Gefilte Fish Out of Water

October 31, 2009, 10:28 am
Filed under: Infrastructure


What’s so special about his photo, right?  I mean besides the fact that I’m a grown man who sleeps with a teddy shar pei bear.

To North Americans…nothing.  But Israelis will get it – there’s a comforter on my bed !!!  Since May, I haven’t needed one.  Just a top sheet (which – btw, is very hard to find in Israel), and in the summer, sometimes not even that.

But with the arrival of “winter”, it’s only in the low 60’s at night….but it’s a weird cold that – at least inside your apartment – gets into your bones.  Maybe it’s all the ceramic tiles our floors are made of – to keep the rooms cold in the summer.  So, the apartment is – almost overnight – seemingly chilly.  Out comes the blankey!  (No, not him.)

Anyway, super cozy sleeping underneath.  *snuggle*


I’m not budging!
October 31, 2009, 10:09 am
Filed under: Petey, Struggles


Petey’s a little high maintenance.  Maybe most dogs are.  I guess every parent owner feels their child pet is special, but I feel that Petey really is.  But along with his extra dose of cuteness comes a little divatude in select areas.

The main one is his bewildering and inconsistent refusal to walk.  More and more, I’m thinking Yoda was right.  Petey comes from a shelter, remember.  He’s only 3 months old, and he was brought in by a family at two months, so he’s lived a 1/3 of his life there.  I know they try to provide a good home there, and thank God for them really – but definition, it’s kinda crap, you know?

And so, by comparison, Petey has got it GOOD now.  So good, maybe he don’t ever wanna leave.  So, even though his tail starts to wag when he sees me grab his leash, and he starts a full-body wag when I open up his crate’s door, he will not budge from there if I gently pull him out on his leash.  He makes me pick him up and carry him downstairs and outside.

Then, almost always on Shimon Hatarsi (my street), he will refuse to walk.  Sometimes he’ll put all his paws down on the ground and lock legs; other times he full-on sits his tuchas down as well and give me negative amounts of cooperation.

Breaking out into a jog can sometimes get him going; I guess it’s infectious, and he wants to keep up.  Or sometimes, if I pull a little bit, he’ll walk a few more steps before refusing to move again.  Other times, I just flat out drag him on his butt down the sidewalk.  I always feel guilty doing this – like anyone watching will call PETA on my ass and think I’m an abuser.  But even Yoda says You are the boss, and you say when/where you’re walking, so don’t worry about that.

But it’s mainly only on Shimon Hatarsi.  Once we turn the corner past Super Baba (or if we go the other way on Hatarsi, when we get to this pathway that cuts through to the park) and start walking to Park Hayarkon, his resistance melts and he gets like I think he’s supposed to – all into it.

Then, sometimes, in the park too, he’ll randomly refuse to continue, and he’ll just sit down and harumph! me.  Usually, just picking a different direction is enough to get him going again.  But especially, if I turn around 180° and walk back the way we came, he gets real enthusiastic and cooperative.

And ONLY when we are back on Shimon Hatarsi heading to my apartment does he full-on pull me and break out into (cute!) leaps & jumps forward.

I think he just really likes home!

If that’s the reason behind all of his fussiness, well I guess I should feel flattered or happy he’s enjoying his new home so much.  But I’m not sure this explains everything.  Like, in the park, sometimes his obstinacy can be broken just by jerking him a little, or by switching directions but not necessarily returning from the direction in which we came.  Like, he’s just testing me and only being difficult because he can.  I kind of think he’s just a touch mental and/or maybe a major diva.



Morphing into Jewish mother.
October 31, 2009, 8:40 am
Filed under: Feelings, Petey

jewish-motherIn about a week, Petey & I go back to the shelter – to have the vets there make sure his stitches (from “the surgery”) healed OK, and to have a checkup in general.

