Category Archives: Rescue Dog

Really, Dogtor Rassilon.

We went visiting today, and thanks to an infection in one of the wards, our visit was a bit here and there. But Rassilon had his stethoscope on and was meeting lots of people, from the 2 babies at the front door, (super gentle Rassilon was fantastic with them), to the volunteers, who he bounded up to meet.

He had his hot dog for lunch, and a big run around the garden, where he took time to go and meet some of the staff that were out having their dinner. Then we went back in and had a big drink of iced water.

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But it was on the ward where he really earned his title ‘Dogtor”.

We went into a room with 2 patients. One didn’t want to pat Rassilon and the other, the nurse said, was suffering “High Level Delirium” since they had arrived at the hospital.

When we went into the room and found out the first patient didn’t want to pat Rassilon, the second one looked and made a move in their chair. So we went to see them. We did not know at this time what was wrong with them, but they started smiling and talking to Rassilon and patting him.

The nurse couldn’t believe what she saw. She said the patient had only been aggressive and had not spoken since arriving on the weekend, so to see them smiling and talking was fantastic.

Sometimes you go for a while and you just seem to go through the motions, but then you start to talk to the people and you find out that they still have the postcard of Rassilon I gave them, and they have been waiting for him, looking forward to Wednesday for his visit.

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Or you get the BIG BREAKTHROUGH like we had today, when a patient changes completely just because Rassilon visited them. 

That is what makes you feel proud of your dog, because it is Rassilon the patients are reacting to, not me.

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New leash for Rassilon.

Getting ready for visits later this week (we have 2 visits), Rassilon’s new leash arrived today.

At the moment he uses his official green leash, the green signifying that he doesn’t need a muzzle in public. But having read the letter from the government, Rassilon can wear anything, as long as I have his ID card card with him.

Well I have attached the ID card to the leash, so when Rassilon is on his leash, he has his ID card. It is very rare that he would be allowed off the leash in public, so he will always have his ID card on him, or at worst, with me.

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Easy Identification of his duty.

When he was in training he would have had 1 leash and 1 collar. Those days have long gone. At the moment Rassilon has 36 Martingale collars, plus all his ordinary collars that he no longer use. And 10 leashes that I can think of, and a wardrobe of perhaps 9 coats, 3 harnesses, 3 pairs of sunglasses and assorted headgear.

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Can ANYONE deny this sign wouldn’t work in your home?

Oops, My Mistake

Rassilon and I went to the hospital today and finished just over the allocated time. Unfortunately we only did 1 ward. 1 ward being closed due to a flu outbreak.

Of course, Rassilon ran in to get to the volunteers, then he spoke to the receptionist, then ran up the corridor to get to his adopted granny. He really is comfortable in the hospital now.

I put a nice bright collar on Rassilon, along with his stethoscope and bandanna with ‘Dogtor’ written on it.

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It was only once we got to the hospital I realized my faux par.

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The collar is a copy of the artwork from Mexico, celebrating…Día de Muertos.

Not good in a hospital, it is The Day of the Dead.

Fortunately none of the patients picked up on that, and only a few of the staff noticed. Next week we will pick something more suitable for a hospital.

Hospital visit

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Wednesday was hospital visiting day. Rassilon had his stethoscope on and as a result had LOTS of photos taken. I kept telling people that no matter what their illness, the treatment Rassilon prescribed was always the same. Pat the dog. And what was fun was telling doctors he was after their job.

After the visit that lasted 60 minutes longer than it should, I went to the office for my car park ticket, and was talking to someone I don’t know. He was interested in the therapy dog, so I told him what we do and about the 90 minute time limit not being enough, and how Renal Dialysis and Morier wards had asked for visits. (The time was set at the Repatriation hospital, but the wards there were smaller than Noarlunga)

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I told him we would love to go to dialysis, but not Morier ward. That is the psychiatric ward, and the people in there can be funny, and I don’t want to put Rassilon in any danger. It is bad enough in the dementia ward making sure he is okay.

Anyway, whoever this guy was, he is now in charge of stuff like therapy visits, so he is going to contact TDS about extending the visit and hopefully adding dialysis to the visit. I think that people that are stuck in a chair for 4+ hours would enjoy a visit from Rassilon.

Now we just have to wait and see what happens.

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The good side and the bad side.

Today we went to the hospital for out weekly visit. Rassilon wore his stethoscope, but the results were mixed.

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Rassilon, the Dogter.

On the plus side, just about everyone smiled when they saw him with his stethoscope around his neck. Apart from a single person, if they were awake, they wanted to pat Rassilon. He got pats from patients, visitors and staff, and he had so many photos taken today.

On one ward we were taken into the nurses station where Rassilon was patted by all the nurses and doctors. Out on the ward, after being patted, he decided to lay down and rest. So one of the patients sat down beside him and patted him. Rassilon returned the compliment by putting his paw on the patients leg to stop him moving away.

Seeing all the patients smiling was what the therapy dog visits are all about. And it was ALWAYS fun when the doctors patted him, telling them he was after their job. Even the doctors enjoyed seeing him with his stethoscope.

On the negative side. All that patting and photo taking takes time. Our visit is supposed to go from 1.00 pm to 2.30 pm. At 2.30 pm we hadn’t even finished in the first ward. The final result…the office where I get our free parking ticket, was closed. Luckily I was still able to get out for free, and, we were so late we didn’t have time to go to Medical Records.

Our 90 minute visit took 185 minutes. Luckily this is what I do, so I wasn’t worried by the extra time, but it has worn Rassilon out, and he is now in bed and not moving. (He had a long day on Monday as well).

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ANY greyhound owner will recognize this maneuver.

Another successful visit.

Well, I was pleasantly surprised today. We had a really good visit. We went to Unley Community Center where they were having a ‘Meet Me’ session for a lot of older people that visit the center.

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Unley Community Center, about a 30 minute drive, going the back roads and missing the road works.

The idea was that they get to meet a dog for Pet Therapy.
Rassilon did his best, and really impressed the staff, and wandered around letting people pat him. Then when they sat down in the lounge area, he was happy to be the center of attention and go from one to the other getting pats. The good thing is that most people have never met a greyhound, so they were all super impressed right from the start.
Rassilon got a lot of compliments on his, rather regal, collar. The Blue and Gold shows up on his coat, but isn’t too ostentatious. 

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Today’s collar, Blue and Gold

What was really good was that I was able to let Rassilon off his leash, so he had free run of the place, although there was a bit of a kerfuffle when he went in to check the kitchen. Something about hygiene laws? Still, it didn’t stop the kitchen staff patting him as well!
After a while Rassilon got tired, as greyhounds do, so he climbed up onto the new leather lounge and had a sleep. Luckily the people thought that was cute, rather than the wrong thing to do.

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An older photo, but a regular greyhound position.

But the compliment I liked the most is when the woman from the center said they have had other dogs come in for the pet therapy, but Rassilon was the best one they have had.
Of course, his name isn’t the easiest name to remember, RASSILON, so I got some postcards printed up with a photo on one side, and his name and qualifications on the other. I left some of them at the center for people to take. They all appreciated them, and took them home.
I hope that this might be another therapy visit that people want, but they ask specifically for Rassilon. (and believe me, this wouldn’t be the first place to ask specifically for Rassilon).

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Advanced medical science.

The culmination of high blood pressure, Barrettes Esophagus and not sleeping has resulted in a skin rash. I went to the doctor who said it was not infectious, but then he gave me a strange cure.

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I have to take this with me for a swim?

He told me a good way to help it is salt water, so I was to take a dip in the ocean.

I can’t see who this will help!

 

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