Category Archives: Greyhound

Retired Racing Greyhounds

Medical information

When I got Rassilon, I was given 2 big books of information. In one book it said that a fat hound is an unhealthy hound, and so I have been careful with Rassilon, but having had some information today, even his 2 Kg is going to go.

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I had to take Mitzi to the vet to get her vaccinations to travel to Tasmania ($110.80). The vet was really good and did a general health check on her and trimmed her nails (which were more like talons).

When she had finished the nails she said that Mitzi was overweight. She was 5.4 Kg but should not be more than 4.8 Kg. Like all Chihuahuas she is prone to knee problems, and carrying the extra weight is not helping her joints.

NxDipre

This greyhounds joints must be under a terrible strain.

Also, and this is what I took note of for Rassilon AND MYSELF, the extra fat can cause a release of an inflammatory chemical into the blood, which can affect all the joints. So Rassi has to loose his 2.6 Kg and I have to loose my _____ Kg (Darn computer only prints some numbers).

So for all dog owners, that is a little bit of information to add to the knowledge bank. Vets are always saying the animal has to loose weight, but this one today explained WHY.

 

funstuf

A skinny little man went into a bar and asked “Who owns the big dog with the leather collar”.

I big bikie stood up and asked, “Do you mean the Great Dane with the studded leather collar”?

“Yes, that’s the one” said the little guy.

Bikie, “I do…WHY”?

Little guy, “Well my dog just killed it”.

Bikie...”What sort of dog do you have then”?

Little guy, “A Chihuahua”.

Bikie, “How could your Chihuahua kill my Great Dame”?

Little guy, “I’m not sure, but I think it stuck in it’s throat”.

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Not a dog!

On our therapy visit this week, the nurse went into a bay of 4 beds and asked if anyone wanted to pat Rassilon. 3 said yes, 1 said no.

So we went to the three that wanted to pat Rassilon  then I went over and sat on the bed of the 4th man, and started to talk about why I go and visit.

He liked the idea, but started telling me that he didn’t like dogs, I pointed out that Rassilon didn’t know he was a dog. Then he told me how he had never had a dog because he didn’t like dogs. His 2 daughters had dogs, but he didn’t pat them because he didn’t like dogs. So I sat there for a few minutes while he went on.

And all the time he was telling me how he didn’t like dogs…he was patting Rassilon.

THAT is why we do therapy visits.

Therapy Dog (4)

Apparently he is not a dog.

funstuf

WARNING: THIS CLIP CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE.

It is one of my favorite quotes from Mrs Browns Boys

Scrutinized therapy visit.

The day started off by receiving an email from Therapy Dogs asking for a photo of Rassilon for the new web site and his new ID badge, plus a short write up about him to go with the photo on the web site.

Today Rassilon and I had a visit to Bedford Industries. It is an organisation that employs or looks after people with increasing levels of mental health issues.

Jody, the boss of Therapy dogs came along to show me what to do. There were only 6 people in the room, but they were the ones with more intense issues, so dealing with them was ‘quite interesting’. Fortunately there were only 2 of them that were ‘demanding’, and the others got on well with Rassilon and I.

Jody took a few photos of Rassilon doing his ‘thing’. One guy started bouncing on an exercise ball, which caught Rassilons attention, so he climbed up on the settee to look over the back and see what the guy was doing (photo). Another guy started to dance so I got Rassilon standing up on his back legs and dancing (photo). The people enjoyed that!

Of course everyone, patients, carers and Jody, all thought it was fantastic that Rassilon would speak on command, and today he did really well. He barked every time he was asked to, and he (mostly) kept it to a quiet bark.

After meeting the residents, we went through the offices, where the staff fell in love with Rassilon. We always get positive comments about his coloring. The blue is lovely, but I am thinking the fawn / brindle is less common, so more noticeable.

Therapy Dog (4)

Jody said she will send me a letter for the local council saying Rassilon is a registered Therapy dog, that way I don’t have to pay council registration. She also said that she would use the visit as her annual visit assessment, but did say Rassilon did so well he had passed easily.

On the plus side, Jody saw just how Rassilon was all frisky and excited before going into the day room with the residents. Once inside with the people he slowed right down and was slow and gentle and careful. When it was time to leave, frisky and energetic again. When I had to answer a call of nature, Jody had to hold on to Rassilon. When I got back she was so impressed that Rassilon hadn’t gone into a panic when I left, and behaved just as though I was there.

So, it looks like we could get more visits to Bedford Industries, but probably not on a permanent basis. We have also had confirmation that when Repat hospital wards move to Noarlunga hospital, the dog visits will continue, and those visits Will be ours.

Therapy Dog (1)

Rest day tomorrow, then it is Repatriation Hospital on Wednesday. Rassilon really enjoys visiting there, so I hope he will still enjoy visiting when it moves to Noarlunga.

