Week Commencing 17th June 2019 – Poorly boy

Monday 17th June

Throughout yesterday Dembe had been making a noise like he was trying to clear his throat. I turned to Dr Google as I could feel the new puppy parent panic starting to rise in me. That mixed with my anxiety and I was winding myself up into a proper frenzy. Everything I looked at was suggesting it was Kennel Cough, as none of my previous other dogs have suffered with it, I just had no clue if it was or wasn’t. Dembe certainly wasn’t feeling that good and at times to the touch he was feeling warm.

Last week at dog training the teacher had suggested to us about getting a digital thermometer and now I was really wishing that I had because, I simply didn’t know if he did have a temperature and touch isn’t a reliable indicator – although I was pretty good with the Weims and could tell by touch but Dembe has so much hair that it makes it much harder.

The cough / noise Dembe was making wasn’t the sound that I had seen on YouTube videos so I really was unsure. I wanted to get him checked out so Jay rang the vets and got an appointment for 2.30pm. As there was a suspicion of Kennel Cough we would be seen in the carpark to avoid spreading it to other dogs. Dembe definitely wasn’t feeling himself, just a little off colour compared to normal. I got myself into such a state waiting for the appointment that my IBS kicked off in style. The appointment couldn’t come soon enough.

The vet came out to the car park and it was a bit awkward or sad as she was the vet that put Frankie to sleep back in December 2018 and Willow to sleep in December 2017. It was really hard. I didn’t recognise her, I think the events were just so traumatic for me when Frankie passed away that I only have flashes of memory from that day. Jay had taken Willow down by himself as I was looking after Frankie and Mollie. Jay came in with me ( we had Mollie with us) when it was Frankies turn and left before it happened. Which is why he recognised the vet. She was so happy to see that we had a new baby now and we were moving on with our lives despite the awful start to the year. Mollie passed away 7 days after Frankie after suffering a catastrophic stroke. We basically went from 3 dogs to none in the space of 55 weeks.

She gave Dembe a good check over, no temperature, no kennel cough. She believed he had an irritated throat after being sick late Wednesday night after bringing up a chunk of bone ( he had been chewing on earlier in the day). It certainly fitted the time line as he first started making the noise on Thursday morning ( but it was sporadic, on Sunday he did it 8 to 10 times whereas in the days before it was much less than that.) He was given an injection of anti-inflammatory which then put me on edge as this was the drug that destroyed our first Weimaraners kidneys and eventually killed him 10 days before his third birthday. Frankie couldn’t tolerate this medication either as it made he pee blood. So I was watching Dembe like a hawk every time he went out for a wee. Thankfully he seemed to cope with it. An hour after the injection he was back to his normal self so the sore throat has been making him feel off colour. He didn’t make the noise again for the rest of the day.

Tuesday 18th June

Dembe has only made the weird throat clearing noise twice today and that was at 4am after he had a big yawn. So a definite improvement, he is also back to normal after being off colour yesterday.

Today we had to travel down to Plymouth as I had a hospital appointment. Jay is going to look after Dembe whilst I attend the clinic using my mobility scooter. Dembe isn’t used to long car journeys and can be a bit whingey going in the car for a walk. Its not anything terrible, he just squeaks making a crying noise. Its nothing like the constant barking we used to get from Willow the minute the car moved off the drive! For the first 15 minutes he cried continually, he then he settled and slept the rest of the way.

Whilst I was in my appointment Jay found a car parking space and then walked Dembe around the hospital grounds. Finishing up outside the hospital foyer. Dembe was exposed to sirens, buses, cars, wheelchairs, children, people and took everything in his stride. He got lots of admiring glances and comments. He was petted a few times as well with people telling Jay what a handsome, well behaved lad he was.

The best bit of my hospital visit was coming outside and seeing Jay with Dembe sat nicely beside him. Hearing Jay say to Dembe “look there’s mummy”, Dembe went crazy, almost jumping onto my lap. We then all walked back to the car. This was the first time since we had started the dog training that we had walked Dembe on the new lead with me on the mobility scooter. Previously in this situation I have spent the whole time worrying that I would run over Dembe as Jay was failing to get him under control and couldn’t see what the problem was. Now I could chat to Jay whilst on my scooter without having to exhaust myself looking for Dembe getting too close.

Dembe was so much better in the car on the way home and just slept for the whole journey.

