W/C 23rd September 2019

Monday 23rd September

Jay was on a 9-6 again so Dembe got a good walk before Jay went to work. He took him to Woodbury Castle but as it was early they didn’t meet anyone.

Dembe and I were really knackered all day so we kept sneaking off to bed and having a quick lie down .

He sleeps on my shoulder quite a bit, he also likes sleeping with his face pressing against my face. It is really lovely and it makes me feel so close to him when he does this.

Dembe is still loving his new toys of Broccoli and Carrot!

As I said we kept disappearing up to bed and having a lie down

His new collar ( British racing Green leather from Ann Rees ) and his I.D tag have arrived. I was very disappointed with his copper tag as the copper colouring started coming off within a few days. He managed to break his second Dogs and Horses collar last week so I have given up on them at nearly £30 a pop and have gone cheaper. I have also picked up a cheap collar to act as a stand in should this one break.

He had sardines for tea as he didn’t have them last week. He ate his dinner no bother funny that.

Tuesday 24th September

Today I had a trip to the hospital for an appointment with ophthalmology, my letter stated I could be having up to 3 hours worth of tests before I got to see the consultant, so I decided that I would attend alone and Jay would stay with Dembe. It was too long to expect Dembe to behave as he still is a baby at only 10 months old. It was weird though as it is only about the second or 3rd time I have left him for any length of time.

Jay said he was absolutely fine and just slept beside him on the sofa. When they picked me up at the hospital Dembe could hardly contain himself and was spinning in the back seat.

Tuesday afternoon I was shattered after all the stress of going to the hospital by myself. Its a huge deal for me and it makes me very anxious. Dembe was so good he just settled beside me on the sofa and slept. He was very clingy after I had been out without him.

A tiny tongue out Tuesday for a change.

As I was so exhausted Jay took Dembe to dog training by himself. I was gutted but I could barely stand by the evening let alone sit up in a chair for an hour and converse with people. To make sure I didn’t feel left out Jay took some Photos of Dembe at the class. They were working on recall and Dembe got to use the zip line attached to the ceiling first. Its not one the dogs slide down! It is a straight cable that hangs parallel to the ceiling. The dogs are attached by a long line to their lead and it means they can practice recall without the fear of them absconding or getting into fights with other dogs.

Apologies for the quality of the photos, hubby took them and David Bailey he ain’t.

Dembe and Jay had a fantastic time at dog training. Daddy spoiled Dembe way too much and they got through an entire bag of treats. When Dembe got home he was so excited to see me. Jay said he had slept all the way home in the car so he couldn’t understand where he was getting the energy from to go mad now.

Wednesday 25th September

Jay is working a 10-7 today and it is our 19th wedding anniversary. It can’t be helped but I have lost count how many time that he has worked a late or a stupid 10-7 on our anniversary.

Dembe got a good run on the common before Jay went to work. They went to the Model airfield and they bumped into Dembe’s friend Sid the cocker spaniel. They had a mad run around playing chase.

Dembe seems to be shattered after dog training last night and has slept lots today.

As he was so sleepy today I managed to get a load of sewing done. He stayed on his bed in the kitchen so he was close by me.

Thursday 26th September

I spent most of last night with a dog sleeping on my head which was cute. Most nights at around 2am Dembe goes into Jays room and spends the rest of the night in with him. If Jay is on an early though Dembe will then come back to bed with me. For a change though last night he spent the whole night with me.

Jay took him out up the common before 7am as he was on another 10-7 shift. I really hate this shift as it means you don’t have a morning together like you do on a late and you don’t have an evening together either. It is a shit shift like an 11-8.

Jay and Dembe bumped into the lady with 5 Labradors. As soon as they recognised Jay they all ran over and sat in front of him as they know Jay almost always has treats on him to dish out. Dembe had a good play with them. It is so strange owning a dog that can play with other dogs and isn’t nervous aggressive. Mollie was like that as well but with Frankie and Willow both being nervous aggressive it meant she never really got to play with any other dogs. Dembe really enjoys running around playing chase. He will now do the chasing as well as being chased himself.

Dembe and I messed around playing quite a bit today as I ensured I had regular breaks from my embroidery machine. He has been a bit barky today though. He has barked at everyone at the door today even if he knew them or saw them yesterday.

From 4pm this evening he was crazy. He got every toy out of his toy box and was throwing it around the lounge this went on for nearly 3 hours. You would think he hadn’t been walked in days the energy he had.

Friday 27th September

As Jay was on a late night he took Dembe up the common for a really good walk in the hope that would keep him calm for me! On the whole he was a really good boy for me as he always is. We just have a bit of madness in the evenings after he has eaten his dinner.

