I have to admit this week I have been really rubbish at keeping Dembe’s diary. My routine is all to pot as Jay is on holiday this week and as usual there is loads going on behind the scenes. Dembe is fine it is just adulting stuff, the stuff that makes you lose sleep through stress. So Dembe cuddles have been gratefully received.
First thing Monday morning we got Dembe out up at the Warren on Woodbury common. He had lots of fun playing with many different dogs. Jay took him on a longer walk and one he hadn’t done before so Dembe stayed close and didn’t run off into the distance as he is prone to do on walks he knows well.
On his evening walk he saw two joggers and freaked out a bit and ran behind Jay which made him laugh. He is really funny with what things freak him out. He is still barking at the printer whenever something is printed out. We have no idea why he takes exception to the printer!
Tuesday 7th May
Dembe slept really well last night. He had his breakfast at 5am and then slept until 6.45am which was a nice lie on for us all. As Jay had a dental appointment at 9.15 he was out up the common nice and early for a walk.
Today he has learned how to open the net curtain in the lounge by using his new toy Ducky. He hold ducky’s head in his mouth and uses the body to swipe across the curtain to shift it out of the way.
He has obviously worked out that I am a bag of nerves today, I also have the dentist today. So he has followed me everywhere. I can’t move without tripping up on him. Whilst I was at the dentist Jay took Dembe down the beach for a run around. The beach is now closed off for dogs apart from two small areas. He had a wonderful time chasing a lady Labrador called Bella. They played together for ages. Then another Labrador came along and joined in as well. By the time Jay picked me up from the dentist Dembe was fast asleep in the back of the car.
Wednesday 8th May
We have spent most of the week at home during Jays holiday, just pottering around the house or garden.
We took Dembe down to the vets this morning for his monthly weigh in. He loves the vets so much he can’t wait to get in the door and be fussed all over. He was a very good boy and sat on the scales for me with me using a treat to get him in the right position. He weighs 20kg which is 3stone (14 x 3 for those who use pounds) . I know he is getting heavy as I can now barely lift him onto my lap even if we are both sitting down. He looks so slight though at the moment and is all legs.
We did laugh at lunch time when he decided to sit so close to Jay whilst he ate his lunch that he had his paws on the table. Good table manners though as he kept his elbows off.
He was quite sleepy all day but decided to run riot in the last hour before going to bed.
I managed to capture this photo of him in the nano seconds that he sat still for.
Thursday 9th May
Today Dembe is 25 weeks and 6 days. The photo on the left is Dembe aged 15 weeks the photo on the right was taken this week. It is amazing to see just how much he has grown in just 10 weeks. His snout has got longer his head has got bigger. At the moment he is looking very slight and all legs. He still has a wonderful temperament and is very loving.
On Dembe’s afternoon walk we had a bit of excitement as we discovered a very young Pheasant chick beside the car. Whilst Jay walked Dembe I kept an eye on it to see if its parents would come and get it. No one turned up for it. It was quite obvious the chick was getting very tired and cold, it was so young its eyes weren’t even open yet. When Dembe got back to the car he had noticed that there was something on the ground so I had to step in and scoop the chick up into Jays Redskins cap . We took it to the vets for them to either give us advice on who to contact or for them to look after. It chirped all the way to the vets and Dembe was very interested to see what was inside the hat.
Thankfully he was still really pleased to go to the vets and pulled Jay all the way to the front door. One of nurses is going to rear it, if it survives the next few days. We think a predator possibly a dog or a fox had disturbed the nest and scattered the chicks. This chick had been alone for sometime and was so tired it could no longer stand up. I couldn’t have left it. By taking it to the vets I hope I am giving it the best chance at life.
Dembe was exhausted after all the excitement and was falling asleep in the weirdest positions.
Both Dembe and I were asleep before 7pm.
Friday 10th May
We got Dembe out early as we had the car going into the garage at 8.30am. For the first time ever at arriving at Woodbury castle we were the only car there. Dembe had a crazy run around and enjoyed himself. Just as well because the rest of the day was really stressful.
At around 9.20am we had a call from the garage to say they couldn’t do the repair because the cambelt was in such a bad way it could go at any time. The car is only worth about £200-£300 and the repair just for the cambelt was going to be £400 plus as the exhaust also needed fixed and I am sure the brakes needed done too. It wasn’t worth the money of it being repaired when it was going to cost more than the car was worth. We took the decision that we would look for a new car. The cambelt if it goes will destroy the car’s engine, so even driving it to the garage could be disastrous. It was really stressful as we were in the position where we needed to buy a new car but had no transport to actually get to any garages.
I did a big search online and managed to find us a decent second hand car at a village 12 miles away. Thankfully my parents had come up to their van, so my dad could give me Jay and Dembe a lift over to the garage to check the car out. It is the same as we have got now just two years younger and is a bigger model. Basically I can get my mobility scooter and Dembe’s crate in the back of the car now and it has 7 seats…there is just the two of us and Dembe. That keeps making us chuckle.
After being in my dad’s car for the first time and being very well behaved Dembe crashed as soon as we got home.
It was a strange day for him as he reached the grand old age of 26 weeks, it was also his first day without any lunch as he from now on ( as long as he doesn’t kick up too much) will be fed just twice a day on his full adult portion.
Again Dembe and I were asleep before 7.30pm we were both shattered.
Saturday 11th May
Dembe was up at 4.45am for his breakfast and slept until around 6am. I couldn’t stay in bed any longer as my back was killing me. He loves the whole pack being together so he went and woke Jay up at 6.45am by jumping all over him!
Jay took Dembe out for a walk and when he returned said he was crazy all the way around. He only had a 20 minutes sleep this morning and when he did, he was in this weird pose.
It looks so strange that it looks photo shopped but hand on heart it isn’t. It has been a week of Dembe sleeping in the weirdest positions. When I came downstairs after sorting myself out for the day Dembe assumed his normal position by the window
He just loves watching the world go by and barking at the seagulls! He has had quite a frenetic morning as we had to empty out the old car today ready for when we either sell it or get it taken away as scrap. At some point either mid to end of the week Jay will be getting the new car.
Whilst I was sat on the front wall with Dembe on a lead our next door neighbours came out and had a massive fuss of him. Dembe is never one to refuse a cuddle. Then a little while later my parents popped over with their dog Maggie a jack russell terrier. He loves playing with Maggie although he gets on her nerves a bit because he is a puppy and full of beans. He never learns when the other dog has had enough. As soon as they left he crashed out! Which made the whole new situation of no more lunch a bit easier as he was fast asleep.
Dembe and I went up to bed at around 18.40 last night as we were both shattered. He fell asleep with his head in my lap. He always looks after me when I am feeling poorly bless him.
Sunday 12th May
Dembe was up at a good time he woke up at 4.50am for his breakfast and toilet trip, he then slept until 6.30am. He would have slept longer but I woke with a jolt thinking I could hear him cry and he was lying beside me. The speed at which I jolted awake woke him and there was no getting him back to sleep. It reminds me of that joke they tell about they should make alarm clocks that have an alarm which is the sound of a dog being sick, that way you would never oversleep! Thankfully I must have just dreamt he was crying by the baby gate that we have on my bedroom door. He is so good though regularly going 8 hours over night now.
He is a happy puppy today as it is bone day. He is allowed two raw beef marrow bones a week and his week starts on Sunday. We let him have a chew for as long as it holds his interest and then we wrap it and put it in the fridge. They will keep for a few days. Once he has removed all the marrow bone he will get another one. But two is the limit for the week as they are quite high in fat and I don’t want him getting pancreatitis.
I couldn’t get him to stay still for the photo, as you can see marrow bones are rather a favourite thing for Dembe.
Jay took Dembe out for a walk this afternoon on the common. They bumped into a middle aged couple , the lady was wearing a large hat. Apparently Dembe decided to freak out and the lady kindly offered to take her hat off so that Dembe wasn’t scared and could walk past her. Its very strange that he was scared of the lady’s hat as Jay and I have worn hats around him practically everyday. I couldn’t believe it when Jay came home and told me about it. What a silly sausage !
Another cuddly Monday morning with Dembe. Training wise this week the plans are to focus on getting him to got to his crate when “in your crate” is used and onto his bed when the phrase “bed” is used. It is slow going as he gets confused between the commands but it is great brain training for him. I am adding in some stuff that is mentally stimulating for him as this will keep him from getting bored and then possibly destructive.
We have a raft of visitors popping in today Julie, who saw him a few weeks ago is coming by to have a look at him and then Leanne and her son Liam are coming along also.
Dembe is very good at waiting when the front door is open and not trying to bolt out the front door. Something that the Weimaraners were terrible at and we would have to pop them in the kitchen when we answered the front door.
Julie couldn’t get over how much he had grown. On the whole Dembe is very well behaved but he has started putting his front paws on your shoulders ( from behind when you are sat down) when he has a toy in his mouth and wants you to play. It is over bearing and not very polite. Julie is ok with it apparently her late Izzie used to do it. Inside I am dying of embarrassment.
When Liam and Leanne arrive Dembe get’s over excited so I have to put him on a time out in the kitchen . When he has sat down and is calmer I allow him back into the room. He is much naughtier with Leanne and Liam here and he climbs all over Leanne. I am mortified and now stopping that behaviour is top of this weeks training list. To be honest I am also very fed up with being used as a climbing frame.
He looks so angelic when he is asleep!
Tuesday 16th April
As Jay is day off today we take Dembe up to the common quite early for a nice walk. The weather is hideous so both my boys come back to the car looking like drowned rats.
Late morning we go and visit Sandra who has broken her leg in two places just yesterday. I am terrified the whole time that Dembe will clumsily bash into her temporary plaster cast but he gives it a sniff and is then very careful around her leg. The last time we were at Sandra’s house he was just 15 weeks old. He does behave mostly however he nips Sandra twice. Again I am mortified as he hasn’t nipped anyone for weeks. It is a little bite and doesn’t draw blood and was done whilst playing but I am still gutted that he has done this. I think he went to mouth her hand but she pulled away – which I have done myself and that does hurt.
