Dembe, dinky dot

Mr Myasthenia Kid is on holiday from work this week, so it will just be a quick post. I say he is on holiday but he has just worked a night shift doing the stock take, so whilst he is sleeping I thought I would quickly write a post.

I have been purposefully keeping Dembe – whom I could write about for forever and a day, off this blog as he has his own blog over at The Dembe Diaries . He is such a good boy and a massive part of my life that sometimes he deserves a little post about him here.

I can’t believe our little dinky dot, as I used to call him is going to be 2 in November. It seems to have flown by so quickly and in those two years we have been through so much together. I really wish both my Gran and Pam could have met him, they would have both loved him. We still attend obedience training ( when it is being held we had a break due to lock down) once a week and we all thoroughly enjoy it. Dembe has his good nights and his bad nights, like every one does. Same as Mr Myasthenia Kid has good night and bad nights when he is handling him all depending on how tired he is. Tonight could be fun after he worked a night shift last night and he hasn’t had much sleep. 

At the start of this year Dembe got bumped up from the intermediate class to the advanced class as he was doing so well. We are so proud of him and ourselves as he would never have achieved this without Jay and I doing the work outside the class room as well. Dembe loves to be busy doing things. Although his favourite thing currently is to lie on his dads lap and have a long cuddle. He is a real daddy’s boy but he also loves me and when we are at training when he has done something well he still looks to me to get some praise. Quite often if we are all sat on the sofa he will give his dad and kiss and to ensure I am not left out he will give me a quick kiss as well. 


He is a funny bugger who is very set in his ways for a dog that is less than two. He does like his routine and isn’t happy if we aren’t sticking to it. He gets unsettled and needs lots of reassurance. He still takes my socks off for me most nights, I have to hide my feet once he has done it or he will lick them and I can’t stand that. He loves to nudge things with his nose, just yesterday he managed to turn on Mr Myasthenia Kids play station by hitting the on button with his nose. If you aren’t paying him the attention he thinks he deserves to get he will nudge an item off the table beside you with his nose. He is a real bugger for that. 

His latest self taught trick though is helping me up off the floor. If I am on the floor, usually for pilates and sometimes as I am unwell or have fallen, he now waits for me to get on my hands and knees, then he puts his head under my head and pushes up. When he first did it I wondered what on earth he was doing although it did make getting up easier. The second time he did it I was like “oh right, you are helping”. Now he does it most times, sometimes a little enthusiastically leaving me with a bruised jaw line but due to EDS I do bruise easily.


He has also started picking up items I drop and bringing them to me. Again another little job that he has taught himself to do which is incredibly useful. I am always dropping things when I try to carry stuff so I am very grateful he now see’s it as his job to give me a hand without prompting.

                                                    His speciality is sock retrieval

We have been brave and taken the plunge and since May Dembe has been going out with a dog walker at least once a week. We book him in when Jay is working a late night as Dembe needs a proper walk in the afternoon so that he is nice and chilled in the evening for me. He can get very excitable and exuberant when he isn’t sufficiently worn out from physical exercise. So it makes life easier for all of us for him to have that walk. The first time the dog walker showed up Dembe ran up the stairs and I had to coax him down. After those first few walks he was fine, now he knows when Jay is working late to look out for Martin’s van and his tail goes like crazy when he see’s it. He runs down the drive ( once he has been clipped onto the lead) and jumps into the back of the van without a backwards glance. I still find the hour or so I am in the house without him extremely odd. I usually try and find something to do that will absorb me so that I don’t sit and fret about him. He is so very precious to the both of us.

I have never known a dog with so many toys. He now has two toy boxes, one upstairs in my room and one in the lounge. He adores his toys and he never deliberately damages them, they are usually damaged through games of tug. His favourite game is Nudge, where he will nudge a ball with his nose towards you and you have to nudge the ball back to him with your foot or hand. He will play this game for hours. He also likes playing find it, where we hide a toy in the house and he has to find it. We have upped the stakes now and hide it in the washing machine, under the bed but he always finds it. He can get bored of that game quite quickly. When that happens he runs off with the toy and won’t let you have it back. It is a good game for wearing him out mentally.

Out of all the dogs we have owned Dembe is the most affectionate, he loves to lie on your lap and have a cuddle. He loves giving kisses whether they are asked for or not. He really is a dog in a million. He will be the dog that all other dogs are compared to past and future. He is my angel and I wouldn’t have got through the last two years with out my Dembe dinky dot.