We have found this week to get Dembe to eat his dinner if we sit in the kitchen with him and praise him for eating. Give him a stroke and hand feed him some kibble he will eat it up and it stops this walking away from the bowl and then not going back to it. God knows what has started him off being so weird about his food the last few weeks. With us encouraging him and making a fuss he seems much happier eating. He was a bit strange as a pup when it came to eating his meals as he would walk away from it and would need our encouragement. Then he settled down and was a good eater, then out of nowhere started being a bit funny. I am hoping it is just a phase as he gobbles everything else given to him. So we know he isn’t sick.

He had a nice little snooze in the afternoon. I had to take a photo as he just looked so bloody cute!

In the afternoon at around 4pm he started getting all his toys out again and throwing them around the lounge. He loves Carrot and Broccoli. His favourite thing to do is bring carrot to you whilst you are sat on the toilet! Carrot is definitely the one that gets to go all over the house being carried.

Saturday 28th September

It is going to be a shorter blog entry this week due to the fact that I am out tomorrow with friends and when I get home I will be in no state to write up his blog entry for this week. He will be spending tomorrow with Jay. It will be interesting to hear how they get on as it is the first time they have spent any prolonged time together!

As you can see Dembe still likes to barge into the shower whilst I am in there. He just loves water but he has never been in the sea or a river for a proper swim. We will have to do that next year when the weather is nice.

We are having a lazy Saturday so that I can rest and have energy for tomorrow. Dembe is just going with the flow

Week Commencing 26th August 2019

Monday 26th August

It is a bank holiday here in the UK so if Jay wasn’t on holiday he wouldn’t have been in work anyway. The weather is scorchio. Jay took Dembe out early and they went to the model airfield. They bumped into a black Labrador called Ruby who was 11 months old. Dembe and Ruby had a wonderful time playing chase. That seems to be a Labradors favourite game. Ruby’s owner was so impressed with how Dembe walked on his lead he asked Jay for advice as his girl Ruby pulls like a train in her harness. It makes us both chuckle when people ask Jay for advice as we only went to the training classes as he was struggling with training Dembe and needed some guidance.

We had the same problem with Dembe when he was wearing a harness and if you think about it harnesses are designed to allow animals to pull loads. So it is no wonder some of them make it a lot easier for them to do that. We have been using a slip lead since the 5th June and it has totally transformed our walks. Jay recommended a slip lead but introducing it slowly as many dogs hate having it over their nose. I did lots of training with Dembe to get him use to it. Jay also recommended our training classes, saying how much they all helped. The most important thing is consistency though. You can’t expect a dog to get something after an hours class and then continue to do it forever. It takes practice and doing this on a regular basis forever. This is where a lot of people fall down they don’t put the work in and then are so surprised when the dog doesn’t do what it learnt.

We spent the afternoon on and off in the garden playing with the ball and the paddling pool. Dembe nearly had me off the garden chair when we were playing tug, he is so strong.

Dembe decided to sleep downstairs this evening which would have been ok had he not decided to go on the window sill and bark at everything that went past. Jay had to go downstairs and bring him back up to bed. He settled next to me on his cooling mat.

Tuesday 27th August

Dembe woke me up crying really loudly at 5.30am for his breakfast. When I came up after breakfast he settled down quickly although I did have give verbal appreciation of his blue dinosaur.

I woke up at 6.40am and Dembe was still up with me. Every morning as soon as I stur I hear the thump, thump, thump of Dembe’s tail. He is just so gorgeous.

Jay took Dembe out to Woodbury Common, it was very drizzly but luckily as they went through the woods, so they weren’t too wet. I had the doctors at 9am, so Jay and Dembe came with me . I went into the doctors by myself, so Jay toon Dembe on a wander around the town. Dembe has decided that he doesn’t like rollators and zimmer frames and decided to bark at those. At the moment he keeps getting scared of stuff he has seen infrequently. Jay took him into the indoor market where they went to the pet shop, where Dembe got to pick out a toy. The pet-shop owner treated Dembe to a sausage which he heartily enjoyed.

Dembe loves his new puppy dog (toy) when we gave it to him at home he ran upstairs with it and hid in my room!

This afternoon we went up to Woodbury common for a walk

After our walk we visited Pets at Home and got Dembe some toys ( another 2) he loved Pats at home and was sniffing madly everywhere. He did get annoyed that he couldn’t get into the food bins!

Every evening Dembe and I engage in the pillow wars. He hogs my pillow as I get ready for bed. I then have to persuade him to move.

Wednesday 28th August

Jay got Dembe out early as the weather was a bit grim, the airfield was deserted, so Dembe had lots of fun with his daddy instead. Jay has been practicing recall, as unfortunately Jay had got into the habit of not bringing treats with him on a walk so now Dembe wasn’t responding to recall. A silly basic error that we have now been working on all week to put right ahead of our training sessions that start again next month. Dembe is already coming back now he knows that there is food involved again. Like all of us Dembe simply refuses to work for nothing!

