Tel Aviv has gone to the dogs, and 21see presenter Renny Grinshpan takes us right into the thick of things in her latest entertaining video — just in time for the second annual city-sponsored Dog Day at Ganei Yehoshua park this Saturday (August 26) from noon to 11pm.
Grinshpan, a comic actor from Canada whose videos about Israeli culture are legendary, takes her dog Chili along to get the inside scoop on a city where canines come to work with their “parents” and accompany them to dinner. On the serious side, she visits a special place that cares for strays and finds them loving homes.
Grinshpan, 26, moved to Tel Aviv from Toronto in 2014. After working as a content writer for a creative startup, she struck out on her own as a freelance scriptwriter, model, voiceover talent, videographer and actor.
She got loads of attention for her irreverent “guides” to Israeli street talk and everyday life, garnering about 10,000 followers on Facebook and 135,000 YouTube hits for her hilarious “Hebrew Dictionary” video.
“My dad is Israeli, and I’ve poked fun at him and his accent for my entire life, so this was a well-acquainted subject for me,” she tells ISRAEL21c with a signature hearty laugh.
While working at the startup, she met an employee of another startup next door, Kathy Cohen, who happens to be the chief presenter for the 21see video series.
“I’m really happy to be part of such a cool product especially because the whole purpose of ISRAEL21c is talking about Israel in a non-political way, and that aligns with the way I try to make Israel accessible to people as something approachable and fun,” she says.
Grinshpan’s first foray with 21see was at a cookout in the Jerusalem hills headlined by award-winning chef Michael Solomonov from Philadelphia.
Last June, Grinshpan married a sabra (native Israeli) from Hadera. They adopted Chili, a border collie-Great Pyrenees mix, from a farm in the Golan Heights.
If they take Chili to Dog Day (Kelaviv in Hebrew, a play on the words kelev [dog] and “Tel Aviv”) they’ll join thousands of other dog parents exploring all the perks of the day: a pop-up coffee shop for dogs and people, an adoption station, therapeutic dog workshops, counseling sessions with dog trainers, a caricaturist, live music, and kiosks selling pet food and toys.
It’s estimated that there are 25,000 registered hounds in Tel Aviv-Yafo, or one pooch to every 17 humans. The city boasts 70 off-leash dog parks, dog beaches and dog-food vending machines in the shopping malls. The city’s DigiDog card alerts dog-owners to dog activities in the city, reminds them about annual rabies shots and offers discounts at pet stores.