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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

So we're a little nutty. So what?!

OK, before we get started I want to thank everyone who has been going over to vote for treppenwitz in the finals of the Weblog Awards.  There are only a couple of days left and I'm running either second or third depending on what time of day you check... but I could really use a shot in the arm here.  Every vote counts.  You can vote once per day (per computer).

I was going to make a lame joke about "If you don't vote the terrorists win"... but considering that most of my worthy opponents are Muslims that would have been... um... unfortunate, no?  :-)

Just click on the image below to go do your civic duty!

The 2006 Weblog Awards

Alright... on with the show:

There is no better way to get an objective assessment of how nutty you sound talking to your pets than to get a glimpse of the spectacle through the eyes of someone who dislikes you.

Anyone out there with pets... especially dogs or cats... will be nodding their heads in enthusiastic agreement when I say that no human baby in the history of the world ever received the level of saccharine baby-talk that we reserve for our furry friends.

From the moment our black Lab Jordan wakes me up in the morning by sticking her cold wet nose under my chin, to when I give her a final scratch behind the ears goodnight, I unabashedly shower her with a steady stream of flattery and affectionate 'cootchy-coo' talk. This, in and of itself, isn't really a problem since, at home, we are all crazy about Jordan and we each have a secret language we use when lavishing our affections upon her. 

Jordan gets the first slice of challah at the shabbat table (in deference to the requirement to feed one's animals before feeding yourself), and many a guest in our home has witnessed her ever-so-gently taking offered tidbits directly from my lips!

All of this is perfectly normal... until non-animal folks witness us losing our collective minds.

Yesterday morning when I got home from work, Jordan was waiting patiently for me at our garden gate with her tail wagging... her tongue lolling from her huge doggy smile... and her body nearly levitating with excitement at my arrival. 

As I approached the gate I began speaking sweet nothings to her in our secret language and calling her all sorts of flattering pet-names:

"Who's my shweet baby dog?  Did my shweety-dog miss her abba?  Did she???  You're such a good, good dog!  YES YOU ARE!!!"

You get the idea.

Well, as I was showering her with these effusive compliments, I glanced over to my right and caught sight of my neighbor (yes, that neighbor) standing next to his front gate with his hands on his hips, scowling at me.

Yup... the best way to really get a sense of just how insane we animal lovers sound is to step back and watch our antics through the eyes of someone who really, really dislikes us.

I'm OK with that.


Posted by David Bogner on December 13, 2006 | Permalink


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At least it's not a cat ;-)

Posted by: Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) | Dec 13, 2006 2:05:25 PM

Why does this post remind me of something from my very first Hebrew textbook (Chaveiri): Navchan, kelev ra!

Posted by: Elisson | Dec 13, 2006 2:11:59 PM

You know.....jealousy shows not only in tearing down basketball nets and declaring nature's humming blessing 'killers'.

Offer them a hug next time. I bet they desperately need it. ;)

Posted by: Account Deleted | Dec 13, 2006 2:19:01 PM

I know what you meant by this comment
"I was going to make a lame joke about "If you don't vote the terrorists win"... but considering that most of my worthy opponents are Muslims that would have been... um... unfortunate, no? :-)"
but it definitely didn't come out right.

Posted by: Brutus | Dec 13, 2006 2:37:50 PM

Steg... Uh, Steg... better be careful We have a lot of cat people here in the comments section! :-)

Elisson... I must have skipped that one... it doesn't sound familiar. :-)

a. .. Yeah, I'll get right on that. :-)

Brutus... That was sort of my point. There is no 'right way' for that to come out under these circumstances. I was just making a play on the catch-phrase that the US administration used for years to try to shame people into doing things. I mean, look at the top two guys in the polls right now... Sandmonkey and Iraq, the model. You can't find two guys with more antipathy for the jihadists than those two! Please don't go all PC on me... if I wanted to offend I would have done a far better job of it than that.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Dec 13, 2006 2:59:23 PM

Now that we have a pet, I too have become one of those crazy folks, lavishing kisses. What can I say, she so darn cute, our little kitty.

Posted by: jaime | Dec 13, 2006 3:48:17 PM

Not owning a pet myself I can't really relate but I have seen this behavior in so many others, that I guess I have accepted it. Not such a dog person myself, but when I meet Jordan maybe I'll change my mind ;-)

Posted by: Essie | Dec 13, 2006 4:22:30 PM

I must ask you this, David. I know Jordan is female and Yonah, your youngest, is male, but do you ever call one by the other's name? Our dog is MAX, our youngest is Noam. Before Max, we had TYSON. Noam has often become "Max" or "Tyson," and Tyson or Max became "Noam." I feel so badly about that error, but I once polled people on my blog about it, and apparently others make the same error with name-calling. (funnily enough, it's only my youngest child's name, not the other two kids, that gets mixed up in this way)

Posted by: Pearl | Dec 13, 2006 4:27:34 PM

Pearl... name switching is an art in our family! My parents not only call us by our siblings names, but create new ones! bahdave, dahben (brothers names are david & benjamin!) and lahval or vahliz (for Val and Liz!) adding the pets names into as well as grandchildren, well... it's a whole new name game! Fun for the whole family! ;)

Posted by: val | Dec 13, 2006 5:17:32 PM

Is Jordan named after Jordan H - of the famous (in our house) coffee-on-Shabbat post?

Posted by: dov weinstock | Dec 13, 2006 5:20:30 PM


I am with you. If I never saw another cat I wouldn't notice.

Although I must admit that this video caught my eye.

OTOH, I blogged about my disdain for cats and received hate mail.

Be careful, you need to pussyfoot around these maniacs. ;)

Posted by: Jack | Dec 13, 2006 6:51:50 PM

Argh! I never know what to expect from your blog. You should add to the "kleenex alert" a "giggles alert" - I almost popped an artery trying not to laugh too loud while reading this at work.