Today our friends Mike and Eileen visited from Southampton. They were meeting Dembe for the first time today. They spoiled him rotten, bringing all his favourite treats. He was instantly enamoured with them. He covered Mike in kisses and was playing with Eileen. Just as they were leaving Dembe got up on the sofa pinned Eileen down and smothered her in kisses. She was squealing which made him kiss more. It was hilarious. Dembe is such a kissy dog, I thought Frankie was kissy but he had nothing on Dembe. I got Dembe to retrieve Crocodile from his toy box to show off his skills whilst they were here.

Dembe didn’t sleep all day. Around 40 minutes after Mike and Eileen left he collapsed and went to sleep. He is such a FOMO – fear of missing out and won’t go to sleep when we have visitors. He has to know what is going on at all times. He was so knackered that when Jay went out for a few hours in the evening Dembe didn’t wait downstairs but came up to bed with me. He did bark like crazy when Jay got in.

Thursday 29th August

Dembe was up the common nice and early as our hairdresser was coming over today to both mine and Jays hair. He met a cocker spaniel called Sam who is 20 months old and they had a manic run around. When Dembe got home he was still full of beans. I really don’t know where he gets his energy from a lot of the time.

Dembe was funny whilst I was getting my hair cut. He went out into the garden and brought in every toy he has and dropped it at Rachel’s feet, trying to get her to play. He was getting very frustrated that she wouldn’t stop doing my hair and just play with him.

He also kept standing outside the kitchen door looking in forlornly. He was very good, he didn’t try and eat the hair on the floor which is what he normally does when my hair has been cut.

I was in a lot of pain after having my hair done so took it easy for the rest of the day.

Friday 30th August

We give Dembe a frozen Kong everyday when the cleaning is done. He loves it. Normally he eats it up on my bed but today he brought it downstairs

In the afternoon we took Dembe up to Woodbury Common

Dembe was shattered after our walk. We came home and gave him his dinner, around an hour later we then went up to my parents caravan and saw them. Dembe had a mental run around with his mate Maggie.

Saturday 31st August

Dembe was a really sleepy boy all day. I cracked on with some sewing whilst Jay played on his PS4. Dembe slept on Jays legs. After his walk in the afternoon we took him up to my parents van again where he got to have a mad run around with his mate Maggie.

I did take this cracking shot of him

Sunday 1st September

How the hell is it September already??

Jay took Dembe out nice and early this morning as I was stuck in bed with a migraine. He took these shots of Dembe whilst they were out.

When Dembe got home he raced upstairs and covered me in kisses. He always likes to find me in the house when he gets back from a walk. He is very much like Frankie in that respect. Frankie always had to find me when he got home and wouldn’t settle until he did, none of the other dogs were that bothered. It is nice that Frankie and Dembe share that.

W/C 19th August 2019

Monday 19th August

Dembe was a very sleepy boy today. We seem to have days where he is manic and days where he sleeps all day long. He either likes to sleep on me / next to me or on the small sofa in the lounge, scooched up on cushions.

For some reason today Dembe wanted to bark at everything, no idea what was bothering him but every little noise he heard that came from outside was being barked at. Noises like kids playing, neighbours talking, cars driving past were being barked at . He was even running upstairs and barking out of Jays bedroom window which is something Mollie used to do. It was very strange. He also spent a lot of time in his favourite place on the window ledge.

We did have lots of cuddles which was gorgeous. I managed to capture this photo and I realised how much it looked like a photo I took 9 months ago when he was 9 weeks old.

When we got back from taking Dembe out for his walk this evening we came across a curled up hedgehog on our front garden. We managed to get Dembe inside without seeing it.

We took him across the road to my neighbours house as their garden although enclosed backs on to a lane where it would be safer and more full of food sources for him / her. I checked him over and there were no parasites or open wounds.

Tuesday 20th August

Dembe didn’t wake up until 5.30am for his breakfast, Jay was so out of it when I woke him he started having a go at me for letting him oversleep by an hour. I didn’t say anything as I knew he was still half asleep. He had woken up thinking it was Monday. He did apologise later and said he had got confused and was convinced he was going to be late for work.

When Dembe woke up for the second time he was determined to have all the pack together, so he went into Jays room to wake him up.

A friends husband popped up today to borrow my wheelchair for his wife Julie. She is recovering from a huge operation on her ankle and can’t weight bare at all at the moment. Get well soon Julie. Dembe was really shy with Nigel to begin with, we think it is because we don’t have many male visitors to the house and not ones he doesn’t know. Dembe kept running over to me and standing over me. We haven’t seen him act like that before ( but with the barking yesterday he seems a bit out of sorts) . By the time Nigel left, Dembe adored him and was playing tug, ball and kissing Nigel. It was very sweet. After Nigel left Dembe was shattered.

