The Heart is a Muscle

I just realized this thing about the heart… it is a muscle, not an organ. And like all muscles, it can be trained. The more I exercise it, the more muscular it becomes, the harder it gets. I’m surprised that I can even entertain the thought of giving away my dog, Rainbow. It hurts when my mum brought up the suggestion. But it hurts even more that I’m open to that idea.

Joy & Rainbow = Pleasant DreamsI have 2 dogs – Joy and Rainbow. We got Joy from a pet shop about 7 years ago when she was 6 months old. Rainbow was given to my family about 2 years ago. It is an interesting story how she became one of us…

Rainbow was left outside the door of one of our neighbours on the 17th floor. That neighbour is terrified of dogs and called another neighbour staying on the 13th floor to come remove it. The 13th floor auntie is a dog lover and has 2 dogs of her own. She took Rainbow home and posted notices around the neigbourhood in the hope that the dog’s owner would come to claim it. No one came.

A few days and a lot of bullying from her 2 dogs later, the auntie bumped into my mum downstairs as she was coming home from work. The auntie knew we had a dog and asked if my mum would like to adopt Rainbow because she couldn’t handle 3 dogs and her other 2 dogs weren’t getting along with the new addition.

My mum came home telling my stepdad and I about this white dog. I wasn’t too keen because Joy is a total bitch when it came to socialising with other dogs. A friend used to let us housesit his pooch when he went on holidays and I’d witnessed what a total ass Joy can be.

But my mum was subtly insistent and after hearing about Rainbow and the auntie’s plan to send it to SPCA if no one is going to adopt the third dog, I decided to housesit Rainbow for a couple more days till the owner turn up. The few days turned into 20 months.

A Rainbow that is white.According to the vet, Rainbow was about 3yo when she came to live with us. She’s of the Jack Russell breed and all white (except for a speck of dark brown above her right eye and an ochre patch the size of a 10 cents coin near her left ear).

She’s all white but I named her Rainbow. I called her that because the rainbow is a symbol of the covenant between God and man; a promise of grace and forgiveness. But more significantly, I called her Rainbow because what colour do we get when all 7 spectrums of the rainbow converge into one? White.

Character-wise, Rainbow is a very mild-mannered dog. Even though she’s bigger in size than Joy, she allows herself to be bullied. She’s the kind of dog that greets you at the door leaping joyfully when you come home, rests its chin on your thigh while you watch TV, and sits by your feet while you type your blog (she’s curled up next to my right foot now). She loves people and instantly connects with visitors to our home (on the contrary, Joy is more aloof and seldom let others touch her unless it’s the family). I wonder very often if Rainbow’s constant need for attention, to the extend of being compulsive, is due to a long history of abandonment.

I remembered when I saw her, she was a beautiful, healthy dog. There were no signs of abuse and I thought to myself who would abandon such a cute, well-behaved and lovely dog. But after spending a few days with her, we realised the possible reason that she could be ditched. She doesn’t just shed fur. She snows.

All our furniture and clothes are covered constantly in her stubby white fur. The 2 dogs used to sleep with me but I was waking up in a fur coat. After strong persuasion from my mum, and I knew it was for my own health (because I’m asthmatic but I continued to sleep with the dogs as I can’t bear the thought of leaving them out in the cold), I weaned myself off them and let them sleep in the living room. We made each a plush bed with old sofa cushions.

Apart from the shedding, she has the occasional misfire in her toileting habits, missing the newspaper ever so slightly. But the last straw for my mum was when she peed on our toilet floor just now. I think this was the first time she did it. I don’t know why she did it. And I also don’t know why my mum would suggest giving her away because of a seemingly small mistake. Perhaps she’s had enough with all the loose fur. But do we just give up on someone or something that has an emotional bond so easily? At the slightest glitch in a relationship, we abandon it?

Seems like Rainbow might be up for another adoption. I wonder if she’ll be heartbroken when she finds us walking away leaving her behind with someone new. A friend of my mum’s said her husband met with an accident and is homebound but mobile. She’s looking for a dog to keep him company while she’s away at work. Being a ‘sticky’ kind of dog, Rainbow would be a perfect companion. But would the husband become depressed due to the accident and take it out on Rainbow? Would the family get fed up with her shedding and punish her to the point of abuse?

Colours of affection

It pains to think about her going away. Heck, it brought tears to my eyes to even entertain the possibility of giving her away. It’s that kind of feeling where you feel pain doing it, you don’t want to do it, but you just can’t help wanting to do it. Life has no lack of treadmills, dumbells and dead weights to tire out our emotions. Perhaps that’s what a heart that has gone through a lot of training does, it lets reality take over being sentimental.