Wednesday 19th June

Dembe was like a dog with two tails when the post arrived this morning, as I bought him a second crocodile toy. I was concerned as this is his absolute favourite toy that should it get damaged I might not be able to replace it which would lead to a sad puppy.

It is crazy how quickly they grow, he isn’t my tiny baby anymore. I had a freak out this morning when I came out of the shower and he was in his bed, which we got before he came home with us and now he takes up the whole thing. When we bought the bed Jay was convinced we shouldn’t have got such a big bed but I knew how quickly he would grow. The first photo is at 8 weeks old and the second is today.

We have obedience training tonight, I always get a bit nervous in case he decides to do a week one on us again! Tonight he wasn’t brilliant – not as good as last week and that was our fault. My health took a bit of a nose dive last week so I didn’t do as much training with him as I should have. As a consequence he wasn’t as focused as he should have been. His attention span was just so short tonight. It was weird though as all the dogs had their moments of naughtiness. Or maybe I am no longer solely focused on Dembe during the training and I am noticing more? Who knows but I will be back on the case this week.

During the class the trainer asked how many people still play with your dog. I said I do every day which is true. I probably play at least 4 times a day with him. We mess about on the bed and have a cuddle, as I need to rest after doing the stairs. It has become a habit now where we have a play everyday for 5 to 10 minutes. He always brings me a toy, wagging his tail furiously and then stands over me. Finally he will lie on me and we will have a good snuggle. I love our play times. No one else really commented about playing with their dogs and that made me feel sad. I know Dembe is much younger than all the other dogs and still a baby but every dog needs a play time. I am sure they do play with their dogs and it was probably me being too vocal again.

My phone is full of photos like the one above, blurred because he never stays still long enough. If I get a good photo it is a complete fluke.

Absolutely shattered after Dog Training

Thursday 20th June

We usually have a very quiet day after Dembe has attended his obedience training class the night before. Not today !!! He was bouncing off the walls from the moment he got up. So much so Jay got him out quite early for a nice long walk up on the common to see if that would subdue him a little. It didn’t he was just having a bouncy day.

My half yearly service on my oxygen concentrator and oxygen canister. In the past the stair gate would have been up to prevent the Weims from making a nuisance of themselves whilst the engineer worked. This time I let Dembe just wander about but kept him downstairs. For the first time ever Dembe barked at a visitor, he was wagging his tail furiously as he did it but it took us by surprise as this was the first time he has barked at anyone at the door. He doesn’t bark at the post men / women, delivery drivers, friends and family when they come so why he took exception to the Oxygen engineer I have no clue. He just wasn’t happy at this guys presence in the house. Funny because he pricks my spidey senses too.

Later on in the afternoon my friend Heather popped over. Dembe adores Heather and went mental. He just loves her but after him barking at the engineer I did wonder how he would be with her. Same as usual completely nuts. He literally throws himself on her and she is the only visitor he ever does it to.

Dembe decided he wanted both crocodiles in his bed.

Today I have been doing lots of quarter turns with Dembe, without him realising that we are doing training. When I go into the fridge if he sits like a nice boy and doesn’t throw himself at the door he gets a cocktail sausage. So now I am taking the cocktail sausage and doing the turns like we were shown at dog training last night. He has cottoned on quite quickly and now attempts to skip the steps and puts himself in the final position ready for the sausage. He is too bloody clever for his own good.

I was out in the kitchen at my embroidery machine when Jay sent me this photo of Dembe just letting it all hang out. He makes me laugh so much the crazy hound.

Friday 21st June

Dembe has decided that todays mood will be irritating or that is how it felt when he woke me up crying for no reason at all this morning at 6.30am. He had his breakfast and had been out for the toilet at 5.30am, so why he felt I needed to be sung to this morning I have no clue. So we both got up and went downstairs where he dropped his antler chew on my foot 4 times before I had taken my first sip of tea and then decided to run past me with it in his mouth and stab me behind the knee with the really sharp bit of the antler. It is safe to say I was not a fan of the blonde bastard at this point. Because I yelped – as it really hurt he did his usual ears flat against his head and as low to the floor as possible. Of course I can never stay cross with him for longer than about 10 seconds, so all was forgiven.

