I discovered my creativity at a very young age. I was just 10 years old when I wrote a play for Purim that was later performed by my classmates in front of the entire school. As a teacher, I relied on my creativity to explain difficult concept to my students. And now as a tour guide I use my creativity make Israel real for people of all ages. What I like most of all, however, is the chance to make people happy.

Shelly and Lori

Shelly and Lori

Yesterday, I had the distinct pleasure of organizing a hike for my dear friend Shelly. That day marked her 50th birthday. Shelly is a wonderful person with a love of nature, people and psychology but her real passion is for animals. From an early age, she adopted stray cats and  dogs, gave homes to wounded animals and fed the hungry.

Throughout the hike, in one of Israel’s most beautiful canyons named Og, just 30 minutes outside of Jerusalem I shared stories of Shelly’s life. Though she was surrounded by friends and family, these stories had a spin. On this day, Shelly’s major milestones were described through the many pets she has so compassionately adopted.

Photos of more than 20 pets that she had brought into her family were secretly scanned from her albums and were presented as if they were part of a documentary film. What do I mean by that exactly? Take for example, one of Shelly’s first pets; a dog named Lorie.

The Partridge Family“1973 was a very dramatic year for Israel. Shelly is just 11 years old when the Yom Kippur war breaks out. On Israeli TV, everyone’s favorite show is The Partridge Family. At the same time, Shelly meets a dog in search of a home. That dogs name became Lorie, after Lorie Partridge (Susan Dey).”

After Lorie, Shelly adopted Fistuk (pistachio), Fritz, Bonny, Shandy, and 3 cats named Huckle, Berry and Finn.

Omer and Motek, 1985

Omer and Motek, 1985

When Omer was born, Shelly’s eldest son, he formed a deep friendship with Motek (sweetheart), a beautiful Golden Retriever.

It was a beautiful way to share someone’s life story in such a different way. This day allowed me to share the real nature of the birthday girl beyond her professional  achievements and family. Everyone had the opportunity to see a different side of the woman they hold so dear.

Shelly, Mazal Tov on your 50th birthday!

2 thoughts on “A Lifetime of Pets (an Excercise in Creativity)

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