Sunday Morning : Rehabilitating RAINBOW
This from a series of personal notes I write to close friends and family on Sunday morning. I wasn’t planning on publishing any of these private notes. This is a really nice story I thought I might share with you. Names have been altered for privacy of those involved.
Dear Friends and Family,
Hello Friends and how are you? I am well. For those of you have been reading my letters for sometime you will have noticed a great deal of change in the tone and subject matter of my emails(remember those remorse dark tortured artist email, I revel in thought of them, they were something I am happy to have moved on though) this one is no different and I’ll explain why some of those times in hind sight where the best thing to happen to me later.
So to start the kid is outta school and we have been on vacation. lots of time hanging out at the pool and going on long walks in the neighborhood talking and eating ice cream. I think I wrote to you about the dog that we have been helping I am unsure if I told you the story of Rainbow though. So my boss Bradley “The Boston Storm”, is the guy that EVERYBODY calls when they need a hand. Running a bar in the inner city is just what one might expect. We deal with all sorts of people in all sorts of situations. He gets calls all day everyday to help solve all sorts of people’s problems. Mostly people call to borrow money, cause everybody figures he’s “RICH”, after all he owns a bar right. I kid you not I once paid out 350$ in loans in the first couple hours of one of my shifts (that’s not including people looking to run a tab for drinks and he isn’t charging interest). He is a GOOD HEARTED BLOKE who does what he can to help EVERYBODY get along in our community.(he even fed me and what’s her nuts once long before I worked here). Of course running a bar in the inner city(and I do live in the inner city not a GHETTO but a real tough area of town where you gotta earn respect and be willing to throw down if things get outta hand) you deal with all sorts folks, even some that work on the other side of the law. So of course sometimes you meet people who you might not have thought you would associate with and even end up becoming their friends. You may even come to realize that just because someone is a “criminal” it may not mean that they are a bad person, they may have just grown up with the belief that they had no other option. Such is the case of the owner of the dog.
So low and behold one morning my boss gets a call from his friend “Jimmy”. “Jimmy” is probably one of the nicest most gentle people you could ever meet, there is a certain simplicity about him that would make you guess he is outta place in the modern world and would be better off as a farmer many years ago. So “Jimmy” calls as there has been a major narcotics bust, and due to certain substances he may OR MAY NOT HAVE HAD in his dwelling he has been incarcerated. That isn’t the serious problem the real problem is that “Jimmy’s” dog Yayo was shot in the raid. Of course “Jimmy” has his own problems , his biggest concern though is that his dog has been shot(as far as I know he has no close family and the dog is his only close relation) so with his one phone call (I am assuming they still only give one call) he calls my boss to get his dog. Being the guy my boss is and knowing “Jimmy” has no real family in Montreal he agrees and goes to make sure his friends dog is Ok. Yayo is found shot two times once in the face and once in the paw neither wound is fatal. Of course the dog is hurt and scared “Bradley” takes him to the vet and two days later in he comes into work with wounded dog by his side. Which is where I meet the dog.
First off in all honesty before I meet this dog I was TERRIFIED of PIT-BULLS, When I look into this animals eyes I clearly see the demeanor of his owner, it is a good and gentle animal. he comes hobbling in with a cone round his head and cast on his foot. he even seems kindda happy. All my previous notions of such an animal are instantly broken and the first thing I think of is my kids hopes in being an animal scientist and that even if this dog was a little off it’s kilter that this could be a great project for us to work on together. So the first couple weeks round the bar he’s upstairs in the office. Nobody is really sure what to do with him nor are we really equipped to take care of the dog. Bradley takes sole responsibility keeping the animal away from every one else , cleaning the dog doo , feeding it, giving it’s medicine ect. It’s a lot of work and one more thing he now has to deal with. As the dog gets better he starts to let the dog around the bar more. Everyone is excited and instantly falls in love .
He’s smart, obedient, cute and dare I even say cuddly. So everyone starts to pitch in and take care of the dog. At first he’s upstairs most of the time during or shifts , as he feels more up to it he starts to hang round the bar more. In away he serves a dual purpose part protection cause even injured he still looks pretty tough, and it’s kindda fun to have him round cause he’s pretty happy and go lucky. none the less we still aren’t set up to take care of a dog and only soo much can get done on our shifts.
