Monthly Archives: September 2017

All good things come to an end.

Well today was our last visit to the Repatriation General Hospital. It was a quiet visit today. I think they are trying to get as many patients out of the wards as they can, so they can have an easy transfer to Noarlunga Hospital.

GEM Ward 1 (1)

Ward 1 Repatriation General Hospital, for the last time.

We did the visits to the wards, but on the way out to the carpark there were some people having coffee at the cafe. It wasn’t hard to work out that it was family meeting a patient for a get together and a drink. One of the visitors wanted to pat Rassilon, so I let her. Another, that was confined to a wheelchair, was thinking of adopting a greyhound, so she got to meet Rassilon and I got to answer a lot of questions.

When I finished talking to them, there was another woman and her mother at the next table, so we had to go and let them pat Rassilon. Well, just because they weren’t on the ward, why shouldn’t they have a therapy visit?

But rather than have nothing to do for the next month, Rassilon and I actually have MORE to do. Tomorrow we go to the Daw Park nursing home, then we have 2 visits a week until Noarlunga opens for visitation.

Once Noarlunga is back, we will still do 2 visits a week, but it means I will only have to drive down towards Adelaide once a week, Noarlunga Hospital being 5 minutes away from home.

to NHS

A bit far for a greyhound to walk, but a very short drive.

NHS

NHS front entrance (under canopy)

(Notice the difference in size between the hospital and Colonnades, a shopping center).

 

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From the DOG

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Regarding #5. EVERY dog owner will tell you that there are words their dog understands. If I ask “Do you want to go for a wee”? Rassilon racing to the door tells me he understands.

If I ask Rassilon “Do you want a chooky foot”? (chickens foot), he runs to the freezer where they are kept, so not only can dogs understand the words, they can also relate words to items.

That is why (strange as it may seem to non dog owners), I will tell Rassilon I am going out and will be back soon. He understands and goes to bed to wait, then goes crazy when I get home. If I don’t tell him I am going out alone, he will try to get into the car then will not want to go inside. Dogs are SMART.

Regarding #10. The more dogs you have, the harder this becomes. But remembering that the dog will be scared without your presence will hopefully overcome your sadness. Remember, you will be the last thing your dog sees. I left my last dog at the vet to be put to sleep, and I regret that so much when I think of how scared she must have been all alone.

Therapy Dog (4)

Its special because it’s true

The day I went to pick Rassilon up from GAP, the Greyhound Adoption Program, I had never seen a greyhound. When I got to the office I saw a small ‘blue’ female and thought I had done the right thing in choosing a greyhound.

When the time came to actually meet Rassilon, the dog I was to take home, I didn’t know what to think. He was at least 9 inches taller than the one I had seen. He wasn’t the lovely ‘blue’ colour, but a dirty spotty colour. I wasn’t sure about his face, and, he was a male.

First Sight

The first time I ever saw Rassilon. Look at his nervous eyes.

I got him as a Foster to Adopt dog, so I had him for 8 weeks. If things didn’t work out I could take him back. But, after only 3 days I sent an email to GAP telling them, “You are not getting your dog back”. He was to be a foster dog for 8 weeks, but I finalised his adoption after about 3 weeks, and the more I see his LIGHT FAWN / BRINDLE coat, the more I love it. Blue is nice, but the light fawn / brindle is uncommon. (And it turns out that with greyhounds, the male is the more affectionate)

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I didn’t write this, but I agree with every word.

Now after 3 1/2 years together, seeing how he has improved from the nervous wreck I fostered, how incredible he is as a therapy dog, and knowing how he has changed me, I am SO PROUD of Rassilon, and I am happy to talk to people about greyhounds and tell them how great he is.

And I bet every other greyhound owner feels exactly the same about their greyhound.

Because greyhounds are more than just dogs, they are companions and friends.

You may not be a crazy greyhound person, but all that means is…you haven’t got a greyhound .

Thoughts of a rescued greyhound

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When my mother was preparing to move to Tasmania, I saw her health falling away. And that was with just 3 weeks of stress. Imagine how it is for a racing greyhound, living with the stress for years. When you see a greyhound that is loosing it’s hair, and it’s back legs are bald…that is the result of the stress of racing. You can only imagine how that dog feels once it learns about it’s new home and life of luxury.

Rassilon’s hair has grown back on his legs and the sides of his chest, and sometimes when we are visiting and people are patting him I can see his hair shedding, but he comes home and gets patted and cuddles and goes to bed, and he is relaxed again. And the more he visits, the more he is enjoying it and not stressing. He has 2 bald spots on his back legs, but I am happy to report that they are caused by his wagging tail rubbing his legs.

In the poem, the one line that get’s to me is…

Got a ball and a bone and a bed that’s all mine.

In the kennels greyhounds have very little to call their own, which is why they can be protective of things when they get into a home. I was lucky and Rassilon was never protective of things and I can even put my hand into his dinner bowl and take food out while he is eating, (this is also a requirement for getting his green collar and for the Therapy Dog Service). Now, with that, I am going to cuddle Rassilon.

Visiting day again

What a great day we had today. We had to go to Bedford Industries today, 10.00am to midday. The good thing is I can’t get lost, because it is just around the corner from the hospital I normally visit.

TDS locations

When we were there one person wanted to take Rassilon for a walk, which is allowed by TDS, but it means putting 2 leashes on Rassilon, so I still have control. Anyway, the guy absolutely loved going out, and when he came in, he went straight to the kitchen to get Rassilon a drink of water.

Dave walking Rassi

Lerttng people take Rassi for a walk means I still have to have control

Later one of the carers gave him a brush so he could brush Rassilon. It turned into a competition to see how many times he gould brush Rassi, and I had to keep count.

Of course, Rassilon was so completely chilled while working with these people who have mental health issues, that when he was being brushed, he climbed up onto the settee to be close.

Dave brushing Rassi

Rassilon took it upon himself to just climb on the furniture

Another resident likes kicking a ball, and will do that all day. But the first time he kicked the ball near Rassilon, poor Rassi nearly had a fit. But very quickly, he got used to it. And in the end, the ball could bang into his legs and he didn’t bother moving. (It was a soft ball, I checked)

In fact, Rassilon was so relaxed that he just lay down and let the guy pat him. Both of them enjoyed themselves.

Jordan patting Rassi

And the cool thing was, although frowned upon by TDS), I was able to let go of Rassilon’s leash and take the photos.

We all had a great time, and it is seeing people and dogs interacting and getting better, that makes therapy work worth the effort.

(P.S. After last week I got new shoes, and my feet are fine even after a 2 hour visit),