Visiting Day.

Estia, Abberfoyl Park.
Front Entrance

What a great day it was. Rassilon was in his glory. He had people patting him all the time.

We got to the home early, and were accosted by the staff, all wanting to pat Rassilon, who, in brave greyhound manner, stood there and took it all. He was surrounded by about 8 people, and one was scared of dogs, but the other staff showed her how good Rassilon was, and she came in for a quick pat. Then we were taken up to the lounge, where I had a cup of coffee, and Rassilon went to meet a few of the residents. Of course, his stethoscope and bandanna were loved by all.

Only when we were in the lobby area did I bother to put Rassilon’s leash on. The only other time he wore it was when one of the carers took him to meet someone from a different area. Rassilon was quite happy to go, but coming back, when he saw me, he bolted to run to me.

It’s amazing how quick the time goes when you are there. I wondered if we would be able to talk for the hour, but we went over that, and had no problems. Rassilon settled down on the floor (we went into the lounge), and only got up when people came in to see him. And most of the time I had to tell him to get up!

The Dogtor is ready for rounds.

There are now quite a few people waiting for the next visit. And what is so good is, not having Rassilon on his leash, So it is his choice to go up to someone, not just me leading him.

Of course, I got him to say hello and goodbye, and that was wonderful for people. Rather than ask him to stop, they wanted to hear him bark. Luckily I had some treats with me, so getting him to speak was easy when he smelled the food.

So, another 2 weeks and we go back, unless someone else wants to have a visit, and from the reaction today, that is very likely.

When I first got Rassilon, he wouldn’t go near a drain or metal plate in the path.

Update on doggy purchases.

Rassilon’s replacement collar arrived, and it looks excellent. In fact, he will wear it to the nursing home when we go visiting this week. He will also wear his new stethoscope.

This looks good against the brindle.

The bright pink really stands out and is easily seen.

He had a stethoscope when he visited the hospital. In the time we were not visiting, I lost it. But because it was so popular I ordered a new one. Fortunately Rassilon is just a greyhound and not a medical specialist requiring a specialised instrument, which can cost many hundreds of dollars. This is the most basic thing available and was under $5.00.

For Example…

Used by heart specialists, probably why they charge so much.
And you still need your headphones to plug into this for the best sound possible.

(Doctors in hospitals are supplied with basic stethoscopes, but if they want to specialise and improve their equipment, they have to pay for it themselves, but they can go out drinking for lunch, and that can be covered by the hospital).

Of course, as was fully expected, and inevitable, the day the new stethoscope arrived…I found the old one in a box in the lounge!!

We went for a walk around the shopping center today, and I should have known what to expect when we hadn’t even got out the car park before Rassilon was getting patted. And at the job center, he was getting patted by a customer, and true to greyhound standards, he was leaning so hard that when she moved, he almost fell over.

A well known greyhound habit.

Hitting Rassilons bank account

Things got a bit expensive today, when I started buying stuff for Rassilon.

It all started last week when I gave Ella one of Rassilon’s Martingale collars. Well, it was a very bright pink, which, although bright, didn’t show up well on brindle Rassilon. But on black Ella, it is perfect. And pink isn’t exactly a MALE greyhound colour.

Of course, that left Rassilon’s collar collection 1 short, and I don’t like that, so I had to buy a replacement. Now we are back to the 60 Martingale collars.

This replacement should stand out on the brindle coat.

Tonight I really got stuck into Rassilon’s nails. What I found was that the grinding wheels don’t last too long against Rassilon’s thick nails. So that meant I had to order some replacements, as I am going to go through them at 3 or 4 disks per nail session. And until I can shorten his nails, that will be a regular occurance.

They aren’t very big, and Rassilon’s nails are thick. Fortunately, these arent too expensive.

I also bought a retractable leash. They are not recommended for greyhounds, as the hound can take off suddenly, and 2 things can possibly happen.

  1. The running dog can rip the leash out of the owners hand, then get scared by the handle bouncing behind it, and literally run itself to death.
  2. If the owner has a tight grip on the leash, the dog can get to the end of the leash, and injure it’s neck and/or throat with the sudden stop, or possibly worse. The one I have ordered is 8 meters long, so long enough to cause injury.
Only because I really trust Rassilon. (The collar was dearer than this leash).

I am not worried by these anymore, because Rassilon walks so well. On Monday I went out to Seaford Meadows. I got Rassilon out of the car and walked him to a little garden area for a wee, and I didn’t put his leash on him, and he made no attempt to run away. So as a reward, I am buying him this stuff.

No leash required…but it did take over 6 years to get here.

