Dogs, Kids, and Bikes

Posted on September 24th, 2009

Chaya Bailey Bat Kelev

Chaya Bailey Bat Kelev

Last week, my family had a bit of a crisis. Our beloved dog Bailey swallowed something that was never meant to be swallowed, and it tore up her belly and intestines.

She spent a week and a half in the vet clinic in Maale Adumim where she underwent two major operations. At one point, the vet told us that the odds were heavily against her making it home.

Those who are not pet owners are forgiven for not comprehending how torn apart a family can be when a pet is near death’s door. All of us went to bed on Rosh Hashana crying, wondering if we would see our Bailey again.

Yet, despite how this episode has affected me and my family, I know that at the end of the day a dog — no matter how loved — is a dog and not a child. I do not know how on Earth parents get through it when they have a child at death’s door.

But the sad reality is that it happens, it happens far too often. Children are hurt badly in car accidents and terrorist attacks. They may survive but take years to fully heal. A child that goes to bed with a hug and kiss can wake up with cancer. The thought is terrifying, yet we all know people who have seen their world shattered in an instant by something happening to their child.

Which brings me to the Alyn Hospital, and why I am about to ask each of you, my readers, for something. Alyn is a hospital in Jerusalem that specializes in putting children back together who have suffered from things no child should have to deal with. Sometimes their goal is to teach children to walk again, others times to learn how to speak, and still other times just to learn how to laugh like a child once more.
Alyn 2008 055

Team Neve Daniel raised over $10k last year

For the past three years I have participated in a five-day bike ride that raises money for this hospital. Every year, I take a tour of the hospital to remind myself why I do it.

Seeing the children receiving treatment always makes me smile, but seeing the parents anxiously waiting to see if their kids will be all right brings tears to my eyes. As Lance would say, “Sometimes, it’s not about the bike.”

I pray that the only involvement I ever have with a children’s hospital is to raise money for it by riding my bike. But I am glad to know that should G-d forbid I ever receive “the phone call,” there is a place here in Israel that simply does not give up on children — no matter how severe their injuries or disabilities.

Both individually and as a leader of a team of riders, I have been able to raise tens of thousands of dollars for this remarkable institution. And I intend to continue doing so as long as I can stay on my bike.

This is where you come in. Please sponsor my ride this year by clicking on the button in the right top corner of my website or just click straight to the Alyn site. Any donation helps from $1 and up.

Come on, let's ride

Come on, let's ride

I know it seems odd to be planning to ride a five-day ride right after getting a concussion because I can’t stay on my bike. I accept that I am a bit nuts. But at least I’m nuts for a good cause.

Thank you for your support.

May all of us — parents, kids, and even dogs — have a wonderful year.


By the way, I brought Bailey home last night.


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  1. Chaim says:

    nice segue – glad Bailey is home
    who is Lance?

  2. yarden says:

    That’s Rabbi Lance to you.

  3. libby anfinsen says:

    Yarden, you and your wonderful family are our heroes…..take care of yourselves and Bailey

  4. Cathy Lanyard says:

    What a great blog….love the story…glad the pooch is OK and I look forward to seeing you again!

  5. Joel Sussman says:

    Dear Jordan,
    When we lost our first dog, Kibble, to old age, it was the most painful day of our lives. WE had to put hr to sleep becasue of old age and she just couldn’t get around. It was in the middle of an ice storm and I had to dig three different graves while wearing my bike helmet for fear of having an icycle impail my head. It was sureal. WE all cried for the entire day and I wrote a poem about it later. In any event, we will be honored to send a check for your cause. As a parent, grandparent and one who has taken care of thousands of children in my career, I could do no less.

  6. yarden says:

    Thanks everyone for the donations. Will update the thermometer next week.

  7. carla Friedman says:

    Hi. I am Leslie Rosenberg’s mother and have just read your wonderful articles from beginning to end. I so enjoy reading what you have written and see the energy and joy you feel living in Israel. I remember the wonderful times we had with you and your family. Please send my love.