In Praise of “She”

She was born in Israel. Her mother, Jeni, was Jordanian-born and her father, Tsuk, was a sabra.

She is a very unusual and rare breed of a young girl, not quite three years old.

She follows my every movement. If I walk into the kitchen she is right behind me. If I go into the salon to watch a television program, she finds a spot and sits next to me. When I open the refrigerator, she gazes with wonder at all the goodies, wondering what I might offer her.

At night, when I lay my head upon the pillow, she hops up on my bed and stretches herself out at my feet.

She reminds me of a childhood verse:

“My shadow’s always with me
No matter where I go.
My pace he’s always keeping
If it be fast or slow”.

She is a loving companion and craves affection. Loves hugs and kisses but hesitates to give them to me.

When the telephone rings she hastens to tell me. When the doorbell rings, she stands to see who is coming in. She enjoys staring out of windows at all the people passing by.

I adore her and I know that she adores me.

Her name is Atara Carmit but she responds to Carmi.

If you have not guessed by now, I’ll share the secret with you.

She is my daughter’s Israeli Canaan Dog who she bought at the Shaar Hagai kennels on the Tel-Aviv-Jerusalem highway when she was only three months old.

During 11 hours of each day while my daughter is at work in a government office, Carmi stays with us in our apartment. We feed her, play with her, comb her beautiful white or cream fur, walk with her, clean up after her, and simply give her loads and loads of love, often in the form of a tasty dog biscuit.

Now how could I possibly know that it is tasty? Very simple. No sooner does she finish chewing on one, her paw touches my knee as a signal “can I please have another one?”

My wife tells me that I am spoiling her but I don’t pay attention to it. Dogs are meant to be loved and spoiled (within reason, of course).

In addition to our three grand-children, Carmi has become our grand-dogger. We speak to her in Hebrew and English and she replies in a language which none of us speak or understand. But she is persistent in her communications to us and finally we understand her message.

When I am feeling sad, depressed or just unhappy, seeing her cheers me up. When I am happy and feeling good, petting her and cuddling her adds to my happiness.

Loving and loyal, as a good friend should be, she is a typical sabra.

Her friendship is constant and her devotion is of more value to me than fine silver or gold. As precious as my Israeli friends of my youth are to me, so too is the love of our Carmi.

On Shabbat and Havdalah, she sits next to the table where candles are lit and after Kiddush is made, she knows that she can expect a big chunk of fresh challah which she devours with gusto.

Dogs are not mentioned favorably in our Tanach. But if they could be, in addition to Megillat Ruth and Megillat Esther, there certainly would be a Megillat Carmit.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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