It’s not all bad news though as Dembe has had his first experience of an open fire at Sandra’s and was sensible enough to keep well clear! He was very intrigued by Sandra’s husband and was watching him intently as he sorted out the fire.
Dembe slept most of the afternoon as he didn’t have a morning nap with us going To Sandra’s. At 3pm we take him for another walk, thankfully the weather has improved. There are lots of puddles but he is still at an age where he is avoiding puddles. He reminds us of Princess Willow one of our Weimaraners who steadfastly refused to get her feet wet until she was around a year old. She expected to be picked up and carried over puddles if she couldn’t walk around them.
He is very into Jay today which is lovely to see.
Wednesday 17th April
As it quite usual for a Wednesday Jay is late night so Dembe ha had a nice walk on the common this morning at Woodbury Castle. Today he met a huge Yellow Labrador that he was desperate to play with. This Labrador we think was from show lines as it was slightly larger than our biggest Weimaraner Frankie ( who was large for a Weim) . He was very muscular this Labrador and a huge head. He made Dembe look very sweet and dainty. Working lines are bred to be smaller and more compact.
Dembe’s frozen bones have arrived today , the delivery driver was looking for a dog when I opened the front door. He stuck his head in to see Dembe just lying on the sofa waiting patiently as I had asked him to do. The guy said how lovely he was and very cute. Dembe had kittens when he saw me load all the bones into the freezer. I let him have one for 30 minutes as I knew he had another back tooth loose and that it was bothering him. He loved it and was very annoyed when I put it back in the fridge.
His morning nap.
Thursday 18th April
As Jay was working a 12 hour shift today we got up very early so that Dembe could have a walk before Jay went to work. For Dembe it was his first walk in the dark on Woodbury common. He was freaked out a bit by his shadow initially but was soon pottering around like it was a normal day time walk.
He was pretty shattered in the morning due to the incredibly early start I managed to capture this series of photos as he dropped off to sleep.
He was out for the count.
My friend Heather popped over today, who we haven’t seen in a while due to the usual things work, family etc. I think the last time she had seen Dembe was when he was 9 weeks old and he is now 22 weeks old. 23 weeks old tomorrow. He spent the whole of Heather’s visit sat on her lap, getting her to hold his bone so that he could chomp on it. He has never sat like that on anyone other than me and Jay.So it was really nice to see.
Dembe is doing much better with the not jumping on people and wanting them to play. He has been told no and then placed on the floor. We have only had to do it twice and the jumping stopped. Hopefully that is the end of it… for now.
The poor baby still has a very wobbly back tooth and when he has been chewing his toys he has been bleeding onto them. He is ok in himself but you can tell the tooth is bothering him as he keeps flicking it with his tongue to try and dislodge it.
Good Friday – 19th April
Today Dembe is 23 weeks old how the time has flown by. He is still our little baby, when you see him next to a full grown Labrador he is still tiny. He is quite tall and when he jumps up, which isn’t very often his paws are at my waist height and I am 5ft 8in tall. He is very long as well now.
His food portions are remaining the same this week as we wean him off his lunchtime meal and down to just two meals a day. Breakfast and Dinner are 120g of food whilst lunch has been reduced to 55g, plus he has 10g of food in his frozen kong every day.
He still comes into the shower everyday and loves nothing better than playing with the hosepipe outside. He still sits on my lap every morning and chews the ties of my snuggle top as he did when he was just 8 weeks old. Although now he takes up the whole of my lap.
He has such a sunny disposition he is always happy, his tail wags constantly which always make Jay and I laugh as we aren’t used to dogs with a full size tail. He is very loving towards Jay and I but when he is out on his walk he is growing in confidence and will walk further away from Jay than he did when he was first out walking.
Today I managed to find Dembe’s wobbly tooth. He was sat beside me on the sofa and was desperately trying to dig something out from behind the sofa cushion. I put my hand in the gap and felt something which I thought was a biscuit crumb. It wasn’t until I looked at it that I realised that it was his wobbly back tooth! I am so pleased as we hadn’t been able to get any of his other teeth as they have either been swallowed or hoovered up.
Dembe had two nice walks today and Jay managed to get some lovely photos of him.
Saturday 20th April
The weather has got very hot and poor Dembe with his double layered coat is not enjoying it. Once the garden has been revamped we will be getting him a paddling pool.
The little bugger woke me up at 5.30am this morning by throwing his head across my neck. However at 6.30am as he was fast asleep on the sofa and I was struggling to stay awake so I went back up to bed taking him with me. He played for around 10 minutes and then went straight to sleep. This is the first time we have done this so it was nice to know he would settle back down again. We both got another hour of sleep.
Mark came over to work on the garden digging trenches for the french drains. Dembe loves Mark and goes all silly whenever he is here. I had to spend a lot of the time getting Dembe to leave him alone so that he can crack on with the task in hand.
Thank goodness for the marrow bones as that is enough to distract him from his bromance!
Sunday 21st April Easter Sunday
As the last few days have been so warm Dembe was up the common this morning nice an early whilst it was still cool. I heard the Cuckoo, which I haven’t heard in years due to the Weims being walked so early in the morning. I always manage to hear the Cuckoo between the 19th and 21st April. He was calling away.
Dembe has pretty much slept ever since his walk this morning.
The rest of the day was spent pretty quietly as Dembe wore himself out yesterday flirting with Mark all afternoon!
Dembe was as is usual on a Monday a cuddly pup all day.
Unfortunately at around 16.45 we were messing around ( Dembe and I ) and he clobbered me with his paw. It was a freak accident but due to the fact I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome my skin is extremely fragile. Whilst most people would have got away with a scratch the underneath of my eye was cut open and was bleeding. It was a bit scary and I was just very pleased that I had managed to close my eye before it connected with his paw. As I said total freak accident but I am being very careful.
I had to spend a few hours with some ice on it as the pain was really incredible. Which sounds like I am being a wimp but it really did hurt and I have quite a high pain threshold.
Poor Dembe got scared as I was crying out with the pain when it happened so he ran upstairs and hid in the bedroom. I followed him upstairs and gave him a big cuddle as I wasn’t cross with him, these things happen it was an accident. He quickly settled and was much happier.
We had a quiet evening but out of the blue at 22:30 Dembe decided to throw up his dinner from 18:00. He had been asleep since around 20:00 and Jay had just taken him downstairs to have a wee, which he did and then came in and had a drink and then it was vomitsville. It is the first time he has been properly sick, poor baby. He woke me up at midnight and was sick again but it was just a couple of mouthfuls of bile. I managed to get my snuggle top underneath him so he wasn’t sick on my bed. He was then fine for the rest of the night.
Tuesday 2nd April
We got out early up the common this morning as we are waiting for B&Q to deliver our gravel and other garden bits. As Jay and Dembe got out of the car it absolutely hammered down. Thankfully as they went through the woods at Woodbury Castle they didn’t get too wet.
As soon as our delivery arrived Dembe wanted to watch from the lounge window, he was wagging his tail like mad as he watched his daddy and the delivery driver get all the stuff of the lorry. It is the first time since he was a tiny pup that he has bothered to look out of the window. Now there is no stopping him he loves it.
After the delivery had been sorted we raced down to the vets as we wanted to ensure Kate the head receptionist got to see Dembe when we went to get him weighed and pick up his worming tablets. Kate couldn’t believe the size of him and had lots of cuddles. Whenever we go there she makes such a fuss of him. She weighed him for us and he came in at a whopping 15.1kg / 33lbs / 2st 5lbs. I asked if his weight was ok and if he is overweight as I am paranoid about him getting too heavy and damaging his joints but she assured me he is absolutely perfect. She couldn’t get over how tall he is, she has seen him from 8 weeks old so she knows what a tiny dinky dot he was to begin with.
So far Dembe has been fine with no more vomiting but I won’t give him his worming tablets until tomorrow so that I know that his stomach has settled.
This evening I attempted to do my pilates…
Dembe seemed to think that this was code for climb all over mummy!
Wednesday 3rd April
Dembe is barking a lot today, he is barking at noises outside the house, cars, people talking that kind of thing and also he is barking at the sound of the hail stones hitting the windows and doors. I am trying to discourage him from doing this as I don’t want to annoy my neighbours. It makes me laugh that so many books say that Labrador’s don’t really bark, well Dembe found his bark and now hasn’t stopped using it!
His favourite game today is running upstairs and barking – he is letting me know he has dropped a toy over the side of the bed and he wants me to get it despite the fact he is more than able to jump on and off the bed. The first couple of times when he barked upstairs I panicked wondering what the hell was wrong. Now I just ignore him and use the recall command so he comes back downstairs for a treat.
He really wasn’t impressed with the hail storms we had on and off all day. Whilst it was light hail it was fine but when it went a bit mad and the hail got quite large he ran back inside with his tail between his legs.
This evening he has had a nice walk up on the common with Jay.
Thursday 4th April
Dembe is enjoying standing on the sofa and looking out the window. This is something he discovered the joys of on Tuesday and now there is no stopping him! Sometimes he see’s something and he decides to bark and other times his tail wags furiously. He is a funny little thing who constantly has me in stitches. As I am writing up this diary entry he is snoring very loudly beside me on the sofa!
I am really struggling to complete my Pilates / Physiotherapy exercises as when I get on the floor Dembe thinks it is play time and crawls all over me. It is really funny but it has got to the point now where I will have to wait until Jay gets home so that I can complete my exercises without interruption!
Dembe is fantastic when the front door goes, where ever he is in the lounge I tell him to wait and then repeat the command and open the front door. He stays where he is until the front door closes and he gets a treat. We have had some big bulky deliveries this week and he has been such a very good boy. It is strange that he doesn’t bark at the doorbell or people knocking at the door. My Weimaraners used to sound like the hounds of the Baskervilles when the front door went and I would have to shut them in the kitchen to stop their escape attempts. So this has completely blown my mind that I can open the door without worrying that he will bark / growl or escape.
We are still working on the lie down command and he is getting quicker every day. I am now trying to add a roll over to the end of it.