There’s a few things I’m worried about him (in descending order):

1) Kennel Cough – OK, I feel A LOT better after just reading that link.  He definitely has this.  But if you click the link, you’ll see it will resolve itself in 6-10 days (he has a mild case).  He’s contagious (to other dogs) – but what, am I really gonna not let him smell/kiss any other dogs at this point?  That’s like taking away 1/3 of his fun.

2) Diarrhea – slash/loose stools.  I think this is nothing serious, too.  He’s still on antibiotics to make sure he gets no infections from his surgery, and I bet it’s these that are giving him not full-on soup d’rhea, but looseish stools.

3) Fleas – I don’t think he really has these, either.  The vet said he’s a little too small for this gel capsule to rub all over his spine, and instead he instructed me to buy Frontline spray for him (and use once/month).  I did this…but he keeps scratching his neck a lot.  He’s not chomping his tail and other parts of his coat, and it’s only the same area that he’s scratching.  It could be a mild allergic reaction to the tick collar he’s also wearing.  Yoda said not to worry about it; that there’s a lot of psychological reasons why dogs scratch themselves.

Still – I’ll feel better after the vet sees and checks him about again (and also after we’ve got our own vet and don’t have to go back to the shady ones at the shelter.  Shouldn’t say that – one was great.  But the other one we saw…)

OK, I take it back.
October 31, 2009, 8:00 am
Filed under: Hey!

Go walk Petey !

Now, it’s full-on constant pouring, more like what I’m used to at home.

This is worse.

Bo vs. No vs. Lo
October 31, 2009, 12:04 am
Filed under: Cultural Differences, Funny Hebrew, Petey


Is my dog gonna speak English or Hebrew?

Yoda Jeremy said there are 7 main commands to teach a dog:

– sit

– stay

– down

– off

– leave it

– come/let’s go

– make (go potty)

No! isn’t really a command (you’re supposed to use Off! or Down! instead), but c’mon – you know you’re gonna use No! a lot, too.

And that’s the thing – is it gonna be No! (english) or !לא (Lo! hebrew)?  Hmm, I kinda wanna use Lo! Like, it feels natural and fun to fire off 3 quick/consecutive Lo!-Lo!-Lo!‘s when he’s trying to chew something I don’t want him to.  And also, I really like !בוא (Bo! hebrew) instead of Come!

But – Bo! sounds like No! sounds like Lo! I don’t wanna make it harder for him than it has to be.  I gotta go with Come! over Bo!, even though I’m kinda into Bo!.  But I guess it makes no difference if I choose Lo! over No!


Along similar lines, I guess I gotta call pee-pee “sissy”, because I pee-pee sounds too much like Petey.  (Besides, “sissy” is what my family called it for our dogs, so it’s an ‘homage’, if you will.  I just find that word a little embarassing to use, that’s all.


Daddy’s Pride (watching him learn)
October 30, 2009, 11:32 pm
Filed under: Feelings, Petey


Yesterday evening, I carried Petey downstairs for our 19,000th 11th walk of the day.  (Funny – Petey walks up the stairs by himself, but doesn’t want to walk downstairs or even leave the crate, really.  More on this in another post.)

Following standard procedure, once we were outside I placed him down and sat on the step.  He jumped between my legs and started giving me kisses.

Then something really cool happened.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him look over at a patch of the front garden.  Not two seconds later, he hopped off me on his own (usually I’m the one to break it off) and jutted right over the patch of garden he spied and let fly a healthy, long pee.

This made me so incredibly proud of him.

You see, what I realized is that Petey is picking up housebreaking so quickly that he thought: PRIORITIES: he had a really full bladder at the moment, and he can give Daddy kisses any old time, but we came down here so that he could do his business, and he was bursting, so – first-things-first, better to take the giant leak now, then we can walk or kiss or see other dogs or do whatever afterwards.

*sniff* My little boy’s growing up so fast.


PETA Arrest Warrant
October 30, 2009, 10:14 pm
Filed under: Mistakes, Petey

elvira gulch

So, on Thursday I had a really bad idea.

