Category Archives: GAPSA

It had to happen

Well, it finally happened. We had a bad therapy visit today. And we went all the way to Mitchum, in the heat, to have it too.

The nursing home was okay, they had the paperwork with the list of room numbers we were to go to, and we got to most of them, but something happened that ruined the visit and slowed it all down.

Therapy Dog (4)

Ready for work with his TFS bandanna (for identification).

It started off well enough. We got a parking spot right in front of the home, and the weather was terrible, it was well over 33 degrees. I wanted to get as close to the home as possible so Rassilon wouldn’t burn his paws

I got Rassilon out of the car and into the nursing home where I was able to sit and update my calendar with next month’s TDS visits. TDS phoned me earlier as I was driving, so I just had to quickly note the dates on a scrap of paper.

We met some people in the tea room, a resident with her son, so we went and talked with them. When I went to fill in my paperwork, the son came and asked if his mother could have a photo with Rassilon, so I gave him the leash so I could finish my forms and he could get the photos.

Rassilon went with him and got his photo taken, the I got him back and we went to do our visits. That is one good thing, Rassilon will not struggle to stay with me, he will follow his leash, (so I can leave him with someone if I need to go to the toilet or get a drink).

As we walked into the second wing, Rassilon saw Albie, the home’s pet cat. Well that was it. Visitation concentration was lost, and the cat now filled his mind.

We went into rooms and met people, but Rassi was constantly pulling towards the door to get out and find the cat.

When we came out of the home at about 3.30pm, it was 40 Celsius. I had to rush Rassilon to the car so he didn’t burn his paws. Luckily I remembered to take a jug of chilled water, so when he was settled in the car, he polished off a bowl of water.

Before the visit I got a phone call from TDS with next month’s visits. Things are getting good. I have to go to Glengowrie a few more times and Micham one more time, then I have a visit to Bedford Industries (this is the place for people with mental health problems and Rassi loves going there), then on November 15th we start at Noarlunga hospital. Woodcroft nursing home has signed up for TDS visits. They were getting another company, but they weren’t reliable. The only condition is…Rassilon must be the visiting dog.

Of course, you can guess how proud that makes me feel…almost proud enough to forgive Rassilon for STEALING the leg of pork off the kitchen bench, where I had left it to cool… ALMOST

So, we will be getting 2 visits a week, but they will be local. Then we can still fill in occasionally at other places.


Dogs, cheering people up without question



My philosophy of life.


The stress of therapy visits?

Rassilon and I went to the Eldercare nursing home at Glengowrie today. We have only been there once before, and Rassilon had to deal with the lift for the first time.
Well, he had to deal with it again today, (and again, no problems), One thing did catch Rassilon’s ear and eye in the home, the budgies. He stood about 3 feet from the cage, but his ears were up and he was having a good look. Then we went and visited patients in their rooms, even getting a request to visit one lady who was not marked on the list.
(It was good there today because I was asked about Rassilon’s racing history, so I was able to tell everyone that he never races and how I was lucky enough to get him from G.A.P.)
He pleased the resident by giving her a doggy kiss and letting her hug him (greyhounds aren’t the hugging type of dog and will normally pull away), then he even spoke. She loved it all and definitely wants to see him next week. Then, as I talked, Rassilon showed how relaxed he was visiting her (that makes the residents feel good too).
Actually, I don’t think Rassilon does stressed.
161017 (1 sm)

I’ve had my exercise, I’ve had a hug and I’ve had your biscuit, now I can relax in the sun.

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)


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 .

Successful University visit.

We have just arrived home from the uni, and we are STUFFED. Who would have thought standing around talking could be so tiring. But time flew by because I was talking about greyhounds.

talk greyhounds

It’s sad, but true.

Rassilon was very well behaved around all the other dogs. Luckily they came up to him in 1s or 2s, so they didn’t overcrowd him. In small doses he is quite happy to give a greyhound greeting sniff, but in groups, he panics.

There were a lot of students there willing to pat the dogs, so Rassilons mind was distracted from the other dogs. And Rassilon was the most popular dog for patting by a few pounds.

Rassi 4

Rassilon and students.

There were the black and the fawn dogs and a dark brindle, but the black doesn’t show up as well on the dark background. Then there was the lovely blue greyhound which would have been the most popular, but it was terribly thin. You could see most of the vertebrae, the hip bones stood up almost an inch and you could see all it’s ribs. She was a lovely dog, but so thin. So by default, the fawn Brindle Rassilon became the most popular. On the bright side, Rassilon is 2.6 Kg over weight, but looking at the other dogs today, they all looked about the same. None of them fitted the ‘perfect’ standard, they all had a bit of extra meat on the bones, apart from the blue, which was painfully thin.

Rassi 2

From just my conversations, I think we convinced a couple of people to foster and one seemed desperate to adopt. She had heard the usual rumors (attack small animals, need lots of exercise, need lots of room, eat lots), which I was able to correct for her. Rassilon answered the ‘needs lots of exercise’ rumor, by falling asleep on her foot.

The good thing for the university was that even with 12 dogs inside, there was (a) No Mess, and (b) No Barking. Of course that meant when Rassilon did speak, it was appreciated by the student, who got to hear a greyhound bark, and the other owners, who were impressed that Rassilon had learned to speak on command. (A command, I should add, aided quite a bit by the presence of food). Rassilon was doing well today, keeping himself to a quiet bark.

I was so impressed with Rassilon today. there were literally hundreds of people in the hall, (there were other events going on as well), and a dozen dogs, but Rassilon showed NO signs of stress.

So it was good to get to mix with other greyhound owners, and to let Rassilon mix with other dogs. If we can do this often enough, he will soon become as comfortable with other dogs in groups as he is with people now.


A man was trapped on a desert island for 15 years. One day he saw a big black thing coming out of the water and walking up the beach. When it got closer he saw it was a beautiful young woman in a wet-suit.

She stood in front of him and asked “When was the last time you had a cigarette”? He said “About 15 years ago”. So she undid a zip in the wet-suit and took out a pack of his favorite cigarettes.

“When was the last time you had a drink”? “About 15 years ago”. So she undid a zip on the other side on the wet=suit and took out a bottle of his favorite scotch. A tear came to his eye.

The young lady started to undo the main zip of the wet-suit and asked “When is the last time you played around”? He replied “Don’t tell me you’ve got a set of golf clubs in there as well”!

The old school tie is a bow tie.

Rassilon and I have volunteered to visit Flinders University with the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP). It will be a good day for both of us.

I will have the chance to show off Rassilon and talk about greyhounds, and also the chance to talk about Therapy Dogs to other greyhound owners that like to show off their greyhounds (and who WOULDN’T that be?), and possibly get them involved in Theraputic Dog Service (TDS).  TDS have indicated that they would like more greyhounds for visitation. And Rassilon will have the chance to mingle with other dogs, but there will be a lot of people there as well, so that should slow the nerves and stop him from getting into a panic.

He is fine one on one, but history shows that he is not comfortable around multiple dogs. Still, he loves people, so I am hoping that there will be enough people there to keep him occupied and take his mind off the other dogs.

Anyway, visiting a University is a big event, and Rassilon needs to look his best. After all, a university is quite a formal place. But Rassilon is ready for any function, casual or formal. That is the benefit of an extended wardrobe.

Formal Dog (9)

Greyhound…Rassilon Greyhound.


Greyhound health 101

Despite having had Rassilon for well over a year, I am still learning about greyhounds’.

I knew that a fat hound is an unhealthy hound, and that you should be able to see ribs and the spine (see the photos). I also knew / know Rassilon is about 2Kg over weight.(4.65Lb).

But I only recently learned that there are 2 ‘styles’ of greyhound. There is the barrel chested dog, that always looks fat, even when underweight. The problem with this type of dog is the possibility of underfeeding it because it looks fat.

Then there is the ‘narrow chested dog’ (Rassilon) who always looks skinny, even when overweight. Here the problem is the possibility of overfeeding the dog.

The safest way to gauge your dogs weight is by the photos. If you can see the last three ribs slightly, some vertebrae and the hip bones, your dog is in the healthy weight range.


Greyhound health


Greyhound Health .      Rassi is 2kg overweight but still modelled for the photos)

I am getting three new neighbours, and I am going to have to explain that although Rassilon looks skinny, that is how he is meant to be, so there is no need for them to throw food to him, and certainly DON’T feed him tinned food.

Rassilon (102)

Healthy weight greyhound, the signs. Remember, this is for a GREYHOUND, other dogs are different!!


To be able to take Rassilon walking again, I have to go and have an Xray and ultrasound on my knee, (I have damaged the ligament on the right side of my left knee), and if required, a steroid injection.

I had one of those in the foot once, it worked well but they did go the long way into my foot with the needle. To get to the middle of the heel, they went in through the side of my heel. So I am not looking forward to a needle in the knee!! But if that’s what it takes to get Rassi out and walking again, then so be it.

This just in from the GAPSA newsletter.

Health tips for your greyhound (and other dogs)

Health tips for your greyhound (and other dogs)