He is such a good loving boy. I have been reading some horror stories on social media in the Labrador groups I belong to. Pups destroying walls, running away and ignoring commands. Owners terrified of letting their puppies off the lead – so much so they haven’t been off a lead in a wide open space in 6 months which is a shame for the owner and awful for the pup. I am keeping my fingers crossed that my darling boy stays this way forever as he is such a good boy.
Friday 5th April
Today is the day that we start increasing Dembe’s breakfast and dinner whilst decreasing his lunch. We are doing this very slowly over the course of the next 7 weeks as we will also be building up his total amount of food to his 6 month old pup allowance. However if he is really protesting over no longer having lunch in a few weeks time we will reintroduce it – because he is a spoilt little boy!
This is all happening because my dinky little Dembe dot is now 5 months old / 20 weeks. We have owned him for 3 months and I really couldn’t imagine life without my little sausage / pudding / dumpling. He is so very affectionate and loved nothing more than to sit on my lap giving me lots and lots of puppy kisses.
Dembe has been really spoilt today not only has he received his first ever butchers bone but he has had a manic play time with Harry, Bev’s son. He will have to wait for the bone to defrost before he can have it but he simply adored playing today. The photos are with kind permission of Bev.
As Harry found out Dembe is very strong and loves a good game of tug of war!
Saturday 6th April
Dembe is the original nosy neighbour! he is loving standing on the sofa and watching the world go by. Our Weimaraner’s Willow and Mollie also liked to have a good look out of the window.
As Dembe’s bone had defrosted this morning I let him have it for a few hours. He was so excited he wouldn’t stop wagging his tail. Initially he just looked at it not believing that it was all for him.
Dembe was very spoilt today as not only did he have a bone to chew but mummy and daddy also bought him a swanky new collar, which has plenty of room for him to grow into. You can see it ever so slightly in the top photo, it is a beautiful soft grey leather, with silver fittings. It is a wee bit loose at the moment but as we don’t attach a lead to his collar as he is on a harness it’s fine. It also has room to grow as well so should hopefully see him into adulthood. If anyone is interested it is from a company called Dogs & Horses – we paid for ours and I am not gaining anything by telling you where we purchased it from. The soft grey looks beautiful against his red / yellow coat.
Sunday 7th April
Well Dembe was a bit crazy this morning so we got him up to Woodbury Castle reasonably early. What a walk he had he met five other Labradors and was in 7th heaven. The first Labrador he met was a chocolate one called Dexter, who was elderly but still wanted to play. Dembe was too quick for Dexter but they still had a lot of fun. Further into the woods they came across two ladies sat on a fallen tree and at their feet were 3 yellow Labradors and one black one. All the dogs came bounding over which Dembe took in his stride.
Jay tells me that all the Labrador’s then sat in front of him and shoved their noses into his Travis bag containing all Dembe’s treats. Dembe was most perturbed that he couldn’t get anywhere near his daddy for all the hungry Labrador’s. Jay shouted over to the owners to ask if they minded if Jay gave them all a treat. He was told to watch his fingers and thought he knew better, he ended up with a bleeding thumb. More walking wounded than amputation needed!
Dembe was pretty shattered after his morning walk so went straight to sleep. He has been a good boy today and had plenty of cuddles and kisses. The only naughty thing he has done is he decided he was part crocodile again today and has been nipping us which he hasn’t done for ages. A few stern no’s and he caught on we weren’t putting up with it. It’s funny how he can not do something for weeks and then decides he will try his luck again.
I keep meaning to say that he is 100% house trained now and has been for weeks. He is a very good boy and will wait at the back door to be let out.
Well yesterday ( Sunday) the last of the decking and it’s joists have been removed so for the time being ( for safety ) Dembe is restricted to just the small patio in the back garden. Its going to be 6 – 8 weeks before he has a garden to play in again but so far he is coping ok. Just has got his head in every plant pot that is within biting distance.
As you can see from the garden….well mud pit it’s not a safe environment for a puppy.
He was a very sleepy boy today, probably because he had so little sleep the day before with the decking being removed and Mark coming over to help. Also because he was such a good boy he had two walks up on the common as a reward hence a knackered pup today.
Having his ginger nuts on display seems to be his normal Monday morning sleeping pose!
I managed to get this beautiful shot of Dembe today. It’s so cute his ears are always doing this.
As Jay was on an early Dembe had a nice walk on the common this evening.
Tuesday 26th March
As Jay is (as normal) day off today he took him up the common nice and early. He met up with Dembe’s girlfriends the two female British Bulldogs, who adore him but will steal his tennis ball. Dembe had a really good play with them.
We are having issues with Dembe whingeing in the car . He started doing it age 10-11 weeks and he is getting more and more vocal. Up until then he was really good in the car and used to go straight to sleep. He whinges if I am in the back with him or if I am in the front with him. We don’t know why he is doing it as he can move around despite being belted in. He isn’t in pain, it isn’t an excited whine it’s an attention whine or I need the toilet whine. But he will always have been outside for a wee before being put in the car. He also does it on the way home from a walk or trip out in the car. Which means he will have been to the toilet etc We are clueless but our new plan of action is to ignore him and see if that gets him to drop the volume of the whinging.
On the second trip out of the day the whingeing although still there was much quieter. However he has now started barking at people outside the car. Today was the first day that he has ever done it. Probably because he is so much taller now he can see clearly out of the window. He does very much see his role as being the protector of the family. I just don’t want him barking at everything outside the car because we had that with the Weimaraner’s and its a bloody nightmare.
Wednesday 27th March
I’m usually pretty good at either writing my notes about Dembe straight into my diary for him or onto the blog in the drafts section. For some reason Wednesday is completely blank. However as a back up I always look at photos in my phone as very rarely is there a day when I haven’t taken a photo of him.
For some reason this week it has been all about his toys. The blue dinosaur in the photos was one of the first toys that I bought him. Until now it has been part of his bedroom toys. He has a few toys upstairs which he plays with for about 30 minutes every night before he settles down to sleep. He plays with these as well if we go upstairs during the day. This week he has been slowly bringing all his upstairs toys downstairs and neither Jay or I have noticed him do it.
He has also been playing with toys that he hasn’t touched for a while. However the best game he has had is emptying the contents of his toy box all over the lounge floor. As soon as you try to tidy up and put them back in the toy box he trots behind you and takes them out again. This has been this weeks game which started on Wednesday!
Thursday 28th March
As Jay was on his only late night of the week Dembe was taken up the common for a nice walk. He had missed his two Bulldog girlfriends but he met two chocolate labs who were more than happy to play with him. He really is fascinated with Labrador’s, he likes any dog that will play with him but he knows a Labrador. The whole reason we went for a Labrador after losing the Weimaraner was that our eldest girl Mollie had always been fascinated with Labrador’s, particularly black Labs. She would make a bee line to a Lab, flirting and playing. So we allowed Mollie to make the decision for us, years ago so it feels like we have her blessing. Even though it is bloody hard trying to carry on without them.
Dembe has claimed his first pair of slippers. Jay had a pair of star wars slippers that he wore occasionally . Dembe would steal them out of Jays bedroom no matter where he hid them and sit and chomp on them. Tonight Dembe managed to chew the ends off both toes so I had to get them off him and put them in the bin. I didn’t want him eating the inside of the slipper!
My dad popped over in the afternoon to pick up some of the things he has been storing at ours over the winter. Dembe was very excited as it was around 4pm, from 4pm until 4.30pm / 5pm he can be very bouncy and today was no different. He was mad though bouncing around like a rabbit!
He did however settle really well in the evening and we went upstairs at 18.30 as we were both shattered.
It was quite funny as when Jay got home from work Dembe barked at the sound of him coming through the door. Like I said earlier in the week he takes his role of being our protector very seriously.
Friday 29th March
I can’t believe our little ball of fluff is 19 weeks old already, where the hell has the time gone? I am so glad I have all the photos of him at 8 weeks old when he was tiny, standing in his food bowl. He has grown so much in such a short space of time.
He is such a gorgeous boy and I love him so much. I don’t even mind that I am permanently covered in dog hair because he is moulting at the moment as his adult coat comes in.
He has another two wobbly teeth on the bottom next to his canines. He has so many adult teeth come through now it is no wonder his favourite thing to do at the moment is chew. His Antler chews have taken a real bashing.
Jay was on a middle shift today so Dembe had a walk around the block this morning to burn off some energy. He came across an adult Labrador that was out on a run with its owners. He was absolutely fascinated by the grown up Labrador, sadly it was on the other side of the road but he was transfixed until it passed by.
He has been very cuddly all week, he keeps wanting on my lap and being hugged. He is such a very soppy boy.
Tonight was the first time he had been up to my parents caravan. He met Maggie last week but it went much better outside at the van. Although despite just having a walk Dembe was manic with excitement. Bouncing around all over the place and getting deeply frustrated at the fact that my parents dog a Jack Russell terrier wouldn’t play with him and was more into being petted by myself and Jay.
As soon as we got in the car to go home Dembe was out like a light. It made for a very quiet evening!
Saturday 30th March
Today it seems my primary role is ensuring his lordship gets fed and to hold onto his nyla bone / antler / tugger whilst he chews the hell out of it. He obviously has some teeth coming through at the back as everything is being rammed to the back of his mouth and being chomped on.
Saturday evening after Jay got home from work and Dembe had a walk we went over to my parents caravan. Dembe was much more confident this evening as he knew where he was. He and my parents dog Maggie were playing, running after the ball and chasing each other. Dembe had the time of his life and we had a very quiet evening!
Sunday 31st March
Well after running riot with Maggie today Dembe is absolutely shattered. Firstly he slept until gone 6am ( the clocks changed last night so in old money it was 5.10am) and then after he had his breakfast he then slept until 8am ( 7am ) which for him is pretty good going. He was a bit active for about an hour and then flaked out again.
Jay took him out for a walk on the common at around 10am
He has been sleeping beside me all day . In the UK it is Mothers day today, I have had a lovely card and box of chocolates from my boy. He is such a gorgeous pup and loves his mum.
He has been very good as I was outside with Jay this morning pointing out what pots can be thrown away and what still had plants in. We had to shut him in the house whilst doing this as there was no barrier onto the quagmire which is the back garden currently! Whenever we leave him in the house alone ( when we are in the garden) he just puts himself on one of the sofas and goes to sleep. I always panic he will be chewing something but he hasn’t yet…..he is still only 5 months old and there is lots of chewing to come I am sure.
