with his barking. Martin gave us another technique to try with him when he starts barking. We are to ignore him and start talking to each other. If he continues to bark we are to leave the room. It worked at training with just the talking. The minute he realised we weren’t taking any notice he gave up – after about three barks. I will be very interested to see if this will work at home as the barking is becoming a real problem as it is all the time.
There were a few people absent from the training session this week so there were only 3 dogs which was nice as it meant each person had a larger area to work in. Tonight we were working on recall past temptations. Both boy dogs ( Dems included) were heavily distracted by a scent on the floor of the barn tonight. I have a sneaky suspicion that a female dog in another class maybe coming into season – could be a few weeks off yet but Frankie could always pick up on Willows seasons at least 5 weeks before they started. As a result Dembe disgraced himself by having a wee on the floor, it was a scent rather than a full bladder empty thank goodness but still embarrassing.
Dembe did really well on the recall past distractions and Martin pulled Jay aside during the session to tell him what an excellent trainer he was becoming and that it has been a joy watching not only the bond between him and Dembe grow but also Jays confidence as a trainer. Jay of course will never believe that for a second. But it is nice to have it confirmed by Martin.
Wednesday 26th February
Dembe was knackered after yesterdays training session. This week so far Dembe has been really good at not getting us up at the crack of dawn and waiting until 6.40am – which is a lie on these days!
He has been much better behaved today whilst we are continuing sorting out his daddys bedroom. Much less barking and he took himself off to my room and went to sleep.
For the first time in around 17 years we have managed to paint and not get anything on a dog! We are all knackered.
Dembe is really enjoying his home cooked meals again now we have added in another 3 dishes to his menu. He was getting fed up when we were down to just two different flavours.
Thursday 27th February
Dembe really hasn’t been happy about his dad going out and leaving both me and him at home. Weirdly when Jay is in his work uniform Dembe doesn’t react but in his civvies it is the end of the world for Dembe.
Another day of decorating, Dembe has been very good and has been obeying the leave and stay commands. Today whilst we were working he could lie on Jays bed and watch us. We removed the carpet, vinly and underlay from Jays room today. Dembe found that very strange indeed and had to sniff every inch of the exposed floorboards.
It has been quite sad for us in some ways decorating the bedroom. This was the room where Frankie and Willow were born, along with the rest of the first litter and the second litter. The Vinyl was laid for the puppies and the whelping box to make it easier for us to clean up after them. Jay gets very attached to these things and it has hurt his heart this week and made him very quiet. On a number of occasions I have had to explain to him that memories are held in our hearts and minds not objects. The house can’t be a shrine forever and it is time no matter how hard to move on now that we have had Dembe for over a year. It isn’t fair on him to live in the other dogs shadows.
Friday 28th February
Dembe spent the time laying in the hallway with his toes just inside the bedroom – the room he wasn’t allowed to come into! If he wasn’t there he was on my bed sleeping. He reminds me so much of our first dog Travis who was so good with things like that and was more than happy to spend the time sleeping on our bed.
He has been beautifully behaved for such a young pup ( he is 15 months) . He can be trusted not to be getting himself into trouble, even when it goes silent. The only other dog that we could trust like that was Travis. Mollie, Frankie and Willow were all destroyers. Silence meant sofas, kitchen units or Xbox ones were being destroyed.
I think all this rain is getting to Dembe now, after every walk he needs to be hosed off. He is now running onto the gravel and has to be coaxed back so he can be washed off. Yet if it was a muddy pool on the common he would be straight in there.
Saturday 29th February
Its a leap year and to celebrate Dembe woke us up by vomiting bile all over the hall carpet, my carpet and the stair carpet at 4.30am! Deep bloody joy! No idea what the issue is but he was given a zantac and that sorted out his tummy and he has kept everything down ever since. Although he was very suspicious of the cheese triangle that the zantac was hidden in so I fed it to him in small pieces.
At around 10am I noticed that Dembe had the tiniest little fleck of paint on his tail. So we haven’t got away with no paint on him but it is the smallest amount ever!
