It was back to Rassilon’s favourite nursing home. Unfortunately he is going through a feeding frenzy at the moment, and he was given a piece of cake, which seemed to be all he could think of afterwards.
On the bright side, he did visit 10 people in their room and about 10 more in the lounge and one in the corridor. But with his mind on the food, he wasn’t into it like he normally is. Still, I was able to sit with the residents for a while and talk.
There was a small GSOD moment when Rassilon wanted to go into the lounge where people were playing games, and I grabbed his collar, and he didn’t like being stopped, so he yelped.
It was quite warm in the home, so I had to take Rassilon out for a wee and a drink. He was obviously desperate for both, because he just got onto the garden before he had his wee, then he just about emptied the bird bath of water. That isn’t a problem because the rain is filling it up again.
Just before we left someone arrived. I don’t know if it was a return resident or a new resident, but they were brought back in an ambulance
Rassilon must have been tired out after 90 minutes of wandering around in the heat, and as soon as he got in the car, he settled down.
As I am getting down to the last few frozen meals for Rassilon, I have to refill the freezer for him. So I decided to change his diet and see if we can get rid of his bad breath.
So instead of mince with vegetables, I went for sausages with pasta and vegetables in a Bolognese sauce. I know he likes the sausages, and I hope he likes the rest. There isn’t a lot of sauce in it because there was a full packet of soup pasta and 1Kg of vegetables and only 1 jar of sauce, and that was diluted with water.
Out of that I got 25 meals, plus 3 lots of 3 sausages for myself, I had sausages in bread for tea, and Rassilon has been having snacks all afternoon.
It is a change to his diet, plus…it is cheaper to buy sausages than mince. $8.99 for 1.8 Kg of sausages(that is 24 sausages or 8 meals), compared to $22.00 for 2Kg of mince. And 3 sausages is about the same weight in meat as Rassilon got with the mince. (4 trays of sausages $36.00 compared to 2 trays of mince for $44.00)
As we were out shopping, I took the opportunity to go and visit Ella. Rassilon likes going over there, but he certainly makes it obvious when it is time to go home. He gets on with other dogs, as long as it is only visiting, and he can be on his own when they leave.
I took some mini frankfurters with me as a treat for the dogs. Ella and Rassilon had theirs, and Max from next door got a few. He was funny, he took the first one back to his bed to eat it, but the next 2, he stood by the gate so he didn’t have to wait. Max is a Staffie, so a mini frank should be nothing to him, but he chews them where Rassilon and Ella just swallow.
Of course, Ella has had a lot of her teeth extracted, so she has an excuse for not chewing. But Rassilon has no excuse.
Once inside Ella got on her bed and ‘roached’, as greyhounds are well known for. But poor Rassilon can’t do it. He is too narrow across the back with too deep a chest, so he can’t get his balance. Ella is smaller and wider, so she can get the balance.
After our visit we came home and I did the cooking. The pasta and vegetables were done in 20 minutes in a pressure cooker (I could easily cut that back to 15 minutes), and the sausages took longer (because there was so many, and I can only cook 9 at a time in the air fryer. But the good thing is, one of the pre-set times on the air fryer cooks the sausages perfectly in 15 minutes, set and forget.
It would probably be quicker in a frying pan, but it is messy, and I have to stand and watch and turn them. With the air fryer there is no oil or fat spattering, and I don’t even have to watch the cooking.
Now it is time for a drink and go to bed, presuming Rassilon has left me some room to get in tonight!
After a busy and expensive week, I decided that Saturday was going to be spent catching up on sleep.
When I first woke up at 4.30 am, it was Rassilon’s breakfast time, so I let him out for a while, put the heater on, made a cup of coffee and opened the door to let Rassilon in to get his chicken leg. He always takes that back outside, hence, opening the door.
After my coffee I went back to bed and slept till the phone rang. I was on that for 30 minutes, then made another coffee and went back to bed again. When I woke up at 11.00 am, I reheated the coffee that I hadn’t drunk, and checked my emails and stuff. I got a frozen meal out the freezer to thaw out for tea and had something to eat.
Then I downloaded some music for the car. I have had the same stuff in there for a while, so it is time for a change. But this time I loaded it onto my (new) phone, so I can play it all in the car via Bluetooth.