As Jay isn’t working today he has had another walk on the common this afternoon. He has come in had a drink and then gone straight back to sleep. Must be a growing day combined with too much fun yesterday, He has been so tired hardly any toys have been touched today as well.
This week and probably much to Dembe’s disgust we are going to be working on his barking. He currently barks at anything that makes a noise , which although at the moment is quite cute as he has a little puppy bark in 6 months time when he gets an adult bark won’t be so cute or funny.
He started this morning by barking at my epilator as I was sorting my legs out before my physio session on Tuesday. As soon as I started it up he lunged forward and started barking at it. In our house we have small bags of treats everywhere so good behaviour can be rewarded and that teachable moments are recognised. So with the epilator still going I made Dembe sit and wait. Once he had been quiet for 30 seconds I rewarded him with a treat and lots of verbal praise. This dog goes crazy for a “whose a good boy”. Within 5 minutes he got it, if I stay quiet and don’t bark mum will give me a treat and make a fuss. I love how switched on he is. After 5 minutes he took himself up to the top of the bed and settled down on the pillows.
The next challenge was the vacuum cleaner, as unless he is in his crate or sat on my lap he barks at it constantly. So working along the same lines as we did with the epilator the vacuum cleaner was switched on, Dembe barked, I then asked him to sit and wait. When 30 seconds were up he was rewarded with a treat. It took a bit longer with the vacuum cleaner as it is bigger and noisier but he got it. (The vacuum cleaner has been out a couple of times a day since Monday and he is not barking at it any more.)
Today was a day of firsts as this evening it was Dembe’s first trip in the back of the car alone. Since the 11th of January whenever he has been in the car I have been in the back with him. Purely because I have been terrified that he could fall down between the front and back seats. I know I have been over protective, I know that it is the symptom of my anxiety and trying to control things. Hopefully now that I am getting some help for this – it’s been triggered by losing Mollie and Frankie, I can stop being so over protective. The car journey went really well. He was fine in the back of the car by himself. In fact he settled a lot quicker in the back alone than he did when I was there with him.
Yesterday at Pets at Home we bought Dembe a wobble kong and a treat ball. So on Monday lunchtime I gave him part of his lunch in his treat ball and part in the wobble Kong. He loved it.
Tuesday 12th March
The weather is foul again windy and raining again. We have another storm on the way Storm Gareth and there is an amber warning from 9pm tonight. As I have a Physiotherapy appointment at 12.15 this afternoon, we took Dembe up to Woodbury common at around 08.30am. Both boys came back to the car looking like drowned rats.
Dembe was so dirty that we put him straight in the shower – one of his most favourite places. He doesn’t really enjoy the shampoo part but he does love getting in the shower cubicle with me. This was the dirtiest he has ever been, the shower tray is full of sand and red mud. However he now smells as fresh as a daisy and won’t be dropping sand everywhere. The common is on an ancient pebble bed so the ground is incredibly sandy. So our car gets filled with sand along with our vacuum cleaner!
On our trip to the Physiotherapy centre ( as I had done this morning) Dembe travelled in the back of the car alone. Today marked the first time Jay had taken Dembe out alone in the car as he dropped me off and then headed up to a different part of the common to give Dembe another quick walk. This part of the common had a wood and it was the first time Dembe had experienced it. He loved running around amongst the trees. Jay said he was very brave going off and then running back to him.
As Dembe will eventually be trained up to be an assistance dog the Physiotherapy centre are brilliant and allow him into the waiting room. He has become a firm favourite with staff and clients. So many people have been following his progress and delight in his visits.
It was a busy day for the pupster as he also got to meet his (human) Grandma and Granddad ( my parents ) for the first time. He was on his best behaviour and my mum seemed to instinctively know that he loves his ears being scrunched and cuddled. It is what I do to him. Well I say best behaviour…I was just talking about his humping and he gave them a live demonstration, 3 times!
He also saw our neighbour Nicky, although he wasn’t that bothered as he was in the middle of having his dinner. I reckon a bomb could go off and he wouldn’t stop eating! He was a pretty tired pup and early on in the evening was sparko.
Wednesday 13th March
As expected after all the cut and thrust of yesterday Dembe has been a very sleepy puppy. He has alternated between sleeping on me, sleeping on the sofa and sleeping on his bed. He is a very cuddly and full of kisses today.
I managed to capture this one as Dembe decided my chest was the best place to attempt to have a nap!
As you can see it took a bit of moving around to find the best place to sleep on mum!
This afternoon Dembe has been a bit more active so I have been starting to teach him lie down. I tried a few weeks ago but he was quite resistant to it. I tried today and he was much more open to it and on 2 occasions he laid down on command without any assistance from me. I was really impressed as this command can take a bit of perseverance to get. I know with Frankie and Willow it took a couple of weeks for them to get it. Obviously just because he did it twice out of 20 times that I asked him to do it, does not mean that he has got it. This will be a work in progress until every time the command “lie down” is said he lies down without any help from me.
Dembe has 4 wobbly teeth, the last time we saw the vet he said in the next few weeks Dembe would start to lose his baby teeth. Both the front top two and the bottom front two are wobbly. It will just be 24 hours or so and these shall be gone. No wonder he is chewing like crazy on his antler chews and his huge Nyla bone. I played tug with him early and fully expected to find one of his baby teeth embedded in the toy! I can wobble them with my finger. So it really won’t be long at all.
We had a surprise in the post today, Jays sister sent us this beautiful picture. I have to say I teared up a little as today has been one of those days that I have felt the loss of Frankie and Mollie quite keenly. This made my day as it is our little family
Thursday 14th March
Well Dembe’s wobbly teeth are hanging on in there. They are incredibly loose and I would be very surprised if they make it through the day. He is chewing like crazy on all his toys bless him so his gums must be hurting him. There is a little bit of blood on the Antler chew so I will keep an eye on that but I think it is the beginning of his molars erupting. Poor little sausage.
Both Dembe and I are shattered today. All he wants to do is cuddle up beside me and sleep. He has had some very manic weeks so it is always a surprise when he suddenly then drops the energy level down. I think he is having another massive growth spurt. He is looking taller and longer this week. He is very heavy, I haven’t weighed him but I can no longer lift him off the floor. If I need to pick him up he needs to be on a bed or sofa as I just can’t manage his weight now. It is a bit sad as it shows how much he is growing up but he is such a wonderfully loving boy. All my boy dogs have been very loving and soppy but Dembe is off the chart and what is really beautiful is that he also loves Jay so much.
Every night when I get up for the loo ( which is several times) he gets up with me, he wanders into Jays room, checks that he is ok and then sits at my feet. He then escorts me back to bed. He really does see his role as looking after me.
Jay took Dembe up the common after work as now the evenings are lighter for longer even with a 6pm finish he can have a good off the lead walk. After being quite sedate all day he is a loon this evening. Finally collapsing at 8pm,
Friday 15th March
Dembe has lost his first tooth. I have no idea when it came out, it was there first thing but a few hours later it was gone. He still has the two loose bottom to but they won’t make it through the day.
As Jay is on a late night we got Dembe up the common at 8.40am so that he could have a walk in a busy area, so he is meeting people and other dogs. He loves this walk as it is the one that includes the woods and he loves scrambling about in there and following scents, Jay bumped into a couple who breed Labradors and they stopped and asked Jay where he had got him from and were very complimentary about his looks and temperament. Everyone who knows anything about Labradors goes nuts when they meet him, telling us how gorgeous he is. Dembe went straight to sleep on our return.
Paul popped over this morning as he was delivering two bedside cabinets for me. It is so sweet now watching Dembe react to people he knows. He went crazy for Paul, his tail was thumping against me, as I picked him up so he didn’t attempt an escape as Paul and his colleague brought the units in. Paul has been the first person that I have seem Dembe really recognise. Which is really special as Paul is such an important part of our lives. Paul made a real fuss of him.
Dembe was out for the count again soon after Paul left. Although he soon woke up when Sandra popped in. As soon as he heard her voice he jumped up and his tail was wagging furiously. He really loves Sandra too. She is the only person he gets really vocal with and will make noises like he is trying to have a conversation with her. He had us in stitches today as he was making noises we hadn’t heard before.
Whilst Sandra was here I noticed that Dembe had lost both the bottom teeth that were wobbly. I have no idea where he has lost them and they are so dinky its highly unlikely we will find them. he has probably swallowed them. The tooth fairy is going to be busy tonight.
We have had a lovely play upstairs this afternoon and I managed to get this cracking photo
Dembe is 17 weeks old today and we have had him 9 weeks today. This may sound really odd but Jay and I have really struggled with getting our brains to accept that he is really ours. Finally for me it is starting to sink in.
Saturday 16th March
Dembe has been really cuddly again today, I was trying to embroider a sweatshirt and he just wanted to sit on my lap the whole time which was a bit awkward.
Every time I needed to do a colour change I would have to put him down on to the floor. Dembe would immediately start jumping up at my legs wanting back up on my lap. He is so big now that unless I am sat on the sofa he really isn’t going to be able to sit on my lap when I am at the machine for very much longer which makes me sad. He is growing up way too quickly.
Where Dembe has lost teeth his new adult teeth have already erupted through the gums. I am amazed at the speed considering there was nothing there at all yesterday just gums! You can see how tall he is getting when he jumps up on his back feet his front feet are at waist height.
He has had a manic hour or so when he wanted the ball thrown continuously. He took his soft toy skunk outside as well this afternoon, he then proceeded to drop it on the decking and then pee on it! So that has had to go in wash! I don’t know what Skunk did to deserve such treatment and I really don’t know if the squeak will still work when it has dried out.
Dembe has now crashed out and is sat beside me on the sofa.
Sunday 17th March
Dembe has lost his 4th tooth this morning, I got so close to almost having one of his baby teeth to treasure forever and then the little bugger swallowed it. His adult teeth are coming through very quickly. The gummy look doesn’t last long as his adult teeth start pushing through within 12 hours.