Today my hairdresser was coming over to sort my hair out for me. This is only the second time she has come over since Dembe arrived so I was interested to see how he would be with her after barking at the oxygen engineer yesterday. He was fine, he waited at the door, let her in had his treat and then made a bee line for her. He was really good the whole time I was having my hair done, entertaining himself playing with his toys and chewing his antler. Just goes to show when he makes the sad eyes at me when I am sewing that he doesn’t need my undivided attention 100% of the time like he makes out.

We decided we had to start doing some exposure training with Dembe so in the afternoon we took him up to the garden centre. Years ago you could sit outside and have a coffee and you could access this area through the car park. In a very disabled access friendly way…not they have blocked off this access and you now have a flight of stairs to contend with should you want to sit outside. So that was a crap start to our visit. We walked around the plants outside – well I used my mobility scooter. Dembe just wasn’t in the mood to play ball and cried and spent the whole time trying to jump on my lap which was very disappointing. So we will have to try again another day.

After the disaster at the garden centre we took him up the common and Jay took him for a walk. It was quite busy so he had lots of time with other dogs and meeting people. We then went over to my parents caravan, as he gets on brilliantly with their dog Maggie.

He was tired and hot after his hour at the caravan so we got his paddling pool out for him.

We did have quite a busy day and ended up popping out for 40 minutes to go and collect something we bought from Facebook Market place. Dembe was shattered and put himself to bed.

He has started sleeping on the floor in my room this week, up until now he has always slept on the bed with me. As long as he is comfy I really don’t mind.

Saturday 22nd June

I was woken up at 2.30am by Dembe crying so I got Jay to take him out for a wee and poo. He went but the pooing seemed to take ages. He woke me up again at 4.30 – so he was given breakfast and let out again with the same result. He then woke me up at 7.20am crying and wanted out again. His stools were very soft and not firm like usual so we decided we would keep an eye on him today. His stomach isn’t gurgling like when Mollie had an upset tummy but his wind (farts) are a weapon of mass destruction.

He hasn’t been his usual active self but it is very hot today, he has been sunbathing and generally staying close beside me. This afternoon we went up and had a lie down, Dembe making use of his cooling mat whilst I ( with my messed up autonomic nervous system) put my electric blanket on as I was cold. Despite the temperature outside being in the high 20’s.

We came downstairs just before 4pm to find Jay sat in Dembe’s paddling pool attempting to cool off. Why he had to go in with all his clothes on is beyond me! Just a short while after I took this photo poor Dembe had diarrhea. As he is quite well in himself at the moment I am not too concerned. He is eating and drinking fine.

After the bout of explosive shits, Dembe seemed to perk up loads. His tummy has been hurting him I think. So tonight for his dinner I gave him some scrambled egg and boiled white rice. He really enjoyed it so I am now looking forward to having a dog that turns his nose up at kibble now he has had a taste of this. The Weimaraners were terrible for turning their nose up at normal food when they had been poorly and had been fed chicken and rice etc.

So fingers crossed we have a relatively quiet night, Dembe isn’t being walked this evening just to be on the safe side especially with it being warm. Hopefully he will feel a bit better tomorrow.

Sunday 23rd June

Thankfully Dembe is an awful a lot better this morning. He didn’t need let out during the night for the toilet as he had done the night before and he also had a solid poo first thing. Which is probably TMI!

It is much cooler today thank goodness as Dembe was really struggling with the heat yesterday. Jay still got him out reasonably early and Dembe had a nice play with a Pointer up on the common.

Dembe has come back from his walk had a little nap and is now sat happily chewing his antler chew. He has been very chewy this week and we are still extremely lucky that the only thing he has chewed that he shouldn’t has been a pair of slippers. Having seen lots of photos of destructive Labradors we have got off very lightly.

Dembe’s new trick this week is raiding Jays dirty laundry basket. It is a pop up R2D2 one, which Dembe is using to his advantage by slamming his paws down on it, which collapses it and then stealing Jays dirty pants from it. The first time I found a pair of Jays pants beside my bed I was scratching my head as to how they got there. Then a few hours later I found Dembe hiding behind my bed chewing Jays pants – brave pup. So I asked Jay if he had left his pants on the floor, which he said he hadn’t. Then we both witnessed Dembe’s new trick of raiding the laundry basket! It gave us a bit of a shock as that is quite a bit of skill and intelligence to work out how to raid that.

