The festive season is here again.

I live alone. Well, actually I have Rassilon and he is good enough company. My nearest friends are probably 150km away and closest family is now 1289 Km away in Tasmania. But of that family, I have never met ny great nephew or his father, so as you might guess, we aren’t exactly close. (my great nephew is 5 years old).

And in a way that is good. My sister is married with a family of in-laws, daughter and grandchildren, and this year, my mother. So they have a wonderful time at Christmas getting together and partying, even if they forget the reason for the holiday. They all enjoy the company.

I, on the other hand, don’t enjoy company. I can give you an idea of what I think of Christmas by the decorations I have to hang.

In the house there is…nothing. I can’t see any point in putting up decorations when I really never have visitors. I might have a visitor once every 2 years, if I am unlucky. I prefer to be alone, and don’t really wan’t visitors.

For Rassilon I bought a nice bandanna that looks like an elf’s collar. That is for his Christmas therapy visit. Christmas day falls on a Wednesday this year, and I would really like to go and visit anyone that is stuck in the hospital. He also has a set of reindeer antlers. that people liked seeing him in, and when he realised he was getting lots of pats because of them, he stoped shaking them off.

But for me, well I bought something for my car. A stick on sign showing my Christmas spirit..

bah humbug

And of course, when I go to the hospital, I have a Christmas hat to wear, with the same sentiment.

BH Hat

All I want for Christmas is for it to be OVER!

I haven’t bought Rassilon a present yet, but I will have to get him something special other than food, although he would be satisfied with that. He has so much that it is hard to think of anything new. He doesn’t play with toys and he has more clothes, leashes and collars than enough (and he doesn’t like greyhounds, so a friend is out of the question).

Ah well, the joy of Christmas. At least I have Rassilon, and he was the best gift I have had for a LONG TIME. He is the gift that keeps on giving, always doing something to make me proud of him.

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Give a greyhound the present of love this Christmas. Adopt it.

 

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Noarlunga catch-up

Wednesday was a long day. It started at 09.30. Because this was to be a special visit where Rassilon was going to meet people for the first time in about 3 years, and meet up with nurses and patients from Repatriation General Hospital, I wanted him at his best, which meant a bath and conditioner to make him smell and feel lovely. I had to do it early to give him plenty of time to dry off before the 13.00 visit.

Rassilon and I then went to Noarlunga Hospital for out first therapy visit there. It is a continuation of our Repatriation General Hospital visits, but as RGH has now closed, the 2 wards we used to visit have now moved to Noarlunga hospital. It is a pity, because RGH was a lovely old hospital, and everyone (except the government) loved it.

Because of the impending move, the therapy visits stopped over a month ago, so Wednesday was a reunion visit for Rassilon. I have worked at Noarlunga, so there were other people to meet as well, like the people who were responsible for me even getting Rassilon. (They have invited us back to that section every week after our official visit).

The Noarlunga boss sent around an email letting everyone know that Rassilon would be visiting, so there were a lot of excited staff waiting. And luckily they were.

Because Rassilon has never been to Noarlunga, all the new surroundings, new smells and new noises, made him a bit stressed, panting away as we went around. But fortunately there were a lot of nurses up from RGH that knew him and made a big fuss over him, so while he was panting, thanks to the constant attention from people he knew and who he was comfortable with, he was still holding onto his visiting concentration, (unlike when he saw the cat).

The patients loved him, some of them were also from RGH and they remembered him. Because his name is hard to remember and hard for some people to pronounce, I made up some business cards with a picture of Rassilon and his name so I was able to hand them out to people at RGH, and I was surprised by how many patients in the hospital still had their card. What I will do for the next visit is print up some big pictures of Rassilon and put his name on them and laminate them, so they can be hung up on the wards, so people will know him when he visits.

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Trimmed down, this is Rassilon’s business card photo

But this visit was more to catch up with the nurses. In that sense it was a tremendous success. For TDS records I have to record the number of people who pat Rassilon, so I keep bed numbers (never names) for the patients, I record the number of staff and the number of visitors who pat him. This week it was 18 patients, 6 visitors34 staff.

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All ready for a first time visit. we must look our best.

It was all the attention from the nurses that kept Rassilon going this week. Nurses from RGH that have missed him visiting, and the Noarlunga nurses that heard all about him from the RGH nurses. So it really did turn out to be a good visit.

 

NHS

Noarlunga Health Service

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A man came home from work early one day and found his wife in bed with three men. 

“Allo, Allo, Allo” he exclaimed.

His wife looked at him and said, “What, aren’t you talking to me any more”?

