How to Raise a Jewish Dog

How to Raise a Jewish Dog, the Rabbis of the Boca Raton Theological Seminary as told to Ellis Weiner and Barbara Davilman.

From the chapter Training and Obedience:

Examples of Advanced Commands:

“Don’t stare at cousin Edith’s hair when she comes over.”

“Don’t mention the breakup.”

“I’m cold.  Put on a sweater.”  (taken from my mother’s book of commands)

“You don’t have to call him doctor.  It’s just a PhD… In Media Studies.”

“I don’t know how she lives with him.  Tell me, how does she live with him?”

I had this dream last night that it was WWII and we were invaded by the Germans, here on American soil.  German soldiers came to our house and we hid from them, with Jake, of course.  I recognized the German officer in charge.  He was the same officer who had appeared at my house during WWI (this is a dream, remember, so time is immaterial) and he’d taken my other German shepherd, Louie.

When he found our hiding place, I yelled at him that he wasn’t taking Jake.  And furthermore, I demanded he give Louie back.

He replied, “Louie is a great dog, the best dog I’ve ever had.  I’m not giving him back.”  And he strolled out of the room.

Jake and I chased him down.  I wanted Louie back so bad.

I woke up, didn’t understand at first, then I realized it’s the two-year anniversary of Louie’s death.

Here’s the thing about German shepherds, they occupy an entirely different plane of dogdom.  They’re like people wearing hairy suits.

We had Rosie, our golden retriever, and she was an amazing dog, maybe the best dog ever, but Rosie was a dog dog.  Louie was different, Jake is different, and so was my family’s dog, Boaz, a German shepherd/collie mix.  They aren’t dog dogs.  They’re people dogs.

Jake’s not Louie, Jake is Jake.  When he was a puppy, he channeled Louie – I could see the occasional flash of Louie’s consciousness in his eyes, but now he’s just plain Jake, his own unique person.  Thank god I have Jake, but I wish I could have Louie back too.





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14 Responses to How to Raise a Jewish Dog

  1. Tom Stronach says:

    But at least he must have been a ‘good’ German soldier in that he only took the dog and not you and the family and appeared to be looking after Louie.

    And you’re quite right, I think like no other four legged animal on the planet, dogs seem to be the must undstanding of us two legged animals. When you are happy they appear to be happy and when we are sad you can see it reflected in their eyes and demeanour too so it is no wonder we miss them so much as members of the family

    As for the ankle Numpty…. Get well soon my sweet xx

  2. Casey Wyatt says:

    I feel your pain Julia! I still miss Ollie (who died last May) and Oreo (who died in September). *HUGS*

  3. Penelope says:

    Yesterday as I was walking, a car drove by with a dog in the back seat. His head was hanging out the window, and his eyes were closed in complete bliss as the wind whipped over his face. And I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk and smiled a big-ass smile, and I thought to myself “I feel really sorry for folks who don’t have dogs, or don’t ‘get’ dogs, or don’t have that amazing unconditional love from dogs, because they are missing out on one of the greatest things in life.” And then I kept walking.

    RIP Louie. In Doggie Heaven.

  4. Jaye says:

    This choked me up, Julia. RIP Louie. Good dog, Jake.

  5. sandra cox says:

    How do German Shepherds do with cats?

  6. Thanks for all you comments, Sandra. Our German shepherds have always loved our cats. The cats become the dog’s pets and they look after them. But you need to make sure the dog is a puppy when introduced so he knows the cats are part of the family.

  7. Aw, Jaye. Louie and Jake are soul brothers. The hard thing for me is that every time I think about Louie I cry. Isn’t that stupid? I know he was a dog…

  8. Yes, Penny. The simplest things make dogs happy. I would have a tough time if I didn’t have a dog.

  9. I feel your pain too, Casey. I know. It’s tough.

  10. Amber – thanks!

  11. I am a numpty, Tom! Getting well! It feels much better in a cast than it did when I was trying to hobble around on it! Yes, dogs do seem to get us, at least most dogs. They are fine, loyal companions.

  12. Okay, I’m in Kansas, letting my grandson read over my shoulder because 1)he sees the picture of Jake, and 2)they have Duchess, a wonderful black German shepherd who belonged to a soldier being deployed two years ago. Duchess IS people.
    Anyway, next time I’ll proofread before I let Gannon read over my shoulder. He’s 7 1/2, and he starts sniffling (he just woke up and hasn’t had breakfast yet), and he wails, “Did the soldier EAT Louie? He said it was the best dog he ever had.”
    I knew his sister shouldn’t have told him about the Donner party and how some of them survived winter in the mountains…

  13. Oh Marilyn, I’m sorry. No, tell him the soldier did not eat Louie!!! I’m quite sure Duchess is people, no doubt about it. Yes those Donners. Screwed things up for the rest of us.