At around 10.30am the people arrived to collect Jays treadmill that we had sold to them. Another memory leaving the house this week. When Frankie was a pup I had him trained to use the treadmill on the command of jog jog. Again this has hit Jay hard and made him very sad. To be honest I will be the same when my room is done. There is a huge patch of stained carpet at the end of my bed. This was where Travis our first dog was really poorly when he was dying. I have never been able to replace the carpet despite the massive stain on it. Silly what things we hang onto and the importance they can hold.
We are having a day off from the decorating today. Dembe is making the most of it by snuggling up to each of us in turn. He was a right flirt when the young lads were here to collect the treadmill. One of the youngsters was very enamoured with him. Dembe was going a bit crazy jumping between the sofas and having a cuddle. At least now there will be load of room on Jays floor for Dembe’s wicker basket.
We are all feeling a little knackered from our 4.30am puking dog alarm call this morning.
As Jay was on an early we got up just after 4am and took Dembe out . It was raining and when Jay went to get Dembe out of the car he refused to move, he lay down as flat as he could to make it as difficult as possible for Jay to get him. Jay managed to get him out of the car in the end but Dembe made it very clear he wasn’t impressed by walking extremely slowly and only speeding up when he realised he was on the way back to the car. This is the first time he has ever kicked off about not wanting to go out. To be honest I can’t blame him.
I managed to find another of Dembe’s baby teeth this morning.
He was chewing his antler chew whilst sitting on my lap, as he was chewing I spied a tooth sat between his gum and his cheek. So I quickly fished it out. He wasn’t very happy as he is quite possessive over his teeth.
He has spent most of today outside in the garden destroying the few plants I have in containers. I am sure he thinks his name is “Dembe No!” He also attempted to dig a hole in the gravel by lifting up the heavy duty membrane underneath. Basically he has been a bit of a sod all day. I am beginning to wonder if maybe we have hit the teenage years already! As Dembe No used to work immediately, now he carries on whilst he thinks about it.
At 2pm he collapsed after being on the go constantly and went to sleep for two hours solid! Which meant I got to watch the latest episode of GOT without any interruptions.
Tuesday 30th April
Well a miracle happened today after being let out at 4am for the toilet Dembe slept until 7.11am. That is the latest he has ever slept as normally he is fussing from 5am for his breakfast. He has done that ever since he came home with us since January 11th. Jay and I are in shock we feel really behind all morning as after 7am is really late for us to get up currently.
Dembe got taken to Woodbury Castle for a walk and had a lovely play with a Golden Retriever. He had a really good run around and as soon as he got home he fell asleep on the sofa.
This afternoon Dembe had a play with the hosepipe, he got soaked but he does love it.
Removing his cage has certainly reduced the humping we were having to endure. We left what we had nicknamed his sex bed in the lounge in case he “needed” it but he has only mounted it on a handful of occasions.
He has been a very good boy as he was left in the house whilst we were in the garden tidying up. As he always does he just puts himself to sleep on the sofa, we have left him for up to an hour before and never come back in to any destruction. I have probably jinxed that now.
As he attacked all my plants yesterday they have now been covered with chicken wire! He isn’t very happy about that.
Wednesday 1st May
As Jay was starting at 9am this morning we were up the common by 7am so that Dembe could have a really good run around off the lead and let off some steam as Jay won’t be back home until after 6pm. He really enjoyed his walk and he made friends with some other dogs and had a nice play. It is so nice ( but equally weird) to have a dog that gets on with other dogs. Our life before with the Weimaraners was spent trying to avoid other dogs as Frankie was nervous aggressive. Now we can go where we like at whatever time we wish because it doesn’t matter if other people are walking by with their dogs nothing bad will happen. It is hard to let go of the nerves that used to accompany dog walks though. Quite often I find myself looking around waiting to see if a dog walker is going to go on the same path as Jay. I have a few times got my phone out to ring him only then remembering he is with Dembe and he doesn’t need an advanced warning that a dog / horse / walkers are approaching.
It was really funny this morning as Jay gave me a kiss goodbye as he was leaving the house. He then said to Dembe “kiss”, well Dembe normally gives Jay a good lick when he says kiss. Today he decided to give Jay’s nose a little nibble instead, which made both of us laugh as this is what Mollie ( our Weimaraner) used to do. Mollie rarely kissed me but she always kissed Jay. She absolutely adored him and would sulk upstairs in his bedroom all day when he was at work. All our boy dogs have always been very affectionate and Dembe is no different. Willow wasn’t really a licker either but she loved both of us equally and would just spend all day going between us both for lots of cuddles.
