Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Chapter 2: Oy, Bad Boy!

Things are slightly different, being raised in a Jewish home, even for a dog.

For example, begging at the kitchen table is a bad habit, regardless of the household or the meal. But Passover dinner was a good time to teach our Kosher canine a lesson. We gave Max some of the bitter herb, which in the seder represents the hardships the Jews endured while enslaved in Egypt. For Max, it represented a rush to his water dish to get the taste of spicy horseradish out of his chops.

Other culinary indulgences were more enjoyable. It’s written somewhere in the Talmud that we members of the tribe must order Chinese food at least once a week. This meant an abundance of fortune cookies left over. My mom had a religious ceremony of feeding Max half a cookie every morning, reading him his fortune and then giving him the other half.

I failed to see how “Confucius say you will be productive and prosperous” applied to someone who chased his tail for hours on end, but yeah, it was real cute. Until we ran out of fortune cookies one day, and Max looked at my mom, confused, with his Mao Tse tongue hanging out.

And then there was Christmas time. Instead of staying home and dressing Max up as a reindeer like the Grinch did with his Max, we planned a family trip somewhere. Again, check the Torah on this -- Moses may have led his people to wander the desert for forty years, but I think they stopped off in Florida every winter.

But what to do with Max? Well, we could leave him with the breeder, who took dogs in all the time and was happy to do it. She was great; she had given me lots of helpful hints on successfully raising my puppy, housetraining him...

When we came over, she was delighted at how he had grown, what a good dog he was... Unfortunately, Max had never been at a house with a huge pine tree indoors. Poor little pooch didn’t get the concept of a Christmas tree, raised his leg, and took a piss all over the presents.

I looked at the breeder, shrugging apologetically. “Happy Hanukkah?”


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