Author Archives: David

About David

I adopted a GAP greyhound when my Doberman was put to sleep. Owning a greyhound is different to owning another breed, but worth the effort.

Life Hack #1

I'm not a dog

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Rassilon is an official Therapy Dog.

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THAT’S IT!! (for a while) (Maybe)?

The final collar installment…for a while. Rassilon has enough collars and I am rapidly running out of money to keep buying them.

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The new display chain ‘Fully Loaded’¬† apart from the one in the car and the one AWOL in the bedroom.

And the last 6 collars, received today.

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Despite being pink, this looks fantastic on Rassilon

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That’s it. 36 Collars is enough. He can have something different for his next birthday.

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Adopt a dogbecome that ‘crazy greyhound person’ you’ve heard about

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Thanks to Courtney for all Rassilon’s collars. (apart from the official green)

Sad visiting day

Rassilon and I were asked to fill in at the nursing home we used to visit. We gave it up to help out someone who wanted to still do visits, but had health problems and couldn’t travel too far. So, as the nursing home was a fortnightly visit, that was perfect for them.

Well we went along today, and we still remembered the people that really enjoyed the visits and seeing Rassilon, so we went around to see the people on our list. However, there was an infection warning in the place, so we were actually given the option of visiting or not, but we went in anyway. Sick or not, people still like their visit from the dog.

Well, we went around the top level and met the people that really enjoyed Rassilon’s visits, and they remembered him, and his name, even after all the time we have been away. But the sad news came when we went downstairs.

We went to the room of the Polish woman who had not been on our original list, but saw Rassilon and really wanted to pat him, and enjoyed having a good long talk, (I always visited her last so I could spend extra time with her). The room was empty, but I knew it was bad news when I saw the bed with no sheets or blankets.

When I asked what had happened, I was told that she had passed away, and by the fact that the room was empty and the bed not made, and with the shortage of nursing home spaces, I guess it was possibly only yesterday.

This is the down side of therapy visiting aged care facilities on a regular basis and getting to know the residents. I will miss our talks together. And Rassilon will miss the blanket she always put on the floor to keep him warm.

Does he look stressed

We will miss you

But, in a case of one out one in, we met another resident, not on the list, but who wanted to pat Rassilon and just have a talk.

For me, when in a nursing home especially, forget the time limit, the residents are lonely and want to talk to someone. Rassilon is the ice breaker, he gets me in the room and gets them talking, and I will sit and talk with them. That is why my last 7 visits, which should have totaled 630 minutes have actually totaled 1000 minutes. I don’t think I EVER do a proper timed visit.

But it is about the people that I am visiting. I know it sounds like I am making myself sound like a hero or martyr, but having seen what it is like to be stuck in a hospital with no visitors, I feel sorry for the people we visit, and if spending time with them makes them happy, that is what Rassilon and I are there for. I am doing nothing but talking, and that is not a hard thing to do for a few extra minutes.

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A very popular collar worn today. Lots of people admired it.

Happy Whoops-a-daisy Birthday

Wednesday again, that means hospital visit. This comes around so fast. The difference today was that Rassilon was more in tune with the needs of nurses than the patients, with close to double the amount of nurses than patients getting to pat him. And Rassilon was willing to spend time with the nurses, but it was in and out with the patients.

We also got a request to do another shift tomorrow at the nursing home. The person that was doing it is unable to do it tomorrow. We gave up that nursing home to someone else who lives quite a distance away, but had an operation on their back, so has trouble travelling long distances. Well they can’t get to the home tomorrow, but, rather than cancel the visit, Rassilon was asked to fill in.

Next week we already have 2 visits booked, but I will not be available on Thursday as I have to go to the hospital to have an examination on my hand to find out how bad it is and to arrange an operation.

But today, when we got home, Rassilon’s whoops-a-daisy birthday present was there. Because I like him to wear a new collar for each hospital visit, I ordered him 6 new collars, (yes I know I bought him 4 collars not long ago).

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I think this is going to be a popular collar.

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The brighter colours really stand out better on Rassilon.

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This really stands out against his brindle coat.

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This is really black, (it doesn’t show up well in the photo), with nice bright colours.

But I stuffed up. His birthday isn’t until next month!!

In the meantime, I received an insurance refund, (after about 4 years), so I decided that I would spent some of that money on Rassilon and get him some MORE collars for his REAL birthday, they are still getting made and sent out, that makes 6 more collars still to come. But on the bright side, that is 10 weeks hospital visiting before I start back at the beginning and then he can start to recycle his collars. After all, at about $22.00 per collar, he will need to wear his 36 collars again, several times to pay for themselves. (The plain black collar with his name embroidered on it in gold was actually $47.50).

I bought a plastic chain and some shower curtain hooks as an easy way to display all the collars. The trouble is finding somewhere long enough to hang the display. It is only the length that is the problem because the chain is really light, and all put together, it looks really good. And makes all his collars easy to see and choose.

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It looks good, but 36 collars makes it very long.

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Simply hook the curtain ring through the chain, and the collar to the hook. Easy on / off.

A Wonderful Rassilon Day

Today Rassilon and I had an extra therapy dog visit to Immanuel College. I put in for it because Rassilon loves kids. And today was exceptional. He had an absolute ball.

We got to the school and met the person who organised the visit. He suggested we go to the Admin building and sign in. I said that I was happy to do that, but that he should not be in a hurry, because when people see Rassilon, they want to pat him which attracts more people, and forward motion slows. And…I was right. Eventually someone took Rassilon so I could go to the admin building. That was probably the last time I held his leash.

After we signed in we were taken to one of the school buildings where more people wanted to pat Rassilon, Abby and Bella. Unfortunately, while Abby and Bella were able to get into the recreation area and then into a classroom, Rassilon got stuck at the top of the stairs, where he was surrounded by people wanting to pat him, and didn’t make it any further.

