October 12, 2013

How to say "woof" in Hebrew

(Continuation of Doggie Do’s)

The Purina Pro-Plan Doggie Run was held in Tel Aviv's Sporteque on Friday. Similar events have been held in Montreal, New York and Sydney. This was its first appearance in Israel and given the excited tail-wagging, it was a success. There is also a ProPlan IDC (Incredible Dog Challenge) in St. Petersburg Florida, complete with fetch-it races, hurdle races and freestyle flying disc races, but  please do not mention this to my son.

We arrived at the event very late (if you are wondering why, read the previous blog entry),  parked the car and bolted out, jolted by an over-excited Labrador with a hyperactive olfactory snout. We handed in our prized doggie medical forms, wrapped TJ in a special bib and attached his runner’s number. My son wore a black Purina T-shirt with TJ’s number.

Arriving at the starting line panting, we were curtly told that the 5-kilometer race had begun ten minutes ago. But that did not detract my athletic, medal-seeking son and hyperactive, tail-wagging dog. They took off like the wind, leaving us in the dust and with a moment to take in the scene around us. 

We saw a fat runner with a tiny chihuahua and a skinny runner with a sleek afghan. We saw a three-legged dog that ran like a cheetah, a two-legged dog toting a doggie-style wheel chair, and a man in a wheelchair bicycle toting a large dog.

There were tough looking police dogs with muzzles, an elegant, well-groomed standing poodle and matching shi tzus. Everyone was out and having fun.

“Who let the dogs out? Woof, woof,” blasted from speakers across the park as the runners trotted across the finish line. Some dog owners flew in, sprinting with their dogs, while some dogs were walking their owners.

Athletes and pooches posed on a raised stage for the cameras, accepted a Purina medallion, then lay on the grass under a warm October sun.

There was also a special race for visually-impaired runners and their guide dogs. Experts were on site to answer questions and in case pooch's fur became wind-blown in the race, there was a dog-grooming area.

And whenever there is an event, there’s shopping. Want to give your dog a stylish doggie do? Or treat him with a special snack for his heroic work out? How about a painted portrait? Is your dog a mountaineer who needs his own backpack? How about a clever water-chilled doggie shirt? Or doggie boots complete with rubber treads?

TJ wanted nothing other than the opportunity to sniff other dogs. As for me, I just wanted to go home to cook for Shabbat.

This short movie captures it all. “Woof , woof.” Or, as dogs here in Israel say, “ow, ow.”

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