Monthly Archives: September 2017

Why Therapy work and not car racing.

I prefer this…

GEM Ward 1 (1)

To this

 

Safety counts. The driver walked away and was racing another car an hour later.

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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),

Sad visit today.

It was Visitation day at Repat Hospital. We got there early and had a coffee and something to eat, and Rassilon had a pee just before we went into the hospital. We go to visit one guy I used to work with before we go to the wards

Things went as normal, although Rassilon announced his arrival on ward 1, and that got patients ready for his visit. We were going around as normal, then the nurse called me to a bed that had the curtains pulled around it.

Having worked in hospitals I know that curtains pulled means 1 of 2 things. 1; A nurse or doctor is treating the patient and wants privacy, or 2; the nurses don’t want the patient disturbed because they are “not well”.

Ward 1 at Repat hospital is for elderly patients. There was no doctor behind the curtain and no nurse, just the patient and her family, so I had a good idea what that meant. So Rassilon and I went in behind the curtain. Rassi went up to the head of the bed but the nurse had to take the patients hand to pat Rassilon. As we were leaving the bed the nurse said, “Well, at least her last thoughts will be good ones”.

When I worked in Flinders Medical Center I was in the cancer ward, so I got used to patients passing. When I was on the ward and a patient died, we had to take them down to the mortuary, and sadly, being the cancer ward, I got quite used to handling the bodies. In fact, I was only on the ward for about 1 minute before I had to do my first mortuary run.

The nurses would wrap the body in plastic and a sheet, and I had to move the body from the bed to the mortuary trolley,  wheel the trolley down to the mortuary, then move the body from the trolley onto a stretcher bed and into the fridge.

The rest of the visit went without event. Ward 5 was in confusion with patients all over the place. They have days like that on ward 5, which is the dementia ward. Not many people wanted to pat Rassilon today, which is different, normally they gather in the sun room and want to pat him.

Anyway, we finished our visit and came home. My foot started to hurt again, so I am guessing I might need new shoes that will support my foot better. Rassilon got home and went to bed, and that is where he stayed, and where I am about to go.

in bed

Move over, I am coming to bed too.

Busy , expensive day.

Today Rassilon and I went for a drive to Aldinga. We didn’t go to the shopping center, we went to the beach. That was going to be a test for Rassilon because the parking area is on top of the cliffs, with a big stairway down and up.

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Stairs all the way down to the beach…not a problem.

Rassilon has dealt with stairs before, but that was a long time ago and not as big a flight as this. However, Rassilon is fantastic and went down the stairs and along the beach and back up the stairs with no problems. When we were walking along the beach, I put his (illegal for greyhounds in South Australia), 100 foot training leash on him, but I doubt if I got it 1/4 unrolled. The way he walked today makes me think I could let him off the leash and he wouldn’t run away. But I am not going to find out.

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It was quite windy, but Rassilon loved it.

After that, we went to Reynella to check the mail, and met another therapy dog, although it didn’t appear to be a good example. It’s coat was long and matted and it jumped up at people, something Therapy Dog Service does not allow, plus Rassi has a few tricks he can do.

On the way home from there we stopped off for the expensive bit. Rassilon had to have his vaccination ($99.50). According to the vet he is in perfect condition, and she didn’t mention his weight of 35.6kg.

So here we are at home again, Rassi is in bed already and I am soon going to join him.

funstuf

 

A minister, known for his lengthy sermons, noticed a man in the congregation get up and leave for part of the service.

After church, the minister asked him where he had gone.

“To get a haircut” replied the man.

“But why didn’t you do that before the meeting”? asked the minister.

“Because I didn’t need a haircut then” replied that man.