 

(Well they liked it in the hospital)

A day off…sort of.

eMonday morning and Rassilon and I was booked to go to the nursing home at Glengowrie, but on Sunday night I got a text message from TDS telling me that due to a hot weather forecast, the visit would probably be canceled. Officially, it was, on Monday morning, because the forecast was for 34 celsius (it was 35 in my back yard at 8.30am).

Rassilon was ready for the sun, although it took at least an hour for him to cool down in front of the air conditioner. So how does a greyhound get ready for the sun?..Like this…

Doggles

My Cool. Actually he was only Mr Look Cool

On Wednesday we are booked to go to Noarlunga Hospital, fortunately the weather forecast is for cooler weather, but I would still go in the heat, because it is so close that Rassilon wouldn’t be in the car for long, and both the hospital and car are air conditioned.

And of course, Rassilon has his first visit attire ready for the hospital.

Christmas tie

Really high class dogs wear bow ties. Rassilon is the highest.colorbar

A young boy came home from school and asked his father

“Where do people come from”?

The father explained that “God created man and woman, so they came from God”.

The boy then asked his mother “Where do people come from”?

The mother explained her theory of evolution and how man came from monkeys.

The boy went back to his father and pointed out the difference in the answers, asking “Did you lie to me”?

“No” said the father, “I was only explaining about MY side of the family”.

 

The greyhound mind is just weird.

On Monday we went to Bedford Industries for our therapy visit. While there someone turned on the ceiling fan, which was at least 20 feet away, down the room and attached to the, probably, 10 foot high ceiling.

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But despite the distance, Rassilon decided he would prefer to be outside, or at leas out of the room and he needed to get out QUICKLY. Such is the thought process of a greyhound, he would only go back into the room when the ceiling fans were completely stopped.

Today was hot. 33 degrees celsius. We went out to check the mail, and Rassilon had a big pat and cuddle from a man we meet regularly (his wife got his greyhound in their divorce, and it is obvious he misses it), then Rassilon had a sausage roll and a cup of water. A long nose is great for getting into cups. (This guy is obviously a Rassilon favourite, because greyhounds generally don’t like strangers giving them a hug).

We came home and I went to bed to watch TV, and Rassilon came in to join me, because it was cool in the bedroom. But why this oscillating fan was all right, and a ceiling fan 30 feet away wasn’t beats me. (The portable air conditioner is fine too)

fan club

The fan was actually running, and no more than 3 feet away. 

There can only be one answer…

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Yesterday we went to another nursing home and Rassilon was just fantastic, even though that was our 3rd visit in a week, and it was very hot. But luckily they have air conditioning not fans.

 

What is a gentleman?


bagpipes

Someone who knows how to play the bagpipes…

…But doesn’t

The ups and downs of visiting

So far this week Rassilon and I have been out  visiting twice, and we are out again tomorrow.

But on Monday we went to Bedford Industries, a facility for people with intellectual disabilities. Unfortunately they had music group booked in, and forgot to cancel the dog visit.

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There was good and bad. The good was Rassilon standing next to some tom tom drums and someone was bashing away on them and Rassilon didn’t flinch. Then the piano started up and the singer was shouting through the microphone, and Rassilon didn’t flinch.

Then, because there was a lot of people in the room, someone turned the ceiling fans on, and Rassilon was out the door in a couple of seconds, and refused to go back into the room until the fans had come to a COMPLETE stop.

The fan incident really stressed him, and even though we went back into the room, Rassilon was still panting. Luckily a staff member agreed that the people were going to be more interested in the singing and dancing, and because Rassilon was stressing, we were allowed to leave early.

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There is a LOT MORE of the place behind this building. There are a few warehouses where people work

Today, as a complete opposite, we went to the nursing home that looked after me last week. This was not an official TDS visit, just a repayment visit for looking after me (but we will go back again if asked).

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I say it was the opposite, because Monday was stress and panting, today was so relaxed, Rassilon just lay down on the floor and fell asleep. I had to keep getting him up to go and visit the residents, who were all so thrilled to meet him.

One of the staff has just adopted a greyhound (8 weeks ago), and she was sitting on the floor patting Rassilon long after her shift had finished. Her dog is still in the nervous stage, so I think she was thrilled to (a) meet another greyhound and (b) see how relaxed they are once they get settled. She loved it when Rassilon reached over and put his paw on her foot, as much as saying :You can stay right there’

The residents that were interested in meeting Rassilon all came to the lounge, and had a great time patting him and I had a great time telling them about greyhounds. So today was really enjoyable for both of us.

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Again, the building is a lot deeper than it is wide.and shaped like a big sideways E

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Have you noticed how times are changing?

Even exit signs are on the way out.

Playing with toys.

Not Rassilon, but ME.

I have a big back yard. (see photo).

back yard

Big back yard? The car at the back is parked next to a double garage.