Week Commencing 10th June 2019

Monday 10th June

The weather was absolutely lousey and freezing cold today. Dembe got his first experience of hail today as well and he just couldn’t work out where it was coming from.

During the afternoon when we had some loud thunder he gave a half hearted woof at it and that was it. So far so good as I don’t want him being frightened of loud noises like the Weimaraners all were.

This morning he was absolutely fascinated by Inspector Montalbano ( I was watching it after I had recorded it on Saturday night). He watched the screen for ages.

Like my last dog Frankie he likes sitting with a cushion either tucked up against him or resting his head on one.

We had a really quiet day, just the two of us as is usual for a Monday. During his evening walk there was even more thunder but it didn’t bother him at all. In the evening it was raining really heavily and he refused to go out for a wee!

Oh and he still loves playing with his crocodile!

Tuesday 11th June

Dembe woke up at 5.20am and had breakfast and after that he cried continually. It was raining very heavily and he didn’t want to go outside to go to the toilet in the rain. Despite the fact he never has an issue going out for a walk in the rain. It is also really cold for this time of year so I have ended up putting the heating on. Dembe only went outside for the toilet once the rain had stopped.

He was incredibly bouncy this morning so we got him up the common before 9am. He whined all the way up in the car so I had to just ignore him which I hate doing but the more I fuss him when he whines the more he will do it. I have found out that he makes no noise at all when he is out in the car with Jay. It is only when I am there that he makes a fuss.

I am already getting nervous about tomorrow nights obedience training class. He can’t be worse than he was last week surely?

Jay and I have been discussing how much bigger Dembe suddenly seems. We still see him as quite small and puppyish, lets face it just a few months ago he was tiny. On Sunday he will be 7 months old by 12 months he will have reached his full adult height the next year or so will be spent filling out. It is crazy how quickly the last 5 months have flown by.

I have been practising every day with his figure of 8 lead ensuring that he is used to it before we go back to obedience training,

Wednesday 12th June

Jay took Dembe out very early this morning, before 7am as I was still asleep when they left. I didn’t hear a thing. He had a really good time on his walk and played with 3 different dogs . One was a really old boy black Labrador whose mind was willing but his body was not alas. He did enjoy having a little play with Dembe and let out little chirps of delight.

We popped down the vets to have Dembe weighed. OMG the chunk weighed in at 25.7kg, so although the vets say his weight is good due to the amount of treats he is having with all his training we will be cutting his meal size down. We will be keeping an eye on his weight and if he starts looking too skinny then we will up his food intake again. He was a very good boy at the vets and jumped on the scales and sat nice and still. It was a real shame though as we missed Kate as she is on holiday so we will pop down next week as Jay is on holiday for the next two weeks after Saturday. Sadly we found out that the pheasant chick we rescued passed away two days after we handed it into the vets. I had guessed things hadn’t turned out well as they hadn’t posted about it on the vets page. It was very weak and cold when we found it. I wonder if we prolonged its agony rather than saving it?

We had dog training this evening, Dembe was a bloody star. We did the whole lesson with him wearing his figure of 8 lead. He had a couple of barks but was easily distracted by doing the finger tip massage. He walked like a dream. It is wonderful to see the bond between him and Jay develop as they do the training together. Dembe constantly looks to him to see what he wants him to do next. My presence no longer distracts him.

One of the dogs that was there last week didn’t show up this evening, we found out that there had been an incident and the dog had gone back to the rescue charity. Very sad, I expect the bloke that had her was devastated as he already seemed very attached to her last week. In their place was a beautiful Doberman, who was very aggressive – a little bit frightening but it was nervous aggression like we used to have in Frankie. In the controlled environment of the class she soon started to relax and not let the presence of the other dogs bother her.

I am so proud that De,be was one of the best behaved dogs there tonight.

On the way to dog training
Snuggled in his bed

Thursday 13th June

Dembe was absolutely shattered today after last night’s training session. I tried to do some training with him but I couldn’t keep his focus as he wasn’t in the mood so I let it go and just worked on massage with him. Which he loves.

His thing today has been to bring me lots of different toys. The toy box has been emptied on numerous occasions. None of the toys seem to be played with for any length of time it just seems very important to him that they are all over the lounge floor.

He fell asleep on the way home from his dog training class last night, he lay across the back seat of the car looking like a skinned rabbit! He looks so long and big now it can be really surprising to look at him because he still seems like a baby to us. He really can’t be far off Mollie’s height now. He is only 3 kilos lighter than her now. She was our eldest Weimaraner and our smallest.

