W/C 14th October 2019

Monday 14th October

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

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

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

Tuesday 15th October

Jay was day off today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday 16th October

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

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

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

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

He was pretty shattered after his adventure this morning.

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

Thursday 16th October

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

Friday 18th October

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

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

Saturday 19th October

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

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

Dembe having a swim

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

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

Sunday 20th October

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

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

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

Week commencing 12th August 2019

Monday 12th August

I can’t remember if I wrote about this last week or not but we are in the process of changing Dembe’s food over to Arden Grange, from the Breeders own Kibble. There is nothing wrong with the breeder Kibble it is just clear that Dembe just doesn’t get on with it. Since he was a tiny pup his poop has stunk and I don’t mean a little bit. If he had a poop in the garden you could smell it in the lounge. Obviously Jay and I aren’t new to dog owning, we know dog poo smells but even three Weimaraners had nothing on this. If he had a poop on a walk it would take 3 poo bags to subdue the smell but it still stank and he was also going 4 plus times a day.

Since we started to change over to the new food the smell of his poop has decreased 100 fold and the amount of wind he has been suffering from has also reduced. He would be able to clear a room before, as his wind stank even more than his poop. He really seems to enjoy the taste of Arden Grange. Currently we are keeping his food at half and half whilst we use up the last of his old kibble.

Dembe is being very sweet when Jay leaves for work at the start of the day or after he has had lunch. Once Jay shuts the front door Dembe scrambles onto the window ledge and watches him leave. Sometimes he will stay on the window sill for up to an hour just to see if Jay is coming back. Also about 30 minutes to an hour before Jay gets home from work he will get on the window ledge and keep watch.

Tuesday 13th August

As usual Jay was day off today so he got Dembe out nice and early up at the model airfield. He has started to delicately put his feet in puddles, he has always avoided them before. He doesn’t seek them out but will now get his feet wet.

Dembe has been full of beans all day. He spent a lot of the morning / early afternoon on the window sill watching the world go by. It seems to be his thing at the moment. God knows what the neighbours think when they see an almost fully grown Labrador squeezing himself onto the ledge.

In the afternoon we all went back to the airfield and took a different walk. We came across a dog walker with 6 dogs, all who played with Dembe. jay had to take his hat off and I had to take my sunglasses off as one of the dogs a lovely brown Springer Spaniel didn’t like people wearing hats and sunglasses. The walkers black Lab stole Dembe’s American football. This is always very popular with all the dogs we come across and every walk time is spent copaxing whomever has stolen it to give it back.

We also came across a fox red / blonde Labrador that was a year old and if you looked quickly you couldn’t tell the difference between Dembe and him. We asked if he was a Broadleaf dog but he came from Cullumpton and was a year old. They did look incredibly similar.

Dembe is still not cocking his leg as yet when he wee’s. He is definitely scenting on his walk doing lots of tiny wee’s, he tentatively lifts his back leg off the floor but it doesn’t go to a full cocking of the leg.

His poo is most certainly less smelly with the Arden Grange, only needed to be wrapped in one poo bag and I didn’t spent the rest of the walk gagging!

Wednesday 14th August

Jay took Dembe up to Woodbury Castle this morning where they bumped into the lady who has 5 Labradors all different colours. They have been bumping into each other since Dembe was tiny and all her boys love having a game of chase with him. About 20 minutes after they had left the house I got a message from Jay to say they were both soaking wet and could I get some towels ready for their return. The weather is really crappy today.

I gave Dembe a new Yak chew today. He now knows that “get cheese” means he needs to find his Yak cheese chew. He has known the “where’s your kong” means to go and find his kong toy. You can also ask him to “find Crocodile” and he will retrieve it from the toy box.

Another day another arse end of a dog hanging off the window sill.

I went up to bed at 18.30 as I was tired and in pain. Jay wouldn’t be home until gone 10pm. For the first time ever Dembe flatly refused to stay upstairs with me. He kept going downstairs and sleeping on the small sofa by the front door or in his bed. Normally he comes up to bed with me and stays there only getting up when Jay gets home. I kept getting up and checking that he was ok.

Dembe really struggles with understanding that Jay will be late home. He understands early shifts and 9-6. He has a bit of bother with 10-7 as he will quite often start to wait for Daddy to get home from 5pm. A late shift really does unsettle him.

He knows the sound of Jays car now and will only bark when Jays keys are in the door. He is a lot quieter than Frankie, Willow or Mollie were.

Thursday 15th August

Dembe woke up at 5.30am and had his breakfast but he wouldn’t settle back to sleep. He kept wandering between Jay who was downstairs and me up in bed. His campaign to get the pack together eventually worked as I got up at 6.45am giving up on the hope of having some uninterrupted sleep. Which is why I refer to him quite often as the blonde bastard. I really need my sleep as it is always so broken, so I get very grumpy when I get less than I need,

As my eyesight was so poor today a mixture of dry eyes and an unknown neuromuscular disorder I was really limited to what I could do. So much of the day was spent playing with Dembe or giving him lots of cuddles. In the afternoon we played tug of war, oh my days he nearly pulled me off the bench on quite a few occasions!