Then, later in the afternoon I decided to heat up my frozen meal. I was going to have chips with it, so it would fill me up, and I would have time to digest it before I go to sleep. The trouble is, I found out that Rassilon likes Beef Ragu!
So, I got another meal out the freezer and heated it in the microwave. Then when I cook the chips, I only need to give the Beef Ragu a quick warm up in the Microwave and the meal is ready.
We had a busy and expensive week. Visiting on 3 days, and I had to replace my phone and Rassilon’s freezer. (Yes, he has his own freezer). The seals on Rassilon’s freezer finally gave up, and the freezer was icing up. So I had to replace it. But I bought a bigger freezer, so I could take the 2 small ones out and just use the new bigger one.
In one of the homes we visit there is a woman who is quickly developing dementia. But one thing she remembers is Rassilon. as soon as she sees him she starts to smile, and she pats him and talks to him, but the amazing thing is, when Rassilon sees her, he runs over to her, and she loves that. And what the staff like is that Rassilonruns to her side, and never straight towards her. And he usually gives a little hop of excitement when he gets to her.
We also went to visit Ella last week, and after I took a photo, the glass on the camera shattered. I don’t know how, because the phone case has a card wallet attached to the back, so it holds the camera 1 cm off the surface. I was also having trouble with the charging port, and inquiries revealed that the repairs, that were NOT guaranteed, were going to cost $180.00. I can (and did) buy a new phone for $240.00, complete with guarantee.
So, it is cook up my tea again, go to bed and watch TV for a while and go back to sleep. Tomorrow will be a late night as there is a Formula One race in Azerbaijan.
We started off by getting Rassilon ready for visiting. So I tried filing his nails. This would be so much easier if he hadn’t fallen asleep on my arm as I was doing it.
Wednesday, the guy I am supposed to visit wasn’t feeling well, so I didn’t have to go to the home, but that was good as my mother was taken into hospital on Wednesday morning. Fortunately it was nothing serious, and she was home later the same day. But they did find that the infection in her foot is probably spreading through her body, and that is a big part of why she was unwell, so that is to be treated specially.
On Thursday we went to see a woman not far from us, and Rassilon really likes her. So we went there and spent a few hours, and Rassilon spent most of his time with her, because she was a bit down, and Rassilon can sense these things.
On Monday one of the people we see was not well, to the point where his family had been called in to the home. So on Friday, before I went to visit, I called the home to find out if he was still going. Unfortunately, he had passed away, but I was asked to still visit as so many people in the home enjoy having Rassilon visiting.
We actually visited 7 people in their rooms and 10 or 11 in a lounge room…oh, and the priest that came in for the church service.
The Lifestyle coordinator is going to put in some more referrals so Friday is a bookable visit, meaning the time counts towards my volunteering.
Then today, it was Rassilon’s day out. we went to visit Ella. He doesn’t have to worry about being gentle with people, he can just play dog.
Of course, the two of them were given a treat, and it was all eyes on the food. But it shows the difference in size between the two of them.
I think that it is the raw mince he was having for breakfast, but Rassilon’s breath could strip paint off the walls. So I have charcoal tablets for him to help with his breath.
But RassilonWILL NOT take tablets, so I have to disguise them. And the best thing is cheese. So, because I wanted to give him 2 tablets, I buttered some bread, put the tablets in the butter, then put the cheese on top. I have to butter the bread to stick the cheese down, or Rassilon will just eat the cheese. This works and he eats the lot…tablets and all.
Of course, there were the expensive problems to contend with this week. My phone decided that it didn’t want to charge up, and then the glass on the camera decided to shatter. I don’t know how it happened because the case has a card holder attached to the back of the phone, so the the phone is always well off any surface.
As it turned out, repairing the charging port and camera glass was going to cost nearly as much as getting a new phone, so even the guy in the shop said I would be better off getting a new phone.
And of course Rassilon’s freezer completely split the rubber seal and is freezing up again, so a new phone and a new freezer. But what I did was buy a bigger freezer, so I can get rid of the 2 small ones and just use 1 big one. And while it cost more for the bigger freezer than a small one, it works out that the price per litre for the small freezer is $3.33, but for the big one is is only .83 cents. And it will be cheaper to run as it is more modern.
It was visiting day again today. Unfortunately the person I am supposed to visit today hasn’t been well and was sleeping when I got in. So we went for a walk around the home to see who was still in their room.
