by Emmy Elfin
Chief canine correspondent
I have mixed feelings about Passover. We have our immediate family and a few close friends for the Seder, but the guest list also includes two spaniels who my humans tell me are my cousins. They’ve been telling me this for years, but I don’t believe it. They look nothing like me. I’m never really glad to see them at the best of times, but for a major holiday? It’s hard to accept.
Anyway, their presence means there are three of us under the Seder table. It’s difficult to assert one’s authority from that position, but with people coming in and out of the dining room carrying various plates loaded with food, it’s the safest place to be. Nevertheless, when one is top dog, under the table is a blow to the ego.
The food is generally good, except for the matzo which none of us likes. Why is it such a big deal to hide the matzo and later to find it? Never figured that one out. As for the rest of the menu, turkey and brisket are just fine, but I don’t like vegetables. And a whiff of the horseradish makes my nose run and my eyes tear. And let’s not forget the shank bone. One small shank bone for three dogs? Well, it worked fine because there was not a morsel of meat on that pitiful object held up for all to see. Not one dog expressed any interest.
It does take a long time to get to the meal with a lot of serious talking and reading going on at the table. That’s why I always eat before the Passover meal, as do my soi-disant cousins.
What really disturbs me, however, is the part where my friend/brother David rises to open the door for Elijah. First of all, I am the security system for the household and cannot countenance an open door, especially the front door. Forest Hills is a good neighborhood, but why ask for trouble? Later I can relax a bit because Elijah never shows up although there’s a cup and place for him. Frankly, I would stop inviting him.
After the meal, my cousins and I do a quick vacuum of the kitchen floor and then go out in the back garden. Actually one cousin left the dining room several times during the course of the meal, but not me, because I’m always on duty even though I may doze off occasionally. On Passover, however, that’s impossible with all the talking and singing.
Some families have two Seders (evidently long ago people weren’t sure what day Passover was and didn’t want to make a mistake). Thankfully we had just one in our house because I was exhausted the next day and could barely make my 7 a.m. date with my friends at the park.
The next few days were great with turkey leftovers at every meal and no cousins with whom to share! Well worth the stress!