It turned into a busy day.

Feeling better today, Rassilon and I went visiting. I wasn’t the best on Wednesday, but most of the problem was that I didn’t sleep Tuesday night. So by Wednesday morning I had a headache that didn’t want to go, and I felt like I had the flu, so as a precaution, I cancelled our visit.

But Wednesday was a better night, and while I didn’t sleep right through, and had to get up several times, (damn diuretic tablets), I still managed to get a few hours sleep. So this morning, knowing that Aberfoyle Park home only allows me to visit 1 resident, I felt it okay to visit as I didn’t have to walk around.

The resident wasn’t feeling the best, and hasn’t for a while, but we went outside and sat in the sun and talked about all sorts while Rassilon wandered around the garden and met a few people. Eventually the resident started to feel better. So I left at lunch time, and after lunch he is going to go out on his ‘gopher‘ to the nearby shopping centre. It makes a nice change for him to get out, but he couldn’t get out without the ‘gopher‘ because he has trouble walking.

On the way home I stopped off to visit Ella. I wanted a nice photo of her. There is a resident at Flagstaff Hill called Beverly, but she is known as ‘BE’. Well Ella’s racing name was ‘Better BE’, so I thought I would get a nice photo of her and give it to care home BE. She really loves dog’s, so I hope she will enjoy the picture.

Of course, the green eyed monster, jealousy, raised it’s head. Rassilon, who never seems to like having his photo taken, decided that Ella shouldn’t have her photo taken…at least not without Rassilon.

Eventually I got a good photo of Ella, but it was inside, and I had to retouch it a bit, luckily I have a few programs to do it, but it was such a small job, I did it with Microsoft Paint, and I didn’t have to get out the big Corel Draw program.

Desktop Publishing isn’t cheap to do right.

(Can you see where I touched it up?)

When I got home a slicer I ordered arrived. Yes, I have an electric slicer, but it just about disintegrated the dog food roll. The new slicer should slice it evenly in a few seconds. I did a roll of Fritz, and I sliced a 1Kg roll in about 1 minute, and that included unwrapping it and cutting it into pieces that will fit the slicer.

The slicer can be used for vegetables or anything not too hard, and it will slice into 12 even thickness pieces. So this afternoon (after a sleep) I will try it with the dog roll. It should be easier than the Fritz because it isn’t as dense, the very reason it is not so good on the electric slicer.

And to Keep Rassilon happy, tomorrow we go and visit Peter, and Rassilon really likes him.

Above and beyond…

In this time of Covid, as a visitor to aged care facilities, I have to show proof of Covid and Flu vaccinations, (strangely actual facility staff don’t), and I have to wear a face mask. So I have to stay up to date with vaccinations and current Covid regulations so I know if I can go visiting on any particular day.

But there are two of us that visit, Rassilon and myself. From experience with Therapy Dogs, I know that Rassilon too, has to be up to date with his vaccinations, which he is.

All vaccinated. Unfortunately it led to the unwanted dental bill.

But I can guarantee that at least once per visit I will be asked about Rassilon, “Where’s his mask”?

Well, as a confirmed ‘Smart Ass’, I like to have all my bases covered, and today I received a package from China, (after only 2 months), and it let’s me answer people that either jokingly or maliciously, ask that question.

And now, even Rassilon is Covid safe.

The moral of the story…Don’t mess with old people, we have smart answers to most stupid questions!

And a news update, Rassilon has recovered well from his surgery, and later today he goes in for his post op check-up.

But he is eating well and drinking well, and he is not suffering from any after effects of his ordeal.

LATE ADDITION: Rassilon was given a clean bill of health by the vet, and he is allowed to eat stuff other than just soft food.

Good news/Bad news/Good news.

Well Tuesday arrived, and it was vet visiting day. I wondered how Rassilon would cope with his separation anxiety, but apparently the Rassilon charm shone through, and he had all the vet nurses looking after him, visiting and patting him, so he wouldn’t have had time to get anxious.

The first good news is, he came through the surgery without a problem. He was a little wobbly on his feet when I collected him, but he had not long woken up from his anaesthesia. When we got home, he had a pee in the garden then came in and went straight to bed.

I had put a thick cover on the bed as I was expecting quite a bit of dribble, but I was surprised that there wasn’t that much, and of course, when he did dribble his dog spit and blood, he managed to move the cover I put down to collect it, and dribbled all over MY quilt!!!

I was pleased that he got up a couple of times during the night to go out, and he had a drink, so everything was working and he was feeling better, but it takes a while to get over the anaesthetic, at least 24 hours, especially for greyhounds. Anyway, this morning he went out for a wee, and when he came back in, I had put some mince out for him, and in true Rassilon fashion, it lasted a few seconds!

