Back in Manchester! I missed the calm. I especially missed sleeping in a big bed, instead of a small mattress on the floor, pushed up next to a floor futon, sandwiched between the wall and another piece of furniture so that it wouldn't move around. Ah, New York apartments.
This needs to be a quick post because I've got to drag myself up for the commute downstairs. I hear little ones running around in the hall, prepared to beat me to breakfast anyway.
A few days ago while I was n New York, I got two very wonderful emails from Nisi's former owners. They had found my blog somewhat randomly and in an awesome fashion and were excited to see their dog. We exchanged a few emails and I asked for a little of Nisi's history, because I've always suspected it was more interesting than the average dog. They were happy to respond, thus I am happy to share:
"Yishai and I found Nisi in Eilat, the southern most tip of Israel. It was Shabbat and we were returning to our youth hostel from synagogue. There was a cute little (she was about eight pounds then) puppy walking down the street, trailing behind a man and his dog. I am a sucker for puppies - and dogs in general - and I had to see this adorable thing up close. We caught up to the man and asked him if we could pet his dog, and he laughed and said it wasn't his dog, that she'd just been following him around for awhile. It took a good amount of cajoling, but I finally convinced Yishai that we were ready to take our relationship to the next level and get a dog together! (Nevermind that we were living in the Old City of Jerusalem, in separate apartments, with roommates who probably wouldn't want a puppy peeing on their stuff, or that we were returning to America in less than a month. It just felt right.) So we took Nisi back to the youth hostel, fed her some milk and chicken - I guess that's all we could find - and when Shabbat was over, she traveled back to Jerusalem with us on the coach bus.
Ultimately, we ended up buying her a ticket to New York (which was actually really expensive! I think it was over $200), but it was the best choice we ever made! Nisi is the coolest dog in the world. I'm sure you've determined by now that she must, somehow, be part human. There is just that look in her eyes where you know she is thinking something much more enlightened than the average dog.
Nisi was our baby for a long time. We took her absolutely everywhere with us, which included back (for seven months) and forth to Israel another time! We lived on a kibbutz for awhile, so that was when Nisi got farm life in her blood. She used to roam around the fields, run after the tractor, try to track rabbits, etc. From then on, no matter where we lived or how big the back yard, all Nisi wanted was to roam and run and wander.
When we came back from Israel the second time, she was definitely down. (I believe she was clinically depressed.) After a few months we got another dog, hoping that a friend would cheer her up. Initially she hated Scout, a beagle/hound mix, but eventually she grew to tolerate, and then casually enjoy his presence. But a dog friend was never really the answer to her despondence.
[I must add in here that she still seems this way with other dogs. She hates them at first, then gets used to them, plays with them, and then gets bored with them quickly. She is always excited to see Jackson, the dog at the Big White House, but never plays with him long.]
When we had our daughter Eden (pronounced Eh-Den - it's the Hebrew pronunciation), Nisi was a wreck. For whatever reason, she just couldn't handle her. We encouraged her to find her own space and take it when she needed it, but apparently, for Nisi, it just wouldn't do. She was very easily irritated and she tried to bite (though just in warning) Eden a few times. I told Yishai that we had to do something different, for Nisi and for us.
So we looked for different re-homing options, but were really only going to be OK with the "perfect" scenario - a farm environment so she had plenty of space to run around and feel free, but with owners that would love her and appreciate how special she is. We were incredibly, overwhelmingly lucky that Bonnie and Oliver (well, at the time it was actually JUST Oliver), were looking to get a farm dog!"
And that brings us here, to Nisi present. You know what my favorite thing about Nisi is? No matter how long you've been gone, if it's weeks, or just a few minutes, she's always happy to see someone she knows. She shows her excitement by leaping about and not really allowing you to walk without giving her some attention. She even does this to The Logger who pretends not to like her, but she knows better. Smart little dog.