I also have cataracts on my eyes. The consequences of the cataracts is that when I go out in the sun, they go opaque and in a few minutes I cant see. It is so bad that if I try to mow the grass in the front yard, I will do one lap of the garden, then I can’t see clearly enough to know what has been mowed and what hasn’t.

As a result of this, the grass in the backyard  got longer and longer, until it was so long that, around the clothesline, Rassilon would disappear in the grass. After a while it was so bad even my heavy duty lawn mower couldn’t manage.

So, it meant spending money, but I bought a ride on lawn mower.

mower side

This makes mowing fun.

Oh the joy. I have mowed the grass, front and back, so Rassilon can once again have zoomies around the garden. He doesn’t just do oval laps either. He goes in all directions, so now he can see where he is going, he has a ball. He was out there yesterday for about 5 minutes non stop.

Here is the dog that, when I got him, was scared by a plastic shopping bag rustling. Yesterday, after a small zoomie, he came up to me when I called him, as I was sitting on a running mower , and I patted him. Unbelievable. (Don’t worry, I had turned the blades off)

I finished the grass off today by using a brush cutter (AKA weed whacker, strimmer, whipper snipper), and while I did all the edges and around the trees, Rassilon sat in the car. He wasn’t scared, just comfortable. I finished the edges, put the brush cutter away and was walking back to the house when His Lordship decided to get out the car. (A brushcutter is like the rest of the named tools, but it has a solid metal blade and not the nylon wire).

Yesterday I mowed the lawn, and at the same time washed the dishes. The best buy I ever made was the dishwasher. I hate washing dishes. And it does a great job and only uses 9 litres of water for a full wash. And it cleans the jugs I use to mix up my instant milk better than I could do it by hand.

So Rassilon is happy again. He has his back yard race track back again. At the moment he is again in bed, having had yet another zoomie and something to eat,

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A cowboy rode into town.

He wore a paper hat, paper waistcoat, paper shirt and paper trousers.

He was arrested for rustling

When greyhounds get the hump.

Yesterday I had to drop Rassilon of to a stranger (to me), so I could go to hospital for an endoscopy. Because I had have an anaesthetic, I had to have someone with me for 24 hours afterwards. But as I live alone, and I didn’t have anyone near by. the hospital arranged for me to go to a care facility over night, but I had to make sure Rassilon was looked after.

So I asked in the church, and eventually someone was found to look after him over night. So yesterday morning I dropped him off, and apparently, once I drove away he started to get anxious. I was told he was a bit whiney during the evening, but when I got back this morning he was all excited again.

BUT…after the initial, uncontrollable excitement, he got the hump and I got the “You left me on my own’ treatment treatment. He went into the lounge room and went to sleep. When I called him he ignored me, and I had to go and get him.

But when it came time to leave his temporary accommodation, he was all excited and bouncing around. He got straight into the car and lay down, as much as to say, you’r not leaving me this time.

I stayed in a nursing home which has temporary accommodation for cases like me. They gave me dinner and breakfast and coffee was available all the time. The room I was in had it’a own shower and toilet and TV. I was driven there from the hospital in a hire limousine, and then driven home in another limousine, no taxi or community car.

So to thank the staff for looking after me, I volunteered to take Rassilon down and visit the permanent residents, which will be next week.

Anyway, we are home again, the first thing he did was a zoomie around the garden, then he came in and went to bed. He got up when I went into the kitchen to do some cooking, but he is back in bed and not moving.

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I didn’t have a good night because I was worried about Rassilon and how he must be feeling. He may have thought I had given him away and he was probably worried.

On the brighter side, I have had to have 3 dogs put to sleep. It always worried me about what they felt right at the end. I would hate to think they died in pain or unhappy. But I had the anaesthetic for the endoscopy, and right after the injection I was asked to roll over onto my side, and I remember rolling over…and that’s all until I woke up.

So I am guessing that the dogs all feel the same thing. They just fall asleep and don’t know anything. It doesn’t hurt and you don’t think about anything, you don’t have time. The only difference is the dogs get a massive dose of anaesthetic which stops the heart.

But I have to admit, the worst part of the whole experience was taking Rassilon away.

Previously he stayed with my mother and came home to me soon after the test, but no mother means I can’t do that now.

But, on the good news front. I enquired about becoming a READ dog, and what training is required. Well there in no formal training needed, the dog does have to go through a temperament test. Rassilon already passed one of those to become a therapy dog, but next time he has to show he is good with kids.

Therapy Dog (4)

So, although I know he is good with kids, he normally meets them outside, where he has a way of escape if he gets uncomfortable. To try to get him used to kids inside, Rassilon is going to the church youth group. There aren’t many kids in it,and it is inside, so that will not be too hard on him.

If he does well there, then it will be clear sailing for his READ work.

Bad boy.

October 31st…Halloween