And that’s when it occurs to me that the solution is one a sane man would scoff at. “Tiffany”(my kid) wants to rehabilitate animals, the is a potentially dangerous creature that needs some extra care. The only REAL way for “Tiffany” to start to learn her trade is to work with this animal, I also think it in the long term it will give here confidence in working with LARGER and SCARIER animals. I mean lets face it there is no use in being an animal scientist unless your going to work with TIGERS or something like that and this is as close as we are going to get. I feel pretty confident too as he still has his cone on his head and cast on his foot. So I ask her how she might feel about working with a dog that got shot by the police. I told her it might be dangerous and that we would have to be REALLY careful cause we had no idea how he may react to things and he might even attack unexpectedly. OF COURSE SHE LOVED THE IDEA and asks me what the dogs name is. I start searching quickly trying to think of something that sounds similar so he might respond and without having to explain meaning of the dogs real name. The first thing that comes to my mind is Rainbow. and so I christen the dog Rainbow, quietly chuckling to myself that here is a big bad ass dog everyone will be scared of named Rainbow, which also kinda goes with his personality. I also hopefully makes people question their judgement about such a dog (there was a Dog Whisper episode with a Chiwawa named Diablo, the owners couldn’t figure out why he was such a terror, the dog whisper ask’em what the expected his name was the devil)
I KNEW that once I made this decision I may very well have to put myself between her in the dog in the very unlikely hood that something went wrong. The whole man vs beast thing sortta turned me on . Soo we had a long talk and made sure we clearly understood some of the possibilities that might happen. We agreed that we could handle what ever happen and that I decided that this could be a very RARE learning opportunity that could set her in a direction for the rest of her life.
So I ask the boss. at first he is a little hesitant worried about what might happen, I tell him we thought about and explained my feelings. he said we could start to help and that maybe we could start by taking him for walks. So that’s what we do and as he gets better our walks get longer. We also start to try different things with him. In general he seems pretty safe. HE REALLY DOESN’T LIKE OTHER DOGS THOUGH. As the days and weeks go by he gets stronger . “Bradley” takes him for his check up and get him another cast . we also get to know dog. he is strong and can be aggressive, in general he’s a pretty sweet beast. and needs some love and care.And so that’s what we give him.
Nights at the bar can be pretty crazy as there can be lots of people and the music can pretty loud. on top of that Rainbow is a super celebrity as every one wants to see this lovable animal whose been shot 2 times. At time the dog is being told what to do by 10 people and although he’s cute he make an awful bar assistant. It’s like working with a land mind stepping round the dog .Things are going good on our walks and my daughter is really enjoying helping take care of the dog. She buys him treats and reads book about training dogs and basic things like that. The better he gets the more he needs. so I keep asking if we can do more. Eventually he comes for a sleep over. We watch “All Dogs Go to Heaven”, “Good Boy” and “Hotel for Dogs” (all of which are some of my kids favorites) We keep working on making him feel more comfortable and making sure he’s loved. He starts to stay over more often as it is convenient for everyone.
So the dog is better he can run on all fours even though he still walks with a limp (his cast is off). He listens better everyday even though he was a great listener to begin with. We have used the training techniques in the book as well as some common sense and he can now walk near another dog without totally going ballistic (he did try to eat another small dog the other day that was my bad though as I wasn’t paying attention when the kid was holding him I booted after the dog. The other dog wasn’t hurt although Rainbow said he had a nice taste lol).
His future with us is up in the air we are both fine with that. When “Jimmy” finishes his “vacation” which could last 2-7 years he may take the dog back. Tiffany asked if we REALLY HAD TO give him back when “Jimmy” got back from “vacation”, I asked her if she wanted to argue with a guy who just got outta “vacation” and she said “NO”! I said SMART KID! All in all it has been a wonderful learning experience. We both learned many tricks about working with animals. Give a dog a tight leash and it will listen and that animals are as much nurture as nature. you can train a dog to be anything you want and Tiffany is now obsessed with “deadly animals” and next she wants to work with a Rottweiler. Anyways he is a great dog and greatly changed our lives. I hope we helped change his when he needed it most. there’s much more to the story already this note is a little long.
PS ( the best thing that ever happened to me was not achieving my goal of being the most recognized artist in the world!!! We all know that since I was I kid I was obsessed with living like a crazy ROCK star and we all know I sure tried. After reading Ozzy’s book I sure can say I happy I never got to be that excessive or out of control. I’m glad I never had to go to Rehab and glad I got into fitness. I know now that when things work out I’ll be in much better health for it all and that my family will have suffered less. there where some EERIE similarities though between me and Ozzy. He was the class clown and labeled with dyslexia , he always felt he had to show off to make up for feeling stupid and even after he became a mega star. He battled with feelings of insecurity and hence lost himself in drugs and booze. I guess I feel kind lucky the way things worked out)