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The stress of therapy visits?

Rassilon and I went to the Eldercare nursing home at Glengowrie today. We have only been there once before, and Rassilon had to deal with the lift for the first time.
Well, he had to deal with it again today, (and again, no problems), One thing did catch Rassilon’s ear and eye in the home, the budgies. He stood about 3 feet from the cage, but his ears were up and he was having a good look. Then we went and visited patients in their rooms, even getting a request to visit one lady who was not marked on the list.
(It was good there today because I was asked about Rassilon’s racing history, so I was able to tell everyone that he never races and how I was lucky enough to get him from G.A.P.)
He pleased the resident by giving her a doggy kiss and letting her hug him (greyhounds aren’t the hugging type of dog and will normally pull away), then he even spoke. She loved it all and definitely wants to see him next week. Then, as I talked, Rassilon showed how relaxed he was visiting her (that makes the residents feel good too).
Actually, I don’t think Rassilon does stressed.
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I’ve had my exercise, I’ve had a hug and I’ve had your biscuit, now I can relax in the sun.


New places, New faces

Well, since the Repat Hospital visits have stopped for a month, while they transfer to Noarlunga, Rassilon and I have been to Daw Park nursing home, where we used to visit, then this week we went to Resthaven nursing home at Mitcham. It is BIG.

When we were leaving Daw Park, a resident who had just come back from a trip out with family, came up to pat Rassilon. He loves dogs, so didn’t want to miss out of the visit.

As we were talking it came out that he was the winner of the 1950 Stawell Gift (pronounced Stall), a famous Australian 120 yard foot race. It is becoming more famous as international runners turn pro and travel all around the world competing. However, 67 years later, I think I could have beaten him (well Rassilon could). (Stawell is in Victoria)

This week we went to a new place for us. It was BIG. I might talk too much, but I overstayed the visit by about 45 minutes and still only did about half the place.

Most people loved seeing Rassilon, but you always get one that is a misery, and when they start going on about the dog, the saying comes true.

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Yep, and it can be hard not showing how annoyed you are.

Anyway…we have another place to go on Monday, but I don’t know how we will get on. Apparently it is even bigger, with 200 residents. But we will have someone with us showing us where to go. I think we only need to do half the place, and someone else visits on Friday to do the other half.

On the good side, this should only be for a month, then Noarlunga Hospital will be starting visitation on November 6th, and I believe they may be having 2 visits a week, so that will give me my 2 visits, or they may want a different dog to visit once a week, for variety. But as TDS considers how far you have to travel to do a visit, I am the prime visitation candidate. Plus, some people will not travel too far to do a visit, and of course, some get into a rut and will only visit the same place, never going somewhere new.

I sent a special invitation to the Medical Records section at Noarlunga Hospital telling them that a dog will be visiting and they were specially invited to come and meet him, because without them I wouldn’t have had Rassilon. But of course the invitation was on 2 pages, with the reveal of the visiting dog on the second page (SURPRISE)

I was working there when I had to have Kia put down, and it was Sue that said she was thinking of getting a retired greyhound, so I looked into it, The fact that I could get a greyhound quickly (Rassi came in and needed to be fostered so they called me the day after I first contacted them), was certainly the biggest influence in my decision, but so to was the price. Greyhound (including, desexed $190.00, microchipped $180.00, vaccinated $99.50, vet check $64.00, dental check $64.00, with a collar $27.00, leash $35.00, coat $45.00, muzzle $15.00 and green collar assessment $150.00  in the price) …$250.00. Or my ONLY other choice, Doberman, just 8 weeks old ,,,$1200.00. and you still have to get all that other stuff that comes with a greyhound.

So now Rassilon is so much more comfortable dealing with people than when they first met him, they will be impressed at how much he has changed since he was still in his first 12 month, learning all things new, period.

I shall finish off now with one of my favourite greyhound pictures. I have had this up before, but I love this picture. It is so GREYHOUND.




All good things come to an end.

Well today was our last visit to the Repatriation General Hospital. It was a quiet visit today. I think they are trying to get as many patients out of the wards as they can, so they can have an easy transfer to Noarlunga Hospital.

GEM Ward 1 (1)

Ward 1 Repatriation General Hospital, for the last time.

We did the visits to the wards, but on the way out to the carpark there were some people having coffee at the cafe. It wasn’t hard to work out that it was family meeting a patient for a get together and a drink. One of the visitors wanted to pat Rassilon, so I let her. Another, that was confined to a wheelchair, was thinking of adopting a greyhound, so she got to meet Rassilon and I got to answer a lot of questions.

When I finished talking to them, there was another woman and her mother at the next table, so we had to go and let them pat Rassilon. Well, just because they weren’t on the ward, why shouldn’t they have a therapy visit?

But rather than have nothing to do for the next month, Rassilon and I actually have MORE to do. Tomorrow we go to the Daw Park nursing home, then we have 2 visits a week until Noarlunga opens for visitation.

Once Noarlunga is back, we will still do 2 visits a week, but it means I will only have to drive down towards Adelaide once a week, Noarlunga Hospital being 5 minutes away from home.

to NHS

A bit far for a greyhound to walk, but a very short drive.


