An Old Dog's New Tricks

Gentle Pooch Helped a Hasidic Girl Overcome Fear of Dogs

Lisa Anchin

By Judy Brown (Eishes Chayil)

Published February 04, 2013, issue of February 08, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 7)

I eyed the dog, my heart still beating hard. I could see the old lady smile hesitantly.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “I didn’t mean to scare you. Sammy is a gentle dog. He won’t hurt you.” And she petted the creature, stroking its back, as it looked at me in demonic silence.

Well, I thought from my very safe distance, she’s safe because she’s a goy. Dogs don’t bite goyim.

The old lady smiled gently now, her eyes creasing under her floral shawl.

“Do you want to pet him?” she asked.

Pet him? Why would I ever want to do that?

I shook my head quickly, and half-smiled back. The old lady nodded. Then she and the dog walked slowly away,

The next day, I sat on the grass inside our gate, so when I saw the old lady coming there was no need to run away. I watched her walk slowly toward our corner house, the dark-haired dog walking patiently beside her.

She was an old lady like any other, her beige trench coat pulled tightly around her thin frame. She wore that floral shawl on her head and old-lady shoes on her feet. Why, if not for the dog on the long leather leash, one could barely tell she was a gentile.

She stopped when she saw me.

“Sit, Sammy,” she said, and the dog did.

I looked at Sammy warily, at the dark fur and the black around his pupils. He stared back at me, patiently.

“What is your name?” the old lady asked.

I didn’t answer.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.