Monday, October 24, 2011


Good-bye Dear Rocky…. Patches, Welcome to the Family!
A year and a half ago June, our sweet dog Rocky passed away. Rocky was a ‘Heinz 57 mutt’ and we got him as a newborn pup. He lived for sixteen years. In dog years, 1 human year for every dog year is 7 years…so in dog years Rocky lived to be 112 years old. And you could see his age on his face.

He was our first dog and a beloved member of our family.  I never believed I would be a dog owner and develop such an attachment to an animal.

How we came to getting a dog in the first place is a story in itself.  When our son Eli-Chaim was 6 years old he asked us for a dog. My husband told him that our lease doesn’t allow pets, but if we ever moved to a farm he could get a dog. [we were living in a hi rise in Hamilton, Ontario].

Well that answered satisfied Eli-Chaim and we thought the matter was closed.  Us move to a farm…you got to be kidding!
But as they say, man plans and G-D decides…6 years later we found ourselves living on a kibbutz in Gush Etzion, Israel.

One of the chaverim [kibbutz member] dog’s was pregnant and Eli-Chaim went and asked if he could have a pup. She told him that if his mother or father would phone and say it is okay, then he could have a pup as he was the first to ask.

Eli-Chaim came home and waited very patiently for Avraham to come home from work.  The moment he came into the house, Eli-Chaim said,“daddy do you remember what you said about living on a farm and getting a dog.  Well we live on a kibbutz, this is just like a farm. So now I can get a dog right? Chana’s dog is pregnant and I asked her for a pup. She wants you or mommy to phone her and say okay.”

Avraham was taken back that Eli-Chaim actually remembered the conversation and told him that he remembered. Since we made a practice of always keeping our word to our children, Avraham phoned Chana and he said it would be okay for Eli-Chaim to get a pup.

We were told that the puppies were due in three weeks and they had to nursed for seven weeks. Chana told Eli-Chaim she would let him pick a puppy when they are born.

Three weeks later, it was Pesach [Passover] and three pups were born.  Eli-Chaim went to choose his pup. He decided that the first one that came to him, he would take. 

Chana told Eli-Chaim that he could visit everyday to play with his pup but could only take him home after Shavuot. [7 weeks later] Eli-Chaim named his pup Rocky.

And so we became dog owners. We told Eli-Chaim he was responsible to walk the dog twice a day and to feed him. Eli-Chaim loved Rocky but the novelty of looking after him lasted a month.

Eli-Chaim and Rocky
5 years old.

 By then, I was attached to Rocky. I would walk him in the morning and Avraham and I would go for a walk in the evening with the dog. 

Rocky was truly a member of our family. Our grandchildren loved him and he loved them. The kibbutz kids would come and visit. Everyone knew how gentle he was.
No matter where we lived, it didn’t take long for Rocky to become a ‘star’ in the neighborhood. Both kids and adults who were afraid of dogs learnt very quickly that they didn't have to be afraid of Rocky. Everyone wanted to pat him and he was very obliging. Rocky would just sit and let them pat away. 

After Rocky’s passing, friends asked me when I was getting another dog but I couldn’t think of it. Our Rocky was so lovable, good tempered and just a carpet…….. no other dog could be like him. 

Time passed and my daughter told me that she had a phone call from a cousin whose dog was pregnant and they were looking for families to take the pups. Was I interested?

After getting the details we said yes.  In the middle of July the dog gave birth and when the pups were two and a half weeks old we were invited to come and choose our pup.  

Patches 2 1/2weeks old

All the pups were so sweet. Originally, we want only a male but the owner told us that the females were easier to care for and better temperament. The pup we chose was beautiful. She has the most magnificent large black eyes that looks like she is wearing too much eye liner and white fur with large brown patches. We named her Patches.

When Patches was 5 ½ / 6 weeks, the owner called and said to come and take her home. I really wanted to wait until she was 7 weeks but I was told that she is hardly nursing and already getting a little dog food.

Saying goodbye to her mother was the saddest sight I ever saw. Her mother nuzzled her and seemed to be kissing her good-bye. Patches was licking her and didn’t want to go. I wanted to cry……..  

Patches's Mom

I'm so tired!

Coming home with such a young pup is like coming home with a new baby. Your life stops and every moment is spent with the pup. There is so much to learn. My husband thought she was part Beagle [the owner didn't know]and he researched the internet. Our vet confirmed that she is a Beagle mix.