He is only allowed soft food for 10 days, and he can’t have tinned food (it’s a greyhound thing), so I will have to get more raw mince and some boneless chicken.

Only 2 needed to come out, he got to keep his top (R) Canine.

The bad news was, one of his teeth had actually rotted and created a Fistula, or in layman’s terms, it created a hole from his mouth to his nasal passage. So with a bit of extra work, the vet had to close that up and stitch it. But he did warn me that there would be a little bit of blood coming from Rassilon’s nose, but that was normal, and I wasn’t to panic.

So, while I saved money on an extraction, I spent more repairing the fistula. Still, Rassilon keeps his canine, and his nice smile.

One good lesson I learned in the hospital is that blood spreads. A single drop of blood from a wound will look like pints of blood, or even more if it goes into water.

And the final good news is, it is the next day now, and Rassilon is doing what he normally did, just a little bit slower. But he has eaten and had a drink. He was wagging his tail when he wanted to come in, and he gave ne a paw when he wanted his Fritz last night, (the Fritz is sliced very thin, and Rassilon never chews it, he just swallows it whole, which is why I gave it to him).

And now, he is where any greyhound owner would expect to find their hound…in bed.

Had breakfast and a drink. Now back to greyhound home base
Just a little swelling on the right hand side. Or should that be. right paw side?

Now, I just have to get him a toothbrush and doggy toothpaste. So just another expense. Fortunately, I can get them off Ebay for a fraction of the price I would pay in a shop here. And why doggy toothpaste?


Good news / Bad news.

Today the picture was different, it is pouring with rain.

Rassilon went to the vet today to get his vaccination. He was supposed to have it on Thursday, but the vet had to rush a dog to surgery, and wasn’t going to be available.

So it was postponed till today. Another time I might not have bothered with his vaccination, because he doesn’t mix with other dogs, but as he is a community visitor like me, he has to be vaccinated, like me.

How to get rid of money really fast.

Well that all went fine. No GSOD when he got his needle, and all his joints were good, but then came the first bit of bad news. He was suffering a common greyhound problem, and some of his teeth are rotten and have to come out. Still, that is the explanation for his bad breath.

The second part of the bad news, to get his teeth out, there is going to be very little change from $1000.00.

He will be at the vet’s office all day on August 10th, and will be on pain relief tablets when he gets home, but the vet said that he should be okay to go visiting the following day. If I do take him, we will just go and visit the one person we are supposed to visit, and Rassilon can relax and have a sleep.

On the way home today we stopped off to help Rassilon relax. We went to visit Ella. It helped him relax quickly, because she wanted to play, so it made Rassilon forget about the vet.

Rassilon and Ella.

We haven’t had a lot of visiting recently, thanks to the Covid lockdown. Now the nursing homes have defined rules for family members visiting, but nothing for volunteer visitors, so we have had some time off.

Now, whenever we are allowed to visit like we used to, wandering around the home and visiting whoever wanted to see Rassilon, at least he will be fully vaccinated, just like me, except mine were free!!

A week off.

On Monday we went visiting to Flagstaff Hill, the home Rassilon likes. Unfortunately, due to the Covid restrictions, I had to wear a mask.

Rassilon knows where to go, and he doesn’t need a leash to lead him.

Well, thanks to the respiratory condition I developed in the hospital, and their cleaning chemicals, I have trouble breathing normally, so putting a mask on is really not helpful for me. I get too hot and that makes breathing even harder for me.

Rassilon was fine, because he doesn’t need a mask, and he found the people that he really likes, although he was in a funny mood on Monday, it was like he was suffering anxiety, but now, as I am writing this, I think it may have had something to do with so many people wearing masks.

When he went and saw the Peter he likes, (we see 2 Peters), he gave him the belly on the knee, and that is reserved for the special few he really likes.

On the bright side, the government has now brought in a 7 day lockdown finishing Tuesday at midnight, so until at least Wednesday, barring any extensions, no visiting. Which is sort of a shame, because I have a new client at a different nursing home to add to my list, but because of the lockdown, I can’t go to meet him yet. The good thing about this visit is, it’s about 5 minutes drive from home.

I can’t believe it’s 12 months since we were last here!

Next Thursday Rassilon goes for his vaccinations. They tried to get me to put it off a bit longer after the lockdown, but I explained that Rassilon is a volunteer visitor dog, and like me, he has to show his vaccination certificate, so it has to be up to date. While I am there I will see if his teeth are okay, because his breath could strip paint off a wall, but he is not in pain when he eats, and he crunches up chicken legs with no problem.