Ellie came over today she hasn’t seen Dembe for at least 6 weeks so couldn’t believe how much bigger he was. Dembe was really good and wanted to spend as much time with Ellie as he could. Her husband Paul also popped in and Dembe was determined to cover him in kisses too.
In the evening a couple swung by to pick up the land drainage pipe that I had sold to them. They brought their 7 month old Golden Retriever that was about 4 times the size of Dembe. Missy and Dembe hit it off immediately and there was lots of play bows and sniffing of bottoms. We kept hold of Missy whilst her parents loaded up their car. When they had gone Dembe sat by the front door and kept crying, he did this for ages. He wanted his new girlfriend back! In the end I had to distract him with a marrow bone.
Thursday 2nd May
Jay was late night today so he took Dembe up to the Warren and gave him a bigger and different walk than he normally would. Dembe had been like a coiled spring from waking and really needed to burn off some energy or it would have made it really difficult for me to manage him alone all day. After his walk he was pretty shattered and slept the rest of the morning.
I did a side by side comparison of Dembe at aged 8 weeks, 3 days and then 24 weeks, 6 days. It is quite shocking and it is so hard to remember him so tiny.
He is still really funny when he eats, I have never known a dog wag his tail as much as he does. Mollie would always wag her tail when drinking which always made us chuckle. Frankie would wag his tail really quickly but would barely move it and Willow would use her tail as a signally system so much more than the other two did. When you talk to Dembe as he is eating he wags his tail even faster.
Today Dembe really surprised me, I knew he had been up to something as it was so quiet. I came into the lounge and the sofa throw had been really scrunched up. As I sorted it out two pebbles from the back garden fell out. He had brought in two pebbles from the back garden and buried them in the throw. Silly hound. He has always buried stuff but it has mainly been toys hidden in his bed. This is the first time he has brought something from outside to hide in the house.
Friday 3rd May
Dembe is 25 weeks old today. I can’t believe that we have only had him since the 11th January as he is so much part of the family. He is such a happy go lucky dog. At 25 weeks he still loves to come in the shower with me although now he is much more tolerant of being dried off and no longer attacks the towel as you dry him. He loves chewing his antler chews and his raw beef marrow bones. One of his favourite toys is the small toy Sam gave him when they first met. We call it Sam’s baby, he loves the blue plastic spikey shell it came with. I think because it is a different texture in his mouth. He can now get me different toys that I ask for. He knows piggy wiggy, chewie, crocodile and toto ( the dog from my Dorothy costume).
This week we have been keeping him entertained by getting him to find a toy when we have hidden it. He loves searching through the sofa cushions and in all the nooks and crannies.
This morning on waking Dembe was manic. Once he is up he likes all of us to be up, he loves the whole pack being together. If I am the only one up he will repeatedly go upstairs and go into Jays room, licking his hands and eye lids. Today which was a first he jumped onto Jays chest, dropped his antler chew on his face and then started licking his eyelids. Normally Dembe stays on the floor, today he just leapt up on the bed. So Jay really didn’t have much choice in the matter he was getting up. As he was such a live wire we took him straight up the common for a walk.
He had a lovely play with a Labrador cross called Winston. They ran each other ragged.
He must have been having a growing day today as he was asleep for a lot of it.
He was really cuddly all day and just wanted to be wherever I was. He missed his dad today and went crazy when Jay came home at 7.20pm
Saturday 4th May
As Jay was on another early this morning we took Dembe up the common just after 4am. After today I don’t think we will bother doing early morning walks as they are obviously not his thing at all. He refused to get out of the car again, lying as flat as possible to make it hard for Jay to get him. What we will do in future on Jays early shifts is he will have a lead walk around the block on Jays lunch break. I just hope that he isn’t too manic whilst he waits for his first walk. Unless it is for his breakfast Dembe really doesn’t do early mornings.
I’ve no idea what is up with him today but he has been really whingey. As long as he is doing something he wants to do he is fine but the minute he is told no he is moaning. He got his arse in his hand with me this morning at 7am as he got told off for barking at the pigeon on my neighbours roof at 7am.
