Category Archives: Therapy dog

Visiting day again

I had a surprise for Rassilon this morning. I got up early and turned the heater on to get the house nice and warm. Then I put the heater on in the bedroom to help warm the house even more.

Then at 8.30 am, Rassilon went out for a pee, and when he came in…BATH TIME.

Fortunately Rassilon does’t mind his bath, so he will walk into the bathroom, but I have to lift  him into the bath. Once in he just stands there and lets me wash him.

One good thing is, I had to have a fancy hot water service fitted because of my reaction to chlorine.  I have a vitamin C filter shower head that neutralizes the chlorine, but because of a pressure problem that kept turning the hot water off, I got a water heater fitted that lets me select the temperature of the water on a pad on the wall, so I don’t need to turn the cold water on, because that was what boosted the pressure. (Try having a shower when the hot water goes off, then you have to get out of the cold shower, stand there soaking wet, and restart the shower again. And you may need to do this 3 or 4 times per shower).

So, when Rassilon was washed, I just had to turn the hot water on and hose him off. Then while he was still wet, I applied a nice coating of conditioner, (so he feels nice and soft). I left that on for a while, then hosed him off again.

Then I left him in the house for a while while he was still quite wet, he really holds the water, then after a while, when he was reasonably dry, I opened the back door so he can go in and out. The sun is quite nice today.

He has just come in for a pat and he is almost dry. So he will be fine for his hospital visit later, and because he is so soft again, he will get lots of compliments. He is just lying on the floor in front of the heater, so I will shut the back door now. Even though it isn’t cold, it might be cold enough for a wet dog to catch a chill.

The only problem now is that I have to live with the lie people are told, that greyhounds don’t shed. If I swept up, I could build another dog with the hair that is all over the place.

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P.S. Saturday is another visit to a new place for us. Apparently they were told a greyhound was coming to visit, and everyone is excited and waiting for Rassilon.

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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.

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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A visit with a surprise.

Today, Rassilon and I went to Resthaven Mitcham, to visit a nursing home. We have been there before, but it was quite a while ago, and what a surprise we got. It is completely different.

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Main entrance to car park

We stayed for the required 90 minutes, and while we didn’t get to everyone on the list, we did manage to meet 22 extra people that weren’t on the list.

And the big surprise, some of the residents remembered us. Most remembered Rassilon, because he speaks to them, but one remembered me, which was a nice surprise, because I try to keep out of things as much as possible, the visit is Rassilon’s time.

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Main entrance to building

It is a very big place now, with 2 separate buildings. We only did 1 building, and missed out on the lock-up ward (dementia patients).

As we were leaving, and I was getting a copy of the paperwork for my report, Albie the cat walked down the hall. Luckily we had finished, because when Rassilon saw him, all he could think about was CAT.

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Statue outside main door

When we were there I tried to keep Rassilon from barking, but he is learning all the time, so he has learned that when people say goodbye, he is usually expected to say goodbye back, so now he doesn’t wait for me to ask him to say it, he just barks. Fortunately, no one minded him barking. (Actually, the office staff liked him speaking).

Well, hospital visit tomorrow, and I have put Rassilon’s stethoscope and “Dogtor” bandanna out so I don’t forget them this week. Let’s see how long the visit takes tomorrow. So far, with stethoscope = 185 minutes, without stethoscope = 100 minutes. Allotted time for visit = 90 minutes.

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Dogtor Rassilon, ready for rounds.