Just like any other single girl in Tel Aviv that has any sort of self respect; I too, am a dog owner.
She, in my eyes, has completely human qualities, she is the epitome of perfection, I worship the filthy ground upon which she walks, she spoons with me at night and I speak with her childish way that’s so over the top, its borderline insane, in public.
Yep, that’s just the way it is in the city, we all live a life of commotion masked with laughter, infinite happiness and complete freedom, when all what anyone really wants, is to ease the terrifying loneliness that plagues our lives.
Anyway to get this done goes. You wouldn’t believe how many creative ways there are. Starting with chatting on “Facebook” entire nights with strangers, going out until the crack of dawn, or until we pass out, an excess of drugs that would embarrass even the worst neighborhoods in Tel Aviv, drinking alcohol until we puke and of course, the crème de la crème, finding redemption and comfort in the arms of strange men, many of them, all sorts and types. All this so that we, god forbid, won’t be bored, or so that we won’t be left to confront ourselves, to sleep in our empty, cold beds, diagonally, thinking tortured by our own thoughts.
Somebody before me must have thought the same thought and came up with an ingenious idea: “A dog for all citizens of Tel Aviv. Upon entry to the city please submit your sanity and promptly continue to your nearest animal shelter, choose a pet (dogs are recommended), and be on your way…good luck.”
[quote]Sometimes it’s not even clear who the dog is and who the owner is, who the boss is; who’s taking who for a walk? [/quote]
Tel Aviv is littered with dogs, on every street, every corner and in every garden. A gathering of the masses, impeccably organized by hours of the day, just like shifts handed out to all the different cliques of the city.
The existence of the dog is not important per say, if it was up to us they would probably start killing each other, get stuck in trees, or running into traffic, the important thing is that we get to that hour in evening, the light at the end of the tunnel of a long dreary day, in which we go to the park and hang out with everyone, chat pleasantly, lie about how great our lives are, and hit on the new guy. Don’t even think for a minute that this has any of the makings of some sort of adventure. The people are the same, the dynamic is the same and the conversation about the brutal boredom of the moment eases the general boredom that eats you up in the hour that you’re in the park.
We humanize our dogs as if they are the heir to the royal throne. We speak to them as if they were children, sew them clothing, celebrate their birthdays, spend a fortune on one-of-a-kind accessories, consider them in all of our decisions, give them attention that is supposed to saved up to for a significant other and we would risk our lives for them.
Don’t get me wrong, love is a wonderful thing. The connection between man and his dog is sublime, but it’s still difficult for me to forge any connection with another random person in Tel Aviv, it’s like the saying “Me and my dog against the world” and with that we block and kind of real option of letting anything new into our lives, because, well, we have all the love we could possibly need and it’s the kind that doesn’t disappoint us (even if it did we would forgive them).
It’s true that our dogs will never open up their mouths and start cursing you and tell you you’re a bad mother, they won’t ever tell you the house it dirty, and they won’t ever let you know that you gained weight, BUT, they also won’t ever hug you back at night, run their fingers through your hair, breath in your scent and tell you how happy they are to be next to you. They are not a substitute for people, but an extra value in our lives, and they give us the ability to at least understand the concept of love, commitment, devotion, worry, and all the other things that go along with that.
[quote]I, too, have been caught up in the illusion that my dog is the universe and all the stars in it. [/quote]
Koti is the reason that I wake up in the morning, or that I leave the house and don’t waste away in self pity, and most importantly, she is the reason that I come back home at the end of the day, otherwise who would I tell my stories too. She helps me to clean my head and keep order in my chaotic world.
I could say right now that I went and brought her into my life, but in reality she came to me, from out of nowhere, in the middle of the street and I just took her. Truthfully I believe that this is divine intervention so that singles in Tel Aviv won’t be lonely.
She is my mirror, she shows me all of my sides, good and bad in all of their glory, without inhibition or games and through her I learned what perfect, pure, surrounding love is, and in the same way I learned what it’s like to live without a pair of un-chewed shoes, underpants with no holes, or a whole phone charger.
After four years of a devoted, tight knit and intense friendship it’s still important that I remind myself that she is just a stinky, dirty, cat chasing, dog, that’s sheds everywhere, she’s not my boyfriend or my daughter and no, my life will not end if god forbid fate divides us.
In the moments that I feel need to run to her and blame her for my foul existence and scream at her that she is possessive and it is because of her that I don’t have a boyfriend, or friends that invite me over to their place, and the fact that my life is the way it is…is all her fault!!! I stop for a second, look at her silly face starring back at me in complete, however unclear, adornment, her floppy ears, and her kind, innocent eyes and I think to myself “This dog is actually me”.