My mum is going to suggest to her friend about adopting Rainbow next Wednesday. She wanted to conceal the fact about Rainbow’s heavy shedding but I shared that we should be truthful about it. It would be an injustice to Rainbow if the new family doesn’t know about her problem, finds out about it and starts directing anger towards her because it gives them an excuse to.

So will Rainbow stay or will she go? I wish I don’t have such a muscled heart and know for sure she’ll stay. For better, or for worse. But the problem is, I don’t know.

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34 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kinkythepanda
    Jun 09, 2010 @ 23:36:41

    😦 noooooooo.

    Reply

  2. kinkythepanda
    Jun 09, 2010 @ 23:36:41

    😦 noooooooo.

    Reply

  3. kykydiary
    Jun 10, 2010 @ 06:02:00

    Kyky is a JRT too and she sheds throughout the year but more profusely twice a year. She’s been with us for 13 years now, coming to 14. We control her shedding by brushing her daily (removes most of the loose hair), giving her fish oil supplements and letting her wear a t shirt. So far, we don’t have a problem with her shedding.
    Maybe rainbow needs a medical check up to see whether there are other underlying health problems that may cause her to shed profusely. JRTs shed but not as much as some other breeds and shedding like most problems with dogs nowadays can be reduced with patience and modern supplements.

    Reply

    • celebratelah
      Jun 10, 2010 @ 06:10:16

      thanks for the tips… we’ve been giving her the ‘save our skin’ fish oil for a long time. her shedding seems normal as there’re no bald patches or skin diseases and i did ask the vet during our last visit. he said everything is fine with her. just that some dogs shed more than others even within the same breed like how some pple are taller or has thicker hair.
      we tried putting a t-shirt on her but she wouldn’t keep it on and joy kept trying to scratch it off her. haven’t tried daily brushing so i’ll give it a shot… :o) thanks!

      Reply

    • celebratelah
      Jun 10, 2010 @ 06:10:16

      thanks for the tips… we’ve been giving her the ‘save our skin’ fish oil for a long time. her shedding seems normal as there’re no bald patches or skin diseases and i did ask the vet during our last visit. he said everything is fine with her. just that some dogs shed more than others even within the same breed like how some pple are taller or has thicker hair.
      we tried putting a t-shirt on her but she wouldn’t keep it on and joy kept trying to scratch it off her. haven’t tried daily brushing so i’ll give it a shot… :o) thanks!

      Reply

  4. kykydiary
    Jun 10, 2010 @ 06:02:00

    Kyky is a JRT too and she sheds throughout the year but more profusely twice a year. She’s been with us for 13 years now, coming to 14. We control her shedding by brushing her daily (removes most of the loose hair), giving her fish oil supplements and letting her wear a t shirt. So far, we don’t have a problem with her shedding.
    Maybe rainbow needs a medical check up to see whether there are other underlying health problems that may cause her to shed profusely. JRTs shed but not as much as some other breeds and shedding like most problems with dogs nowadays can be reduced with patience and modern supplements.

    Reply

  5. sacred_faith
    Jun 10, 2010 @ 08:31:57

    suck
    hope you don’t have to give her up – she looks beautiful

    Reply

  6. sacred_faith
    Jun 10, 2010 @ 08:31:57

    suck
    hope you don’t have to give her up – she looks beautiful

    Reply

  7. chrisloup
    Jun 10, 2010 @ 08:40:36

    get a roomba.

    Reply

  8. chrisloup
    Jun 10, 2010 @ 08:40:36

    get a roomba.

    Reply

  9. t_yervor
    Jun 14, 2010 @ 04:59:08

    So sorrie to hear about this.
    I faced a smiliar kind of hurt too. Once, long ago, I ever entertained the thought of giving up Pom Pom (my pom) becoz I wanted to be w someone who didn’t want to be w dog in a house. Luckily, my good friend brought me to my sense with a major lecture.
    Since then, I told myself, for better or worse, in health and in sickness, I will give Pom Pom a happy life till he passes on. I also reminded myself that he wasn’t given the choice to be with me but I was the one who made the choice. And since I did, I should be responsible.
    Although I am not going to impose my standards on others, I do wish Rainbow gets to stay. And also, if were to be given away, pls do not hide the “snowing” fact, else Rainbow will face another high chance of being given up again…
    *finger crossed*

    Reply

    • celebratelah
      Jun 14, 2010 @ 08:34:02

      thanks for sharing ur story with me. my family is still torn about giving rainbow away so i guess we’ll see how it goes when my mum speaks to her friend this wednesday.
      my mum’s fren’s family desire to have a dog, but they don’t want to buy one. yeah, if we decide to give her away, her shedding problem will be brought out front.