Face masks

A few weeks ago I helped the local NHS hospital by altering some surgical masks for them that had come in but the elastic ear loops were too big. This led to a few of my friends asking if I would be making face masks or would I make them some face masks for them or their friends and family. I know the jury is out on the use of face masks. This post isn’t about that, there are research papers that are for and against the use of face masks by the general population. I think we can all agree that “home made” face masks when worn provide protection to other people more than the wearer – which is why many countries have adopted  the wearing of face masks so that they can all protect each other from Covid-19 and other nasties.

 
Initially I was very much in the camp of home made masks are bad. That they provided a false sense of security and that by having poor mask etiquette that they could cause more harm than good – if someone continually touches the front of the mask when wearing it and doesn’t wash their hands after they are capable of spreading their germs far and wide on every surface they touch. Since then there have been articles in The Guardian,  The New York Times that have shown even home made masks when constructed from the right materials can offer a level of protection that hadn’t been anticipated. Add in a filter to those masks – made of an unwoven material or a special mask filter ( you can buy at various oulets) they can provide as much protection as the surgical masks I was altering the other day. A link to the New York Times article can be found here.  The Daily Mail did an article –here The Guardians Article can be found here. So I am now very much of the opinion that yes we should all be wearing face masks of some description when out in public to help protect each other.
So for the last 20 days when physically able I have been making masks for friends and family to wear. All I have asked for is the cost of materials, being on a tight budget I can’t afford to be giving away material, elastic and pipe cleaners etc as much as I may wish too. With Mr Myasthenia kid at home, he has been able to keep Dembe entertained and do the chores I would normally push myself to do that would wipe out my energy reserves. Even with him doing that I have had a couple of days in that 3 week period where I have crashed hard just due to pushing myself too hard for too long in an effort to keep people supplied with masks and not letting anyone down. I am on an enforced break now as I have run out of elastic – I thought I had ordered enough but apparently not! I am awaiting fresh supplies. 
 
To be honest I am quite glad for the break, I am so tired mentally and physically it hasn’t been until I have stopped that I have realised how far past my reserves I have got. I always find it amazing how knackered I can be doing nothing ( but obviously I am not doing nothing as I am taking care of myself. I just judge myself way too harshly and think I should be as active as the next person even when in reality I know that is an impossibility ). There have been evenings when I have been so tired that I am unable to form a coherent sentence or stand up straight. The rest was long over due.
 
For my mask pattern I used this Youtube tutorial
 
 
Mr Myasthenia Kid has been helping me with cutting, pressing , folding pipe cleaners for the nose bands, going to the post office etc All the things that can take me more time than an able bodied person and things that I can’t do such as a post office run. Without his help and support I would never have been able to make the number of masks I have. 
 

 

 
 

 
I have been running on adrenaline for days, I knew I had. Last weekend I was supposed to be taking some time off for sewing but instead I started several other projects. Today (Tuesday  21st April ) is the first time I have sat and just done nothing. Everything is hurting and I feel zombie tired. Which is why I tend to keep pushing and pushing because I know how incapacitating the crash will be. I have always been a boom and bust merchant. Plus keeping busy stops me worrying about Covid-19 and what would happen if either of us got it. 
 
So due to my lack of elastic I have had to have a day off and it feels strange. I’m so tired though it was very clear that I needed it. I did manage to get Jay to help me highlight my hair as I am having real problems lifting my arms above my head. Within seconds of doing it I am getting awful pain in my shoulder joints. Normally I would battle on through but it is just too sore for that and I am having to put my arms down. He has done a good job and now my roots look far less obvious than they did previously.
 

 
I did have a lovely surprise this morning finding out that Natasha McCarty from Natasha Makes was sending me a gift after hearing about my run in with a pin cushion on Saturday!
 
 
 
On Saturday when I was busy making a baby bib for a friends new baby, I didn’t notice that I had knocked my pin cushion onto the floor. It had gone pin head side down leaving the sharp ends pointing up but hidden by the pin cushion. I use this particular pin cushion as it has sentimental value to me. It was my late paternal grandmothers and I use a lot of her old sewing stuff on a daily basis. It was only when I got up from my sewing machine and I removed my foot from the pedal, that I placed my foot on top of the pin cushion ( I was wearing socks only) and put all my weight through that foot to stand up. To say the air was blue would be an understatement! It took me ages to get all the pins out of my foot as there were around 20 or so on the cushion. I yelped and cried, there was blood and tears. Later when I looked at my sock I realised that the blood had come right through . 3 days on and the sole of my foot is still a little sore, not something I ever want to repeat, especially as a long time ago I stood on a darning needle and had to go to the local minor injuries unit to get it removed whilst using gas and air! I will be making the pin cushion as soon as it arrives and I can’t thank Natasha enough for that. 
 

 

 

 
 
Dembe modelling my creations from last weekend!
 
So for now I am putting my feet up and allowing myself to chill out for a few days!