DOGS
of the Levy family

The stories are from
Doreen's A Potpouri of Memories 
or from letters she's written to the family

We have been blessed with  wonderful dogs, Shuki, our first dog in Israel,  the legendary Peles, Lolly of broken jaw and storied fame, Chewy the olympic runner, Teddy the gladiator catching iguanas and of course fabled Lopsy. And now Flopsy from whom the family has tearfully parted.

Shuki
Our first dog in Israel was a mutt named Shuki. She (despite the male name) was so afraid of cats that she would literally jump into our arms when confronted by a cat. We have a picture of her somewhere and one day when I go through our old pictures I may find it. 

Peles
Peles
Who doesn't like spaghetti? The most discerning spaghetti lover was Peles who could never resist a tasty sauce. Much more than just a dog, Peles was a much beloved member of our family for more than 15 years. While Dad was in the army during the Yom Kippur War, I brought home an adorable fluffy Alsatian puppy as company for the children (Vered was 7, Aviv 5 and Moran less than a year). But two days later Dad phoned from Machaneh Peles on the Jordanian border with the news that he had a puppy that he was bringing home to the kids as a surprise. So I had to get rid of my pup without delay. Oh, the crying! Oh, the tears! The hard-hearted mommy!

When Dad came home, Oh! The shock ..... what was this? .... A dog? But Peles soon captured our hearts and imagination and proved that she had Soul. A timid dog, she was frightened of rabbits (Bad Luck) and bull frogs (Frodge), but she was a great mountain climber and loved hikes.

Peles would lie on Vered's bed when she went to bed. When she had fallen asleep he would go around taking turns to lie with all the children in turn, taking care to be back on Vered's bed when she woke up. Years later she was shocked to learn that Peles hadn't spent  every night only with her.


Peles visa
Anthony, in one of his long conversations with Peles told Peles that Vered was coming to visit us. Moran broke into tears crying that Peles always got to know important things before he did. But years later Moran complained that after Peles died Moran never got to hear about important family events.

One time when Peles had puppies we found an abandoned kitten and brought her home. Peles allowed the kitten to suckle with her own pups despite the kitten causing her engorged and red teats.
Taking Peles with us on camping trips to Sinai always proved a challenge as she would always bury her water for later use. In St Thomas, when one was still allowed to take dogs anywhere without a leash, she was with us in the supermarket. A woman shopper looked down, saw Peles and started screaming that there was a rat in the supermarket.

 
Years later 
when the Rons  moved into a house in Maplewood, New Jersey, Anthony, who is very handy,  began to repair things in their house and little Dani was his helper. He introduced her to a spirit level. She thought it was a neat instrument and went around the house testing all kinds of things and  found out that one of the floors wasn't straight. One morning he told her stories about our dog  Peles when our kids were small. When we told her that a spirit level in Hebrew is called peles she thought we were teasing her as usual.



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Chewy, Tuey and Teddy our Caribbean reggae trio

chewyTueyChewy showTeddy certificateTeddyteddy diploma

Teddy

When we lived in the Bahamas we wanted to get a dog from the local SPCA. We were somewhat bemused when a (dog) social worker came to inspect our house, interview us to see if we would be suitable parents and where we planned to keep her. I spent long hours training our dog whom we entered in the local dog show.  The Bahamas was very English and so were their thoroughbred dogs. with names like Sir Reginald and Lord Something or other. Our dog was in the Potcake class a local breed and her name stood out from all the others  - Chewy. Eitan had to hide when she had to do her 2-minute sit as we knew she would just get up and run towards him. Chewy was forever digging under the fence and escaping. That's how we found out about her phenominal running ability. She would run next to me while I was on the vespa and fly like the wind. People would stop to watch this thing of beauty. Afterwards she would have blisters on her feet but loved to run. That was also her downfall because she escaped, chased a car and was run over.

Tuey was with us for only a little while and we found her a suitable home when we left Nassau with the son of a local worker who loved dogs but could never dream of owning one.