Everything I wear now is covered in red / yellow Labrador hair. The vet did say to us on 25th February that his adult coat would soon start to come through and would mean he would start moulting… a lot. He wasn’t wrong. It looks like I have had my hair cut and sprinkled the hair everywhere! The Weimaraner’s had very short hair so although they would moult, Willow just seemed to permanently moult, you didn’t really end up covered unless you wore black jeans. Every item of outer clothing is covered in his hair although there doesn’t seem to be masses of it in the vacuum cleaner.
He is growing so quickly, out and about on the walk he looks tiny especially next to full grown dogs, In the house he seems huge you only have to compare photos of when he was 8 weeks old to now to see the difference in him. Sometimes it feels like if you blink you will miss part of his development into a full grown dog. In the grand scheme of things he is still a baby at 17 weeks. He still fits his first harness although it won’t be long and he will be in the next size up. His coat is also getting very red, he is a mixture of deep red and very pale yellow. His dad was fox red and his mum was very pale.
Today has been full on as the garden revamp has started, our decking has been down for 15 years and is very rotten and frankly in places dangerous. Dembe has been having great fun digging holes in it. We were going to leave the revamp until the summer but it has deteriorated so badly due to the heavy rain we have been having that it had to go. This will be a project that takes a few months and for much of that Dembe will be confined to the patio again for his own safety until its safe for him to be in the rest of the garden. Thank you to all our friends who have been pitching in to help. I am so proud of Jay for insisting that he took this project on himself as he wanted to be able to sit back when it was completed and know that he had done this for Dembe.
Today was a very special day for Dembe as he got to meet his number one fan Sam, along with his sister Gemma and his mum Sarah. Sarah and I used to work together many years ago, she knows both myself and Jamie, we have kept in contact via social media since I left work in 2008.
Sam is besotted by dogs and had been following Dembe through his mums Facebook account and the photos I had been sending Sarah. As Sam is away at college during term time we had to wait for him to be home so that he could come over with his mum and sister. Apparently it was all Sam had been talking about that morning and for a few days prior. He had even brought Dembe a present which he adores and has been playing with loads.
I was a little nervous as Dembe on occasion can be boisterous like all puppies can. I think I feel the boisterousness more because I have been so used to my old doggies ( and calmer doggies) that I have forgotten what a whirlwind of energy they can be. I didn’t want him getting over excited and hurting Sam by accident. I couldn’t have been more blown away by the intelligence shown by Dembe. He was very gentle around Sam and very calm. It was as if he sensed that Sam needed that and adopted the body language and temperament to be the best pup he could. This photograph taken by Sam’s mum Sarah encapsulates the joy both of them shared on meeting.
This makes my heart melt every time I look at it. Dembe was very careful around Sam’s ears to ensure he didn’t interfere with his hearing aids. I made sure that Sam got plenty of one on one time with Dembe.
Gemma was a little hesitant as she was scared of dogs but by the end of the visit was confidently approaching Dembe and petting him. It was lovely to see her confidence grow. Both Sam and Gemma asked great questions about puppies and dogs. Sam was planning what he was going to buy Dembe for Christmas even though I told him that Dembe would just like to see him. I felt very humbled.
Dembe did manage to embarrass me though as he has a bit of a humping habit and today was no exception. Which lead me having to explain it is more a dominance thing than a sexual thing at the moment. Nightmare LOL !
After all the excitement of the visit Dembe slept a lot of the afternoon
He did wake up later on that afternoon and had a mad half hour playing with the toy Sam had given him.
I managed to capture this one of Dembe when he had just woken up from a nap.
Tuesday 19th February
As each week passes Dembe’s character develops a little more. There isn’t a day that goes by when he doesn’t have me in stitches. Dembe wakes at 5am every morning and wants his breakfast, no matter how hard we try we can’t get him much past 5.30am. However now the little minx has access to the stairs after having his breakfast and going to the toilet he now goes back up to bed and will sleep until 06.30am – 07.00am. At least I can also get back to sleep and the 5am wake ups are no longer feeling like they are slowly killing me.
Jay took him up the common today for a run around and a chase of the ball. He loves meeting new dogs and exploring the great outdoors.
In the early afternoon I wasn’t feeling well so took myself up to bed, I was fully expecting Dembe to join me upstairs but he must have sensed I needed to rest and he stayed downstairs with Jay. A little later on I came back downstairs, Dembe greeted me like I had been gone for days bless him. I needed to get some sewing jobs completed so Dembe came out in the kitchen with me and slept on his bed.
Dembe is really enjoying having what we call the big boys bed downstairs to lie on, he also loves a ball that is his favourite.
Wednesday 20th February
Dembe managed to escape out of the front door this morning. I didn’t even see him do it, I just had a feeling that he had managed to get past me and then I turned around and saw him sauntering down the drive. It was a very real heart in mouth moment. Thankfully we have worked hard on recall training from the minute he got home with us six weeks ago ( on Friday ) . I also always walk around with a pocket full of treats these days so on calling him back I was able to reward him. Even though he seemed a little annoyed that his jaunt had come to a premature end.
Its a busy week for Dembe and I as today he is meeting my best friends dog Bruce. He met Ellie a while back but she hasn’t seen him for around 3-4 weeks. Bruce is a cockerpoo who they have rehomed.
With the benefit of hindsight it would have been better to get Bruce and Dembe to meet on neutral territory. Dembe was full of himself as he was on his home turf and Bruce because this was a new house and new people / dog was feeling insecure. Unfortunately Dembe was just too much for Bruce today and was ignoring Bruce’s cues to leave him alone and back off. In order to keep the peace I had to keep Dembe on a long lead, so that I could prevent him from annoying Bruce who was finding the situation a bit stressful. Eventually both calmed down but not before I was utterly exhausted. We have arranged to meet up at the beach next week as we need to get them used to each other so we can spend time at each others houses.
Dembe’s new walking / car harness has arrived today. He really loathes his car harness and I am sure it is because it doesn’t fit properly, its huge around his chest but fits around his tummy. This new harness fits brilliantly and there is no fighting to get it on him. He also has a nasty habit of pulling on the lead especially if I am out with them on my scooter to the point where he chokes himself. I am terrified that he will pull too hard one day and manage to pop the collar – a safety device to stop him hanging himself should he jump up and catch his collar he can’t hang himself. That is another reason why I never have had any of my dogs in a collar with a buckle as they don’t have this safety feature. It’s fine if you only ever put a collar on when you are walking but all our dogs have worn collars all the time unless having a shower.
After a visit and an escape Dembe was shattered and conked out on his big boys bed with his head on the floor. He looked like a skinned rabbit all stretched out.
Thursday 21st February
Dembe isn’t jumping up on the sofa this week, last week he managed to misjudge the distance and went bouncing off. He is jumping off ok but he is insisting on being lifted up. Today he has started jumping back up again and is doing well!
He has always been an affectionate pup but today he is being very soppy. I can’t go anywhere without being showered in kisses and given cuddles. He is such a loving pup I really couldn’t be without him. Even when he is annoying me by following me everywhere and I mean everywhere!
He met Sandra today as she popped in to see us. He was going crazy whilst Sandra was here. They were playing together and rolling the ball on the floor which he loves. I have said that we will pop up and see them next week as Jay is on holiday. Sandra did manage to terrify him by holding the paper that had just come through the door in front of him. It is hilarious at the things this dog will spook at, a folded newspaper being the funniest so far. I let him play with the paper once Sandra had left so that he could work out there was nothing to be afraid of.
Sarah came over for lunch today when Jay came back. She hasn’t seen Dembe for a few weeks and was amazed at how much he had grown. For the first time ever Dembe was interested in what someone was eating and I thought Sarah may lose her chicken sandwich if she wasn’t vigilant!
He was a very good boy today as I needed to do some sewing as I was starting to go stir crazy. He slept on his bed in the kitchen as I worked away at the machine.
Dembe did his first ever bark at the front door this evening. I heard Jays car on the drive so knew he was coming despite being in the kitchen. Dembe obviously hadn’t heard him and when he heard the front door open unexpectedly he barked. I was very proud of him, although he was soon throwing himself on Jay to let him know how much he had missed him!
Friday 22nd February
Dembe is 14 weeks old today and has been home with us for 6 weeks. To be honest it feels like a lot longer. I still miss Mollie and Frankie desperately and found myself breaking down a few times this week over nothing in particular, I was just telling Dembe how much his uncle Frankie would have adored him and how much Mollie would have loved him to play with on the common. It sometimes surprises me how very raw it feels. Mollie passed away 7 weeks ago and Frankie 8 weeks ago and I miss them so very much. I am sobbing whilst writing this, I know the pain will go away at some point but I am having nightmares about their passing. It was brutal and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
Jay took Dembe up the common this morning as he was on a late shift, we still had to rush around though as Jay had a hospital appointment to squeeze in before work as well. Jay took these shots of him yesterday, the first ones we have of him on the common.
Dembe was tired after his jaunt to the common so had a little nap
We have noticed that since Monday Dembe has stopped humping his bed, maybe he wore himself out after Monday? Who knows but its rather nice he isn’t doing it at the moment as it does get a bit embarrassing.
However replacing the humping with jumping up is not cool either. All day at every opportunity the dog that never jumped up, jumped up. I had to stop sewing at one point as his paws can touch the edge of the kitchen table, he managed to knock a pair of scissors and a seam ripper off. I wasn’t expecting him to be able to reach that already so that was a bit of a shock!
Saturday 23rd February
I had a bit of a shock this morning as I started typing up Dembe’s diary from my notes and looked up to see this
When did he get so big? He is so tall already. When he first came home we couldn’t see him the other side of the coffee table. When he jumped up his paws only just made it to the top of the table. In a blink of an eye he has just grown so very much. It made me chuckle to see him watching me type up his weekly exploits.
Dembe was very good today as I did a bit more sewing and cleared the decks so that I could do some embroidery on Sunday as I have been itching to stitch out a design.
