October 12, 2013

Doggie Do


Tel Aviv’s Sporteque hosted Israel’s first doggie race last Friday. Of course my ambitious, medal-seeking 14 year-old son signed up with TJ, our Labrador-Retriever. When my son signs ‘himself’ up for a race, it somehow always implicates ‘us.’

If you ever get cajoled into such an activity, beware.

Doggie Do Not’s

When your dog is signed up for a race, do not lose your dog.

Friday morning, as we tried to make a quick and early exit from the house, we went through a final check list. Car keys, check; five-page intensely detailed medical form to prove the athletic prowess of our dog (not our son) signed by none other than Ra’anana’s chief veterinarian, check; freshly brewed coffee, check; water bottle, check; dog leash; check; dog?

“Oh TJ,” we all shouted in unison. My husband rushed around whistling his special call. No tail-wagging dog appeared. I checked every room and TJ’s favorite sleeping spots. No dog.

We tried to remember the last time we saw our mutt and realized we were so busy with our own activities, we could not even remember having a dog. And now the star of the show was missing.

My athletic, medal-seeking son grabbed his bike and zipped one way. My husband frantically ran the other way. In the midst of this chaos, I sat on the front step sipping my coffee, feebly calling out TJ’s name and secretly hoping he would not appear. A few minutes later, TJ strolled up the driveway in such a chilled fashion, he looked as if like he been hanging out at the local beit café. He had also non-chalantly bypassed my son and husband’s search team efforts.

I grabbed my phone to report my sighting. “Dog back,” I barked, holding onto the dog for dear life. The search and rescue team returned home and we piled into the car.

Check your tires the day before you leave.

We then noticed that our front tire was low. Very low. We had been eyeing that tire for weeks and did nothing other than comment on it. Now that we actually had to be somewhere fast, we realized this tire was not going to make it. 

When we pulled into a gas station to look for an air hose, I understood that Israeli gas stations are not well designed. Perhaps this is because there is so little room in this teeny country, everything is squished in. The air pump was pushed tightly into a corner  right beside a gas pump. And since everyone in Ra’anana was filling their cars up at that very moment, the air pump was blocked by a gas guzzling car. 

Undeterred, my husband simply parked the car in the main driveway, blocking all cars and pulled and tugged on the hose until it reached; that is, until the fierce honking started. By the time we reached the highway, dog intact and tire inflated, I was finished for the day.

“By the way,” we ask our son, whose brain was fogged with Facebook, “What is the address?” 

He gave us a blank stare. 

“Plug it into Waze,” we commanded him. (Our GPS system is our line to survival in this country.)

Know Your Destination

Some 30 minutes later, Waze cheerily told us, “You have reached your destination.” I looked around and did not see a single dog. Our destination was an empty parking lot. We shot daggers at our son. Our dog, unfazed, panted away blissfully.

“Well, I put the address in your phone…”

“Which address?”

The race was to begin in four minutes and we could not find it. My son programmmed another address that was on the other side of Tel Aviv.  I felt like banging my forehead against the dashboard--I had lots of cooking to do and I wanted my Friday back.

Waze told us to turn left and right and right and left. Finally, we saw Purina banners. And dogs. Lots of dogs. We knew we had finally reached our destination.

Stay tuned for More Doggie Dos.

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