I have never known such a happy dog as Dembe. His tail just wags constantly. He loves being praised and having a fuss made of him.

Friday 14th June

It was a chewy day today, Dembe got out his puppy nyla- bone which he hasn’t played with in ages and sat chewing that on my lap. Later on he got his huge nyla-bone out and gave that a chomp. I am wondering if his teeth are bothering him again as all he seems to want to do is chew at the moment.

Jay was on an early shift today so when he finished we took Dembe out and then headed over to my parents van. Dembe played with his mate Maggie for a while. When he came home he was absolutely shattered and fell asleep immediately. My parents had bought Dembe a new toy so when he came around after his nap, he went and got it straight away.

He likes it as it has different textures and makes a crinkly noise.

Saturday 15th June

Dembe woke me up at 4.30am and I am so grateful he did. I had started going into another bloody migraine. I got Jay up to feed him and then went to the bathroom. Both my eyes were blood shot and I looked like Casper the friendly ghost. My left eye felt like it was being stabbed with an icepick. How he sensed I was in trouble I have no idea but he is such a good boy. He stuck to my side like glue for most of the day yesterday. The photo above is when I managed to make it downstairs after 10am. Dembe just lay quietly beside me. It is so strange how he moderates his behaviour. When I am sick he calms right down and just sticks to me. He is only just under 7 months old and should be bouncing off the walls, he did the same when he was tiny and I came down with a chest infection and a sinus infection. He is so in tune with me it is unreal. Such a clever chap.

We got a bit of sun in the afternoon as I was feeling better Dembe knew it was ok to leave me. He went out on his chair and had a sunbathe. He took piggy wiggy with him.

It is so funny both Travis ( our first Weimaraner, Mollies brother and Frankie / Willows uncle) and Frankie loved to sit on the stairs like this. Dembe has been sitting like this for months but this is the first time I have been able to capture it. Normally as soon as he sees my phone out he gets up and comes towards me. He was feeling how I felt, fed up waiting for Jay to finish work and start his two week holiday.

We went over to my parents van again this evening and Dembe had a massive play with Maggie. It is really lovely to see how much my parents like Dembe. My dad is always throwing the ball for Maggie and De,be to chase. My mum is always getting sneaky cuddles in. It is so sweet. It is also really nice that we can go to the caravan site and not worry about the noise the dogs make or about other dogs approaching. The Weims were really nervous aggressive after being attacked when young. Who can blame them but it made it very difficult to take them anywhere.

Sunday 16th June

Jay is on holiday at long last. He took Dembe out by himself this morning. I think it is important that he gets some time alone with him so that they can bond. It is clear that they love each other but Jay should also get one on one time with the pupster. They had a lovely walk together with Dembe getting lots of fuss from some elderly lady labrador owners who thought he was just cracking. He also had a bit of a grumble at a cyclist as the noise of the bike scared him. Luckily the cyclist did think it was funny as Dembe made half barks at him.

I can’t believe how big he is getting. He still doesn’t have the wide head of a fully grown Labrador as yet. Today marks his 7th month birthday. The last 5 months have whizzed by. He has changed so much in that time, he is such a loving, caring boy. We worship him, if you didn’t guess. I am amazed by his intelligence on a daily basis. He is so bright it is just mind blowing. When you train him to do stuff he responds immediately and he is just so willing to please.

He is really going to enjoy the next two weeks with Jay being home.

W/C 3rd June 2019

Monday 3rd June

Jay was on an early as usual so it was me and the pupster, Dembe decided that I simply must get up at 6.15am because he was bored. We both went down stairs and then the blonde bastard went back to sleep leaving what the urgency was for waking me up.

As Dembe point blank refuses to go out when Jay is on an early start he was very bouncy come the afternoon. He spent lots of time in the garden as the weather was nice.

He met my friend Laura today for the first time. He spent the whole of her visit trying to jump on her back whilst she sat on the sofa. The only other person he does this to is Leanne. I don’t know why he does it. I managed to distract him with some treats and got him to show off his sock trick.

When Jay got home he took him for a nice long walk to burn off some energy.

He has started being a bit of a git at bed time ( Dembe not Jay ). He is refusing to go to the toilet and just wants to play. What used to be a 5 minute trip outside is now taking at least 30 minutes. Even though he does want to go as he always has a huge wee.