Of course after lunch when Daddy went back to work and before he got home Dembe was on the window sill.

As Jay didn’t get back until 7pm there was a bit of waiting around. He got taken out for a nice walk to tire him out.

Dembe has a thing for spicy food, if Jay and I have curry he sits and drools. All the dogs we have owned have been crazy about spices.

Friday 16th August

Oh my goodness Dembe is 9 months old today!

Taken the day he turned 9 weeks old
Taken the day before he turned 9 months old

We had another very cuddly day together. Mostly spent with me in disbelief that our tiny little pup has turned 9 months old. It seems to have whizzed by. In all those 9 months he has only spent 8 weeks away from us. I couldn’t imagine life without him now, he is just so bonded to both of us. I have never known such a happy dog, Jay only has to walk into the room and Dembe’s tail goes mental. He loves us both so much and we love him so much more.

I attempted to take a selfie of us having a cuddle to celebrate his 9 month birthday, this was the best shot I got!

I love these two shots of him on the window ledge again. Every day he is up on the ledge watching the world go by or waiting for his daddy.

Saturday 17th August

Today Uncle Paul came over, Dembe adores Paul so was going absolutely crazy. It was the worst behaved he has been. I know why, it was because Jay is on an early shift as he was yesterday, which means Dembe doesn’t get walked until the evening. He was like a coiled spring, trying to dive on top of Paul, whipping him with his tail. In the end I got a brand new Yak chew out and let him have it. After a carrot and a dentastix it was the only thing that calmed him down! Thankfully Paul adores him and when I explained why he was being a nutcase he was fine!

After all that excitement Dembe spent the afternoon asleep!

Can’t believe how grown up he looks in this photo

Sunday 18th August

New day, new window ledge shots. He is utterly addicted to sleeping / being on the window ledge. He either spends ages looking out or he sleeps facing into the room. We think it is because the window is south facing so he has the heat of the sun on him.

He has been on the window ledge about 4 times since we all got up at 7.30am.

We have had a bit of a play in the garden. He loves playing in the garden with the tugger that our friend Angie bought him.

This afternoon we went for a walk on Woodbury common. We went to a different area for a change, which was nice as there wasn’t a soul there. Dembe was in ball carrying mode rather than wanting it thrown and he was happy to trot along beside us. He has got so good with the mobility scooter.

We are now going to have a relaxing rest of the day and he will be having sardines with his dinner as he hasn’t had them yet this week.

Week commencing 22nd July 2019 Its HOT!

Monday 22nd July

Dembe let me sleep in until 7.20am this morning which after having me up early the last few mornings was absolute heaven.

It was incredibly hot and humid today even though we had very grey skies. Dembe slept a lot during the day due to the heat. He is however still enjoying his Yak chew it is just a shame it makes such a bloody mess everywhere.

As a treat Dembe had sardines for tea, whilst I was preparing his dinner – kibble and sardines he was spinning around in circles behind me. He has done this since he was a puppy and still get’s very excited at the thought of having his dinner. You only ever have to say to him ” do you want your dinner?” and quick as a flash he is in the kitchen, nudging the kibble storage bin with his nose, just in case you forgot where it was.

It was so hot this evening that we hosed Dembe off in the garden before going to bed. He loves the garden hose and was jumping in and out of the paddling pool having a fantastic time.

His cooling mat has been a godsend this summer helping him stay comfortable.

His latest thing is to fall asleep with his bum next to my head with his tail draped over my face. I keep being woken up with his tail tickling my nose.

We are still teaching Dembe how to pull the light switch in the bathroom, last week on three occasions he left me in the dark when he managed to turn the bathroom light off!

Of course the one time I am ready and waiting with the camera he decides it is far better to play with it than do what he is supposed to. Can’t win them all with an 8 month old puppy.

Tuesday 23rd July

I had an appointment with the nurse at 9am to have blood taken as I hadn’t had any blood tests for over a year at the surgery. We all went down the town but I went into the doctors surgery alone, as I found out that the air conditioning wasn’t working in some areas and it had been way too hot for Dembe the previous week. Quite frankly after that awful doctor last week it has knocked my confidence, even though he did nothing wrong.

Jay took Dembe for a wander around the town, it is a good socialisation exercise so he can get used to noise, people etc. Whilst walking they ran into our dog trainer, his family and their dogs. Jay was terrified Dembe would misbehave and show him up but he was as good as gold.

It was incredibly hot and stuffy today. Dembe slept a lot on the sofa next to me.

At 3pm the sky clouded over and a sea breeze picked up cooling it down rapidly. At 3.40pm we seized the opportunity to take Dembe out up the common, me accompanying them on my mobility scooter. We decided not to take the ball with us as we didn’t want Dembe to rn himself ragged and get overheated. This helped Dembe stay much cooler.