Patches is now 4 months old. She is smart…probably too smart for her own good....totally trained, stubborn, sleeps all night and the word ‘no’ or my socks and my skirt bottom moving makes her bark like crazy. She thinks that my toes are her toys. She is afraid of anything that moves.

When you pick her up and tell her you love her, she is full of kisses. Patches loves treats and children and our grandchildren love her.  She loves to park herself in front of the treat shelf and wait…….

Both Patches and our family are still learning about each other. I know we have one very special dog and when we get out of the puppy stage [won’t be soon enough] Patches will be something else.

Relaxing on the rocking chair

Patches today!
She thinks the sofa is hers.

 A couple of weeks ago I saw this Puppy note posted on a dog site. [Beagleworld]. I don’t know who wrote it…but I would like to share it with you…….  

I am a Puppy, This means that my intelligence and capacity for learning are the same as an 8-month-old child.

I am a Puppy; I will chew EVERYTHING I can get my teeth on. This is how I explore and learn about the world.

Even HUMAN children put things in their mouths. It's up to you to guide me to what is mine to chew and what is not.

I am a Puppy; I cannot hold my bladder for longer than 1-2 hours. I cannot "feel" that I need to poop until it is actually beginning to come out. I cannot vocalize nor tell you that I need to go, and I cannot have "bladder and bowel control" until 6-9 months. Do not punish me if you have not let me out for 3 hours and I tinkle.  It is your fault.
As a Puppy it is wise to remember that I NEED to go potty after: Eating, Sleeping, Playing, Drinking and around every 2-3 hours in addition. If you want me to sleep through the night, then do not give me water after 7 or 8pm. A crate will help me learn to housebreak easier, and will avoid you being mad at me.

I am a puppy, accidents WILL happen, please be patient with me! In time I will learn.
I am a Puppy, I like to play. I will run around, and chase imaginary monsters, and chase your feet and your toes and 'attack' you, and chase fuzzballs, other pets, and small kids. It is play; it's what I do.

Do not be mad at me or expect me to be sedate, mellow and sleep all day. If my high-energy level is too much for you, maybe you could consider an older rescue from a shelter or Rescue group. My play is beneficial, use your wisdom to guide me in my play with appropriate toys, and activities like chasing a rolling ball, or gentle tug games, or plenty of chew toys for me.

If I nip you too hard, talk to me in "dog talk", by giving a loud YELP, I will usually get the message, as this is how dogs communicate with one another. If I get to rough simply ignore me for a few moments, or put me in my crate with an appropriate chew toy.
I am Puppy; hopefully you would not yell, hit, strike, kick or beat a 6-month-old human infant so please do not do the same to me. I am delicate and also very impressionable. If you treat me harshly now, I will grow up learning to fear being hit, spanked, kicked or beaten. Instead, please guide me with encouragement, and wisdom. (For instance, if I am chewing something wrong, say, "No chew!" and hand me a toy I CAN chew) better yet, pick up ANYTHING that you do not want me to get into. I can't tell the difference between your old sock and your new sock, or an old sneaker and your $200 Nikes.

I am a puppy and I am not perfect, and I know you are not perfect either. I Love you anyway. So please, learn all you can about training, and puppy behaviors and caring for me from your Veterinarian, books on dog care and even researching on the computer! Learn about my particular breed and it's "characteristics" - it will give you understanding and insight into WHY I do the things I do. Please teach me with love, and patience, the right way to behave and socialize me with training in a puppy class or obedience class, we will BOTH have a lot of fun together.

I am a Puppy and I want more than anything to love you, to be with you, and to please you. Won't you please take time to understand how I work? We are the same you and I, in that we both feel hunger, pain, thirst, discomfort, fear, but yet we are also very different and must work to understand one another's language, body signals, wants and needs. Some day I will be a handsome dog, hopefully one you can be proud of and one that you will love as
I am a Puppy, and I am a creature with feelings, and drives much like your own, but yet also very different. Although I am NOT a human in a dog suit, neither am I an unfeeling robot who can instantly obey your every whim. I truly DO want to please you, and be a part of your family, and your life. You got me (I hope) because you want a loving partner and companion, so do not relegate me to the backyard when I get bigger, do not judge me harshly but instead mold me with gentleness and guidelines and training into the kind of family member you want me to be.
much as I love you.
Your Puppy.
Until next time