Paws here: The place for pets!

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Paws here: The place for pets!

Time to focus on the furry four-legged loves of your life and any other animal you adore: This week, we meet Judge Rinder's French bulldog (officially Rocco Ben Fido Halevy)!

Brigit Grant is the Jewish News Supplements Editor

Don’t judge me!

With TV’s favourite legal eagle Robert Rinder as his owner, French Bulldog Rocco is ready to unleash…

Under normal circumstances, a clerk would say “All rise” when I enter a room – but I’m dispensing with such formalities for the purposes of this column. Inevitably, the day to day of my owner’s professional life, along with watching him on TV (while snoozing), has had a significant impact on me, so apologies if I slip into court jargon. 

Luckily I’m not under oath, so I can pretty much write what I like, but let the record reflect my constant need for a comfy cushion and Evian served at room temperature in my bowl. This is all on my rider, and worth remembering should you wish to book me as a guest speaker. 

Rob’s dog!

Like so many Jewish people (and pups), my life began in tenement poverty before the fateful day I found my forever owner. He chose to keep my name Rocco (officially Rocco Ben Fido Halevy) to remind us both of my humble beginnings in Manchester, though fortunately I exited the place before slipping into flat vowels (not that I’m judging). Let’s just say it was love at first nuzzle, when he (the one in silks) and I met as we bonded like smoked salmon and cream cheese.

I have subsequently acquired a taste for both since taking ownership of HIS house and picked up some of HIS traits, among them a love of food and HIS neurosis. Neither of us are keen on talking about age (him more than me) but when it is mentioned it is followed by a resounding  kinahora” or in my case “caninehora” followed by spitting. It’s an odd habit – even for an occasional drooler – but at the tender age of six and a half (42 for the four-legged) a French Bulldog is in his flirty prime (think Gérard Depardieu before he got fat) and, as such, I’m besieged by invites and cover shoot requests (see Pets at Home, March 2020).

Looking one’s best as a high profile hound is essential and I rely on my groomers at Whiskey’s for full mutt cover. I can certainly recommend the ‘Banana Facial’, which removes dirt and discolourations for those with such nasty issues and the mani/pedi is essential ahead of any paw modelling work.

Rob and his dog!

It’s worth repeating that I took ownership of his house as everyone else just lives there. Visitors are advised to bring treats. For me! I prefer female company and notably those who wear good shoes as I’m in puppy love with red soles. Christian ‘Loubarktin’ please take note as I’d bite your hand off for a pair. Honestly I’m such a wag!

And so ends my first deposition. Regardless of the verdict, I’ll be back with more tails soon, when I plan to cover everything from the Talmud to the best doggie diners. Until then enjoy.  

Love, Rocco

  • Email a pic  of your pet in its best Jewish pose to

Bible breed

Dogs are mentioned 32 times in the Old Testament, though we’ve yet to ascertain whether Samson had a Shih Tzu or Abraham had an Alsatian. Only the Greyhound is mentioned by name and that’s in King James New Testament (Proverbs 30:29-31) though the word “greyhound” is actually translated from the Hebrew phrase for “girt in the loins”.


Despite their origin, Greyhounds don’t get a mention anywhere from Genesis to the Book of Samuel in the Old Testament as the dog of the day was the Canaan. It was the Canaan the Israelites used to herd and guard their flocks in the desert, and it’s still a favourite breed for the Bedouins. It’s amazing to think that the current batch of Canaans could be the  doggie descendants of mutts who went on walkies with Moses. Though the breed was only recognised by the Kennel Club in 1970, its biblical heritage was confirmed by the excavation of a dog cemetery in Ashkelon that had 700 dog skeletons, all of  which were anatomically similar to the Canaan. It is now a very rare breed, with only two or three litters born in the UK each year, so if you want the Biblical equivalent of today’s Cavapoo, you will have to wait. 



Parrot with a yarmulke

A  man walks into a pet shop and asks: 

“How much is that parrot?”                                                                 

 “£5,000,” replies the shop owner.                                    

“Why so much?” says the man.                                  

“Because this parrot knows the Talmud by heart,” comes the reply. 

The customer was impressed. “What about that parrot?” he asks pointing to another.           

“It’s £10,000,” says the shop owner. 

“Why so much?” says the curious shopper.                       

“Oh because this bird knows the Talmud and all of the major rabbinic commentaries.”                                           

The customer then notices a parrot in a platinum cage and asks “how much for that one?”                             

The owner says, “£100,000.”                                          

“Wow! What does that bird know?”
asks the man.             

“I have no idea,” says the shop owner. 

“But those other two parrots call him 



The animals went in…

Noah would have been proud of Dr Andrew Monchar.  Much like the Biblical saviour, Dr Monchar BSc (Hons) BVetMed MRCVS welcomes creatures of all shapes, sizes and varieties to his Finchley veterinary centre, Two By Two, which is smaller than an ark, but better equipped.  

Administering care to animals of all kinds was always Andrew’s intention when he opened his small independent practice, so your pet could find itself sharing the waiting room with a tubby tortoise, tiny terrier or a mesmerising monitor lizard. 

Vet with a lizard !

Predominantly treating cats, dogs, hamsters, rats, guinea pigs and birds, in recent months Two By Two has also been on the front line for issuing Animal Health Certificates, which have replaced pet passports – and you’d be amazed where these animals go. “Pets have been taking a lot of holidays – probably more than most people,” confirms Saskya Monchar, Two By Two’s business manager and the vet’s wife. “We had a hurry on papers for a dog who was travelling to America in a private jet and then there was the snake…” It turns out even exotic creatures get to go to exotic locations and the snake needed paperwork (they’ve ditched the pet passport) to slink off to foreign climes with its owner. Dr Monchar has yet to see any of the reptile’s holiday snaps but, as Saskya says: “Our practice is warm, friendly and fairly priced, so sharing is encouraged.” 

The Monchars’ four-year-old son, Ariel, is already thinking about becoming a vet, but has yet to fathom all the letters after his dad’s name. With the practice growing – “There were three of us last year and now we have a staff of eight” – Ariel might need to qualify sooner than expected. T: 020 3865 8905


Help support Avi Solomon (and his dog), who took part in the London Marathon. You  can donate at

Avi and his guide dog











Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: