Category Archives: Therapy dog

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.

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.

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”!

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!

hidden

The big lump under the blanket…Rassilon.

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

do you mind

“Do you mind”?

Restocking the freezer

Recently I let Rassilons breakfasts run down in the freezer, so I could restock with fresher meat. The only trouble is that the freezer drawer takes A LOT of meat. I have already put 7 packets of fresh meat in there, and I have bought more to add to it.

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16 breakfasts for Rassilon @ $1.70 per meal.

On the bright side, because it is not recommended that greyhounds eat tinned food, all of Rassilons meat is bought from the supermarket and is ‘people’ quality, so if I ever get desperate, I can eat it too.

One 500g pack of meat = 2 breakfasts, so it isn’t too bad. I spoke to one woman who has a greyhound that has an allergy to wheat, so it can’t handle ordinary dog biscuits. Rassilon can eat ordinary dog biscuits which cost me about $9.00 for 8 kilos. This woman has to buy special biscuits at $56.00 for 8 kilos.

On the DOWN SIDE, I wanted Rassilon to smell nice and feel soft for his hospital visits, so I went to buy some shampoo and conditioner suitable for greyhounds.

Shampoo…250ml = $12.80,

Conditioner…100ml = $15.30.

Comparison, I can buy 1 liter of brand name conditioner for humans, for under $5.00.

Still, Rassilon is the star of the show, so he has to be just right, and if that means spending ridiculous amounts of money on him, so be it.

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$28.10. You pay for stuff when they add the words “pet use only”

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.

 

What a week it was.

Good times and bad. It started off well when Rassilon went to the nursing home for his visit. He was fantastic last week. Concentrating on the residents and he was very talkative, saying goodbye to everyone.

For a special treat we stopped at Reynella on the way home (to check the mail), but we went and had a coffee and I ordered some toasted sandwiches. Everyone around was amused when the waitress brought them out and asked, “Ham, cheese and tomato”? “That’s mine” I replied. “Ham and cheese”?, “That’s his” I said pointing to Rassilon. Of course there was a lot of muttering from an expectant greyhound until his sandwich cooled down.

Then my week improved. I received my dishwasher. I have wanted one for a long time, but I don’t have enough room under the cupboards to fit one, so I looked on eBay for a bench-top dishwasher, and there is such a thing, so I ordered one, because I HATE washing dishes.

I had to buy a new kitchen tap with the right fittings to connect the washer to. Then I had to buy a new kitchen cupboard to put all the clean dishes in. As a result of having all the clean dishes all over the kitchen, and now moving things to fit the cupboard in, I still haven’t got a tidy kitchen, but at least the dished have been washed.

The cupboard was, like almost everything today, flat-pack, so I had to put it together. I emptied the box in the lounge, so there was plastic parts all over the place. I got the instructions out, but thanks to cataracts in my eyes, I couldn’t read them because the little light I have in the house was too bright, so I couldn’t see the instructions.

Today (4 days later) I had a sleep then got up at about 7.30 pm and managed to put the cupboard together (in just 2 hours), with much banging and thumping and talking to myself.

While all that was going on, where was Rassilon?

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Making beds. Another waste of time.

Tomorrow we go to Repat hospital for our therapy dog visit, but we have to look out for one person in particular. I had to take my mother to the Flinders hospital, Renal Clainic, for an iron infusion (drip), while there I heard a nurse telling a patient they were  going to be transferred to Rapat hospital, so I went in and asked if they knew which ward they were going to. They said GEM, ward one, so I said I will see then tomorrow, had a nice chat and gave them a Rassilon business card.

So now it is time for bed, so I can get up early. Rassilon needs a good wash because he smells.