Teddy, a toy poodle, was inherited from the previous manager of Coral World in St Thomas when we returned there for the second time. I was away from the house quite a lot either playing tennis or busy as a volunteer at the local Rape Crisis Center. Teddy, a quiet dog, would stay at home quite happily. Our garden was enclosed by hibiscus bushes which were much loved by the local  (and protected) iguanas that could easily grow to over a meter long. Somehow Teddy would know when I left the island, even for a day.  Each time he would go and catch an iguana and drag it back to place it on our bed. One time our maid told me that while she was cleaning our bedroom he jumped on our bed, looked at her in defiance, lifted his leg and peed on the bed. Who could believe that Teddy was our best educated dog with two diplomas (see above) ?

Teddy came to a traumatic end. We were travelling in a motorhome in the Southwest and decided to take a trip on a kayak. Teddy who didn't mind the water really didn't want to come but we took him anyway. Suddenly we came to some small rapids with which we had no experience and out of nowhere another kayak came up the rapids and crashed into us, overturning our canoe. The water was very swift and extremely cold and we struggled to the shore, but Teddy instantly disappeared and despite our driving along the banks of the river for hours and leaving messages everywhere he was never found.


Lolly
Lolly
We met Oren and Tova Most when Oren worked for Ampal in New York and was in charge of the Coral World St Thomas portfolio when Dad was General Manager there. Over the years we became good friends, enjoying Oren's wonderful sense of humor and Tova's infectious laugh. Later Oren was Managing Director of Keter Publishing in Israel. He asked friends for original contributions for a single-copy book he put together as a surprise for Tova's fortieth birthday. The following was my contribution:

                                                                                                            A Grim Fairy Tail for Tova Most
There was once a very old couple who lived at the edge of the desert in a small disheveled house surrounded by a high wall. The old couple had seen and done many things in their lives. They had flown above many oceans and swum below many seas and talked to many people in different  lands. From all these experiences and from bringing up their difficult children they had become very wise and very wily.
The old couple were collectors; they loved to collect wine labels, stamps (used and unused), bits of scrap and oddballs. One day, while the old husband was driving to his place of work which was perched on a thin strip of land between the desert and the bottomless red sea, he saw an odd ball of fluff tumbling along the seashore. "Oh those tourists," he grumbled, "They leave so much mess on our beautiful shores." He was a very crabby old man. The very next day he again saw the same odd ball bouncing along, but this time it was by the road. "Oh!" said the collector, "I'll catch it and add it to my collection." He had to run fast and swiftly, wheezing and panting,
as the little ball darted here and there in its frightened efforts to evade capture.  He stomped happily up the steps of his hovel, gave his wife a peck on the cheek and thrust the smelly ball into her hands. "Old wife, " he boomed, "Get busy! Wash and dry my latest oddball!" The bent old lady, mumbling angrily under her breath at the old fool's lack of consideration, threw the oddball into the washing machine and then popped it into the drier. They both peered in amazement, "Why, its a dog!" they exclaimed, "We'll have to throw it away when they collect the garbage Monday." They bent even lower to get a better look, but reeled back in disgust at the awful smell coming from the dog 's mouth. They took the dog to the vet who declared that the dog had been kicked savagely. He then asked for many shekels to take out its broken teeth and fix its broken jaw.
The old lady's face looked like a desert flood as tears coursed down the creases of her wrinkled face. "Oh! We cannot throw away one of God's little creatures that has been subjected to such abuse. Let's keep her." They pondered long what to call their newest acquisition and decided  on the name 'Lolly' because her tongue lolled out the side of her mouth where her jaw had been broken. Lolly was quite cute, but stupid. The old couple suspected that Lolly had been kicked in the head as well. One day the old couple were informed that they would have to travel far across the seas to Bahamaland to earn their miserable wages. With great sorrow they looked down at their beloved Lolly and wondered what to do, for they knew she would never be able to learn new tongues (she spoke only Hebrew), nor feel at ease amongst strangers in a foreign land.
At that very moment a beautiful young couple with their bright bouncy children burst into their dingy hovel, lighting up the darkness with their smiles and intelligence. Only the husband was sullen and silent, even more crabby than the old fool host himself. They had come all the way  from the big city in the north, many, many miles away. Netta, a shining princess, smiled sweetly at the old couple. With the innocence of youth she did not see their dull and shabby exteriors, but only the purity of their hearts. "We have come laden with presents to brighten your miserable lives." Omer, small and pudgy, nodded sagely, as he always agreed with his older sister. The old couple glanced at each other and smiled in sly agreement. "Oh!" they exclaimed, "We are so thoughtless. We did not think to buy you presents. But when you go, we will give you Lolly as a present."
The young couple and the old couple sat together for many hours and talked of fish and stockings and the rhythm of their lives and then gossiped about the people they knew. Night descended slowly on the house, while the guests sat talking and enjoying themselves and the children frolicked with Lolly. "It's time to go," announced the young man, who never had much patience for friends. Sadly his wife with cheeks that crinkled and dimpled as she laughed gathered the young children who had been romping gaily within the safety of the walls. The four of them formed a moving scene as framed by the door they waved goodbye. Oren, Tova and Omer turned towards the car, but Netta bent down and picked up Lolly saying, "Thanks for the present. Goodbye. "

