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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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),
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.
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.
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.
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.
Saturday was the garage sale to sell what we could for my mothers move. Would you believe that one second hand dealer offered her $650.00 for everything in the house, furniture, rugs, ornaments. That offer was declined.
I had Mitzi and Rassilon, so I left them at home so they would be safe, because the front door and garage doors were left open and they could have run away, and they were already stressed as it was.
So Saturday we finished tidying up and left the house at 7.09pm. We got back to my place where we had a hot drink, an hours sleep, then something to eat while we watched an Andre Reau DVD, Mitzi would not leave my mothers lap. Then my mother had to repack her suitcases, and it was a good thing she did, because she was missing something very important.
So at 11.00pm…back to Seaford. I thought we had lost the thing that was missing, I thought it had been put in a bag of clothes which had been given away to a charity shop. But on going back into the house and looking around, my mother found a box with some stuff in it including, her $200.00 electronic bible, her Samsung Galaxy tablet AND the missing purse with $5000.00 in it. If they had been given away, we would never have seen them again.
So Sunday I took my mother to the airport. She was completely stuffed. Emotionally, having just got rid of her house and lifetimes worth of possessions, and physically after 2 weeks of sorting and moving and cleaning. She said she slept on the plane, and when she got to Tasmania she went home, had a cup of tea and slept for 5 hours. Got up for a ‘pit stop’ and went back to sleep for another 4 hours.
After I left the airport, had to go back to Seaford to collect a few things we didn’t want to go to “an op-shop”. I think a lot didn’t get to the op-shop, but ended up in someone’s garage for their garage sale. When I got home at 1.00pm, I slept for about 4 hours. And Rassilon was with me the whole time.
When I phoned my mother today, she was relaxing outside in the garden enjoying the fresh air and sun and the big garden.
Meanwhile at home yesterday, Rassilon came back to bed at 9.00pm and got under the blanket while I watched the Belgian Grand Prix. I fell asleep at 11.00pm for the entire MOTOGP race and woke up at 12.00, let Rassi out for a few minutes then we both went back to bed, Rassi under the blanket, until 7.45am when my phone rang.
Today I went to check the mail, and Rassilon had a great time. Someone with a little girl stopped to pat him. He loves kids, and because this one was so young and small (maybe 4 years at most), Rassi was so gentle. Then he got patted by all the regulars that go to Reynella.
I was going to go to the shops to buy something, but by the time I got back to the car to put Rassilon in it, I was so tired, I just came home. I didn’t bother with eating or drinking, I just went to bed for about 2.5 hours, and Rassilon was right under the blanket with me.
I think he will miss Mitzi for a while, so I might have to try to get some more visiting work to keep his mind off things.
I actually feel sadder for Rassilon than for me. I know what is happening and that my mother has better care with my sister than she had with me, but poor Rassilon doesn’t know whats happening, only that Mitzi isn’t here any more. (On the bright side though, Mitzi has settled into her new home and taken control).
As I said before, my mother is moving to Tasmania and getting rid of EVERYTHING in the house. She kept 6 boxes of things to go to Tassie, things you won’t get there and stuff that is too good to put out in a garage sale, plus some ornaments she has had for a long time that are to go to my sister.
I ended up getting quite a bit of stuff, so my house is a complete bomb site at the moment, and when I get home from my mothers place, I am not fit to tidy up, so that will wait for a week.
Today I got to bring Mitzi home. Rassilon was so pleased, he has someone to play with. Of course, there is some inequality between a Greyhound with 2 foot long legs and a body designed for speed, and a Chihuahua / Fox Terrier cross with 4 inch long legs. At the moment Rassilon is happily eating his biscuits and I can hear Mitzis claws tapping around the kitchen.
This video should dispel the myth that Greyhounds chase and kill small animals.
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.
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.
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.
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”.