Every afternoon around 3pm Dembe and I go upstairs and have a play on the bed. We have upstairs toys that consist of his baby blanket which he left the breeders with, a blue dinosaur, a huge cuddly elephant and a myriad of cardboard tubes of assorted sizes. I have a lie down to recharge my batteries whilst having a game of tug with whatever toy Dembe has taken a fancy too.
This week his lordship has developed an annoying habit of lunging on top of my keyboard when I am using it. It is very annoying as he keeps doing it at the most inopportune times, like trying to place an order or chatting to someone on messenger. He really does pick his moments.
He has also become obsessed with peoples drinks, well really just mine. It started with every night when we go to bed licking the squash bottles my overnight drinks are kept in. ( due to various medical issues I drink litres of fluids overnight) . He would jump off the bed the minute the bottles were set down on the floor and lick them. He would even try to barge in front of me and drink from the bottle every time I tried to take a sip. Today he has been pushing his luck and has managed to knock over my can of Irn Bru not once but twice. I had just finished clearing up the lake of the orange liquid all over my coffee table and put the table runner in the wash, when he knocked it over again. He was called quite a few things and none of them were good boy Dembe. Its my fault after the first time I should have transferred the drink into a glass. And perhaps moved it further from the edge. It is hard to stay cross with him for long as he looks at you with those big brown eyes and you end up stroking him and kissing him.
Sunday 24th February
Today is the first day of Jays holiday from work. It is his first holiday from work since November. He took two weeks off work at the start of January as he was so unwell after the shock of losing the dogs so quickly. Dembe really helped him, well both of us. We would have been so lost with out him. So we have lots planned to do this week. The first job is sorting out the back garden so that it is clean and safe for Dembe to play in.
From the time Dembe came home until this morning he has been limited to our patio for playing outdoors and using as his place to go to the toilet between walks. It has been washed down every other day with Dettol and hosed down after every poo. Sorry of that is TMI. We haven’t let him explore the decking as it would have been too difficult to keep an eye on him in the middle of the night to ensure he was safe. Now he is bigger he needs the outdoor space to explore and play in. It meant moving around some plants. We realised that we had two in the garden that could potentially cause problems if not made difficult for him to come into contact with as they are poisonous. The other dogs never bothered with the Japonica or the Ivy, we have had them both since 2004. The Japonica is in a huge tub that is too big to get through our patio doors – it was a squeeze when the tub was empty! So to get rid of the Japonica would mean killing it, after all these years it just seems sad. So we have moved it into the far corner of the garden and put lots of smaller pots around it making it difficult to reach. As he never goes out in the garden without one of us keeping an eye on him he can’t suddenly decide to get to it come hell or high water.
The banister at the end of the garden also needed screening off. Before when we bred puppies we would put chicken wire along the banisters and attach with cable ties. It looked ugly but did the job. This time I have bought some cheap bamboo screening and we have wedged that between the banisters and the plant pots. It has actually given us some more privacy which is lovely as we are quite overlooked. So the garden is now Dembe proofed.
He has spent most of the day exploring and refusing to go to sleep. He also wouldn’t go to the toilet out there and had an accident on his new rug. I managed to pick him up just as he started – with no warning! and take him to the back door. The rug has been cleaned with biological washing liquid to breakdown the urine so it doesn’t become a favourite place to pee. Eventually though he did relent and at 16.30 he had a wee and a poo in the back garden hurrah!
Due to the fact he didn’t sleep from the minute he woke up until about 14.30, he finally collapsed as I was sat at my embroidery machine. Only he decided to turn his bed into a sleeping bag. The crafty devil managed to work out how to undo the poppers on the back and then crawled inside. We couldn’t stop laughing.
Dembe is cracking us up at the moment as because every time one of us goes in the freezer he dives in his crate. The reason being is I make him frozen kongs for when he goes in his crate. He goes crazy when a kong comes out and practically throws himself in the crate and spins around until he gets the kong. Jay has just got me some ice so I can have a medicinal Vodka tonic and Dembe has jumped inside his crate!
More Dembe Diaries next week, when next Saturday he has his puppy socialisation session.
Today is a day of firsts – Dembe has worked out that if he pushes the patio door with his nose it will slide open. The door was slightly ajar as the patio was being washed down with the hose. The next thing we knew Dembe was trying to bite the water coming out of the hose pipe.
Then just 20 minutes later he jumped from the floor up to my lap as I was sat on the sofa. He hasn’t jumped from the floor to the sofa yet so that was a bit of a shock. Since the end of last week he has been jumping off the sofa with ease but never on it.
After a dry two weeks on the toilet training front – well we presumed dry, I caught the little bugger having a wee on the lounge rug. The annoying thing was I was just about to call him to get him out on the patio. I wasn’t impressed as the rug now needed to be cleaned with biological detergent to break down the urine so it doesn’t become a regular spot – however I might be a little late. As checking the rug that evening I discovered an even bigger wet patch. The rug has been binned RIP rug, three Weimaraners wreaked havoc on you but you couldn’t cope with a 12 week old yellow lab. It was a valiant effort but sadly not enough.
Jay brought Kat home with him for lunch today and yes she couldn’t believe how much he had grown in the last few weeks. He is still very dinky though, especially when you see him out in the real world.
His obsession today has been chasing his tail, most days at some point he will attack his own tail but today for some reason his poor tail couldn’t do anything right. Dembe was like a kid who had discovered that spinning around makes you dizzy and walk funny. I have never seen him chase his own tail as much as he did today. He has been full of beans all day. Thank goodness Jay is on an early and he will be walked this evening.
Tuesday 12th February
Dembe was down on the beach at 08.30 this morning, we met a friend of ours called Richard and his dog Whisky who is a springer spaniel. Unfortunately Whisky was a bit too full on for Dembe and he became very timid, running back to me on the slipway or hiding behind his dads legs.
I used my mobility scooter again which is just wonderful as it gives me so much freedom.
Eventually Dembe got over his nerves and got a bit braver. It seems he is happier meeting dogs in a gentle manner whilst everyone is calm or on leads. A bouncy springer that reminded me of tigger daunted him.
Dembe also got to meet my hairdresser today Rachel, he was very intrigued by the gown she put over my clothes to stop them getting covered in hair. He was very good and went to sleep on his kitchen bed whilst she worked and didn’t try to get up and play with all the hair that was on the floor.
It was a very busy day as in the afternoon I had a physio session. I can’t believe it but we got away with it again having Dembe in the waiting room. Again everyone came out to meet him. Dembe was very well-behaved and adored all the attention from the staff. My physio Jane is such a darling, as she was replacing the tissue cover on the examination couch I asked her if I could have the cardboard tube as Dembe loves chewing them. She dived out the room and came back with 3 more. So the spoilt boy has 4 to destroy.
He went crazy over them when we got home, charging about all over the place.
Whilst I was in my physio session Jay took Dembe for a quick stroll around the block to ensure there were no puddles in the waiting room. He ran into a lovely lady called Lo from O and P silver, who made our needle-shaped rings. She recognised Dembe from my photo’s on Facebook before she recognised Jay.
So the little pup had a wonderful day full of adventures and cuddles.
Wednesday 13th February
We are attempting to push Dembe’s wake up time to nearer 6am than the current 4.30am -5am as the wake up times are killing me and impacting my health. He is waking up because he is starving hungry typical lab. I don’t care how hungry he is 5am is not breakfast time. We are still splitting his breakfast into 2 parts to stop the choking. Breakfast is the only meal he goes totally crazy for. He is happy at every meal time but he is happy to the point of hysteria at breakfast time.
Today’s training mission is to stop his naughty habit of jumping up and throwing himself at the fridge freezer, whenever the fridge door is opened. It won’t be long and he will be tall enough to jump to the height of the bottom shelf of the fridge so it needs working on now. It is a behaviour that has come out of nowhere, so needs stamped on now. I am also working on being able to open the front door without him charging for it.
Both training sessions went well and I was able to open the front door without having to pick him up. Believe me he needs to learn this fast as he is getting so heavy and I am going through quite a difficult time with my back so I don’t need any additional strain placed on it. I really wouldn’t be surprised if he was around the 8 kilo mark now. He will be weighed in 2 weeks so it will be interesting to see how much weight he has put on in 4 weeks.
The training with the fridge door is going well, even though he still runs into the kitchen when the fridge is opened he is now sitting and waiting and no longer throwing himself at the door. To assist with training I am walking around with a pocket full of treats so that I can be timely with his rewards. He is so switched on that he is a joy to work with however because he is so easy to work with its easy to move on too quickly when you think the problem has been sorted. So I am determined to keep up with both bits of training as they are equally as important as each other.
Dembe was made famous today as his photo’s were shown on TV today on the Sewing Quarter channel 687 on Sky ( you can also watch live on YouTube and Freeview) .
Thursday 14th February
Dembe didn’t wake up until 5.40am this morning which felt like a lie on! It is the first time in weeks he has slept so late. He was taken out at 12.30am for his last toilet trip ( we go to bed very early) which as usual was a success. He woke me up this morning by smothering me in kisses. He is such an affectionate loving boy.
As Jay is on late night he took him up on to the common for a run around, I stayed in the car as I was still exhausted after Tuesday. Dembe loves having a large open space to run around in and chase after a ball. He loves exploring a new environment. He was a little muddy when we got home so his legs were washed off and his belly was given a wipe down. He is so good I know the Weimaraner pups would never have put up with that but he just sits there happy with you doing whatever you need.
I had a bit of a shock today as Dembe jumped up at the baby gate that is blocking off the stairs and his paws can sit on the top of it. He is just growing up way too fast. In the space of nearly 5 weeks he has just shot up his legs are longer, his body is longer his snout is longer. He is still dinky, you can really see how small he is when outside but inside he is looking enormous especially when his head is level with the lounge coffee table.
As I was so tired after Tuesday we had our first ever upstairs afternoon lie down for an hour. Due to Dembe needing out frequently I have been having my lie downs on the sofa until today. I wanted to see how he would cope so I set my alarm for an hours time and had a lie down. He entertained himself, no accidents and snuggled in with me. So I know now if I am having a very rough day he will come back up to bed without too many problems.