Of course, Friday is church service, so a lot of people attend that, but there were enough left in their rooms to have a good visit. Instead of visiting ONE person, we went and saw SEVEN in their rooms and quite a few in the corridors. We also went into the memory support unit, and the residents in there absolutely loved having Rassilon visit. (And the lifestyle coordinator thought it was wonderful that we went in there, not many people bother).
We were in one room when the morning tea came around, and even I was asked if I would like a drink, which I did, and I got a bit of pizza slice. Of course both the resident and I had to share our pizza!! But he enjoyed it.
As I was starting to leave, I was walking up the corridor with one of the nurses and Rassilon, but he decided to turn off and go into the residents room and visit a woman and her son that he likes.
It was a short visit for us, only 90 minutes, then straight home. I am having some lunch then I will be going to bed. Walking around the home a few times is quite tiring, especially if you have a sore knee, and I do.
It was the sore knee that made me give up the Therapy Dog work, because visiting is supposed to be 1 on 1 in the residents room. But it hasn’t turned out like that. It was fine for a few weeks, but now, I am walking almost as much as I did with the therapy dog visits.
But it was when we got home that the fun began. It was quite a warm day, so Rassilon wanted his frozen chicken to cool off. And I know he wanted it desperately because when he saw the chicken, I got the high Nazi salute.
Then, I presume he likes to catch his food, because he runs off so I have to throw the chicken leg and he can chase it, pick it up, and race back and assume the chicken eating position.
So sit back and enjoy the Greyhound Chicken Ritual.
The day started off by me reminding Rassilon it was Monday. He knows now that Monday is a visiting day, so he started his running and jumping on and off the bed, to make sure I was getting up.
Our visits are supposed to be an hour long, but we never seem to get that. Today we were lucky to keep it to just 90 minutes. The guy we went to see was taken off to do some activities, so Rassilon and I went for a walk and saw a few other people. The other week when I took my computer with music videos in, we were there for 4 hours.
But of course, if you talk about greyhounds or the Drakensberg Boys Choir, I am not going to rush away, I am going to talk happily about them. So sitting with my greyhound sharing the choir with someone is the best thing I can be doing.
The good thing is, neither the homes lifestyle coordinator or the visiting service mind me spending the extra time there, and Rassilon enjoys going in and visiting people. Sometimes I think I should keep him on his leash, because as I walk along the corridor, he disappears into someone’s room for a pat. (Mostly people that he knows already though).
When we were in the dining room talking to 6 people and Rassilonwas forcing himself to let them pat him, a new resident was being shown around, and Rassilon was pointed out to them. “Do you like dog’s” they were asked, “No, I’m a cat person”. But that means nothing to Rassilon, who soon had them patting him and complimenting him.
Then it was time to leave as the home had activities organised for the residents. The thing is, Rassilon doesn’t like leaving. He goes into slow motion when we get outside, and he casually saunters over to the car, compared to trotting to the door when we arrive.
Today he gave me the ‘Lord of the glen’ pose before (eventually) getting into the car.
Now we are home, and as expected, Rassilon is sleeping already.
The person we went to visit was asleep, but that means nothing to Rassilon. Right across the corridor is someone he knows, so he went in there for a pat instead.
As we were coming out that room to go and see someone else and drop off a DVD to them, Rassilon saw someone else he knows at the far end of the corridor, but he is a greyhound, so he got there REALLY quick! And the person he went to see was thrilled at being remembered and visited, so we went into his room and had a good long chat.
Then it was a trip downstairs, but for some reason Rassilon doesn’t like it down there, so he didn’t want to stay with anyone for too long and quickly hinted that it was time to go. On the bright side, we have to use the stairs to get back up, and Rassilon is now fine with them. The first time he was trembling, but now he just runs up the stairs.
As we were going back Rassilon decided to race down the corridor to see one of the carers, and a door was open, and he knows the resident, so he went in and I think he’s joined the knitting group.
After that I went and had a coffee while we waited for the residents to finish lunch, then we went to play one of them some music. They are visually impaired, but they can still listen to the music, and they really enjoyed it.
Of course it was the Drakensberg Boys Choir they wanted to hear, because someone had told them about how good they were. So I played them the song that got me hooked…
They were a captive audience as Rassilon lay across their feet!