Anyway I can really relate to this, my family is exactly the same way with our little Schnauzer Smoky, especially my dad... now that my brother & I are both grown up, he has to "baby" somebody! :)

And I bet your neighbour was just jealous. (Somewhere deep down in his crusty black heart...)

Posted by: Chantyshira | Dec 13, 2006 9:10:33 PM

Hi David AKA Trep,

Good luck with the awards.

You have a couple of my votes!

"Get noggin with the socks!"


Posted by: Maksim-Smelchak | Dec 13, 2006 9:57:32 PM

Heheheeee! Ahhhh, I love it! It's always a bit jarring to realize that what you are doing is being viewed. And the viewer is not on the same wavelength as you.


Posted by: benning | Dec 13, 2006 11:37:35 PM

I voted for your web site because you humanize the Israeli experience for me. Your writing just slays me. I've learned a lot about the middle east from your view point. But really, its the laughs that keep me coming back. Just normal everyday things that people normally wouldn't think twice about. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: David Bailey | Dec 14, 2006 1:27:04 AM

I think it's really weird when people treat pets like people. My cat is very pleased to be a cat and has no desire to be treated like a silly blog-reading person. It's all narishkeit and she knows it.

But she voted for you anyway.

Posted by: uberimma | Dec 14, 2006 4:04:00 AM

Savage Kitten and I talk to our stuffed animals.

And reprimand them.

The one-legged monkey is particularly deserving of cautionary lecturing.

Rambunctious banana eater!

Posted by: The Back of the Hill | Dec 14, 2006 4:17:54 AM

Aww... I can so totally relate... My cat is my little baby, YES SHE IS! : )

Posted by: Irina | Dec 14, 2006 4:57:47 AM

The one-legged monkey is particularly deserving of cautionary lecturing.

Is that what you call your little buddy.

Posted by: Jack | Dec 14, 2006 7:58:29 AM

Essie...coming from a non-dog person, you'll change your mind alright.

Posted by: Tonny | Dec 14, 2006 8:39:34 AM

nothing to do wih this post

(though i do the same with my dog)

im in israel!

Posted by: sf lisa | Dec 14, 2006 9:09:38 AM

after living with us for 14 years, our dog, Milky passed away...for weeks all our neighbours came and asked where the dog was...seems he used to go to them and walk back into the building and wait for them to open the elevator for him...as soon as we took him out, he used to run away to go visit his friends in the neighbourhood, and when he was ready he sorta made it up the six flights of stairs to our place and barked at the front door...we never could figure out how the dog made it home before we went to get him until our neighbours came to tell us how much they loved him and missed him...me too

Posted by: marallyn | Dec 14, 2006 10:51:44 AM

I'm the same way with my Lab, my three cats and my birds. The parrot is a lot of fun because she tells me that she loves me!

Posted by: seawitch | Dec 14, 2006 2:54:06 PM

Labs are sooo cute. There's nothing wrong with talking to them like you do, Dave. I used to have a lab Chow mix, and thought he was the cutest thing in the world. Now I lavish all my attention on my significant other's guide dog whenever I get the chance to visit. I hope there are lots of Labs in Olam Habah, because life just wouldn't be the same without them.

Posted by: Amanda Rush | Dec 14, 2006 2:54:14 PM

Jaime... welcome to the club. :-)

Essie... We'll make a believer out of you!

Pearl... We do it all the time.

B'Liz'Val... Thanks for that.

dov weinstock... I can neither confirm nor deny...

Jack... You're taking your life in your hands here...

Chantyshira ... Yeah, jealous... that's it. How did I miss that? :-)

Maksim-Smelchak... Thanks so much!

benning... Not on the same wavelength? Now there's the understatement of the week!

David Bailey... So what... I'm like a clown? I amuse you??? ;-)

uberimma... Thanks, I spit coffee on my keyboard thanks to you! :-)

The Back of the Hill... I had so many good lines related to the 'one legged monkey' but I see people have beat me to the punch. Just one question: Did the kitty have anything to do with the loss of the other leg?

Irina... Good, so it's not just me! :-)

SF Lisa... Hellooooo! A little contact info please via email would be nice! :-)

marallyn... You must have very understanding neighbors. In our town dog owners letting their pets wander around free is a BIG point of contention.

Seawitch... Jordan tells me she loves me in a thousand ways every day!

Amanda... The only thing that comes close is a Newfoundland (I grew up with one).

Posted by: treppenwitz | Dec 14, 2006 4:16:03 PM

Jack... You're taking your life in your hands here...

I know, but then again I am willing to drive a UPS truck so what difference does it make.

Posted by: Jack | Dec 14, 2006 5:34:30 PM

Oh, brother! You should see the looks I get when I talk to the local feline (and canine) population. Fortunately, people walking their dogs in my neighborhood are usually understanding and even glad when I ask one of my favorite questions in Hebrew: "Efshar le-latef" (Can I pet [him or her])? and then follow it up with the same sorts of endearments. They probably think I'm nuts. Well, that's OK with me; I'm in good company. :-)

Posted by: Rahel | Dec 14, 2006 10:07:31 PM

ROFL, Jack. Glad the censor was dozing during that one. Bogner, how do I get spewed coffee out of the keyboard again???

Posted by: rutimizrachi | Dec 15, 2006 2:01:40 PM

I always find it refreshing with people positive attitudes towards animals, then again - why can we watch hundreds of people get killed (like in an action movie, the news etc.) but when we see a sob story about an animal, there's not a dry seat in the house?

Oh, well...

Posted by: Monica Hawkins | Jan 22, 2007 5:48:33 PM

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