(An interesting note: I was working at Noarlinga Hospital when I had to have Kia put down, and it was Sue in the Medical Records department that suggested a greyhound, so Noarlunga Hospital has a special affinity for us).

funstuf

A man was out playing golf with his friends. He was on the 7th hole about to tee off when a funeral procession drove past on the road beside the golf course.

The man stopped addressing the ball, took off his cap and bowed his head until the funeral procession had passed.

His friends were very impressed with his reaction and said that it showed great respect to the deceased person.

He replied, “It was the least I could do, she had been a good wife for 25 years”.

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.

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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.

funstuf

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”!

I found our ‘stash’

As I was doing some tidying up today I found something I bought just after I got Rassilon to calm him down when he got stressed out. I didn’t want to give him vet prescribed medication, and this was recommended by GAPSA other greyhound owners.

It is called RESCUE REMEDY, and it is all natural and can be used on greyhounds. If that doesn’t work, it can be taken by humans too, and I tried it a few times and it works.

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Just 3 drops in their food.

You can get the liquid in the bottle with the dropper, and all you need is 3 drops in their food. I (under suggestion) used to add a few drops to Rassilons’ water, it was very diluted, but it kept a bit in his system all the time. I used to give it to Rassilon when I was going to work, so he didn’t suffer separation anxiety. You can also get it in spray form, which might be handy if you are out and the dog gets anxious about something, just a spray directly into the mouth, (under the tongue if possible), but this goes straight into the body.

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Quick application spray, can be fun trying to  get it into a dogs mouth.

You can get a cheaper version, but I didn’t find that as effective.

calming (1)

Cheaper, but, as I found out, not as good

Unfortunately Rassilon got so hyped up once that I had to resort to the vets medication, but in just over 3 years, he has only had 1 tablet, but that worked FAST and seemed to adjust his system. He seems to be a bit calmer even months after the tablet.

But there is always something around that can help. Medication, (prescription or natural), a thunder shirt can help if you get it on early enough, I even have some dog relaxation CDs that I used to leave on while I went to work, and they actually helped. (They can also help humans).

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Relaxation CDs did this to a panicking Rassilon. Temporary relief is still relief.

Rassilon may not have liked the strong vet medication, but I bet after a few minutes he enjoyed the relief from his panic attack. He was able to sleep after quite a few hours of jumping up and down, drooling, panting and trembling.

It is never nice to watch your dog suffering like this, and it stresses owners out too, so there is really a double benefit is calming the dog. But just remember, none of this stuff is exactly cheap, but we are happy to pay to see our hounds un-stressed.

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Why so hard? Panting in a greyhound can mean…it’s hotit’s stressedit’s in painit’s puffed outYou decide.

 

 

 

Back to greyhounds

I got an email yesterday from the Therapy Dog Service. Apparently I am not going to have an orientation day at Bedford Industries, like normal. Usually I would go alone and accompany someone who would show me what to do when I take Rassilon.

But the email said I have to take Rassilon, and Sandra is only there to show us what to do. So, why not jump in at the deep end. Bedford Industries is a workplace for people with disabilities. A lot of people with Down Syndrome work there.

We are going from 1 1/2 hours to 2 1/2 hours, so I hope Rassilon can cope. But I have seen him in the hospital and he slows down when he gets onto the ward, but I have decided that he is pacing himself, so he can last.

Tuesday Rassilon goes to the Flinders University. If the post is quick enough I will have his replacement green collar. I used to carry the old on around the bag I take on visits, just in case someone wants to get all ‘legal’ with us (and yes, I have had it once!!). But I went to get it a while ago, and it wasn’t there. I have checked the cars but can’t find it.

If course it is obvious what will happen. Now I have spent $27.00 (but he MUST have his green collar, by law). The new one will arrive and I will go to get something to open the envelope, and I will have to move his old green collar out of the way. It always happens to me like that. Loose something…buy a new one…fall over the old one.

Yesterday I saw something that had to be seen to be believed. I had to go and get some money from an ATM, so I went to Reynella. That way I could get a coffee and my money and Rassilon gets his walk and some pats (lots of pats). So we were walking around on the foot path,  but Rassilon waited until we got to one of the little garden areas, went onto the garden and had a peehe did not do it on the footpath.

We came home and spent most of the day in bed. I got up and did bits around the house, but Rassilon preferred the comfort of the bed. I was up late watching the Tour De France. It is so good to see different parts of the world. If I had the money I would consider moving there or at least having a holiday.

But while I was watching TV where was Rassilon? BED!

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The big lump under the blanket…Rassilon.

If you want a dirty look, just disturb a sleeping greyhound.

do you mind

“Do you mind”?