I am sitting at my favorite ‘watering hole and source of nutrition’ – The Kapiot Café, in Haifa Israel. The restaurant has a beautiful view of the bay and overlooks the east edge of The Baha’i Gardens. The food is traditional American and Israeli cooking. This is due to the fact that many tourists stay at the posh hotels in our community and visit the gardens. You can order hamburgers and French fries or hummus and pita. The cafe seats one hundred customers and the prices are fair. The hamburger and fries cost about seven American dollars without the drink.The cafe owners are Offir and Avi. They are both in their late 20s. Offir is married with two youngsters, Agam (Lake) and Amok. And, there is also a three year old terrier named Snow. He gets the same love and attention that canines receive in my native United States. Sadly, both of his parents work and therefore he is left home alone much of the time. He may have some problems because of that. He has a crush on an orange blanket and seems to reject many beef products. Avi is single but involved with Tami. She is the mother of a seven year old boy and two year old Schnauzer.

Sarah is one of my beloved servers. She and her boyfriend also work and leave their two “puppies” in their ‘bayt’ or home much of the time. They both exhibit the nervous scratching symptoms associated with canine depression. Is a lack of sufficient companionship a cause? I would bet on it! Sarah agrees, “I wish that I could spend more time with Choo Choo” she often exclaims. “He would be less nervous, poor baby”. “Moti seems calmer but we try to give him attention when it is possible”. The restaurant has a canine trough outside for those traveling in the community with their pets. Moti is a frequent visitor. 

Many Israeli parents need to work two jobs, as people do in America. Does this create some of the problems that exist in my native United States? I worked at an after school program for children at risk aged nine to twelve. Many of the kids came from homes where parents were often absent. The counselors all agreed that lack of parental contact was a primary cause of behavioral issues.

In the meantime, Israelis do see the four legged pets as their best friends. Does the need for pet sitters and other such services exist? Yes. And such supports are widespread. Haifa, like many communities in this country, has animal rescue shelters, many veterinary centers, professional dog walkers, kennels, pet shops, and day care centers. Israel even has a doggy television station for your informed pets. Therefore, for those of you planning to spend time in Israel, do not worry. Your canine friends will have more than ample services, please have them join you!

 

 
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