Friday 15th February
As I said on Monday it was a day of firsts and today was no different. Dembe has learned how to jump up on the sofa unaided. I was in the kitchen and it had got suspiciously quiet, I came into the lounge and saw Dembe curled up on the sofa asleep. I also knew I hadn’t left him there, by the time I got my phone out to take a photo he had woken up. It now means nothing is safe .
Later on in the morning he jumped up beside me again unaided so it wasn’t a one off.
I needed to take something upstairs and normally I would lock the baby gate behind me and within 30 seconds Dembe would be whingeing. Today I decided to do a little experiment , I left Dembe on the sofa and went upstairs leaving the baby gate open, dead silence, no whinging, I did this several more times during the day and there was still no whinging. It was obviously the physical barrier that was upsetting him as without it there was no crying and yet he didn’t even attempt to get upstairs. It maybe time to remove the babygate and see how we get on.
I decided to do some embroidery on my machine this afternoon, normally Dembe would follow me into the kitchen and put himself to bed. However today he decided to stay put on the sofa with his head on the arm so that he could keep an eye on me just like his uncle Frankie used to.
I can’t believe he is 13 weeks old today and has been home with us for 5 weeks now. He is such a huge part of our lives.
Saturday 16th February
Jay was late night again today so we took Dembe up to the common for a run around . I stayed in the car as I have woken up with a headache and vertigo. Dembe thoroughly enjoyed his walk and was playing with other dogs, which is a relief as I thought maybe he had suddenly become frightened of other dogs after reacting the way he did on Tuesday. But he is fine and is being a lot braver with every meeting.
Today Dembe decided to channel Satan again, barking and growling was immense fun and he was doing it to inanimate objects and humans. He was also over excited all day which meant he was jumping up and nipping inappropriately at the small humans we had here. Thankfully he didn’t bite them, I was mortified and had to give him a time out in the kitchen to calm down, which he was shocked at because I have never removed him from a room completely. He did calm down and was allowed back in. The time out seemed to stop the barking also.
It was a day of many visitors, before the day’s end we had another 4 people visit us and Dembe kept getting over excited which resulted in him being removed from the situation. Every time someone went to stroke his head yesterday it was seen as an opportunity to chew their fingers. If someone ignored him he started barking at them. It made me a bit sad that he was being naughty but he is a baby and he is testing the boundaries . I am stopping the behaviour before it escalates by removing him and allowing him to calm down. He is very good when I put him behind the baby gate as he just sits and watches and doesn’t make a sound.
With other things he is doing really well, he now no longer jumps at the fridge when we open the door and he sits patiently waiting when Jay puts his lead on. He will also wait when I open the front door and allow visitors in or take in deliveries. It is amazing when you have been used to dogs that went mental when the door went and had to be shut in the kitchen when visitors arrived. Everyone has their off days and I think yesterday was one of those for him.
We decoded to remove the baby gate yesterday at the bottom of the stairs to see how we would get on without it there and if he would go upstairs if he had the opportunity. He wasn’t interested and only attempted to go upstairs once and was quickly dissuaded when I told him no. We have had to move our large wicker basket up into my room as it would just be too tempting for him to use as a chew toy.
Sunday 17th February
Dembe woke me up at 5.30am this morning but as I was asleep before 8pm last night ( shattered after all the visitors) it didn’t feel too bad. Dembe woke me with a whiney yawn he had obviously been awake for a little while and all other attempts to rouse me had failed.
By 7.45am we were down the beach, it never ceases to amaze me how busy the seafront is all day long. Dembe loves the beach and meeting new dogs and there were plenty of them this morning. He is getting much braver with meeting new dogs and Jay is really good handling those situations. I would be terrified my immediate urge is to pick him up – which is awful as I am miles away from him on the slipway, I watch holding my breath. Jay just gets on his haunches and pets the dog that has come over for a sniff and makes a fuss of them. Left to me I’d have picked him up and run away. At least with Jay being so confident Dembe doesn’t pick up on any fear.
He has been pretty tired since his walk this morning and has been sleeping either on the sofa beside me or on the dogs bed I made for our Weimaraners.
And yes that is my slipper behind him!
The rest of his day has been spent sleeping, he is obviously having another growth spurt or he wore himself out yesterday with all his exuberence. We were planning on having a quiet day today as Jay and I both needed to recharge our batteries, so with Dembe being so tired it has worked to our advantage.
Next week will be fun, on Monday he will be meeting his admirer Sam who is on half term from College and then on Wednesday my best friend Ellie will be bringing her dog up (Bruce) to meet Dembe.
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.
We had a very good night in bed at 8pm as we were all shattered , he was taken out at 3am for the toilet and then slept until 06.45am.
Dembe is really starting to change, I swear he is bigger than he was three days ago! Today we heard his first ever growl and bark. He caught sight of his reflection in a glass door and thought he would let it know who was boss. Despite me being stuck in bed with a migraine at the time I did chuckle. He also gets very frustrated with not being able to reach into his toy box so that gets barked at too!
Whilst I was stuck in bed Jay had to supervise Dembe alone for the first time. I came too as I had been sleeping, as Jay came up the stairs. I was fully expecting Dembe to be put on the bed with me whilst Jay used the bathroom. However the bathroom door closed and I didn’t get Dembe. When Jay emerged I asked him if he had taken Dembe with him, no he replied I have shut him in his cage, he is happily playing with his toys. I told Jay when he opened the door to reward Dembe with a small bit of roast beef. Dembe goes crazy for roast beef, he has worked out that the roast beef is kept in the fridge and if he is in the kitchen when the fridge is opened he sits bolt upright waiting to see if anything is coming his way. At the moment we are just using this treat for crate training as we want a super special treat for this.
Dembe’s character is emerging more and more. Today whilst Jay was fitting a baby gate Dembe strolled up and then stole the screwdriver out of his hand. To get it back roast beef had to be used! The only time roast beef has been used for anything other than crate training.
We have had a couple of accidents in the house today. Mainly because he was doing so well we got complacent. We have been back on it ever since as we were disappointed to have let him down. However he keeps throwing us as initially he would run to the back door to keep us on our toes he now also runs to the front door, which means he has to be carried to the back door. We think its because it has the only bit of carpet in the whole of the downstairs in front of it and it still contains the scent of our previous dogs. He is probably just marking his territory. Thankfully its all been cleaned and now we just watch his tail when he is over by the front door. He has a very rhythmic tail movement when he is about to go to the toilet that is completely different to his other tail movements. He’d be a rubbish poker player!
Dembe has still been meeting lots of people and dogs. Nothing much seems to phase him.
For those of you new to me and Jay we are avid Emma Bridgewater Pottery collectors. When I found the Yellow Labrador mug on line I had to have it!
Tuesday 15th January
Today I have been feeling very low, I love Dembe with all my heart but I am really missing Frankie and Mollie ( I have missed Willow everyday since she passed away). Whats worse is I keep calling Dembe , Frankie which feels like a knife to the heart. I am angry that I am causing this pain to myself but I have been saying the name Frankie for 12 years and Dembe for just 4 days. As I have always said Dembe is very much an addition to our family not a replacement. He is a very different dog to any of the others we have owned in the past. All dogs have their own personalities and quirks, we are learning his.
Dembe has had a very busy day, he was awake from 5am and was a demon from the off. I am wondering who came in the night and stole my calm placid puppy and replaced him with Satan. He is biting everything, running around like a lunatic. He then had a sleep between 6am and 7am and then went off like a coiled spring again. At around 9.30am he took himself off to the kitchen and went to sleep on his dad’s slippers.
For the rest of the day he has been an angel, he met my best friend Ellie who brought him a lovely teddy bear. He also met 4 children who were fantastic with him as they have a fully grown Rotti called Maui, so a 8 week old puppy is nothing to them. He was playing tug of war with the girls plaits which brought about squeals of laughter. He was such a very good boy.
Today he discovered the joy of chasing a ball, so as he was loving careering through the lounge I decided to use the opportunity to get him to learn to fetch and retrieve. He cottoned on very quickly that if he gave me the ball back I would roll it along the floor again for him. I have also got him to master sit today and he will sit on command. He is so eager to learn and loves any fuss. His tail goes mental when you tell him he has been a good boy.
We also quickly went down the sea front today so that Dembe could experience some different sights and sounds.
For the first time we attached a lead to his collar, he believes this is just another chew toy. I can see he maybe a lead chewer like his Uncle Frankie so a metal lead will need to be purchased.
Wednesday 16th January
Today Dembe had his first trip to the vets for his puppy check, to ensure his jabs are compatible with what our veterinary surgery uses and to register his microchip number with them. Thankfully the jabs are compatible however out vet uses Lepto 4 not lepto 2 so he will have an extra jab to cover him for the 4 strains of leptospirosis ( Weils Disease). We want him to be covered as Jays favourite place to walk the dogs is on Woodbury common which at this time of year can be quite wet and boggy. So until he has been fully vaccinated it will be road walks once he is safe to do so.
We have been using this practice for at least 11 years and wouldn’t take any of our animals we have owned or own anywhere else. However this trip is a bit traumatic for both Jay and I. Both trips to the vets recently have been to have our elderly Weimaraners p.t.s, both out of the blue so there was no preparing ourselves for what happened.
We were totally overwhelmed by the surgery staffs kindness. A lady who worked there, who always loved Frankie had bought Dembe a welcome to your new home card and a purple Rhino Kong toy. It made me cry but they were happy tears and plus I was just really worked up with being there again so soon after losing Mollie and Frankie. We had made sure we arrived at the vets early so this lovely lady could have lots of puppy cuddles. However due to it being quite busy we ended up being there a lot longer than we had planned. Dembe was an absolute star, he never fussed or cried even though he was probably bored rigid being held and not allowed on the ground to play.
Whilst he was at the vets he had lots of cuddles with various members of staff. Which again is great for his socialisation. They all couldn’t believe the size of his feet and everyone keeps telling us what a big boy he will be. However I remember Frankie as a puppy and I can’t remember him ever being as small as our Dinky Dot Dembe, which obviously he was. Frankie had feet the size of side plates, well ok that maybe a slight exaggeration but they were huge. To me Dembe’s feet look in proportion to the rest of him but it will be interesting to see if he is a big Labrador as both his parents seemed quite small in comparison with Frankie and Mollie.
