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Hospital visit again

This time, it was personal. I have ‘Plantar Fasciitis’ in my foot. That is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon that runs down the back of the leg and along the bottom of the foot. The inflammation makes walking on it VERY sore. So I had to have an steroid injection for that. I also have Bursitis in the shoulder, so I had to have a steroid injection for that as well.

Both had to have an ultrasound, and then when they found the problem area, the needle had to be guided using the ultrasound. I won’t go into details, but will just say, they hurt.

As I was going into the hospital I saw a sign. Obviously it doesn’t apply to Rassilon, because when I got into the hospital I was asked where he was.

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And Therapy dogs

And, when I went into the pathology rooms for the injections, and said I hoped my foot would be okay to walk on by Wednesday because I bring the therapy dog around, they asked me to take him into their reception area so the staff could meet him, (and probably the patients too). Most visits I think the staff need the therapy visit more than the patients. (Actually I hope my foot is better by tomorrow, because I have to go to the ophthalmologist first thing in the morning). (Friday update…everything is fine, go back for a check in 12 months)

I miscalculated Rassilon’s birthday by a month when I bought him his 4 new collars, so, when I got an unexpected insurance refund, I decided to spend some of this non-money on Rassilon. As I like to have him wear a different collar every hospital visit, I ordered him 6 new collars. I think that will be his last for a while. I will start back at number 1 again and recycle them. After all, 29 collars is probably enough for any dog.

Later this month Rassilon and I have an extra therapy visit to a school. Like the university last week, they are having their exams, and the dogs, (Abby and Bella will also be there with their handler), will be a therapeutic break for the kids to take their minds off the exams for a while. Although if it is like the university, we will have trouble getting the kids to go back to class. The good thing is, Rassilon has met Abby and Bella and they get on all right together.

I applied for this as an extra shift because Rassilon loves kids, and I think he enjoys a change from the hospital. He seems to be getting bored with the hospital, but he still likes going to the dementia ward. Rassilon has an empathy with people with mental health conditions.

Therapy Dog badge

Although known as Therapy Dogs here in Australia, I prefer the American name that is given to their therapy dogs now. It is far more descriptive of what the dog is there for

Emotional Support Dog.

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Therapy dog or Emotional support dog, Rassilon is always well received wherever he goes.

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Therapy for different people

Today was hospital visiting day. Rassilon had his sausage roll for lunch and went for a run in the garden. For some reason known only to Rassilon, no matter how desperate he is, he will only have a wee on grass, and that is wherever we go. Never inside or on the footpath.

As we were sitting inside a woman came in to visit her mother. She had her grandson with her, he was about 4 years old. Unfortunately he was recently bitten by a dog, so is now scared of dogs.

His grandmother came over and patted Rassilon, to show the boy it was all right, but he wasn’t having it. He was too scared of dogs. 

Eventually he came close and touched Rassilon, who did what greyhounds do. He stuck his nose in the boys face. The boy realised he wasn’t going to bite, but still wasn’t comfortable, so we didn’t push him, we didn’t want to make things worse.

As we went around the ward we came to the room he was visiting. His grandmother patted Rassilon, and his great grandmother patted him, so feeling fairly safe, he gave Rassilon a big pat, and got a kiss in return.

Forget the hospital patients, THIS is what therapy work is about.

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Rassilon at the hospital.

Today was a good day

A lot happened today. I had a trip to the doctor and have arranged for some tests, and he sent a referral off to the hospital because I need an operation on my hand. He thought it was something simple that an injection could fix…it isn’t.

Then, my new crash helmet arrived. Now I can’t wait to go somewhere to show it off. It is certainly unique.

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I also got my new scanner. When my mother left for Tasmania she left me all her photos, which I said I would scan and save to a disk for her. But using an ordinary scanner takes a long time. You have to sort the photos into sizes, then you scan one at a time and the scanner scans really slowly. And on top of that, there are probably a couple of thousand photos to do.

So, I lashed out and bought a new scanner. It has a sheet feeder that I can load with 35 photos. The scanner automatically adjusts to the the size, and saves each photo as an individual JPEG. In 4 hours, in between having tea and getting video and photos, I have already scanned 600 photos. BUT, if there is any writing on the back of the photo, it scans that too, so I have to go through the scanned images and delete the backs of the photos.

But the surprising things I found were…A photo of the man I was named after. He was a fighter pilot during WWII, but had a breakdown as a result (PTSD). I was named after him as a gesture from my parents for his friendship. (A am led to believe he was a Spitfire pilot)

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And something I had forgotten all about, before Rassilon I had Kia, my Doberman. The day after I got her I went to visit some friends. I completely forgot this, but I am glad I found it. Kia was about 10 weeks old. (They were Doberman people too)

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Almost 14 years ago. Where has the time gone?

Then and Now

I was looking at some clips on Youtube. There was before and after photos of dogs that had been adopted, and I thought, I can do that. So here we go.

First Sight

The day I picked Rassilon up. Look at the nervousness on his face. I really hate looking at this photo. (It was also the first time I saw a greyhound)

I'm not a dog

On a therapy visit, Rassilon is now so relaxed, he will climb onto the furniture and fall asleep.    (It was okay, he had the permission of the staff to get up there)

When you see these photos on Youtube, what they might not tell you is how long it took from the ‘Before’ photo to the ‘After’ photo. These 2 photos of Rassilon are 4 years apart, but Rassilon had got rid of most of his nervousness after just 12 months.

Spending time as a therapy dog has helped him get over almost everything that scared him. But for some reason, his fear of ceiling fans have not been overcome.  If Rassilon is in a room and a ceiling fan is turned on, no matter how far away from him, he will leave that room very quickly. I do not try to keep him in the room, I just take him out. I know that he wants to go, so we do.

As for the therapy work, well, how much better can it get? Working with your dog and seeing how people appreciate him, and seeing how he is growing. It is the best job in the world.

At last, Rain.

After lots of forecasts about rain, it finally arrived. And did you know that flash photography in the rain at night makes for some very interesting pictures.

What a good way to finish our day. It was visiting day at the hospital. We had a good day. Myles ward (dementia ward), was busy, but Rassilon seems to enjoy visiting people with mental health issues, and he had a great time. There were a couple of new patients with their visitors, and Rassi went out of his way to spend time with them. It made everyone’s day.

Of course, the day wouldn’t have been complete without the required Rassilon ‘goodbye’. Everyone loved it, and it helped cheer them up, or at least, give them something new to think about.

Now, as we settle into bed, the rain has started, so I took the chance to get some ‘interesting’ photos.

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Reflexions of the flash off the raindrops.

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What a weird looking effect.

Thursday Rassilon has been invited to the Unley Community Centre to meet people. We will probably spend more time traveling than we will at the centre, but there are good reasons to go.

  1. It will be an introduction to the people at Unley that are organizing the READ program.
  2. It will be a test run for when we do start READ, so I will know where to go and how long it will take to drive there.
  3. Due to illness, another visiting team have been without visits for a while, but being further down south than me, they are restricted as to how much further they can go, so they will be doing the nursing home for a couple of visits. Rassilon and I have Unley tomorrow, but the next nursing home visiting day, we will have a day off.

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