I never intended to adopt a Belgian Malinois, and if you had asked me in April 2007 what a “malinois” was, I wouldn’t have had a clue!
I moved frequently in my late teens through my mid 20s. When I turned 26, I had been living in my Tel Aviv apartment for a year, and negotiated a two-year lease extension. Living in the same place for three years was the most stability I had known as an adult, and I was sure the time had come to bring a dog into my life.
Adopting a dog in Tel Aviv in 2007 consisted of showing up at the adoption event on a Friday morning at SOS in Ramat Aviv, not appearing like a complete lunatic, and picking out the one that I wanted. I had set out to get a German shepherd or Canaani (the local breed in Israel), or a shepherd-Canaani mix, but the SOS staffers pressured me to adopt an elderly three-legged pug who was blind in one eye and had heart trouble. As I said then and as I still say today, there are cat people, there are dog people and there are pug people – and I am a dog person.
When I met him in the shelter on that Friday morning, I knew right away that he was the one! He was pretty shy, not lunging to get my attention but also not scared of me or anyone else, and I think I just identified with him!
They let me take him on a little walk around the courtyard, probably to gauge whether I would be an abject failure or if I would at least have a chance.
Two days later, I took him home with me.