Every month we will be presenting a profile of one of the Approved Greenhound Assessors so you can get to know what has motivated them to become involved with the program. They come from varied backgrounds but all have some things in common – a love of dogs, an interest in their welfare and a desire to promote and improve the image of the Greyhound breed.
NAME: GAYL O’GRADY
Delta Dog Behavioural Trainer Cert Level IV, TAFE Animal Behaviour, Member DPDTA (Committee), APDTA, Canine Good Citizen Assessor, Greenhound Assessor, 35 years as a positive dog trainer.
POSITION: Employed by Gladesville Veterinary Hospital since 2003 as dog behaviour trainer.
Gayl teaches Puppy Preschool, Coordinates and instructs Canine College; 3 levels - Bronze, Silver and Gold. CGC award test after Gold level... Gayl assesses and works with dogs and owners in the home environment from Vet Referrals and Vet Behaviourists. www.gladesvillevet.com.au.
• ASDOG (Australian Support Dogs) – Gayl has a 12 month old black Labrador Chelsea living with her and her two greyhounds for 12 months. Gayl trains Chelsea every day to pass her Pubic Access Test and Chelsea also needs to be able to successfully achieve a range of service tasks to assist her recipient when the time comes.
• mindDOG - assists mental health sufferers to procure, train and certify psychiatric service dogs. These dogs assist people with mental health disorders whose lives are often severely compromised by anxiety and fear. Gayl works with an owner and his/her dog. The owner has some very challenging conditions and needs his/her dog to pass the Public Access Test and achieve some very specific service tasks to assist this person to manage her conditions.
• Gayl gives talks on Anxiety and Boredom, Canine Communication, and Environmental Enrichment for Shelter Dogs. Some of these talks are at Gladesville for the public and staff and several have recently been in Shelters such as the RSPCA at Yagoona. Gayl is very passionate about relieving anxiety of animals in shelters.
• Ruf Ruf Comfort Coats – 8 years ago I adopted my first greyhound Ty. He was extremely anxious. With my sister Karen who has 30 years experience in fashion we designed the Ruf Ruf Comfort Coat which immediately eased Ty’s anxiety. The RSPCA in Tweed has been using the coats on shelter dogs for some time and RSPCA at Yagoona is about to use them to ease dogs anxiety and hopefully make them more rehomeable. www.rufruf.com.au.
• Calming Clothing for Kids – several years ago I was working with dogs that lived with Autistic Children. Parents kept asking if we could design something like Ruf Ruf Comfort Coats for Children suffering from Sensory Processing Disorders such as Autism. So again my sister and I came up with Calming Clothing for Kids. Endorsed by Occupation Therapists in Sydney.
A FEW WORDS FROM GAYL
"My family is the joy in my life including my two Greyhounds and now my young assistance Labrador. Ty my 11 year old grey is the Dalai Lama of dogs. His calm presence at my classes make all dogs feel at ease. I often take him along when I work with dogs that are dog aggressive through fear. His manner and quiet confidence allows dogs to learn that it is ok to relax. We call Lenny the young one but he is 5 years old. I have had him 18 months and he is enjoying being a perpetual puppy. Since I first welcomed a Greyhound into my home I knew I will always have Greys in my life. I love all dogs but for me there is no other breed who is as gracious, elegant, intelligent and deserves a better life.
Greenhounds are the natural progression to allow these beautiful animals to be more accepted by the public, as pets. Thank Goodness for Greenhounds.... "