Book Review: How to Raise a Jewish Dog (as told to Ellis Weiner & Barbara Davilman

raise a jewish dog Let me start by saying: You need not be Jewish (or even know a Jew) to follow this book and create, by their definition: a Jewish Dog. That said, it is MUCH MUCH FUNNIER if you are either Jewish or know some Jews….(even just ONE would help, too).

So, one of my bosses, David, and his wife Melissa gave me this book How to Raise a Jewish Dog, right on the heels of the iPad gift that he and the other 2 guys gave me earlier in the week. Did I tell you about the iPad? If not, the quick and dirty is that they faked me out – I’m gullible – and pretended to be firing me….only to give me a “token of appreciation” (um, hello? token? an iPad is NOT a token?) in the iPad.

I digress…..that week, immediately following the iPad presentation, we were all congregating at an event for Joe’s charity board (Joe being one of “my guys”) and David and Melissa are bickering…. “she might not even have one….TRUST ME…..Oh, fine” when David runs back to his car (parked several blocks away) and returns with a book.

When he hands it to me, I’m not sure what to make of it – I mean, after all, this is the guy who calls Synagogue “Jewish Church” – but I turn it over and, immediately, begin to laugh out loud.

There, on the back, in the synopsis is something that resonates like crazy with me, including:

– the five ways of commanding “Sit!” (“What, would it kill you to sit down for one lousy second?”

and

– how to use Situational Martyrdom when the dog disobeys (“Fine. Do what you want. I hope you have a nice life.”)

And so, as we sat on the plane to Arizona – and in taking a break from my other book, I decide to sit down and read this – cover to cover! It isn’t a long book and I don’t know if it truly will help you train a dog, but it sure as shit hit home with me and our dogs.

Now, in all fairness, Gabby and Tia are already Jewish dogs. They eat Gefilte Fish and blintzes, latkes and kugel. They already know how to guilt trip me (and David) and they appreciate food like any good Jew does. They don’t like the rain, snow or any other element that makes them uncomfortable and they own plenty of sweaters, shirts, dresses and such – Tia even has a Juicy puffer coat (for the cold Chicago winters we no longer must endure!) – oh, and I don’t even have a Juicy something or other….maybe I did once, but not any more!

With that considered, reading this book was more like reading about my dogs in their current form. It made me laugh so hard I cried; I actually snorted with laughter on the airplane – and shared some of the passages (as a result of snorting to the point of waking my “neighbor”) with the lady sitting next to me, Elizabeth.

here’s the best part – for those of you who aren’t Jewish – these training techniques work with people, too. In fact, my mom and dad employed them with my sister and me since before we were born. And, they are still employing them. I employ them with David and he does with me. Bottom line, the book just tells you to treat the dog (s) in the same manner as you treat humans.

Not a terribly well written book – but not bad either. BUT, it’s not supposed to be literature; it’s just supposed to be fun (and helpful?) If you want a quick, easy, fun read – pick it up.

But in the end, you’ll do what you want…you always do. Never mind that I am imparting advice from my own life, where I’ve worked hard to deliver such information to you. These are the thanks I GET..

Rachael’s Grade:

Writing: C-

Character Development: B-

Plot: B+

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