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Abby and Bella. (Rassilon can be spotted in the corner of the photo)

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He looks scared, but he was actually enjoying this.

After the 90 minutes were up, Abby and Bella left, but Rassilon was still getting patted, so we stayed for a bit longer until the school finished for the day. Then we had to try to get through the crowds to the Admin building to sign out. When we were in Admin, the receptionist said it would have been good if Rassilon could have gone to the boarding house.

Well, I was glared at by a lot of students, so I said we would go there. On the way I let Rassilon off his leash to have a run around the garden. Well the kids thought it was fantastic seeing him stretching out, (and even commented on how he didn’t run off the grass), they were amazed at how fast he was and how quickly he got up to speed.

Then we went into the boarding house recreation room where, you guessed, Rassilon was patted by lots of people.

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Again, nervous look, but really enjoying the attention.

But despite all these people patting him, he was so comfortable and gentle. I didn’t hear him complain or growl once, in fact, he even posed for a selfie (which in my rush, I moved a bit). I would say that as an easy estimate, Rassilon was patted by at least 100 people.

Selfies

I love this photo. It shows how Rassilon ‘couldn’t care less’, even with the girls resting on him.

All I can say is, if they ask us to go back, which a lot of them wanted, Rassilon and I will be only too happy to go back. It was a fun day, and Rassilon got a change of scenery and people. (We do the aged care wards in the hospital). And he really enjoyed mixing with the young people for a change.

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(As an afterthought, in South Australia, Greyhounds are supposed to be controlled on a leash at all times, but if you look at the photos, you will either see the leash on the ground, being held by one of the students or you will guess that, as I am taking the photo, I am not holding the leash, and Rassilon never made any attempt to run away).

I have come to the conclusion that Rassilon looks scared or nervous in photos, but he isn’t. At the school he was having a wonderful time, contrary to how the photos look.

Special treat day today

The day started out expensive. I went to buy some new glasses, I have to have bifocals, but the main part of the lens will be almost plain, with the reading lens being the bifocal  insert. As they will be used for driving, I added transition lenses that go dark in the sun. As a result, I was relieved of almost $500.00 for them.

Then I applied to join the lawn bowls club, when approved (on Monday), that will be about another $400.00. in club fees and Bowls SA fees. And even though the application hasn’t been approved yet, (but it will be), I am signed up to play a game next Saturday. The problem is, I have brand new bowls that I have NEVER rolled, and it has been 20 years since I played. (I bought the bowls and a bag, and typically, they were not cheap).

Anyway, the good bit.

The bowling club in in the area behind the football oval, so as I was driving out, I stopped and took a big gamble. I let Rassilon out the car with no leash and easy access to 2 busy roads, so he could have a run on the big oval.

I took him onto the oval and let him stretch his legs, which he did and enjoyed to the max, even wanting to play and have me chase him.BUT THEN…he ran under the fence away from the oval.

Now, this is the fantastic bit. He had his exercise, the ducked under the fence and went up to the car and stood there for me to catch up and let him in. He DID NOT run away, he just went to where he was comfortable.

I was so proud of him right them. He had the perfect chance to run away, but prefered just to go to the car.

Rassilon just keeps making me proud of him. When we go to the college next week, he may be allowed off his leash, as we will be with Abby and Bella again, 2 dogs he knows and gets on with.

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Leash not needed, but he wears it inside the hospital.

Hospital visit again

This time, it was personal. I have ‘Plantar Fasciitis’ in my foot. That is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon that runs down the back of the leg and along the bottom of the foot. The inflammation makes walking on it VERY sore. So I had to have an steroid injection for that. I also have Bursitis in the shoulder, so I had to have a steroid injection for that as well.

Both had to have an ultrasound, and then when they found the problem area, the needle had to be guided using the ultrasound. I won’t go into details, but will just say, they hurt.

As I was going into the hospital I saw a sign. Obviously it doesn’t apply to Rassilon, because when I got into the hospital I was asked where he was.

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And Therapy dogs

And, when I went into the pathology rooms for the injections, and said I hoped my foot would be okay to walk on by Wednesday because I bring the therapy dog around, they asked me to take him into their reception area so the staff could meet him, (and probably the patients too). Most visits I think the staff need the therapy visit more than the patients. (Actually I hope my foot is better by tomorrow, because I have to go to the ophthalmologist first thing in the morning).¬†(Friday update…everything is fine, go back for a check in 12 months)

I miscalculated Rassilon’s birthday by a month when I bought him his 4 new collars, so, when I got an unexpected insurance refund, I decided to spend some of this non-money on Rassilon. As I like to have him wear a different collar every hospital visit, I ordered him 6 new collars. I think that will be his last for a while. I will start back at number 1 again and recycle them. After all, 29 collars is probably enough for any dog.

Later this month Rassilon and I have an extra therapy visit to a school. Like the university last week, they are having their exams, and the dogs, (Abby and Bella will also be there with their handler), will be a therapeutic break for the kids to take their minds off the exams for a while. Although if it is like the university, we will have trouble getting the kids to go back to class. The good thing is, Rassilon has met Abby and Bella and they get on all right together.

I applied for this as an extra shift because Rassilon loves kids, and I think he enjoys a change from the hospital. He seems to be getting bored with the hospital, but he still likes going to the dementia ward. Rassilon has an empathy with people with mental health conditions.

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Although known as Therapy Dogs here in Australia, I prefer the American name that is given to their therapy dogs now. It is far more descriptive of what the dog is there for

Emotional Support Dog.

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Therapy dog or Emotional support dog, Rassilon is always well received wherever he goes.