(Thursday 3.30pm; got a phone call, the vet has had to go into an emergency operation, so will not be able to see Rassilon, so his vaccinations have been rescheduled to Saturday)

On the down side, I had an appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon. The thing is, I have been waiting so long to get in and see him, I forgot I even had the referral. He had me get some x-rays, and he told me, I have arthritis in both knees.

I took up visiting rather than therapy dog work so there would be less walking, but thanks to Rassilon, it hasn’t worked out that way, and I am still walking around for most of the visits. But to try to help I have ordered some knee braces. Not the elastic support type, they just roll down and dig into my leg. These are proper metal hinged support braces, so I hope they help, or as the doctor said, in 3 – 5 years and I will need knee replacements.

These won’t roll down and are designed for arthritis support.
One day this will all be over…we hope!

Celebrity encounter.

I had a 1 hour visit on Thursday and a one hour visit on Friday. My actual visiting time for the 2 places was 5.5 hours.

Of course Rassilon was worn out on Friday, but as most of Thursdays visit was in just 1 room, he settled down and had a sleep.

Today I had a nice sleep in, getting up at about 10.00 am. Then I decided to go shopping and get Rassilon’s breakfast. Once the shopping was done, we went to visit Ralph and Ella (his greyhound).

Yes, this used to win races, then she found out about settees!

Ella was known by her racing name of ‘Better Be‘. She raced and even won 6 races, so she paid for her room and board.

But somewhere in her family tree is a dog called Awesome Assassin, and he is also in Rassilon’s family tree, so somehow the two are related, even though, Rassilon never raced, his kennel name was Casper. Although, I like to remind people that Rassilon’s father ‘El Grand Senior’ won $544,000.00, held 6 track records at the same time, and is in the Victorian greyhound Hall of Fame. And his great grandfather ‘Brett Lee’ won $488,000 and held 8 track records (at different times).

As for the name, I was NOT having a Casper, and I like regal names, so as a Dr Who fan, naming my dog after Lord President Rassilon, leader of the TimeLords, seemed the perfect choice.

But it is good to know we have a celebrity friend, and yet strange to think that an hour ago, I was rubbing her belly. I guess the retired life suits her.

Better Be, before discovering settees.

Rassilon may not have raced, but he is earning his living now by being such a great visiting dog.

Day off

Monday is normally visiting day, but circumstances dictated a day off from the nursing home. But to be honest, I was happy not to visit today, because I am not ready for a nursing home just yet.

My mother was living in a nursing home in Tasmania, and last Saturday she had a bad heart condition that required hospitalization. Unfortunately the doctors could do nothing for her as her heart and kidneys were too badly damaged, so they sent her back to the home, where sadly, on Sunday morning she passed peacefully away. At least she doesn’t have to put up with the constant pain she was in.

Today, however, I was not ready to go to a nursing home, plus, the chap I am supposed to see on a Monday is a bit ‘vague’ and doesn’t talk much, and spending an hour with him would be impossible. I am lucky if I can engage him for more that 5 minutes.

But because of the Covid restrictions (now lifted), I would have to have worn a mask, I could only have gone to see him in his room, even though I have received both my Covid vaccinations and my Flu vaccination. Have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone with poor hearing while wearing a mask?

If it had been Wednesday, I would have been fine, because I can sit and talk with Jack for hours. He is a great roll model. At 97 years of age he started to teach himself to play the piano.

Last week he was reminiscing about his youth and a song he remembered, and I was able to look up the exact song on YouTube on my phone and let him listen to it, bringing back all his memories about that time of his youth. That is a rewarding part of being a visitor.

But Monday is visiting day, and Rassilon expects to go out, so I had a cartoon (about greyhounds) to give to Ralph, so we went over to see him and Ella. Now she is on antibiotics for her infection, she was all happy again, and ran up to me wagging her tail. It is good to see her as she should be.

Another greyhound trait that Ralph is learning about.

The funny thing about greyhounds is that they can be a bit sick but still appear to be functioning normally. However, we know our dogs, and we know when they are not quite themselves. But if you get them treatment, you get to see how much better they can be.

I had this problem with Rassilon, even though he was eating he was just a bit slow and not running around like he used to, so I took him to the vet who said he was fine, and I obviously disagreed.

In the end I argued that if there is nothing wrong with him and he had a course of antibiotics, they wouldn’t affect him. But if he was sick, the antibiotics would help him, and the vet reluctantly agreed with my logic, so I got the tablets. After just 3 tablets, there was a noticeable improvement, but we finished the course of tablets, and he has been fine ever since.

I would like to add, we DON’T go to that vet any more.