Then Rassilon decided to have his mad fit, racing up and down the corridor. It was clear of people (otherwise I wouldn’t let him run), but while nobody saw him, a lot of people heard him stomping around.
As we were leaving, Rassilon saw the lifestyle coordinator, so he raced up to her, but then saw the door to a room was open, and he knew the resident, so he went in for a pat. And the lifestyle coordinator was happy that he was visiting the residents of his own choice.
In the last post I showed the magnetic signs on the side of the ‘Rassimobile‘. Well Rassilon’s name was also on the windscreen, but it had been there for a few years and was very faded and starting to get a bit tattered around the edges.
If you remember, I jokingly named the car the ‘Rassimobile‘, because at the moment, it is only used to drive Rassilon around to the nursing homes and other visits. He’s the main attraction, I, apparently, am just the chauffeur.
Well, the car has been updated, all thanks to the fact that, when I had money, I bought myself a vinyl cutter, so I am able to make my own signs the way I want, when I want.
There was the need to buy a new metal bladed scraper, as the plastic one I had, (which worked on registration stickers), didn’t work on thin and worn decals outside. I also bought some nail polish remover to clean the windscreen of any residual glue. (Total cost $8.45)
Well, I surprised myself when I went to the computer that is just used for the vinyl cutter, (it runs the right Windows version for the cutter program), and I still remembered what I was doing. So with just a bit of practice in setting up the page…a new decal for the car was created.
When I got paid out from the hospital, the car I had was only 2 years old, but a 2 door, but as I got extra money I wasn’t expecting, I bought another new, bigger, 4 door car. Easier for Rassilon to get in and out, and a bigger back seat for him. So, as the car was bought for Rassilon, why not name it after him?
(I have many different colours of vinyl, but only the orange is made for outside use)
It was visiting day today again, this time back to Aberfoyle Park. But our client was feeling better, and Rassilon was happy to see him and wander round the home and get treats.
Of course, now he is getting so well known, we are becoming more professional in our appearance. And that starts with the transport, hereafter known as ‘The Rassimobile‘. Now people will know when Rassilon is visiting.
A closer look at the crest…
After leaving me to go wandering around the home, he eventually came back, then we left when the lunches arrived, and Rassilon must have had his legs crossed for a while, because he just hit the grass outside the main entrance before a big pee. Of course there is a problem here…
Because greyhound metabolism is different to other dogs, their urine is very acidic, and can kill grass. Well…he has.
And if that wasn’t enough, he decided to have a zoomie around the garden which had just been watered. That resulted in chunks of turf flying all over the place. I expect we will hear about that later.
But now, Rassilon is curled up in bed, as was I until the phone rang and brought me back to the world of the living, so now I can start to do some things I should have been doing, rather than sleeping.
(For the garden lovers that don’t want patches of dead grass, I have heard that a splash of White Vinegar in the hounds water will stop the grass burning. Not so much vinegar that will taste and stop the dog drinking though).
On MondayI was running early, so I took Rassilon to a park for a run before our visit. But Rassilon didn’t want to go for a run, so he used the old greyhound trick of developing a limp. Now, if you suffer from anxiety, suddenly seeing your dog limping sends your stomach into panic overdrive, and that worry can last for days (and it did).
Anyway, we went on to the nursing home that he likes to visit, and suddenly…NO LIMP!
He jumped out the car, trotted over to the front door of the home then walked around for just over an hour and there was no sign of any problem.
Then yesterday we went to visit at Aberfoyle Park home. We only go there once every 2 weeks, but we missed a week, so it has been 3 weeks. Well the guy I was supposed to visit wasn’t well, so as we were already there, we went for a walk around the rest of the home to see who we could meet. We normally stay in one area, but yesterday we went right around the place.
While Rassilon was fine with the staff,because he knows most of them and they give him treats, he was very nervous in the new parts of the home that he had not seen before, and I think that developed into a touch of anxiety for him, because he just wasn’t ‘right’ for the rest of the night.
Well today we were back at Flagstaff Hill, and Rassilon is acting much better. The person I was supposed to see was asleep, so we wandered around, and Rassilon decided what rooms he was going into…and the staff are fine with that.
So, we are home again, and Rassilon is more relaxed than he was yesterday.