A few days ago, I turned 30. It was the Eve of Succot, and the day was nasty and hot. There was a sand storm the night before and the skies turned a dirty gray overcast smear.
I spent the holiday in Meitar. My Meitar family has something against pets, and their youngest son is afraid of dogs, so I went out of my way to try and get someone to look after Diamond while I was away. I ended up leaving her home alone and had my boyfriend’s mom come over every once in a while to take her out and feed her. I was in shambles during the entire holiday wondering if Diamond is ok.
What was worse was that other members of my family who came to spend their holiday in Meitar brought their pets. My uncle brought a parrot. My cousin brought his dog. Due to the kid being afraid and the parents hating dogs, my cousin was forced to leave his four-month-old puppy locked in the garage.
As night fell, I realized that I was not going to see the full moon because of the sand storm. The Spirits must have been enraged that the full moon was blurred out of existence on its special night because I felt Them stir, and the holiday turned to shit, if it hasn’t already. I was beyond furious and utterly inconsolable. I had to write in my diary to let a bit of that frustration out, and as luck would have it, my pen ran out of ink. If my boyfriend hadn’t given me his spare pen, I would have completely lost it and someone would have had to die.
I wondered how is it that there are people in this world who hate animals so much that they would even have a four-month-old puppy locked in a dark and cold garage, and force an animal-lover to leave her docile and gentle dog home alone?
I wondered how some members of my family could be so closed-minded and discriminate against another living being because they don’t approve of its amount of hair. This led me to think about how some of my family would discriminate against other people if they were different. I thought, if my boyfriend was black, my family would not approve of him. If he were a non-Jew, they wouldn’t approve of him either. If I was a lesbian and my boyfriend was my girlfriend, they wouldn’t approve of her either.
However, my dog, Diamond, she would approve of me and my boyfriend no matter who we are and what we look like. She loves everybody, and is gentle and kind to all people and all dogs. So why can’t my family accept her? If she was my baby daughter, I doubt they would force me to leave her home alone and have my boyfriend’s mother come over every once in a while to feed her and change her. In fact, they would love it if I brought her over for the holiday.
Well, newsflash! Diamond is my baby daughter. She may not look human, but she is more human than any person in this world, because she accepts and loves me as I hoped my family accepts and loves me.
I spent my 30th birthday without Diamond, without a full moon, and with my boyfriend sick with a 24-hour virus, which didn’t make it any easier. We had to stay over an extra day (that’s another extra day that Diamond stays alone) because he was in no condition to drive back to Jerusalem.
Now, things are back to normal. We are back home. My boyfriend is feeling better and so am I. My dog is still the sweetest thing on this godforsaken planet. And I just came back from the dentist who told me I’m in perfect health.
Lord knows that next time, I’ll have to figure out a better arrangement in case I should leave Diamond in the care of someone else.
Peace, love and dogs are still better than humans