My first dog run.

My run this morning got a little messy – but way more fun – when my running partner joined.

If you live in Tzur Hadassah and this is your dog, man, you are lucky. I hope you’re a runner too! It’s such a thrill running with a dog (even if it was just for a kilometer or so).

I fall in love with dogs way too easily. Doggie affairs? It’s actually not the first time I’ve ‘hung out’ with a random dog who decided to follow me for a while.

One day.

How how it all begins.

It’s hard to believe. I’m a little choked up. I didn’t think it would come out this way.

Koala started recognizing dogs a while ago. He points to them and calls, “Da!” He calls the plush wolf my brother got him “Da.” He was even getting to the point of recognizing them in photos – “Da.” It furthers the habit that next door to his summer metapelet lives a giant, friendly German Shepherd, who I’ve been coaxing him to say hi to every day.

So, I started with animal noises. First up, of course: woof woof. Or ruff ruff.

You know, typical dog sounds.

Today, Koala came home from the metapelet and started jumping around the apartment. “Oh! Oh!” “Oh! Oh!” We thought it was hilarious, because it was this deep, lips-in-an-O-shape, hearty “Oh!”

I followed Koala up to his room, him “Oh!”ing all the way. He went straight for the wolf.

“Oh! Oh!”

And then it hit me – I’m not the only one encouraging conversations with the German Shepherd.

He wasn’t saying “Oh!” And he wasn’t trying to say “Ruff!” or “Woof!”

My boy is Israeli. He was saying “How! How!”

So wrong. So unnatural. So sabra.

Meet my little friend.

If you know me, you know I’m crazy for dogs – big, chunky, friendly, loyal, happy dogs. Dogs that run up to you when you come home. Dogs that look you in the eye. Dogs that trust you and are trustworthy themselves.

Dogs are magnificent animals.

For the last 24 years, I never had the chance to adopt one. Living under my parents’ roof, I was told that my dad was ‘allergic’ (unwilling in dadspeak); living on campus pets were prohibited; since I made aliyah I didn’t live in one place long enough until last February; since then I was planning a wedding, going on a month-long trip and settling down to ‘real’ life.

Well, here we are, mid-November 2006.
And here she is: Stella, the most chilled out dog (or living thing) in the Middle East.

She is of the Canaan breed; native to Israel (makes sense with a name like ‘Canaan‘).

A little history:

The Canaan Dog began in ancient times as a pariah dog in Israel. This dog is one of the oldest, dating back to biblical times. The Canaan Dog was the guard and herd dog of the ancient Israelites, guarding their camps and flocks. They were plentiful in the region until the dispersion of the Israelites by the Romans in the 2nd Century, CE. As the Hebrew population dropped, the majority of the dogs sought refuge in the Negev Desert, a natural reservoir of Israeli wildlife. Avoiding extinction, they remained undomesticated for the most part, although some lived with the Bedouins and earned their keep by guarding the herds and camps. Some were also guards for the Druze on Mount Carmel.