When we walk around Reynella shops, he has to be on his leash, but as he gets close to the outdoor cafe, when he sees Guido or any of the other people that pat him, he likes to leap forward and run over. This leash will let him do that, while still being on his leash. It will also be good at nursing homes when I visit. If we do any hospitals, he will go on an ordinary leash, so he doesn’t get in people way.

And Thursday is Rassilon’s first day at Aberfoyle Park Nursing Home. So he is going to be unhappy tomorrow when I give him a bath. It’s been a while since his last bath, and I want him looking his best when he meets everyone.

More news after the visit. I may have wasted money on a leash, because most of the time Rassilon didn’t have one on. When someone came up to him, he didn’t move, or if I told him to go and say hello, he went to the person and straight back.

AND…another resident saw him outside and is requesting that he goes and visits them on a regular basis, and I imagine that there will be a few more wanting a visit once they see or meet him.

The truth about Greyhounds and owners.

Most people think dogs enjoy a long walk. And many do, but here is a common trace of people walking, and their dogs.

Despite being a racing dog, greyhounds aren’t exactly energetic.

I have been in this situation only once, and yes, it is that quick!

But every greyhound owner will agree…

The only dog mentioned BY NAME in the Bible*.

*Proverbs 30 : 29-31. 29There be three things which go well, yea, four are comely in going: 30A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any; 31A greyhound; an he goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up.

And the memories come flooding back.

Today it is hot again. And I mean Australian hot, (see photos from previous posts). At 5.30pm it was still 41 degrees in the shaded back yard.

Obviously I have said,”Stuff the cost, the air conditioner is on all day”, and Rassilon is inside except for short ‘pit stops’. I went outside yesterday to throw some bread out for the birds, and I was burning my feet on the concrete, so Rassilon stayed in for most of yesterday and today, so as not to burn his feet.

But something happened today that made me think back to the day I brought Rassilon home.

Today, I let him out for a wee, and after a few minutes, I let him back in. I opened the door but didn’t see him. He was right at the back of the yard, so he can get a good run-up, which he did, and came through the door at a fare speed.

And for some reason, I thought back to the day I first brought him home.

I drove into the back yard, closed the gates. then let Rassilon out of the car. He went for a sniff all around the garden, something different to the concrete kennels, and was having an enjoyable time. (Now he gets out of the car first, because he doesn’t run away).

Then I called him to come into the house. But that was too far out of his comfort zone at that time, and he wouldn’t come in. So I put his leash in him and led him slowly inside. (He has never needed the leash to come in since then).

Once inside, he went around investigating the house, and soon chose his settee. He has learned all about his food and water bowl, so now, if he’s looking for a treat I have hidden and I say, “It’s in your bowl“, he knows where to go. (The same works with, “It’s on your bed”).

So today, as he raced through the door, I remembered how nervous he was when I first brought him home. This wasn’t helped by him getting an infection and being really sick for the first three days.

And now, I get to see him, full of confidence. A therapy dog/community visitor.

Actually, I got told off when I went to take my police clearance into the volunteers office. I didn’t take Rassilon, and everyone was waiting to meet him. So the volunteer service are eager to have him go on visits, and I am sure that he will be only too happy to get into a visiting schedule.

As I look back over the 6.5 years I have had Rassilon, it is interesting to see the changes in both of us. Because Rassilon was so nervous of everything, I had to learn to keep calm and not get upset with him. ,After all, everything was completely new to him*.

So technically, I was Rassilon’s first therapy visitor.

  • Rassilon was taken to GAP on the day I phoned them up, and I picked him up the following day, right from the vets surgery. He had never been fostered or had the chance to learn about living in anything other than the kennels.

Life of an Adopted Greyhound

Have you ever wondered how the life of a retired racing greyhound differs from other breeds?  We’ve taken a few excerpts from a seminar given by Kathleen Gilley entitled “What is your new adoptive greyhound thinking?” to try to give you an understanding of what adjusting to pet life really means for your greyhound.

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“Of all breeds of dogs, the ex-racing greyhound has never had to be responsible for anything in his life.  His whole existence has been a dog-centered one.  This breed has never been asked to do anything for itself, make any decisions, or answer any questions.  It has been waited on, paw and tail.  The only prohibition in a racing greyhound’s life is not to get into a fight—or eat certain stuff in the turn out pen.

Let us review a little.  From weaning until you go away for schooling, at probably a year and a half, you eat, grow, and run around with your siblings.  When you do go away to begin your racing career, you get your own “apartment”, in a large housing development.  No one is allowed in your bed but you, and when you are in there, no one can touch you without plenty of warning.

Someone hears a vehicle drive up, or the kennel door being unlocked.  The light switches are flipped on.  The loud mouths in residence, (and there always are some), begin to bark or howl.  You are wide awake by the time the human opens your door to turn you out.  A greyhound has never been touched while he was asleep.

