Neri Livneh - Avi Ofer - February 24, 2012
Illustration by Avi Ofer
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To get used to the idea of a special television channel for canines, Neri decided to invite me to watch "Big Brother." What can I tell you? I was stunned, especially when I saw Eitam, which is like Eitan but with an "m" at the end. Actually, Neri says it's like Shimom and Zevulum, which is what she called her twins when they were still in her tummy. Anyway, Eitam was the nicest guy on the show, but even so, I almost went into shock when I suddenly saw, on screen, that there was a dog next to him - some sort of Golden Retriever or Labrador seeing-eye dog! Just my luck: If they are already putting a dog on a reality program, it's not me.

Sure, you're probably saying, look who's talking: the most famous dog in Tel Aviv since Shuki, may God avenge his blood, who belonged to Erez Tal, may he enjoy a long life, and Sigalit, may she rest in peace, who belonged to Orna Banai - who has a newspaper column and even a sheep named after her.

But this is exactly my problem: My exposure is ultimately limited to people who read Haaretz, and I, God forgive me, want broader exposure. Like Yair Lapid, I want to talk with the whole nation.

But somehow it's pretty clear to me that even when a special channel for dogs goes on the air here, there's no chance I'll be allowed to anchor its prime-time news program. First of all, there's this thing with the curls. Everyone knows that television doesn't like curls, unless you're on a morning show. Second, there's this thing with the hair color: salt-and-pepper is permitted only to George Clooney and Yair Lapid - not to females. Besides, someone will probably say I am identified with a particular sector of the population, and the fact that I have already fought with the best-connected dogs in the gardens of Tel Aviv won't get me anywhere.

So, go anchor a morning show, you will say. The truth is, I have the right qualifications for that. I get up early anyway, it's child's play for me to read the newspaper headlines and talk about raising pups (so what if I never had any ), and I don't even mind promoting other programs on the channel - like those for which some pedigree poodle, Irish setter, or a Samoyed or other snotty type will be hired. Believe me, after my hair is done I am just as pretty as any pedigree schnauzer or terrier. But people are always complaining to me that I don't project softness, which is essential on a morning show.

Another point against me is that everyone knows I have this really well-developed sense of humor, and that gets in the way if you want to anchor, say, a self-help program. You know, I might suddenly start behaving like Neri, who once was on a program like that after a plastic surgeon talked about surgical redesign of female genitalia (really, Neri! ), and suggested that he should think about solving the problem by redesigning the male private parts, or simply by using permanent makeup.

But believe it or not, in terms of all the important aspects of a program like that I would be really good. I am excellent at finding food. Not only in the garden and on the sidewalk, but in every house I visit. For example, in Anateleh's house, as soon as I arrive I immediately eat all the food from Jess's bowl and then take his bone and gnaw on it before I start on his special mattress. With Manuela, who by the way is very fond of me, after her cat runs off I immediately eat his food, plus I am also very good at getting it out of the garbage can.

In cafes I always get tidbits from strangers. Neri says that when she was a girl she was told not to accept candies from strangers, but I go up to strangers and put on a little show for them so they'll give me food. But I imagine that the food-show niche will almost for sure go to Aharoni's dog - or Haim Cohen's.

A pre-prime-time program is out of the question. I am not yet old enough to be considered a diva who's making a comeback, and not young or blond enough to be considered, well, young and blond.

One thing I am very well suited for is travel shows. I like to wander around everywhere, at the beach, in the mall, on the avenues of Tel Aviv, in the yards of dilapidated houses. Once I even found the carcass of a cat! But it's pretty obvious to me that whoever gets the program will have the right connections, and will not be threatening to the males in the garden because she's big and stubborn and barks a lot - but because deep down all she wants is a little love.

Yes, yes, I know. I have already been on TV twice. Once, on a program Neri had on Channel 24, she gave me a whole minute of screen time at the end. Everyone said I was divine and wrote that I was fabulous, like they do whenever she posts my picture on Facebook.

After that I was also invited to appear on "Sabbath Queen," and everyone admired me there, too, especially Yardena Arazi, who is a lovely person, but also Shahar Segal, the darling, even if he's more of a cat-type.

It's the same old story with me: I succeed at whatever I am supposed to do, but somehow there's no follow-up.

You don't have to be gifted like me to know that the only solution is to take part in a reality program. I mean, is it my fault that you don't see that Neri is not blind - just a dumbbell who doesn't hear in one ear? What is this discrimination against dogs according to their parents' pedigree? What is this, a school of the arts? Army Radio? It's only reality.