“If I’m ever reincarnated, I want to come back as a dog in a Jewish household.” My late father of blessed memory said this on more than one occasion. A seemingly silly statement spoken by a very wise man.

I grew up in a Jewish dog house. I don’t mean I was raised in a miniature dwelling in the backyard with a mezuzah affixed to the doorway. I grew up in a home where there was always a dog, and that dog was always a part of our family, and our family sat on a foundation of Jewish values. Now looking back, I realize how intertwined all of this was. What better way to learn compassion, responsibility and a respect and love for all of G-d’s creatures than by having one live with you?

The word for dog in Hebrew is “calev” (כֶּלֶב ) — and this alone says a lot about how the Jewish people view these animals. Calev is an example of a compound word. Let’s break it down. כָּל (kal) is “whole, all of” and לֵב (lev) is “heart” — all heart. There you go.

Ok, so what’s my point? You’re probably very aware of all the Jewish things in your home this time of year as you get ready for the holiday season. The special tablecloths, the candlesticks, the sukkah decorations. But maybe, just maybe, you are missing something. Something that is all heart. If you’re picking up what I am laying down and thinking 5777 might be the year you welcome a new four-legged member to the family, you’re in luck. Our friends at Almost Home were kind enough to share with myJewishDetroit.org a few of their current residents.

Almost Home is a nonprofit, no-kill organization dedicated to finding loving, forever homes for homeless animals. It was founded by Lauren Anchill and her mother Gail Montgomery-Schwartz in 2001.

“Dogs are such a huge part of a family,” says Lauren. “Being that a traditional Jewish family is so close knit, having a dog and/or cat just brings more warmth to the home. The companionship of a family pet is irreplaceable.”

Lauren Anchill and her husband Brett have two little boys, Spencer, age 4, and Harrison, age 16 months. Spencer attends Hillel Day School and the Anchill family belongs to Temple Beth El.

Here are a few of the pups that the Anchill family and their team are taking care of until they find their forever homes.

Meet Daisy

Beagle/Jack Russel mix, 4 years old. Fun and loveable.
Does great with kids  and other dogs and is waiting for her forever home!


Meet Vaughn

Lhapso Apso mix, 9 years young.
A super sweet, loving boy. Perfect for people with allergies. He would do great in a calm home with older kids. We have high hopes that this handsome boy will find his home real soon!


Meet King

A white Staffy, 2 years old.
Very social and happy! He was rescued after being hit by a car. He loves people and his furry friends.


Meet Chantell

Beagle mix, 1 year old.
Very friendly and sweet. Great family pet and likes other dogs. Loves to run in the yard and play fetch. She would be your best buddy for years to come!


Meet Muffin

Lhaspo Apso mix, 1 year old.
He came to Almost Home extremely matted. After being groomed and freed from the mats, he’s been wagging his tail ever since. He is patiently waiting to find a family to call his own.


Meet Azalea

Yorkie mix, 5 years old.
She is calm and a huge cuddle bug. She wants to be in your lap or by your side. This girl will make a great best friend!


Meet Lacy

Australian Cattle Dog, 9 years old.
She loves her belly rubs! Lacy would do best as the only pet in the household. We are hoping someone who adores this breed will come visit Lacy and show her what love is all about. She deserves the very best!


If you are interested in meeting any of the kosher dogs in this article, or would like to learn more about Almost Home and the other pets currently in their care looking for forever homes, you can check their website for shelter hours or call 248.200.2695.