When Yom Kippur starts on Tuesday evening, Cheryl Degani will not be fasting alone: Her dogs Shadow and Custer will also be fasting in observance of the holiday, according to a report in the New York Post.
“It was my idea,” Degani was quoted in the article. “People say, ‘Are you kidding me? Are you for real?’ … I say, ‘I have to fast, they have to fast.’”
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Dr. Danielle Palatt of the Vinegar Hill Veterinary Group was quoted by the Post, “If you have an otherwise healthy dog, then it’s probably not a huge deal. … Missing two meals isn’t necessarily a health risk for a healthy animal — even if they don’t understand what’s going on.”
Degani insisted in the article that her dogs do, in fact, know what is going on and that they are familiar with the practices of many Jewish holidays. “I think they have a Jewish essence,” she said to the Post. “There’s no doubt about it.”
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Degani also claimed in the article that her dogs don’t want to eat if she’s not eating.
“I can leave my dogs food all day long, but if I’m not there, they’re not eating it,” Degani was quoted.