W/C 14th October 2019

Monday 14th October

I got woken up at 6.30am by having Dembe drop his new yellow tyre toy on my head. Not the best way to come around on a Monday morning. He is utterly obsessed with his new tyre toy and is taking it with him everywhere. I always get woken up by being brought a toy but usually he is carrying it in his mouth and its a soft toy like carrot so it doesn’t hurt if it is dropped on you!

Dembe destroyed a toy today for the very first time. It was a bit of a shock as we have made it to almost 11 months old without any deliberate toy destruction. It is a bit sad as he picked on one of the two pigs that I made Jamie last year. He started last week by chewing both piggies tails off. I thought it would stop there but he continued I looked up only to see him surrounded by a sea of white stuffing. Oh well. Piggie got put in the bin.

Today has been a tough day for emotionally, some decisions needed to be made and although they are ultimately for the good of my mental health and sense of worth, these are decisions that I weigh up for weeks before hand, they never come easily to me. Dembe seemed to sense my pain and crawled up onto my lap at every opportunity he could. Just lying on me letting me know that he was there for me. His ability to be in tune with me is scary sometimes. I worry about the burden that is placed on him but he seems to love his role as my protector. It is a shame humans aren’t more like dogs, at least they are honest with their feelings / likes and dislikes. They have pure motives and emotions.

Tuesday 15th October

Jay was day off today.

We took Dembe to the vets again to be weighed. Jay and I were so sure after his week of being on a diet he was looking better – it wasn’t a little diet this was quite extreme, cutting out 90% of his treats and cutting his food portion down. We felt that he was showing more signs of a waist and his ribs were becoming easier to feel.

He had put on 200g, I won’t lie I was devastated. We were working so hard to get this under control I couldn’t for the life of me work out how the F**k he had gained weight. Even Jay had lost more weight than usual this week as he had been doing so much more walking with Dembe. For him to gain made me worry that there was a medical reason behind his weight gain.

The vet nurse was very nice but it still felt like I was being lectured and that I was a shit dog owner. I don’t think the staff even think about what a contentious issue weight maybe for the owner. I have been bullied all my life over my weight, its the go to thing people use to upset me and always has been. Even though as a kid I was tall for my age and was no way overweight. So hearing them discuss Dembe’s weight like he was morbidly obese really punched my buttons. He did get them back though by pissing all over the floor and in the waiting room. Unfortunately that added to my feelings of inadequacy as we should have chucked him out in the garden before we went as he hasn’t pee’d inside for about 6-7 months, He must have been desperate to do that. Although to be fair it was his Auntie Mollie’s favourite thing to do, piss in the vets waiting room.

I also object to this being made such a humungous issue when 800g ago it wasn’t a problem. It’s not like he needs to lose 10 kg, he could probably do with losing 2-3kg. But they were quite happy with his weight at 32kg but 800g over… I was told that if I gave him any treats I was to take that out of his food allowance for the day. The problem is that Arden Grange don’t tell you what his foods calorie content is, so if he has one small frozen carrot I have no idea how much of his food should be removed from his total for the day. They had a poster in the consulting room stating that 100g of carrots is 30 calories. Yet if I fed Dembe 100g of carrots (4oz) he would be shitting through the eye of a needle. God knows what would happen if you gave that amount to a yorkshire terrier. These things are relative. Dembe has one small carrot not a sackful and I won’t feel guilty about giving him a carrot when he would normally have a denta stix.

So the vet visit upset me all day when normally we enjoy our visits down there. So I wont be going again for a while. Jay will weigh Dembe by picking him up and weighing on our home scales. He doesn’t need to go down for at least a month as we will need to check his weight for his worming tablets.

The day ended much better at dog training. We let Martin know that changing Dembe from a metal bowl to a ceramic bowl had solved 90% of his eating issues. Adding in the small portion of adult Arden Grange food had tipped it over to 100% successful along with also changing his meals to breakfast 65% of his daily amount and dinner 35%. He had a good look at Dembe and said what a difference in a week and that his waist was coming back, he was getting the tuck of his tummy back and more definition on his flanks. He couldn’t quite believe the poster about the carrots. Most people when putting their dogs on a diet would give carrots as a treat, to single them out as if they are a bad food seems a little strange, in my opinion.