And the old couple didn't hear from the young couple because the young man, Oren, was mad as hell and never forgave them until one day when he faxed them to ask that they write something creative for Tova 's Birthday Book.
But Lolly remembered the crabby old man who rescued her from the harshness of the desert and vowed to repay his kindness. One night while sleeping alone on a worn floor mat outside of Tova and Oren's apartment, she heard men climbing over the balcony. "Oh you poor soles" (she wasn't very good at spelling), she thought as she saw two men creep stealthily into the apartment, "You have no place to live. Yes, go inside and find shelter." With curled bushy tail wagging, she trotted in quietly behind them, suppressing her usual joyful barking lest the noise disturb the sleep of the handsome young man and his kind laughing wife.
Lolly settled herself happily on the sofa while the burglars made off with the contents of her owners' home. She sighed, content that sh
e had finally repaid a Tova (favor) with the Most that she could do.


Flopsy Lior
Lopsy
Lopsy was originally our dog and became the pampered dog of Vered and her family. He had allergies and a heart problem and a propensity to annoy other dogs.

When I returned home to Israel a month after Dani was born in Manhattan I told Anthony that we needed a new dog. (Our previous dog Teddy had died in a canoeing accident in Colorado.) Anthony said he had to confess that he had chosen a delightful dog as a surprise for my return but the dog was so problematic that he had to return it to the Humane Society. The dog cried as soon as he was left alone. He cried so much that the neighbors who lived in the adjoining apartments in the Jabotinsky flat couldn't work or sleep. They threatened to call the police if Anthony did not do something about the dog. Faced with no alternative Anthony returned the dog to the Ramat Gan Humane Society.
Well, one Friday morning we visited all the homes for destitute dogs in a 40-kilometer radius of Tel Aviv. As soon as we entered a pound there were hundreds of excited yapping dogs barking, "Take me! Take me!" We must have seen thousands of dogs that morning. And after each encounter I came away with the feeling of  "Well, if I have to….", but no dog captured my heart.
 
At the end of the day we arrived at the Ramat Gan Humane Society. Anthony, whom I suspect was embarrassed about going in and looking for a new dog after the previous fiasco, chose to stay outside - "Perhaps the dog would still be there" he reasoned, "and it would be unfair to him."  I went in without much hope and 2 seconds later came out smiling and called Anthony to come and see the dog I'd chosen.
 
He reluctantly came inside, looked at the dog and gasped: "That's the very same dog that I chose."

On the ride back to the apartment with Lopsy snuggled on my lap we gave him his name  which derived from the cute way one ear stuck straight up and the other flopped down - lopsided he definitely was.

Oh, and what about the crying?  I found that if I locked him in the toilet when we went out no one could hear his cries. 
When we went on our around the world trip we asked the Rons to look after Lopsy even though we knew that there was a chance the girls would become so attached to him that he would remain with them.  And so it happened.