I got woken up at 10.30pm by Dembe crying whilst lying in my door way as if the baby gate was still there. The baby gate has been gone for a few weeks now. I called Jay who took him outside, it was a doubly successful trip and Dembe soon settled afterwards.

Tuesday 4th June

Dembe was very tired today and spent much of the day sleeping. The weather wasn’t great so he didn’t spend a lot of time in the garden, when he was awake he wanted cuddles and my undivided attention.

We had lots of deliveries today and Dembe was brilliant waiting whilst I sorted them out. The Weims always had to be shut in the kitchen whenever I answered the door as they would bark the place down. When it was just Frankie and Mollie I could leave them be as they were too old to bother with the front door. It still seems weird that I don’t have to open a pack of Jumbones whenever we have visitors or put Dembe in the kitchen. All I have to say to Dembe is wait and he stays where he is or jumps on the sofa nearest the door. He never tries to make a break for it or barks, he just waits patiently for me to give him a treat when the door is closed.

Today was raw bone delivery day. As I couldn’t get the beef marrow bones as they were out of stock, I had to get beef rib bones. I also got one lambs breast bone as that was all they had available. Being a life long vegetarian and going by the photos on line the bones looked normal size, I thought they would be 7 to 10 inches in length. I couldn’t have been more wrong. My freezer now looks like it contains dinosaur bones!

I had to give him this bone as it simply would not fit in the freezer. The freezer had to be completely rearranged to accommodate his bones. Thankfully we don’t use our freezer like that and could make the space by getting creative!

He does love his bones and is allowed 2 per week.

Wednesday 5th June

Dembe woke up at 5am so I kept him entertained until 5.30am and then got Jay to get up and give him his breakfast. Once he had that he came straight back upstairs and slept until 7.15am. I actually had to wake him up as my back was sore and I couldn’t lie in bed any longer.

Dembe was full of beans and kept going upstairs to wake Jay up. He was successful on the second attempt . As he was so very bouncy we had him up the common before 8am.

We have obedience training this evening so Jay has had to swap his day off from Tuesday to Wednesday. I am really nervous about the class tonight, I have got really bad social anxiety at the moment. I am also anxious about how Dembe will behave. I know he is a good dog and relatively well behaved, However its in the lap of the gods tonight.

Well my nightmares about puppy training came true. It is like Dembe found my list of concerns and just worked his way through them. Martin the trainer spent the most time with us. You know your dog is a terror when the trainer keeps coming back to you. The dog that was there I simply do not recognise as my sweet boy Dembe. He has never shown the behaviours at home that he showed here tonight. He was literally bouncing off the walls. He wanted to play with the 4 other dogs, when he couldn’t play ( and didn’t get to play) he then started barking which would set another couple of dogs off and then it was a viscous cycle. He basically ignored Jay and I as he was so determined to have a play with his new mates. Jay spent the evening having his arm yanked out of the socket as Dembe was going everywhere except where he needed to be.

I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me. Logically I know if he was an angel we wouldn’t be going. I think the whole evening gave me flash backs of Frankie and Willow when they were pups and what utter hooligans that they were. It took until they were 7 for them to start to calm down.

The harness we use for Dembe in the car and on the walks was utterly useless. He stretched out all the ties so it was hanging off him and gave us even less control. As soon as we walked through the door I was online ordering a slip lead / head collar for him. I never want to go through an evening like that again. If I hadn’t paid for it up front I doubt I would have gone back!

Thursday 6th June

Due to Dembe wearing himself out at Obedience class last night he didn’t wake for breakfast until gone 6am and then came back to bed and slept until 8am. Unheard of.

I had to readjust his harness before Jay took him out for a walk as it was just so badly out of shape that it was way too big for him. Jay took him out and at the end of the walk was doing some lead training with him. The new slip lead comes tomorrow. The whole reason we had used a harness was because he was choking himself when on a lead attached to his collar and it was frightening. However it became pretty clear last night that all the harness had done was given him much more ability to pull whilst on a lead because of the lower centre of gravity and he could get all four legs behind it.