You eat when you are fed, usually on a strict schedule.  No one asks if you are hungry, or what you want to eat.  You are never told not to eat any food within your reach.  No one ever touches your bowl while you are eating.  You are not to be disturbed because it is important you clean your plate.

You are not asked if you have to “go outside”.  You are placed in a turn out pen and it isn’t long before you get the idea of what you are supposed to do while you are out there.  Unless you really get out of hand, you may chase, rough house, and put your feet on everyone and everything else.  The only humans you know are the “waiters” who feed you, and the “restroom attendants” who turn you out to go to the bathroom.  Respect people?   Surely you jest.

No one comes into or goes out of your kennel without your knowledge. You are all seeing; all knowing.  There are no surprises, day in and day out.  The only thing it is every hoped you will do is win, place, or show, and that you don’t have much control over. It is in your blood.  It is in your heart.  It is in your fate—or it is not.”

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This is a racing greyhound’s life while they are in training. They live in a kennel environment, are waited on by their owners and know what to do within their environment, on their schedule. A greyhound has always been surrounded by the company of other greyhounds so of course, it is going to take them some time to adjust to a new environment where they are constantly surrounded by temptation and a new sense of independence. In addition, some greyhounds may struggle to adjust to life as only dog, especially after being with their greyhound friends for their whole existence.

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“Suddenly, the greyhound is expected to behave himself in places he has never been taught how to act.  He is expected to take responsibility for saying when he needs to go outside, to come when he is called, not to get on the furniture, and to not eat food off counters and tables.  He is dropped in a world that is not his, and totally without warning, at that.

Almost everything he does is wrong.  Suddenly he is a minority.  Now he is just a pet.  He is unemployed, in a place where people expect him to know the rules and the schedule, even when there aren’t any.  How many times have you heard someone say, “He won’t tell me when he has to go out.”  What kind of schedule is that?  Have you heard the joke about the dog who says, “My name is No-No Bad Dog.  What’s yours?” To me that is not even funny.  All the protective barriers are gone. There is no more warning before something happens. There is no more strength in numbers.  He wakes up with a monster human face two inches from his.  Why should he not believe that this someone who has crept up on him isn’t going to eat him for lunch?

Now he is left alone, for the first time in his life, in a strange place, with no idea of what will happen or how long it will be before someone comes to him again.  Often, the first contact with his new family is punishment, something he has never had before, something he does not understand now, especially in the middle of the rest of the chaos. Worst of all, what are the most common human reactions to misbehaviour?  We live in a violent society, where the answer to any irritation is a slap, punch, kick, whip, or rub your nose in it.  Under these circumstances, sometimes I think any successful adoption is a miracle.

He is, in effect, expected to have all the manners of at least a six-year old child.  But, how many of you would leave an unfamiliar six-year old human alone and loose in your home for hours at a time and not expect to find who knows what when you got back?  Consider that if you did, you could be brought up on charges or child abuse, neglect, or endangerment.  Yet, people do this to dogs all the time, and this is often the reason for the greyhound being returned.

How many dogs have been returned because they did not know how to tell the adopter when they had to go out?  How many for jumping at people, getting on furniture, counter surfing, separation anxiety, or defensive actions due to being startled or hurt (a/k/a growling or biting)?   So, let’s understand:  Sometimes it is not the dog’s “fault” he cannot fit in.  He is not equipped with the social skills of a six-year old human.  But with your love and help, you can make it happen.”

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We encourage all greyhound trainers to provide their greyhounds with as much socialisation as much as possible prior to sending them for their GAP assessment to enter the program. This assists the greyhound in transitioning into a pet environment. Some greyhounds will have experience in a home but for some, new floor coverings and even glass doors are a new thing to learn how to navigate. Some people take this to mean that they have been neglected but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. While they may not sleep inside on their owner’s bed, racing greyhounds are generally better fed, exercised and given more time and attention than a lot of people provide their pets.

It is important for anyone adopting a greyhound to understand that their greyhound is still learning, even, if they have been through a 1-2 month foster period. Like any pet, with a little love, attention and care you can help them adjust to their new life and environment as a member of your family. Plus Foster and Adoption Agency Officers are always here to help you every step of the way.

EXCERPT SOURCE: https://bayareagreyhounds.org/what-your-greyhound-is-thinking/

From the GAPSA Website: https://gapsa.org.au/

I speak fluent Greyhound.

