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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Rappeports on Four Legs

As I started going through this topic, new critters keep coming to mind. Lila, Ponponit and Lavander, for instance. They were rabbits -- Lavander and Ponponit were the first 2 who didn't really make it very far -- one was dropped and the second just kind of dropped dead. But then we got Lavander who hung around for at least a year -- she was born and bred as a therapy rabbit, but the family that had her couldn't keep her, so she came to live with us. For awhile, she wandered the house, dropping rabbit pellets everywhere (I couldn't stand to see her caged and whoever said that it was easy to house-train rabbits had never met Lavander) but at some point we took a chance and stuck her in the yard where she lived happily, biting the washing machine cord in half whenever she got the chance, but otherwise just enjoying life. I used to love watching people walk by our yard and do a double-take when they caught a glimpse of Lavander sunning herself on the wall.

Unfortunately, at some point, my middle daughter, Yochi, brought home a (boy) rabbit from her youth group "just for a few days" and before we knew what had happened, Lavander was digging tunnels throughout the yard in anticipating of a Blessed Event. I was kind of looking forward to bunnies but my then-husband had a fit...well, truthfully, he had worked hard to create a garden and was upset to find it being destroyed by rabbit tunnels. So the whole crew got shipped off to the local zoo. I think that the descendants are still there today.

Olga Da Polga was another rodent who lived with us for awhile. She was a guina pig. I don't remember where we got her but I liked her...she was a curious little thing who didn't bother anyone, except when she woke me up by her early morning scamperings in her cage. Eventually I put her outside, in a cage that we had there, but within hours she had escaped and the dogs ended her life. I still feel guilty about that.

We had cockatils for awhile too -- Tzippi and Popeye. (Don't ask me where these names came from...as I mentioned, I was barred from naming any animals after Angora). I'm not a big fan of birds, so when they passed on, they weren't replaced, though we have a huge cage that spans the entire back wall of the stairway, complete with a real tree, that is waiting for more birds one day. The next owners of the house can do what they please.

Lola. Ah, Lola. Ariel found her as a half-grown pup, huddled one cold night over a dead cat. She was a gorgeous dog, sweet-tempered and easy-going. Loved books too -- I had to replaced several that she ate at the local library. As well as socks, sandals and, for some reason, my hats. Lola headed down south with us when the 2006 war started (me, Gal, a couple of neighbors and 3 dogs). I found a family in Modi'in which had promised to take her in during the duration of the war, and after the war, they agreed to keep her. Big mistake -- they were a lovely family from New Jersey, just arrived in Israel together with all of their nice New Jersey furnishings. Lola started chomping in short order and I got a call, asking me to come and get her. By that time, we were back and Tzfat and I decided that Lola could take her chances because there was no way that I was going to make the drive back for a dog. The director of the area's animal shelter also called and yelled at me, but I figured that I'd lived up to my responsibilities and if Lola couldn't keep from destroying her new family's home, it was her problem.

I've since heard that her name is now Nala and the nice New Jersey family was too nice to toss her out (which, if it had been up to me, might not have ended up so happily) and she lives in luxury in the center of the country.

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