We had a lovely walk together in the afternoon, we went out longer than normal which was good fun, although my mobility scooter really didn’t like the gradient. Dembe led the way all the way around our little circuit. He went straight to sleep when we got in and we had to wake him up for dinner.

We needn’t have worried about him being so tired as he got a second wind about two hours later and we were playing out in the garden with him.

Wednesday 21st August

Dembe had breakfast at 5am, Dembe had been stirring for a while. Jay decided to stay up as he was taking Dembe out for a walk before work. Either Dembe settled or I was so knackered that I went back to sleep and I didn’t wake up until they got back from their walk at the model airfield.

As Dembe hates going out for an early walk Jay had to bribe him with two cocktail sausages to get him out of the front door. He really isn’t a morning dog! Just as well Jay went out early, as part way through the walk he got a call to ask him to go in earlier. Good for us as it means he will be home earlier .

Dembe is following around the house, to the point I am tripping up on him. I am really suffering bad headaches at the moment due to my neck coming out of alignment when I sleep and I am sure Dembe is picking up on the fact it makes me feel so rotten.

He was again on the window ledge watching the world go by!

Uncle Paul popped over today to collect a parcel that I had delivered here for him. Dembe was over excited, he just loves Paul so much he gets silly. He embarrassed himself as he knocked Paul’s coffee into his lap ( thank god it didn’t burn him) as he brought his football over for Paul to throw for him but barged into him. I could have died. Paul took it in his stride and said it didn’t matter. I really wish that Dembe didn’t get so excited when he see’s some people as he then ends up behaving like a hooligan until he calms down.

I managed to finish the quilting on my quilt today. It still needs bound but the hardest part is done. Dembe has been so well behaved whilst I have done this and just entertained himself or slept whilst I worked on it.

Thursday 22nd August

Oh my days my head is even worse today. I am having to wear my soft collar a lot of the time to keep the pressure off my neck. Dembe is being very good and looking after me. Jay is on a late night so got Dembe out nice and early for a good walk.

He has been on the window sill every day this week, at least twice a day. He loves it there.

I went up to bed at 7pm but Dembe wouldn’t come up with me. He has started waiting for Jay to come home so refuses to move away from the small sofa by the front door. He won’t come up to bed now until Jay gets home after 10pm. I hate it as Frankie and Mollie always used to come up to bed with me, it feels weird being in bed by myself. Willow would always wait for her dad so would sleep on the landing or half way down the stairs so she could see him get in before everyone else. He only started doing this last week. I had hoped it was a one off. I hope at some point he decides to stay with me until his daddy gets in. But I won’t force him to stay upstairs.

Friday 23rd August

Dembe woke me up at 6.30am by dropping a tennis ball on my face! Not even remotely funny, I haven’t had a great nights sleep and he has been crying trying to wake me up since he came back upstairs after his breakfast.

As Jay is on a 10-7 shift he got Dembe up the common quite early. He went to the model airfield again where they met another Labrador aged 17 months called Sid. They had a crazy time playing together, they played chase which is Dembe’s favourite. By the time he got home he was hot and knackered.

We have been messing around today having cuddles on the bed. My head yest again is crap so I have been lying down on and off trying to ease the feeling of pressure at the base of my skull. During one of these play periods Dembe has managed to scratch my arm with his dew claw. My skin is very fragile due to Ehlers Danlos Syndrome so what would be a normal scratch on others is this on me

As the weather is really nice I got Dembe’s paddling pool out. He went crazy! I haven’t seen him like that since the garden was revamped and he got to play on it for the first time! He was running to the back of the garden and then leaping into the paddling pool. For his own safety in the end I had to turn the hosepipe off as I was terrified he was going to slip and then really injure himself. We still had fun out in the garden though. Just calmer fun. I also got his solar fountain out and had that running.

Saturday 24th August

This photo really made me laugh today

Especially when captioned with “Truth be told Dembe was never going to win the World Championship of Hide & Seek” or “has anyone seen Dembe? I can’t find him”. He is such a silly sausage sometimes all Jay and i can do is laugh at him.

My arm is looking a bit of a mess today as more of the bruising has come out. Thankfully it isn’t hurting anymore.

My head was muzzy again today so I have taken it quite easy, well as easy as I could manage. In the evening we went over to my parents van after Dembe had his walk. He had a good game of chase with Maggie going crazy and stealing her raw hide again.

Sunday 25th August

Dembe having a snooze after his walk up the common with daddy this morning. Today they went to Woodbury castle but as it was early and very misty they didn’t see another soul the whole time they were out.

As I am writing up this week’s diary entries into his Blog, Dembe has got on the window sill and is watching me work. He likes lying so that his nose is almost touching my shoulder. He looks like he is reading what I am writing!

Jay is on holiday now for a week so we shall be spending lots of time together, which Dembe will love. He loves his pack being all together,

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 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.