And then he sits really nicely for you ans looks at you with those big brown eyes and you can’t stay cross for long. Even if he has been giving you lots of attitude since waking.
A sad day today for me and Jay as we learned that one of our first litter of puppies Isa passed away yesterday. She was Frankie and Willow’s sister and was born in 2006, our very first litter. I can’t lie I sobbed my bloody heart out. I know she was the centre of Jodie’s life and I hate the fact that she will be hurting now like we have been. I only kept in touch with a few of the people who had puppies from us. I did try to keep a relationship going with the new owners but many of them didn’t reciprocate. Jodie was among the few that always stayed in touch and I loved seeing the photographs of Isa ( called Isa as that is what the money should have been going in to) as she looked like a combination of all my Weimaraners. A sad day indeed.
Sunday 5th May
Today I woke up really poorly, my dear boy Dembe stayed by my side to ensure I was ok. Jay took him out for a walk to Woodbury Castle where he met the two lady Bulldogs and he had a play with them. Its been a few weeks since he has seen them and their owners couldn’t get over how much he had grown.
We went to a picnic / birthday party this afternoon which was a new experience for Dembe. Lots of children and footballs both of which are his most favourite things ever. Thankfully after 10 minutes of being there he calmed down considerably and behaved like an angel for the rest of the two hours we were there. He even had some off lead time chasing a ball.
As we were going back to the car we bumped into a lady with a Weimaraner called Sasha. We have met her up on the common before when we had the three Weimaraners. Dembe got a little over friendly and Sasha gave him a warning nip. No blood shed, no growling but she made it clear she wasn’t enjoying him being in her face.
After we went to the party we went up to my parents caravan – Dembe was shattered he slept all the way in the car and he really wasn’t happy when Jay woke him up to get him out. He did have a lovely time though playing with my parents Jack Russell Maggie and then meeting Wayne and Hilary who have been wanting to meet him for ages. Thankfully Dembe was on his best behaviour and did us proud.
He ( like me ) has been exhausted for the rest of the day and we are just about to toddle up the stairs for an early night. He has been snoring so loudly lying here on the sofa beside me!
This week marked the start of me having to manage looking after Dembe alone for several hours at a time whilst hubby was at work. Due to the loss of Mollie and Frankie in quick succession, hubby took some time off. The first week he was off he looked absolutely dreadful. He was so lost as his whole life revolved around the dogs. Dembe really helped him cope but hubby knew he needed to get back to work or he would end up in the position where he was fear going back. It was the right thing to do although I was freaking out at the responsibility of looking after Dembe.
Dembe is sleeping well through the night, especially as we tend to be up in bed by 8pm. He is taken out at 10-10.30pm for his last wee / poo then out again at 3-3.30 am and he will then sleep through until 6am at least. This week we will be working on increasing the time between toilet outings as he should be able to hold on longer now as he is getting a bit older.
This morning went by in a flash and was incredibly full on. I am permanently shattered at the moment, it’s the stress of being a new puppy mum, the constant anxiety I am suffering with mixed with the grief of losing Frankie and Mollie which can still be counted in weeks rather than months.
Jay popped in at lunch time with Tracey a friend of ours who he works with, She hadn’t met Dembe yet and absolutely loved him. A few hours later Sarah, Tracey’s daughter popped in. She had last seen him on the 12th January and was amazed at how much he had grown in just over a week.
We had no accidents today on the house training front, for which I am extremely proud. He is a very good boy and will wait for me to reach him rather than just go.
Dembe was very pleased when Daddy got home. I was very lucky he didn’t cry or pine for him whilst he was gone.
Tuesday 22nd January
Today Jay had another early shift, so I was alone from 06.15am with the boy. He is coping very well Jay going to work, Dembe and I spend our days together playing with his toys, using the play sessions to incorporate some training to keep things fun and interesting for him.
Dembe has mastered sit beautifully, we are now working on paw, which we have been doing on and off for a couple of days. I am just waiting for the penny to drop, repetition is key and so is patience. Dogs are funny they can seem like they aren’t getting it at all and then out of the blue they surprise you.
