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
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
Who doesn't like spaghetti? The most discerning spaghetti lover
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
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.
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.
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
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
thought it was a neat instrument and went around the house testing all
kinds of things and found out
of the floors wasn't straight. One morning he told her stories about
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.
Chewy, Tuey and Teddy our
Caribbean reggae trio
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
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.
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.
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
for hours and leaving messages everywhere he was never found.
We met Oren and Tova Most when Oren worked for Ampal in New
charge of the Coral World St Thomas portfolio when Dad was General
Over the years we became good friends, enjoying Oren's wonderful sense
of humor and Tova's infectious laugh. Later Oren was Managing Director
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:
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,
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
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
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
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
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 she
finally repaid a Tova
(favor) with the Most that she could do.
Lopsy was originally our dog and became the
pampered dog of
Vered and her family. He had allergies and a heart problem and a
annoy other dogs.
When I returned home to
Israel a month after Dani was born in Manhattan I told Anthony that we
new dog. (Our previous dog Teddy had died in a canoeing accident in
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
to the Humane Society. The dog cried as soon as he was left alone. He
much that the neighbors who lived in the adjoining apartments in the
flat couldn't work or sleep. They threatened to call the police if
not do something about the dog. Faced with no alternative Anthony
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
As soon as we entered a pound there were hundreds of excited yapping
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
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
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
He reluctantly came inside,
looked at the dog and gasped: "That's the very same dog that I
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.
didn’t have the
Peles, he could talk. After being left alone for a long time (a few
asked “Were you left all alone? Was it terrible?” He would cry, telling
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
our street Kohav Hayam we saw the dogs of our neighbor Koren sitting in
of the road. We also saw Lopsy scenting the bushes and realized that
dogs had, as usual, opened our gate and let Lopsy out. The
is as the big dogs started to bark at us, Lopsy suddenly saw us and
fled home, raced through the open gate and disappeared. When we got
after repeated calling did he ‘nonchanantly’ appear as if awoken from
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 –
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
village I eventually went to the police station and sure enough someone
found him and called the police – very different from back home. When I
the woman who picked him up she was very excited because she was Jewish
Lopsy had Hebrew writing on his license - a Jewish dog!
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
Flopsy. We invariably called him Lopsy. Or Scarf, due to his endearing
(winters only!) of wrapping himself around your neck as soon as the
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
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
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,
you’re already buying soup bones you just have to buy some soup meat,
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
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
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
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'
We fondly remember Mishmish an apricot toy poodle that was Vered's dog
in Paris. Mishmish had the remarkable ability to totally diminish a
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
Pinky lived in Eilat and was the love of the family and enjoyed a
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.
remember Flopsy and all our other dogs
that have given us so much love and brightness and have enriched our
lives in countless ways.