Category Archives: Therapy dog

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”!

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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.

RGH Visiting day

We went to the Repat Hospital today. It wasn’t as busy as the last time we were there, but Rassilon still met 42 people.

While there we also had the opportunity to talk to someone who has recently adopted a greyhound, and it is still in it’s nervous stage. He was thrilled to see Rassilon, as Rassi was a vision of what he can look forward to when his greyhound settles in. I told him, it is a long process, but definitely worth the effort.

Rassi was very ‘kissy’ today. He seems to knows when people need a bit of extra attention, and he will give them a kiss. The people love it, it makes them feel special.

Rassilon was working well, and ‘talking’. He has a nice quiet bark, the nurses don’t mind it, and the patients enjoy him saying goodbye. The funny thing is, I will say to him “What do you say”? and I can tell if he is going to bark, because he ALWAYS wags his tail before he barks, so no tail wag, no speaking.

One nurse came to see if everything was all right when she heard the barking, but we have a particular nurse comes with us around the wards and makes the patients use hand cleaner. When the ward nurse came to see if Rassi was attacking someone the assisting nurse told her Rassi was just saying goodbye, and she was fine, and we never had anyone checking on him again.

We enjoy these visits, but they are not for everyone, or every dog. Greyhounds don’t need a lot of walking, so a 90 minute visit walking around the hospital is a big effort for Rassi, but he gets through it, although sometimes he will just lay down on the floor for a quick rest.

It is also tiring for me as I have to control Rassi for the visit and I have to talk with the patients as we go around. I don’t know how many times I had to tell people the “Rassilon didn’t race, but was raised in the kennels” story.

On the bright side, we will both sleep well after a visit. (I also have the getting dog ready and the drive there and back). I will start to get ready for the 1.00 pm visit at about 10.00 am, giving Rassi a wash and wipe over with an antibacterial cloth. The wash makes him feel soft and the wipe makes him smell nice. Then it’s drive down, stop and have something to eat, then go on the visit. By the time I get home, it is 5 and a half hours.

Of course, if we didn’t enjoy it, we wouldn’t do it. And I can see that Rassilon enjoys it.

Sleeping

Rassilon…”Leave me alone, I’m trying to sleep”