The boy has started hoovering up his meals, they are gone within 3 minutes and he then goes marching back into the kitchen like Oliver Twist. It is hard to resist those big brown eyes pleading with you but I know an over fed puppy can end up with horrendous joint problems in the future due to growing too fast. He certainly isn’t wasting away as I can feel he is heavier.
Daddy came home at lunch time again with a friend – Kat, she fell in love with him as everyone does. He did manage to kill the football he had been barking at by sinking his teeth into it.
In the evening Jay and I sit on the floor and play with him. We call it our bonding time and Dembe loves it.
Wednesday 23rd January
Well today marks another first for Dembe he met his first proper (human) baby. Baby Orla, who is just 6 weeks old came up to visit with her mum Sally. Sally and I used to work together many moons ago and have remained facebook friends. She answered my call when I asked for people to visit with or without children and with dogs etc.
Dembe was incredibly curious of the car seat and what was contained within, I had to hold him by the collar so he didn’t get over excited and then leap into it. I let him have a gentle sniff but wasn’t going to let him jump all over Orla.
It appears Dembe has a jealous streak which was quite amusing, he was not very impressed that Orla was sat on my lap and having a cuddle. He spent a fair amount of time trying to jump up on my lap. Thankfully with him being so dinky he can’t get any higher than my knee. He fell asleep on my foot in the end so he could be close by should I need rescuing from this interloper. I am glad there was no barking or growling from him. I think it was more he was very curious and wanted to know what baby Orla was doing on my lap.
Daddy was on a late finish so this would be a new experience for Dembe and I. Would we be able to occupy ourselves until bed time? Normally when Frankie and Mollie ( and Willow) were alive I would go up to bed around 4pm and watch something on Netflix or listen to the radio. I can’t manage running up and down the stairs with a puppy so I made myself comfortable on the sofa.
We have made great strides forward today, Dembe has now got Paw and will do either foot. We have been working on sit during exciting situations such as playing with a ball. That takes tremendous self control for a pup and he is doing very well.
Thursday 24th January
It was Dembe’s last jabs today. A week today he will be able to go out for walks. We had an early appointment as now we have Dembe there is no such thing as a lie on. Dembe was the first to be seen and John the vet was very impressed with him. He said what a lovely nature he had and how good he was with people. He praised our efforts at socialising him. We do now need to incorporate more socialising with other dogs so he learns doggie etiquette. We are planning to take him to puppy socialisation when he is 14 weeks.
Dembe was so much better on the examination table today and didn’t fuss as much when the vet was looking in his mouth and checking him over. John said what a lovely domed head he has and was asking us where we had got him from. We discussed with the vet about Dembe’s new habit of inhaling his food. I timed him and it is taking him two minutes 40 seconds to eat his 90g of kibble. He is having a lot of hiccups and is guffing a lot! And it’s not pleasant.
We had him weighed to ensure that he isn’t putting on weight too quickly and is growing well. Last week he weighed 5.6kg and this week he weighed 6.5kg so he has put on just under a kilo approx 2.2lbs in old money. John discussed with us slow feeding bowls or trying to give him his meals in two halves. We have decided to go for a slow feeding bowl as we think he will just continue to inhale his food.
This afternoon we ventured out to Pets at home in Exeter ( again I am not relieving any money for mentioning them, other pet shops are available). He got admiring glances again from everyone he came into contact with. We met up with a member of staff that we have seen on every visit and she wanted to put our photo on the stores Facebook page. I look terrible because at the time I was starting to come down with a virus that has knocked me for 6. My throat was feeling like I had swallowed a packet of razor blades and I was aching all over.
We picked up a slow feeder bowl from Pets at Home, Jay didn’t quite understand the principle of a slow feeder and as I was on the phone ( so couldn’t explain to him) he panicked as he felt Dembe couldn’t reach the his food, so tipped it into his normal bowl. Face palm. I ended up also ordering another slow feeder from Amazon.
People are always asking me how Dembe is in the car, he is really good as for the first week he was with us he travelled in the car pretty much everyday. 90% of his car journeys are spent like this.
The rest of the time he sits and plays with his toys. At the moment Dembe is too big for a small car harness and too small for the medium car harness so he stays in his booster seat and on a lead with me travelling in the back with him to ensure there is no wandering around the back seat as he is so little if he fell off the seat he would never get up again.