Today I had two jobs to do. I had to go and get my medication, and while down at Reynella, I wanted to go and visit Ralph and Ella. Ralph was interested in Rassilon’s nail grinder. So I took mine down and showed him how it worked on Rassilon, and Rassilon was fine with it and just stood still while I did a nail. Then I tried it on Ella to see how she would react, and she was fine with it as well and just lay there as I showed Ralph.

The thing is, when I bought my grinder, it was $105.00. When I checked on eBay the other day, the price has shot up to $450.00. Fortunately there were other, cheaper ones, available. So he can still get a different grinder and extra sanding wheels for $60.00, and that will last him for years.

The thing is, for safety and convenience, it needs to be a cordless grinder. The electric ones are way too noisy, they sound like a jet taking off. Plus you are restricted to where you can go because of the power cord,

But the incredible bit was, when I got up this morning Rassilon was still in bed, so I asked if he would like to go out, he just looked. So I asked him if he wanted to go visiting. That got him looking over to me. Then I said words that he obviously understood. “Do you want to go and see Ella”?

Well, he was up and off the bed like a rocket. Then he raced back and leapt onto the bed, quick spin and off again. And so it was until I stood up. Then it all happened again when I started looking at his collars.

So I went and got my tablets, and went down to Ralph’s place. Ella was out in the garden, and jumping up at the fence when we pulled into the drive. I let Rassilon out of the car (no leash), and he stood at the gate waiting to get let in.

Once in, there was NO growling or barking, Rassilon and Ella went off sniffing around the garden. Then we went inside, and of course, first one in was Rassilon. Ella followed and the two of them stood side by side and got a treat from Ralph, who thinks it is great that the two of them get on so well. It is great that they do get on and can be left together, but somewhere in their bloodlines they are related.

So, now we are at home again, and of course Rassilon is back in bed.

Another warning from GAPSA

Image may contain: dog and outdoor

Don’t forget that the pavement and roads get really hot for your poor greyhounds feet and in severe cases can result in burns.

​​The best time of day to walk your dog in summer is in the early morning or late evening when temperatures have dropped.

In case of emergency, it is a good idea to buy some boots for your hound.

And remember, this was put out by a greyhound group, so it refers specifically greyhounds, but this warning is for EVERY dog.

And now a word from GAPSA

As South Australia starts to have it’s really hot weather, for at least the next week in the high 30’s or low 40’s (if were lucky), taking care of your greyhounds health is very important.

Today Rassilon has only been out a few times, but I left the fly screen door open a bit and kept the glass door closed and the air conditioner on. When Rassilon has been for a wee, he comes back and slides the screen door open, so I know he’s ready to come in.

But as a reminder to greyhound owners, GAP put out this article.

Tips to keep your greyhound cool this summer!

Summer is here and it is only going to get hotter whether we like it or not. Due to their slender bodies, greyhounds can be very susceptible to heat stress and heatstroke.  So, with temperatures in the high 30s and even over 40 common in SA, it is important to make sure you are looking out for your greyhound and helping them keep cool!

Here are some basic tips on ways you can help your greyhound beat the heat this summer:

Water

Make sure that your greyhound always has access to plenty of cool fresh water to drink. Adding ice cubes in the morning can assist in ensuring that the water stays cool.

If you’re taking your greyhound out be sure to take a collapsible water bowl with you so that they can continue to stay hydrated.

Shade

Where possible bring your greyhound inside in the aircon on their favourite spot – the couch!

If your greyhound is outside they will need to have access to a shaded area in order to stay out of direct sun.

NEVER LEAVE YOUR GREYHOUND ALONE IN THE CAR!!

This one is obvious but we must all always be reminded. The temperature in a car can be much higher than outside and therefore it is never safe to leave your dog in a locked closed up car.

Exercise

We all know greyhounds don’t need much exercise. While it is hot it is best to get their walks or playtime in during the early hours of the morning or late in the evening to avoid the hottest parts of the day.

Be sure to take care when walking your grey on roads and footpaths as they can burn their feet if they get too. Follow this rule to protect your greys feet, place the back of their hand on the surface for seven seconds. If you struggle to hold it down, it’s too hot to walk your dog.

Paddle pools

Who doesn’t love to splash about in the water when they are hot! A clamshell pool can be the perfect addition to your backyard to help keep your grey cool in these warmer months. Simply fill it up with cool water in the morning and watch them enjoy a refreshing lay down in the pool.

Frozen Treats

Icy pole anyone? Your greyhound will love a frozen treat. Try freezing some flavoured chicken or beef stock with some water and giving to your greyhound as a tasty and refreshing treat.

A frozen RAW chicken leg or wing is also a cooling treat.

These all apply to ALL DOGS, but because of the thin coat, thin skin and different metabolism of greyhounds, they are especially susceptible to heat and cold. So keep your hound cool in this heat.