      Reply

    • celebratelah
      Jun 14, 2010 @ 08:34:02

      thanks for sharing ur story with me. my family is still torn about giving rainbow away so i guess we’ll see how it goes when my mum speaks to her friend this wednesday.
      my mum’s fren’s family desire to have a dog, but they don’t want to buy one. yeah, if we decide to give her away, her shedding problem will be brought out front.

      Reply

  10. t_yervor
    Jun 14, 2010 @ 04:59:08

    So sorrie to hear about this.
    I faced a smiliar kind of hurt too. Once, long ago, I ever entertained the thought of giving up Pom Pom (my pom) becoz I wanted to be w someone who didn’t want to be w dog in a house. Luckily, my good friend brought me to my sense with a major lecture.
    Since then, I told myself, for better or worse, in health and in sickness, I will give Pom Pom a happy life till he passes on. I also reminded myself that he wasn’t given the choice to be with me but I was the one who made the choice. And since I did, I should be responsible.
    Although I am not going to impose my standards on others, I do wish Rainbow gets to stay. And also, if were to be given away, pls do not hide the “snowing” fact, else Rainbow will face another high chance of being given up again…
    *finger crossed*

    Reply

  11. allycat79
    Jun 16, 2010 @ 10:19:14

    My mom made me give up my German Shepherd when I was younger despite her been with us for 2 yrs. I’ve carried that pain in my heart ever since. Rainbow is really a beautiful dog & I really hope things turn out well for her. Anyway, is Joy a chihuahua?

    Reply

    • celebratelah
      Jun 19, 2010 @ 03:57:18

      yeah, the burden of not fighting for something that we love and stay with us a long time. hopefully ur german shepherd has got another good home too :o)
      joy is a miniature pinscher. wanted to get a chihuahua initially but met her instead :o)

      Reply

    • celebratelah
      Jun 19, 2010 @ 03:57:18

      yeah, the burden of not fighting for something that we love and stay with us a long time. hopefully ur german shepherd has got another good home too :o)
      joy is a miniature pinscher. wanted to get a chihuahua initially but met her instead :o)

      Reply

  12. allycat79
    Jun 16, 2010 @ 10:19:14

    My mom made me give up my German Shepherd when I was younger despite her been with us for 2 yrs. I’ve carried that pain in my heart ever since. Rainbow is really a beautiful dog & I really hope things turn out well for her. Anyway, is Joy a chihuahua?

    Reply

  13. Anonymous
    Jun 17, 2010 @ 13:20:30

    Snowing
    Hey Darren,
    Wat bout the food? might be suitable for Joy but not suitable for Rainbow? Hope she gets to stay. I have asthma too and my boy used to shed alot, but after switching brands, he improved alot and + daily brushing help. I give him olive oil on a daily basis too.
    Jeanne Kira Chan

    Reply

    • celebratelah
      Jun 19, 2010 @ 04:00:13

      Re: Snowing
      hi jeanne… yeah, we’ve tried different food for her but the problem persists. we give the 2 dogs salmon oil from the brand ‘save our skin’. we’ve got a brush for rainbow and been brushing her the past few days. seems to be working! :o) thanks!

      Reply

    • celebratelah
      Jun 19, 2010 @ 04:00:13

      Re: Snowing
      hi jeanne… yeah, we’ve tried different food for her but the problem persists. we give the 2 dogs salmon oil from the brand ‘save our skin’. we’ve got a brush for rainbow and been brushing her the past few days. seems to be working! :o) thanks!

      Reply

  14. Anonymous
    Jun 17, 2010 @ 13:20:30

    Snowing
    Hey Darren,
    Wat bout the food? might be suitable for Joy but not suitable for Rainbow? Hope she gets to stay. I have asthma too and my boy used to shed alot, but after switching brands, he improved alot and + daily brushing help. I give him olive oil on a daily basis too.
    Jeanne Kira Chan

    Reply

  15. Anonymous
    Aug 13, 2010 @ 08:40:14

    I have a mini pin too but in black & tan. So, did you keep Rainbow?

    Reply

  16. Anonymous
    Aug 13, 2010 @ 08:40:14

    I have a mini pin too but in black & tan. So, did you keep Rainbow?

    Reply

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