 

 Although Lopsy didn’t have the understanding of Peles, he could talk. After being left alone for a long time (a few hours) when asked “Were you left all alone? Was it terrible?” He would cry, telling us how alone he felt. But he was never more human than in the following story. One night after celebrating Yom Ha’Atzmaut with friends in Hofit, we walked home. As we turned the corner to our street Kohav Hayam we saw the dogs of our neighbor Koren sitting in the middle of the road. We also saw Lopsy scenting the bushes and realized that the Koren dogs had, as usual, opened our gate and let Lopsy out. The amazing thing is as the big dogs started to bark at us, Lopsy suddenly saw us and literally fled home, raced through the open gate and disappeared. When we got home only after repeated calling did he ‘nonchanantly’ appear as if awoken from sleep, hoping we hadn’t seen him in the road minutes before that.


In Maplewood USA, when we found a little mouse down in the basement we called Lopsy to catch it. He refused to even look at the mouse and turned his head – he was afraid that if he looked at it he might have to do something about it.  One day we realized that Lopsy had been missing for hours.. After looking around the village I eventually went to the police station and sure enough someone had found him and called the police – very different from back home. When I called the woman who picked him up she was very excited because she was Jewish and saw that Lopsy had Hebrew writing on his license - a Jewish dog!
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Flopsy
Flopsy ItamarFlopsy snuggleFlopsy Zoe
 


Flopsy pup
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After our dog Lopsy got his Greencard and moved to America to live with Vered, Aviv and the girls we got a new dog, foolishly entitled Flopsy. We invariably called him Lopsy. Or Scarf, due to his endearing way (winters only!) of wrapping himself around your neck as soon as the alarm went off in the morning.  Flopsy was a shlepper, forever bringing things into the house – roots dug up in the garden, children’s toys that he brought over from the neighbours or pipes. When he started started licking the walls and bringing in stones that he would crunch we began to be worried.  Vitamins! Said the vet. So every morning when Ant took his Centrum Flopsy got his Baby Centrum and calcium. If Ant is not fast enough Flopsy happily munched Ant’s as well.  To try and counteract this worrying tendency – of eating stones, not Ant’s vitamins, I decided to buy him bones. So, if you’re already buying soup bones you just have to buy some soup meat, which is how we began to eat more meat  instead of our staple chicken. 

Flopsy was a beautiful dog with freckles on his nose and floppy silken ears. His tail had been cut very short so he wagged his whole body when happy. The Humane Society  didn't want us to take him saying he was too energetic for us and needed younger parents - and that was 15 years ago! They didn't know that I too was hyperactive.Yes he had boundless energy and he used to run next to me while I rode my bicycle. I had two big crashes when we crashed into each other and that took away my delight in cycling.

Flopsy was the sweetest of dogs. He loved children and even when they pinched him, pulled him or rode on his back he never snarled or bared his teeth. He lapped up every kind of attention. We used to laugh saying that he really helped strengthen our grandchilden as he would sit on them when they were crawling on the floor and they would have to struggle to get away from him.

Near our house there is an Eucalytpus Grove where foxes live. Flopsy used to love chasing them but he would start yelping in fright if he got too close. I am positive the foxes recognized us and also knew he was not a threat to them. As he grew older the foxes would tease him and literally follow him and  if he turned around they would rush off into the undergrowth.

Even a few months ago people were amazed at his energy and bearing. But his last few months were sad: he could hardly walk and had no joy left. Although after having a rotted tooth taken out he loved his food all he wanted to do is sleep. Sadly he is now in his eternal sleep.

Family Dogs
Flopsy group hug






Flopsy Tuli Zoe


We all love animals and adore dogs but some love cats, while others like Moran and family are crazy about snakes and cockroaches and all kinds of creepy crawlies.  We have also had chickens and birds, a bullfrog, a rabbit and even a chameleon.

A few words about our dogs' "cousins":
We fondly remember Mishmish an apricot toy poodle that was Vered's dog in Paris. Mishmish had the remarkable ability to totally diminish a huge lamb bone within minutes. She guarded Vered jealously and had to be given away when she started to growl at Aviv when he wanted to get into bed.
Pinky lived in Eilat and was the love of the family and enjoyed a long life. 
Tuli is the current dog of the Rons. He was an abused dog and it took years of love and understanding to convince him that he was a loved dog in a caring and loving home.





We remember Flopsy and  all our other dogs that have given us so much love and brightness and have enriched our lives in countless ways.

Flopsy




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