Thursday was a bitter sweet day for us as it was the day we had Mollie and Frankies ashes returned to us. We both shed a few tears but were pleased that they were finally home.
Friday 25th January
I had hoped that yesterdays sore throat and body aches would disappear overnight and it would just be a one day thing but I have been clobbered by the nasty virus that is going around town at the moment. I am cold one minute boiling hot the next, aching, nose dripping and just feel awful. Thankfully Dembe seems to pick up on the fact that I feel terrible and is really calm and quiet. He spent most of the day lying at my feet on the sofa.
It’s quite spooky as his Uncle Frankie used to sit in this position when I was poorly, obviously Frankie was a lot bigger.
Dembe’s new bowl arrives before lunch time. I am so weak I just about manage to take it out of the box.
As you can see from the constant tail wagging he is really enjoying his new bowl. It has really slowed his eating down, he is hiccuping a lot less and hasn’t been guffing as much either.
As a reward for Dembe being so good all day in the afternoon we had a play on the patio with his new tennis ball. I have been teaching him to sit before I will roll the ball for him.
Saturday 26th January
I was still feeling pretty rotten from this virus today, so hubby did a half day so I could go to bed in the afternoon. I only took one photo of Dembe all day as I was just so tired.
He was a bit manic this afternoon and hubby ended up having to play with him constantly. He also discovered the lounge window ledge and likes sitting on it looking at the outside world. He has also learned how to do the stairs this week. Although he needs to avoid stairs until he is 4 months old he also needs to discover them during this 4 week window so that he doesn’t become scared of them. Our stairs are quite steep so we were quite amazed that he managed them all. We made sure one of us was in front and one behind so that should he stumble we could catch him. He will just be allowed to go upstairs to bed for the time being, rather than being allowed to run up and down them to protect his joints.
He has really been using his front paws a lot this week. He is using them to push things away, wrap around your arm and to drag things towards himself. He is also jumping up a lot more. One target is the food bin in the kitchen that holds his grub. He is very keen to work out how to get into that the little devil.
The last two days he has been a bit whingey, he has got enough confidence now that he is trying it on. He cries at the baby gate that blocks the stairs purely because he wants to go upstairs and explore. He also sits and cries at my feet when I am sat on the small sofa as he wants to go on the window ledge. We are ignoring him as once you give into him you are effectively teaching him that if he sits and cries you will cave and give him what he wants. Having had dogs before I know how stubborn they can be. Mollie would stand and stare at me for 90 minutes trying to get me to give her cocktail sausages from the fridge or any other food treat she fancied. I would just have to ignore her because if I gave in once she would keep doing it – she did it almost daily as this dog was so stubborn and it was a battle of wills. She knew her dad would cave as he worshipped the ground she walked on. Weimaraner’s can be very stubborn. Thankfully it seems Labradors are not as strong willed…. I may have just jinxed myself.
Sunday 27th January
As I am still feeling quite rotten – I now have a cold which has gone into my sinuses ..lucky me, we have had quite a quiet day. However we have been playing lots with Dembe and doing some odd bits of training.
His over excited mouthing is definitely reducing massively, he now very gently takes your fingers in his mouth. That’s a great step forward as initially he was chomping quite hard.
His sit and paw are brilliant in fact he is so good at it he sometimes looks like one of those Cats you see in a Chinese restaurant.
Over the week we have had two accidents, just wee’s which is good. One was Tuesday morning where I lost track of him for a moment and he had a widdle by the front door. He had another accident this afternoon, which was both of our faults, we each assumed the other was watching him, so he watered the rug in the lounge after we missed his signal that he needed out. I am always gutted when this happens as I feel like we have let him down. I know today was particularly challenging as I am still feeling ropey. Dembe is doing so well on the toilet training front and he is consistently going to the back door ( after Tuesday’s incident ) .
Next weeks things to work on is for him to be calmer when his food is put down, so no jumping up. To discourage jumping up on humans, I started working on that this afternoon as he was jumping at my leg, so I would put him on the window ledge. Also to start working on his recall. All these will be done in a fun way as he still is only a tiny baby really. He was ten weeks old on Friday. Of course next Thursday marks the start of him being able to go for a walk.
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.
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
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!
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.
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.