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.
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.