W/C 16th March 2020

Monday 16th March 2020

Morning nap

I have to be honest we have had a very lazy day today. Cuddles on the sofa and snoozing.

Dembe was determined when his dad came home for lunch that he was going to take his sprout toy into the back garden with him.

He is loving his home cooked meals

Tuesday 17th March

Day off with Jay today. It is hilarious when Jay is day off mummy gets completely ignored. He has draped himself all over Jay today.

No visitors today as we are limiting our exposure to the outside world as both me and Jay are more at risk of a severe outcome if we come into contact with Covid-19. We are just attending dog training this evening and only that because it is in a huge barn and we can employ social distancing. We will be having a break after this term ends purely as we will be limiting social exposure.

Tonight at training we learned about canine enrichment and games to play with Dembe if we end up in a lock down situation. It was really good fun and Dembe really enjoyed himself. At one point Dembe managed to slip his lead and he did a a run around the whole of the barn, he looked like a streaker the way he kept looking over his shoulder. He went straight over to his mate Rufus who he adores and all he wants to do is have a play with him! Rufus’ owner was laughing her head off at Dembes antics. He gets so excited when he gets to play games at the training centre.

Dembe was so exhuasted after training he just went to sleep as soon as we got home.

Wednesday 18th March 2020

Well I was expecting Dembe to be like this all morning after last nights escapades

But his actual dosing lasted a very short time indeed. I ended up playing Find it with him for close to 40 minutes . After which I don’t know who was most knackered him or me!

Today was quite a huge day really as I finally bit the bullet and decided to enquire with our dog trainer about dog walking. This is for when Jay is working on a late night as Dembe simply refuses to use the backgarden to go to the toilet. Even having a wee now seems to be out of the question. Jay has started to take him out twice on a day when he is working late before he goes to work. But even then I am left weith Dembe crying on and off from around 5pm until Jay gets in at 9 / 10 pm. It simply isn’t fair on Dembe and it isn’t fair on me as it means my evenings are spent continually getting Dembe out in the back garden to go for a pee which he now flatly refuses to do.

I am also going to get Jay to speak to his friend at work whose wife runs a dog walking service and ask if she can pick up Saturday afternoon walks with Dembe as she could do with an extra client. She has had so many cancellations with people either being made unemployed or now working from home her business is being impacted badly. It will only be about once a month that Jay gets a late night Saturday but it will help Dembe and me and in turn our friend.

waiting for his dad

In the evening the dog walker come over and met Dembe . Dembe went absolutely crazy! Initially he was barking loads and then he went to his toy box and brought Phil his sprout. Just as Phil was leaving Dembe decided without warning to puke all over the lounge rug so that wasn’t at all mortifying.

He is absolutely fine in himself however I am concerned about his left eye. He seems to be blinking it more and it looks red. There has also been a bit of gunk coming from it. So a trip to the vets tomorrow for him.

Thursday 19th March

Poor Dembe has a corneal abrasion. Initially I had though he may have conjuctivitis but Jay took him to the vets at 10.15am and they could see a scratch on his eye. He has had an injection and eye drops put in.

He really isn’t happy about the eyedrops. I put the first lot in at 12.30pm and he ran up the stairs straight after and stayed on the stairs glaring at me through the banisters for 15 minutes.

He then came down the stairs and went onto the small sofa, huffing and puffing the whole time whilst flatly refusing to look at me.

I have booked Dembe in for some dog walks next week and one the week after. This is a huge step for Jay and I, turning Dembe over to someone else for at least an hour. But it will do Dembe good.

Friday 20th March

Dembe’s eye is still a little swollen and red but it is looking a whole lot better than it did. He was bouncing off the walls today . I have never known him so full of energy. Obviously the pain relief he was given at the vets yesterday knocked him bandy.

I did manage to get a little sewing done today at least whilst he had a nap upstairs.

He was walked early and again before Jay went to work, as he is late night today. But he is still bouncing off the walls. I thank my lucky stars this is the last late night I will have to endure with a whinning dog that keeps running to teh front door despite having a garden he can use to relieve himself.

Saturday 21st March

Dembe’s eye is now back to normal, no swelling and all the redness has gone.

Again he was absolutely mental this morning for about an hour after his long walk with Jay before he finally conked out.

He has been incredibly vocal today, barking and howling at everyone who dares walk past our house. It is a bit of a nightmare when all he wants to do is talk!

As soon as the clock strikes one Dembe assumes his position at the window waiting for his dad to come home for his lunch. As soon as his dad arrives Dembe then goes to his toy box and presents it to his dad. It is very sweet and you never know from one day to the next what toy Jay will be given.

Sunday 22nd March

Jay left the house before 8.30am this morning so that he could go and get shopping for both sets of parents. Both are self isolating due to this fucking virus and need bits and pieces from the supermarket to get them through. As Jay wasn’t in his work uniform Dembe kicked off from the moment he left. Howling and barking at the front door and lounge window. Hoping that his dad could hear him and that he would hurry home. I hate it when Dembe is like this as there is nothing you can do to console him apart from just getting him chewy treats as he can’t chew and make noise at the same time.

He did settle eventually and I managed to get a small amount of sewing done before Jay got home.

As soon as Jay sat down Dembe draped himself all over Jay to make up for lost time. He loves his dad.

Stay safe everyone xxx

W/C 24th February 2020

Monday 24th February

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

More decorating!

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.