My boss was catching a flight out of town and needed me to drop something off before he left for the airport.  But it was also time for Petey’s next walk, and I was afraid if I left him alone in the apartment, he would have an accident.  Plus, my new co-worker was in the office that day.  She reads this blog, adopted her own dog from a shelter, and has asked about Petey.  I was like – fuck it.  I’ll just put Petey in my bike basket and ride over with him in there.  I rationalized, It’s a short ride, I’ve seen people do this before (yeah, with the deep-style baskets in the front, not the shallow kind you have in the back), plus it would be great if Stephanye could meet Petey.  (Famous last words:) It’ll be okay.

So, I put a catalogue in there first (so his feetsies wouldn’t fall through the big mesh – aren’t I super kind?), and plunk him in there and lie through my teeth when I tell him Don’t worry, Petey.  You’ll be OK.  It might seem scary, but just go with it. And we’re off.  And everything’s OK for the first two seconds. My arm is behind me, petting Petey, and I’m talking calmly to him, completely b.s.’ng reassuring him that this is fun and OK and he doesn’t need to worry.  But then we go over one of Tel Aviv’s 50 foot high curb cuts, and the next thing I know, Petey’s outta there – the jolt having scared him so badly, he jumped right outta da basket.


He was OK.  No bruises.  Didn’t yelp.  No broken ribs, or sprained legs.  Didn’t bite my face in retaliation.  Fuck, man – this was such a bad idea.  Because as bad as that just was, I really need to hightail my ass to the office before my boss splits or I’m effed.  Fuck.  Wuddum-eye gonna do? Put Petey back in the basket, of course.  But at least I have the sense to stay off the bike and just push it – keeping one hand on the handlebars to steer, and one hand on Petey to not kill him.  But this is just too damn slow.

Eureka!  Lace up, Petey – you’re goin’ jogging.  I get back on the bike, hold the leash in my right hand around the handlebar, and start riding, albeit slowly.  Petey stays lockstep.  It’s OK.  Sometimes he wants to pull over and whiff some stale dog pee or whatevs scent on the sidewalk, but – sorry, Pete, we got places to go, peeps to meet, and the tug of the bike moving forward keeps him moving, too.

We make it in time.  It’s fine.  We split.  Same strategy home – the Petey-runs-along-side thing.  But, not exactly.  At first, Petey keeps kamazeeing the bike’s front wheel, or worse – trying to run in front of it.  Stoopid, mofo – what r u doing!?! Then, I realize he just likes being next to the wall along the sidewalk, and this wasn’t a problem on the way over, b/c he was.  So, I put him on the other handlebar, and we’re back in business.

Except not quite.  Petey’s putting up more resistance than on the way over.  Little guy was probably tired.  So, he’s trying to dig in and stop us, only I’m not having it, and I keep peddling.  Now, I’m going very slowly, people.  It’s not like I’m Berry, King or Brewer and Petey was James Byrd, Jr., or anything.

Plus, like if I see another dog with owner up ahead, I’m like Fuck! Petey’s totes gonna pull me and the bike on top of him to go sniff that dog.  Or, I’ll see two moms and their kids stopped on the sidewalk gabbing, and I’m like Fuck! They’re totes gonna see me dragging this adorable puppy down the sidewalk and fucking throw rocks at me.

But we make it back home, and everything’s fine.  Thank God.

Later that night, as I was walking Petey, it really hit me hard how lucky I was.  Petey could so easily have been hurt, broken a tiny puppy rib Mmm, ribs… and needed to be hospitalized.  Not saying I almost killed him, but a hospitalization now would’ve sucked big time.  All the training and bonding we’d accomplished would’ve been wiped out if we were separated.  It would’ve just fucked the whole bonding process up spectacularly, and I would’ve been blowing the most fabulous gift & opportunity I’ve been given, which is to be Petey’s one and only Daddy.

I felt an infusion of gratitude and knew I’d been given a second chance.  I won’t fuck this up, God.  I promise to take care of Petey right.