NHS front entrance (under canopy)

(Notice the difference in size between the hospital and Colonnades, a shopping center).


From the DOG


Regarding #5. EVERY dog owner will tell you that there are words their dog understands. If I ask “Do you want to go for a wee”? Rassilon racing to the door tells me he understands.

If I ask Rassilon “Do you want a chooky foot”? (chickens foot), he runs to the freezer where they are kept, so not only can dogs understand the words, they can also relate words to items.

That is why (strange as it may seem to non dog owners), I will tell Rassilon I am going out and will be back soon. He understands and goes to bed to wait, then goes crazy when I get home. If I don’t tell him I am going out alone, he will try to get into the car then will not want to go inside. Dogs are SMART.

Regarding #10. The more dogs you have, the harder this becomes. But remembering that the dog will be scared without your presence will hopefully overcome your sadness. Remember, you will be the last thing your dog sees. I left my last dog at the vet to be put to sleep, and I regret that so much when I think of how scared she must have been all alone.

Therapy Dog (4)

Busy , expensive day.

Today Rassilon and I went for a drive to Aldinga. We didn’t go to the shopping center, we went to the beach. That was going to be a test for Rassilon because the parking area is on top of the cliffs, with a big stairway down and up.


Stairs all the way down to the beach…not a problem.

Rassilon has dealt with stairs before, but that was a long time ago and not as big a flight as this. However, Rassilon is fantastic and went down the stairs and along the beach and back up the stairs with no problems. When we were walking along the beach, I put his (illegal for greyhounds in South Australia), 100 foot training leash on him, but I doubt if I got it 1/4 unrolled. The way he walked today makes me think I could let him off the leash and he wouldn’t run away. But I am not going to find out.


It was quite windy, but Rassilon loved it.

After that, we went to Reynella to check the mail, and met another therapy dog, although it didn’t appear to be a good example. It’s coat was long and matted and it jumped up at people, something Therapy Dog Service does not allow, plus Rassi has a few tricks he can do.

On the way home from there we stopped off for the expensive bit. Rassilon had to have his vaccination ($99.50). According to the vet he is in perfect condition, and she didn’t mention his weight of 35.6kg.

So here we are at home again, Rassi is in bed already and I am soon going to join him.



A minister, known for his lengthy sermons, noticed a man in the congregation get up and leave for part of the service.

After church, the minister asked him where he had gone.

“To get a haircut” replied the man.

“But why didn’t you do that before the meeting”? asked the minister.

“Because I didn’t need a haircut then” replied that man.


Roland Ratzenberger. 1960 – 1994

Sunday. It is hard to believe that a week has gone by already since my mother went to Tasmania. But as suspected, fresh air and no stress have worked wonders and she is feeling much better than she was. Yesterday she went shopping, but wore herself out.

In the meantime, Rassilon and I have been out too. We went over to the Launderette at Seaford to wash some big blankets. and I took Rassi down to the beach where he was desperate to get off the leash and run. But the local council has a sign saying dogs must be on a leash (although some people didn’t think it applied to them), and the rules for greyhounds means they have to be on a leash even in the council says they can be off leash, so Bad Luck Rassilon. (Actually, I think it’s time his 100 foot training leash came out of the bag).

We have also been over to Reynella a few times, including today when Rassilon got some pats from greyhound fans. It is starting to show that greyhounds are getting popular as pets, and people are starting to realise that they are not vicious.

Today is also the running of the Italian Grand Prix, hence, the cryptic title. It was a long time ago, 23 years, that the motor racing world was shocked to hear of the death of Ayrton Senna, killed during the 1994 Italian Grand Prix. But he was not the only driver killed that weekend.


33 year old Austrian, Roland Ratzenberger.

Also to die, during qualification, was lesser known Austrian driver Roland Ratzenberger. Unlike Senna, who’s accident looked quite survivable, Ratzenberger hit a wall at 200mph, so probably no one expected him to survive. But Senna was a SuperStar, so poor Roland Ratzenberger get’s no publicity. I am not a ‘driver’ fan I am an F1 fan, so all drivers are equal for me.

ratzenberger crash

Not many people will survive hitting a wall at 200mph, not even in an F1 car.

I often wonder how it must feel do drive a Formula One car, or to be a winning driver with a world wide fan base. But then I think, I have people waiting for me every Wednesday to take Rassilon into the hospital, and we are making their life more enjoyable even if it is just for a short time. (apparently driving an F1 car is COMPLETELY different to driving a road car. For example, you don’t slow for corners, you have to keep accelerating).

Ward 1 GEM, Repat hospital

Waiting outside ward 1 of the Repat hospital

I think I prefer my life now, with Rassilon and people who love greyhounds. Sure being a racing driver must be thrilling, but I can still walk into the hospital and make people happy. Despite all his money…Ayrton Senna can’t.

So it is a sad weekend for many people. (If you are not an F1 fan you won’t understand), but on the other hand, when I go to bed later, I will have a loving Rassilon to cuddle up to, who will accept me for just what I am. Not a champion, but his, I won’t say owner, I prefer, team mate. (as in visitation team).


“And suddenly I realised that I was no longer driving the car consciously. I was driving it by a kind of instinct, only I was in a different dimension”. Ayrton Senna.