On the way home today I went to get something for Rassilon’s breakfast. He seems to have gone off his mince, so I need to find something different. Unfortunately greyhounds can’t have tinned food regularly as it is too moist and can dehydrate them resulting in death or at best organ damage. So maybe he’s just going to have sausages and chicken. In the meantime I am going to try him with some Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP). He liked it the last time he had some, and the good thing is, I can also use it as a mixer with mince. It is a LOT cheaper than mince too. It just requires soaking in warm water for a while.

When it is time to restock Rassilon’s freezer I might get him some mince, and add some TVP and vegetables to bulk it up, with his compulsory chicken leg.

Would any greyhound owner disagree?

Covid strikes again

It was visiting day today. So off I went to Flagstaff Hill. I had planned a 2 hour visit, 10.00 – 11.00 visiting people that would be going to church, then 11.00 to 12.00 visiting those that were still in their rooms. 12.00 is lunch time, when most of the residents go to the dining room.

But when we got there, I was told that normal services had been cancelled for visitors. We could only visit ONE resident in their room, and I had to wear a facemask. Fortunately I was prepared for the mask, and the receptionist allowed us to visit ONE resident, so I chose Peter, who is on our Friday referred visit list and who Rassilon really likes, so we went to see him.

I don’t know where the time went, but the hour just flew by, so we left to come home, seeing we couldn’t visit others in the home.

I felt sorry for Rassilon, not getting his pats, so on the way home we stopped in to see Ella. Of course Rassilon was happy about that especially as there were treats for them.

Ella felt the cold, so she was wearing her coat. Rassilon can only wear his for a short time before he overheats.

After treats and a run around outside, it was time for all greyhounds to so what they do best…sleep!

Ella chose her bed

While Rassilon got the floor.

Ella has had a lot of her teeth removed, which means she has no support for her face, so her tongue slips out, and her fangs show all the time. But don’t be fooled by the teeth, she is more likely to give you a kiss than a bite.

Now we are back home, and Rassilon is in bed (who’s surprised?). He has had his lunch and is sleeping it off.

Life of a visitor.

Life as a visitor now involves 10 visits per fortnight. Each visit is a minimum of 60 minutes, but they are usually at least 90 minutes plus.

If we followed the rules we would visit one person per visit, and we would be in their room. However, thanks to the benefits of Rassilon’s visits, we don’t visit one person per visit, and we wander around the homes and go into whoever wants to have a visit from Rassilon.

This can be hot, thirsty work as nursing homes tend to have the heat on fairly high. So from time to time I have to make a trip outside to the garden so Rassilon can either re-fuel or de-fuel. I can always tell when he has to go for a wee, and he seems to loose concentration and not want to stay for long, and he will not wee inside, only if he bursts, but if I watch for the signs, he is never left that long.

Re-fuelling time. Stuff the birds, greyhounds are more important.

After what can be a long day, what with the travel time and the visiting, when he gets home Rassilon does what greyhounds are best known for…

GAP says that a greyhound can sleep for 18 hours a day, and who am I to argue?

Today was a local visit to someone who spoils Rassilon. First thing today was a big bowl of food, a belated birthday dinner, (It was Rassilon’s 9th birthday on Sunday the 20th). And he was made to feel comfortable with a new bed she had bought earlies when planning to get her own dog, but didn’t. So it became a pillow for Rassilon, and you wouldn’t believe it…he actually used it.

Not greyhound bed size, but…
Definitely pillow size.

So after another 2 hour visit, we are home, and of course Rassilon is sleeping off his birthday lunch and following zoomie around their garden.

Yesterday we went to the nursing home and Rassilon was fine. He was in a playful mood, and was happy to trot up to people…UNTILL…

We went to visit someone who had just fallen and was in bed and in pain and had hurt her shoulders. After that Rassilon went into his empathy mode, and was really subdued after visiting. But he is fine again today. And tomorrow we are back there to visit someone he really likes.

On the down side, I have a sore heel, which I believe to be caused by the shoes I was wearing. So I decided that a pair of boots would be better support. But being lazy, I wanted some that lace up, but also have a zip up the side, and they had to come up well past the ankle. So with such a specific shopping list, you can imagine that I was going to have to pay out a lot…and I did.

But on the bright side, after just 2 days I can feel the difference, and my heel is not so sore. So perhaps the $170.00 was worth it, even if it was a shock to the system. Still, sometimes you have to pay for the best thing when the cheap stuff doesn’t work.

And now the latest video from the DRAKENSBERG BOYS CHOIR, now one of my favourite songs.

What a great cover dedicated to healthcare workers worldwide.

Visiting day

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.

It doesn’t matter where the residents are, it is their DUTY to pat Rassilon

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.

The correct description of the GSOD.

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.

Refuelling for the next round.

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

The ambulance bells and lights have no effect on Rassilon, he just ignores it.

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.

All settled for the trip home.
The benefits of Easy Origami are 2 fold.