The scruffy youngster sat surrounded by loving family and friends. Franklin was a little confused about where he was (and also about the yarmulka clipped behind his ears), but he was excited to be the center of attention. “Mazel tov!” the crowd cheered. And thus, one lucky dog’s entry into canine adulthood was celebrated with — what else? — a “bark mitzvah.”
When Danny and his friend Sharon saw Franklin on Petfinder.com, it was love at first sight. Meeting the black terrier puppy in person at Oakland Animal Services sealed the deal, and they took him home. “We had fallen so deeply in love with this dog that when a flippant conversation about having a ‘bark mitzvah’ for him arose, it didn’t sound like a bad idea at all,” said Danny. “On the contrary, it seemed like it could be a hilarious and fun event.”
And so it was. Danny screened mortifying footage from his own bar mitzvah and amused the crowd with stories about his pets. A friend provided a musical tribute. Then Danny performed a brief examination of the Torah, of how the complicated questions it raises about human existence somehow related to how he managed to get so many people together to celebrate the simple existence of his dog.
Not only was a good time had by all, but the guests donated more than $4,000 to Friends of Oakland Animal Services (FOAS) and the Milo Foundation.
“Considering that we got Franklin from Oakland Animal Services, we really wanted to help FOAS provide care for dogs in need of homes so that they could have a chance to have a life like Franklin has now,” said Danny. “Making this an event for charity was a no-brainer, as was the choice to have it benefit FOAS.”
We are sure that Franklin’s party was as delightful as its canine honoree. However, we think the best day in Franklin’s life was the day he left the shelter and went home with Danny and Sharon — the best mitzvah of all.