I am working on his whinging as well, I am not responding when he whines now. I have been programmed by him to respond every time he makes a noise. I was very anxious when he first came home and was terrified I was going to hurt him (unintentionally), having lost Frankie and Mollie within 7 days and deep down blaming myself for it ( even though logically Frankie had been bad for a while and there was nothing that could have prevented Mollies catastrophic stroke) I panicked when looking after Dembe. Every noise he made I would run, If I couldn’t hear him breathing at night I would wake him up. I was like a new mother and the anxiety was exhausting me. I made a rod for my own back, so I am having to fight the urge to respond.

I am dreading next weeks obedience class….I just don’t know what on earth he will do next!

As part of our homework from the obedience training we had to write a list of the behaviours we don’t want when he is an adult. So here it is

We were both exhausted and as Jay was on a late night we had an early night. Dembe fell asleep with his head over my ankles.

Friday 7th June

Dembe was exhausted again today and hasn’t really done much. When we had a break in the awful weather we went out into the garden and I managed to get some of the training practice done with him. He is responding very quickly when he see’s my hand in the air. Which is our first part of his recall training. He already does really well on his recall but after his performance on Wednesday night I no longer trust him in that environment to actually do what he has been doing since he was 9 weeks old.

Hi sleep lead didn’t arrive until around 17.30 last night, Jay was on a 7pm finish. So I practised getting the lead on and off him correctly. It is very easy. Although he really isn’t impressed. I do want him to be happy enough with it on Wednesday that we can go to class with it on. Just to show we have listened and we are doing everything we are supposed to.

He celebrated his 30 week birthday today.

Saturday 8th June

Dembe had us up at 6am and despite having breakfast he refused to settle. I ended up getting up with him. For some reason he repeatedly paid visits to his sex bed which he hasn’t done in a while. And he never does that in the morning its usually in the evening! Maybe there is a bitch in season nearby that he can smell?

Despite his eagerness to get up this morning after Jay had walked him he went straight back to sleep. On his walk he bumped into Millie and Molly the English Bull Terriers he adores and hasn’t seen in a while. The owners couldn’t believe how big he had got in the few weeks since they have last seen him.

Jay is on another late night so it will be a long day. Hopefully Dembe will stay calm and sedate as I am feeling really rough. I can’t put my finger on what is wrong I just know I feel awful. I won’t even bother getting dressed today.

Jay has had a quick training session on how to use the figure of 8 lead and has walked Dembe through the house with it on. Dembe isn’t that impressed but he isn’t still furiously trying to remove it all the time. So we are getting there, tomorrow we are going to find a quiet location like a car park and do some concentrated lead training with him so he can get used to it before Wednesday and hopefully be more under control.

At around 4pm yesterday afternoon I managed to get out in the back garden with Dembe and do some more training with him. I got him sitting patiently next to me for 20 minutes with his figure of 8 lead on. I also practised taking it on and off so that he gets used to it also.

Sunday 9th June

Dembe was a little git this morning waking me up at 5.22am and then refusing to settle back down to sleep. In the end I gave up and came downstairs, where he immediately went back to sleep on the sofa. It makes zero sense why he thought it was play time upstairs when he is so shattered he goes back to sleep once we have changed locations.

We got him out at around 9am, Jay took him for his normal off the lead walk and because the car park was quiet he then put him on the figure of 8 lead and did some lead work around the car-park. They say you should go to dog training classes to train the owner. Well that is definitely the case with Jay ( and me), when I try and let him know that he isn’t doing stuff right and that he is confusing Dembe by saying “come” which is his recall command he immediately goes on the defensive. I explained that he should use heel so Dembe doesn’t get confused. That went down like a lead balloon.

Dembe did after a bit of protest start walking beautifully beside Jay. I am hoping at next week’s class Jay will get some instruction on walking him to heel and he will see how its done, gaining confidence that he can do it. To be fair we have never really bothered with obedience training with any of our previous dogs but I want Dembe to be my assistance dog and he will need to be good on the lead and to behave in public if that is going to happen. I can’t have him being unruly and naughty.

We have had some victories this week, I am now able to groom him with the furminator or any brush without him trying to turn around and bite it. He has been like this since he was a puppy and flatly refused to be brushed and would sink his teeth into you should you be foolish enough to attempt it.

Jay has also stepped up with the training and has lead trained ( heel work ) at every opportunity, even when like today it has ended up with both him and Dembe being soaked through.

I am hoping that on Wednesday night the other dog owners and the guy running the class can see the work we have put in with Dembe.