We discussed the 200g weight gain and Martin said ignore it, Dembe could have been a bit bloated. He said to just keep doing what we are doing as it is obviously working by looking at Dembe. Dembe is already starting to look leaner.

At the end of the session, our last one for this course, Martin let all the dogs try going through the tunnel which is part of the agility training course. Dembe was terrified the first time he got led up to the tunnel and bolted back to me. However with me at the other end of the tunnel with Jay he couldn’t wait to try it out and his third go was even more successful he was so proud of himself. All the dogs that had a go loved it.

We have signed him up for a short agility training course on a Sunday from 10th November and we will be attending the new obedience training course when that starts on the 12th.

Wednesday 16th October

Can you believe it little Dembe Morris is 11 months old today. That has just flown by. Today Dembe surprised his dad when they were up the common by being brave and going for his very first swim

I am afraid it is a poor quality photo as Jay thought he had videoed it for me but alas he hadn’t. There was around a second of usable material so I managed to take this screenshot.

Up until today Dembe has never swum, when he was little and we took him to the beach he would run away from the tide coming in. But he has always loved the hosepipe and the shower, along with his paddling pool in the summer. Today with a little coaxing he had a swim, Jay said he was really good swimming in the proper position rather than trying to sit up in the water he was flat. I am gutted I wasn’t there and there isn’t any video.

Jay was on late night today so when Dembe was taken out it was for a nice long walk and well swim. We had to hose him off in the garden when he got back as he was covered in sand and mud. He is so good though and allows us to clean him off.

He was pretty shattered after his adventure this morning.

As it was dry this evening I threw the ball in the garden for him to use up some of his energy before I went to bed. Dembe decided to stay downstairs and wait for his dad.

Thursday 16th October

Dembe has been an incredibly cuddly and affectionate dog this week. He knows that I am feeling battered and bruised. He gets on my lap several times a day and just lies there until he either goes to sleep or he decides to go and get a toy.

Friday 18th October

I was waiting for ages for Dembe to settle down this morning so that I could crack on with what I wanted to do. He wanted to play, to be cuddled and then all of a sudden he ran over to his toy box picked up his carrot and gave it to me. Once I had his carrot he ran upstairs and went to sleep on my bed. He does this most mornings if I am on my sewing machine or embroidery machine. I would normally feel guilty that he has taken himself off to bed. No more though if he is going to go up there anyway even when I am not on my machines. It made me laugh that he gave me carrot to look after whilst he slept!

Again this afternoon all he wanted to do was lie on my lap. I was quite grateful that he was looking after me as I had such a terrible headache in the afternoon. It took me a while to work it out but I was having a low CSF headache. I suffered a spontaneous leak in 2016 and know the signs. My headache only went when I lay down for an hour, the minute I stood up it came back. Maybe that is what Dembe could sense yesterday and that is why he was stuck to me like glue?

Saturday 19th October

We had another cuddly day today. Jay was late so Dembe got taken on a long walk this morning so that he would be ok with only going out once today. Jay took him to the place where he had a swim on Wednesday and he had another swim.

I was so pleased to see it as this was the first time I have seen our boy swim and he took to it like a duck to water pardon the pun. He had Dembe in and out a few times .

Dembe having a swim

A friend popped over in the afternoon, we haven’t seen her in a while and she couldn’t get over how big he has got. I had to do two emergency surgeries on Dembe’s crocodile toys whilst she was here as there was a danger of him pulling out the stuffing. Both had seams rip due to playing. So I tend to do repairs as I see they need done rather than leave them.

We had a quiet rest of the day cuddling and playing.

Sunday 20th October

Dembe’s new food bowl arrived ysterday but his breakfast after his walk this morning was his first time having a meal out of it. Up until now we have been using a pasta bowl. I am so pleased that he seems to love his new bowl as much as we do.

He was so pleased after he had his meal we were laughing our heads off at his crazy waggy bum!

We have all had a lazy day as Jay is in work at 4am tomorrow which means he will be getting up at 2.30am. So we have kept everything very chilled out. Dembe just loves having his mum and dad at home with him. Although I don’t get my usual amount of cuddles with him.