We decided to take a different path at the Model aircraft field, we have now gone on all but one of them now. We are loving exploring the common and being able to all go out together. Dembe is slowly starting to calm down when I come out with him and is reducing the amount of times he jumps on me.

I love this photo it looks like he is throwing his head back laughing x

Our friend Paul came over at 6pm, we hadn’t seen him since the party in June. Dembe was crazy even though he had only had a massive walk an hour or so ago. He loves Paul and has known him since he came home with us as a tiny pup. He has been to Pauls house a few times as well.

We have been blowing bubbles at Dembe, initially he was terrified of them but he has now got braver and chases them around the garden, trying to eat them! We showed Paul who thought that was hilarious.

Dembe was out for the count at 7.30pm. There was a massive thunderstorm over night, we all slept through it all until there was a massive clap of thunder overhead at 12.37am. It made me and Dembe jump but we both went back to sleep.

Wednesday 24th July

The blonde bastard had me up before 6.30am and I wasn’t impressed. He then woke Jay up an hour later so Jay got him out and up to Woodbury Castle by 8am. The weather forecasters say it is going to be hotter again today. Jay is on a late night so Dembe will skip his evening walk, just as well as it will be way too hot this evening.

Dembe and I spent a lot of time out in the garden today, playing with the hosepipe and his football.

Thursday 25th July

OMG it is too hot! Jay got Dembe out early due to the heat. It was already 20 degrees at 8am. We spent a lot of the morning playing in the garden.

By the afternoon it was way too hot for the both of us so we went to bed for a siesta. Dembe insisted on sleeping with his head on my shoulder, gently snoring into my ear!

He makes my heart melt, he is such an affectionate little pup.

Friday 26th July

Dembe’s new fountain for his paddling pool arrived today, this is #3 lets hope this one continues to work as he hates it when he doesn’t have a working fountain.

Again due to the heat Dembe slept all day.

This evening after Dembe’s walk we dropped by my parents caravan. He and Maggie had a wonderful time chasing each other around the site. Thankfully it was much cooler this evening so he wasn’t getting too hot. He loves going to see Maggie and cries on the drive down from the Common to the campsite. Maggie always comes running over to out car once we have parked up to greet us. Tonight I gave Maggie and Dembe a dentastix each. Maggie thought all her Christmases had come at once.

Saturday 27th July

It was a bit cooler today but I think a week of hot weather had taken its toll on Dembe, he has again slept most of the morning but that could be to do with the fact he got us up at 4am. I wasn’t impressed.

I’m pretty shattered too after he kept waking me up between 4am and 8am. I am never a happy bunny when I am woken up for no reason. It always really makes me cross when he wakes us both up and then goes to sleep the minute you are all downstairs.

Later in the day Dembe had a play in his paddling pool and with his new solar fountain.

When Jay got in from work he took Dembe out for a walk. Dembe has now twigged that if we go to the Warren for his walk it means that we will be going to see my parents and Maggie after. About 20 metres into the walk Dembe decided he had enough and wanted to go back to the car. Jay walked him for a little longer and then came back. Dembe cried in the car until we got to the campsite. He and Maggie have enormous fun and Maggie always likes the fact I have a bag full of treats. She is really into Dentastix and was growling at Dembe every time he went near her to stop him taking what she had left. He wasn’t interested in her dentastix all he wanted was his ball that was beside her!

Sunday 27th July

Dembe is in my good books this morning as he didn’t wake up until 4.30am for his breakfast – early I know but Jay has been working early shifts and he tends to feed the boy as soon as he gets up. He came straight back to bed after his breakfast and settled down. I woke up again and it was 6.45am which is a far more reasonable time to be getting up.

It was clear on rising that Dembe was full of beans this morning, so we got him out for a walk before 8am. The temperature was a pleasant 14 degrees C and there was a bit of bite in the sun already.

We met several other dog walkers, all were marvelling at the fact I had a mobility scooter on the common! When the ground is hard and dry it is very easy if not a bit bumpy. The hardest thing usually is the passing place to get past the green bar. Twice this morning I managed to get stuck on a huge pebble due to the axel on the scooter being so low.

Dembe had a wild time playing with lots of different dogs. One a very pale golden retriever played at a frenetic pace for a good five minutes or more. By the time they had finished Dembe’s tongue was hanging out to the side!

We have had a lazy day due to the heat. Dembe has been playing in his paddling pool and with his solar fountain. His new big boys dog bed arrived early this afternoon. It is huge but it will accommodate him lying on his side , stretched out like a skinned rabbit. His bed that we bought him when he was a baby ( a smaller baby than he is now) is just way too small for him. He fills the whole thing when he curls up to sleep in it. When he stretches out to lie sideways the majority of his body is on the carpet. He seemed to like it as he has already dropped a few toys in there. We have added a fleece blanket to it to make it feel more comfy.

Dembe and I have been playing ball in the garden, he really does love chasing after a ball. It must be the working lines Labrador. He also loves to carry the ball around in his mouth and squeak it constantly.

He was treated to a tin of sardines with his kibble this evening, so he was going crazy before I put his bowl down, spinning around in circles.