The rest of the day was spent quietly, I think the events of the last 2-3 weeks are beginning to catch up on us. Its very hard when you are grieving, you can either hide away from life and that would have broken both of us or you can just grab life with both hands and keep going.
Dembe is now sitting on command every time I ask him to and occasionally he is also giving me his paw when asked or not asked, whatever takes his fancy.
The baby gates have now been installed on my bedroom door and on the kitchen / lounge door. This meant Dembe had to be crated for a while to keep him safe whilst this was done. He did very well as it was the longest he had been crated for. He did cry a little towards the end but as soon as he saw me he stopped and he calmly came out. He was rewarded for being such a good boy with a tiny piece of roast beef.
He is such an affectionate boy, who divides his time equally between myself and Jay. Everyone who meets him falls in love with him.
Thursday 17th January
Today was the first day in ages we were totally free from visits or appointments. It has been enormous fun ensuring that Dembe is socialised with all our friends, their children and various different places / sounds but it is also bloody tiring.
The job for today was getting my mobility scooter looked at, on Sunday when we had been trying to adjust the seat height we had inadvertently jammed the bar so it wouldn’t move at all. We tried numerous things to free it but weren’t getting anywhere. I searched YouTube and various websites to no avail. I thought that we may have even broken it, so our hail Mary pass was to take it to a place that did repairs.
We travelled over to Devon Disability Collective in Marsh Barton, I didn’t ring as I thought we could either leave it there to get looked at or they would tell us it couldn’t be repaired. It was a good opportunity to get Dembe accustomed to longer car rides as we both have family that live over an hour away and we want to be able to visit them without a dog crying / barking in the car for the whole journey. Thankfully Dembe from the start has been brilliant in the car, most of the time he just sleeps.
Within a minute of Jay going into the building, he came back out again with a man that said he would try to help us. Five minutes later it was all fixed. A liberal coating of silicone lubricant and a hammer had prised the seat adjustment bar back out and now I would be able to use the mobility scooter whenever I wanted. I offered to pay the man for his time but he wouldn’t accept any payment, so Dembe gave him a cuddle instead.
Until Dembe I had never seen a dog smile in his sleep. Dembe seems to have a permanent grin on his chops whilst he snores….loudly. Every day I am a little more in love with him, which I didn’t think was possible. The change in Jay has been miraculous, obviously having Dembe doesn’t take the pain away but it makes it liveable. Jay’s colour has changed before we got Dembe he was an awful grey colour at times I thought he was going to die of a broken heart. I have never seen him look so ill. His mood has lifted also and he now wants to go back to work and see people. Before Dembe’s arrival and his socialisation training Jay was hiding away. It has been so good for him and me.
In the evenings Dembe likes to sleep on the sofa next to Jay. He does sleep in some very strange positions.
I also managed to do some sewing late Thursday afternoon. I hadn’t touched my machines for two weeks as I just couldn’t concentrate and didn’t want to. I needed to use the machine so that Dembe wouldn’t be frightened of the noise it made. The only thing that scared him today was the sound of the ironing board so we will need to ensure over the next few days it is put up and down a few times so he gets used to the noise.
To celebrate the fact that my mobility scooter was up and running we went down to the seafront again. This time I was able to ride alongside Jay and Dembe instead of being stuck on the bench as I had been earlier in the week. It was fantastic actually being able to take part properly rather than sitting on the side lines.
Today he met a 12 week old pug and they had a good sniff of each other. He also met his very first baby (well probably closer to a one year old) Dembe was fascinated as was the baby! He gave her lots of kisses and her face really beamed.
Friday 18th January
Today we needed to get out and about and run some errands so it was an excellent opportunity to get Dembe in the car again and being around lots of noise and people. I have now lost count how many people he has met. I know by Monday we were in the mid twenties. By the end of this week its probably going to be double that.
We had to pop into the vets to give them some paperwork. So this meant a lot of cuddles and attention from staff and clients. We then went to the town centre, this was the busiest environment Dembe had been in with traffic ( including lorries and buses) lots of people of all different ages and lots of dogs. Dembe took it all in his stride and he was exceptionally well behaved as he was held in Jays arms for close to an hour. We get stopped wherever we go with people wanting to ask about him and give him a cuddle. Everyone raves about how beautiful he is. I think he is too even though I am a little biased. I do think his nose will be out of joint when he has passed the cute puppy stage and the humans are no longer cooing over him!
We had two lots of visitors in the afternoon and unusually he was awake through both. Normally at least one lot of our visitors ends up disappointed as Dembe has crashed and is fast asleep. That is the life of a puppy though, like babies they can and do sleep a lot. Dembe got a bit over excited this afternoon as he was chasing after a 3 year old. He found that enormous fun and then he started bombing around the house without chasing anyone. He was well and truly hyped up by the time our second visitors arrived with their 12 week old Cockerpoo. Which despite being 3 weeks older than Dembe was less than half his size and probably less than half his weight.
Dembe was up for a good game of rough and tumble as he had obviously had his litter mates to play with who were all the same sort of size he was. The Cockerpoo was having none of it and spent most of the visit either in her owners arms or trying to get in her owners arms. Being a Labrador all Dembe wanted to do was chase and let off some steam, we had hoped that they would play nicely together and run around the house. The Cockerpoo was very timid and found Dembe just overwhelming. Such a shame as I would have loved to see him burn some of his energy up.
Dembe is obsessed with anything that smells of his Dad, he likes to sleep on his daddy’s slippers and when Jay washed his bed linen today Dembe saw a chance to ensure he was immersed in the smell.
Saturday 19th January
The day got off to a cracking start with me managing to take my evening medications instead of my morning medications first thing. That left me feeling quite spaced out and drunk for a few hours this morning. After several coffees it did seem to get better and we managed to get out to Pets at home over in Exeter – where I used my mobility scooter. Again I am not receiving any financial reward etc for mentioning them just to make it clear. We went to the Exeter one as the aisles are bigger and I was less likely to trash the place. Dembe had out grown his puppy collar and needed his first big boys collar. It was also another good opportunity to go out in the car.
We didn’t even get into the shop before Jay and Dembe were stopped by his adoring fans. He is so good and when the ladies are cooing over him ( Dembe obviously) he always managed to give one of them a kiss which melts their hearts even more. Dembe got to meet another baby in the store, who was fascinated by him, he gently kissed her fingers and she stroked his ears. It amazes me that he will play rough on occasion with Jay and I but when dealing with children and babies he is very gentle.
We took Dembe all over the shop. We showed him the rabbits and the guinea pigs, he wasn’t bothered. Although I would imagine that it would be a different ball game should he have been allowed to be on the floor with them. He is obsessed with breaking the necks of all his cuddly toys, everything gets picked up by the throat and then shook. Even his tiny comfort blanket with the teddy bear on that came from the breeder gets tossed around!
He was however fascinated by the fish, which is quite apt as Labradors were originally bred to retrieve fish. He was staring at them through the glass and looked as if he could just jump straight in and swim alongside them. His little brow was furrowed with concentration.
This afternoon we had some more visitors and Imogen got to meet Dembe for the first time. She fell in love with him. Leanne and Liam were surprised at just how much he has grown over the last week. He looks less puppy like and more miniature dog. Last week he couldn’t get into his toy box, this week he can pull it over tip everything out of it and then crawl inside it. He has also managed to jump down from the sofa once, I had left him asleep and gone into the kitchen, within seconds I heard a thump and he was walking into the kitchen. He is now desperate to get onto the sofas under his own steam. He is attempting run ups in the hope it gives him enough of a chance to get up but so far it hasn’t worked. Thankfully at the moment he is staying on my bed at night and not wandering around the bedroom. It has been puppy proofed if he does, I mean he is going to at some point. For the moment though he is quite happy to snuggle with me.
Today I had him showing off his sit and paw to our visitors. I am really excited for tomorrow as we are going to a dear friends house and he hasn’t seen him since last Saturday. It will be the first house Dembe has been to, so there is also the worry that he will have an accident!
Imogen took some lovely photos of him today
Sunday 20th January
Wow its been a day of firsts today. Dembe ate his full amount of food at breakfast this morning. We had been struggling to get him to eat the full 90g portion, so had been giving him less in the morning and adding the rest between his lunch and dinner. This morning however he scoffed his 70g and came looking for more. Hopeful he would eat it I added the left over 20g and that was scoffed as well. I have been panicking that he wasn’t eating all of his breakfast, even though he was getting his full quota of food for the day. He must be having another growth spurt at he polished off his lunch today in the quickest time ever.
Another first was going into a strange house. We visited our dear friend Paul today, who met Dembe last Saturday and has been smitten ever since. Paul’s house was fully carpeted so I was a bit panicked that Dembe may have an accident, however with careful monitoring we were able to avoid accidents and Dembe was more than happy to show off his toilet training skills. He went out for 4 wee’s and a poop during our 90 minute visit.
Normally Dembe is very active between wake up and about 9.30am, then crashes for a few hours and sleeps. Today he has been on the go from the moment he got up. We could see he was getting tired at Paul’s house but he just wouldn’t give in to it. He was having too much fun playing with his ball and toys and running around like a loon. When we got into the car, he settled immediately and went to sleep. Jay popped into the shop as we needed some supplies, Dembe slept through it all, even when Imogen jumped into the car and had a chat with me, he just continued to sleep.
This afternoon Dembe had a visit from Bev and Harry. He was spoilt rotten by them and had a whole goodie bag full of treats and new toys. This dog must be the most spoilt on the planet! He received a toy from Imogen on Saturday. Our friends have truly been wonderful and have made a real fuss of him. Dembe was quite active during their visit as I was worried he would sleep through it after wearing himself out at his Uncle Paul’s in the morning.
He has been really hungry all day polishing his meals off within minutes today, where as he has been fannying about the last 9 days when eating and we had to keep getting him to return to his bowl. He is shattered now and is fast asleep next to his dad on the sofa.
He hasn’t barked this much the whole time he has been here. His new glow in the dark ball was winding him up. Thanks Bev and Harry that gave us such a good laugh.
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.