This is the time of the year when Jack and I get nostalgic about those sweet puppy days when Jakey first came into our lives. It was in March 2002, just before Passover. But let Jake tell the story himself -- very fitting because during Passover we tell the Exodus and other stories and talk about what freedom really means.
Our old friends may remember this story from a blog in 2008; but here it is for our new friends.
(Yes my ears were both down when I was a puppy.)
It seems that I was an unplanned addition to the family. Mom and Dogdad had been at the hairdresser in a shoppng center in her old neighborhood. After she was groomed, they walked over to the nearby pet shop, just to look!! (I know, shame! shame! shame! but what if they hadn't?) There I was in the first pen, all of twelve weeks old. Cute? How not? They walked around looking at all the other sad, sleepy guys in their pens, and kept coming back to me.
After a moment, they asked the attendant if they could see me out of the pen. I was brought out to the front and placed in a shallow oxagonal pen filled with shredded newspaper. I was so excited that I kept scratching at the paper and scratching at the paper -- never even looking at these two people. But they were looking at me, and looking at each other -- and before I knew it, I was family!!!
A name? What about a J to go with Jack and Joan? Mom pondered, and Dogdad pondered and when Mom finally said, "What about Jake?" Dogdad said, "That's what I was thinking." So Jake it was.
I got cleaned up, with a bow around my neck, and the Live Animal plastic crate in which I had come from a puppy mill in Joplin Missouri, and off we went to the PetSmart next door, to buy food and a few other necessities --- and home we went.
They forgot one thing, though. I wasn't potty trained!!! And Mom, bless her ignorant heart, didn't have a clue as to what to do. Little by little, though, she figured it out -- or rather, I should say, I figured it out. They put baby gates at both sides of the kitchen, and that was my paper-covered palace. Since Mom works from home, I got to go outside pretty frequently, and we managed.
But then, Mom had to shop for Passover food and left me alone for an hour or so. I don't know what got into me -- or what got out of me -- but when she came home, the kitchen was a mess -- and so was I. She screamed. I just put my little poopy paws on the baby gate and smiled. Her reaction? She called Dogdad at work, and screamed again COME HOME!!!. They needed their combined four paws to handle the situation. And that was what came to be known -- fondly in memory -- as Black Friday.
Once the kitchen and I were pristine again, Mom started cooking for the holiday. Her dad and brother and sister-in-law were coming for the Seder, and she had lots of special foods to make, including chicken soup with matzoh balls, brisket, "charoset' -- a combination of apples, nuts, cinammon, and wine, to make a paste that recalls the mortar used in building the pyramids -- boiled eggs, bitter herbs, and other items for the Seder plate to commemorate the Hebrews' flight from Egypt.
But then, what to do with me while the family had the Seder? Remember, this was before I had learned manners. It was Dogdad who decided the upstairs bathroom would be the answer. And up I went after greeting everybody. Well, I'm sure you all can anticipate what happened. First there was the non-stop barking that accompanied the meal -- but second, let's just say that when Dogdad went up to get me, he came back down pretty quickly and said to Mom, "You don't want to go up there. I'll take care of it."
And that was my first Passover.
But how did I get my middle name? Part of the Seder includes pouring a special cup of wine for the Prophet Elijah, who, it is hoped, will come to spread peace throughout the world. And Mom and Dogdad, who love me lots and lots and think I brought them joy, decided that I was now an integral part of the holiday and deserved the middle name of Elijah.
So that's my Passover story!!
Hag sameach to all who celebrate!!
And just in case you're wondering: Things got a lot better very quickly, and now I and Just Harry get to sit at the table, or at least enjoy the food and songs with the family.