How Do You Celebrate Your Dog’s Special Day?

Michelle Stark, writer, friend, and fellow pet parent, has shared some thoughts about the upcoming birthday of her eldest – Tank. Although I have heard of and even attended a few large  parties to celebrate a birthday, they are not really my style. Frankly, I am not sure that the celebrant really had a good time. But what Michelle has planned is low-key. It marks that special day nicely and sweetly. How do you celebrate it? Do you have photos of your dog’s party that you would like to share?

Choosing A Toy

“As sweet, gentle Tank’s  birthday approaches, I found myself reflecting on the birthday ritual for the dogs in our house. Yes, we celebrate their birthdays. Each year, we take the pups to their favorite pet-supply store.  They get to pick out a toy, which consists of walking slowly up and down the toy aisles, sniffing and testing each mom-approved selection.  Generally, they settle on one, but I have been known to make that final choice, especially when there is clearly indecision between two winners.  And since I’m a softie, that decision usually comes down to getting both toys. It may sound silly, I know, but they understand when I say ‘it’s birthday time’ what that means and they have come to look forward to these little trips. It’s just not as special when we take them there other times.

Cake With Peanut Butter Ganache

They also get a cake to share – canned dog food covered in a peanut butter ganache. It is a dog-only cake.   We also spoil them with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream – it’s just not birthday cake without the ice cream! For a few minutes, the only sound in our house will be the contented grunting and licking from happy bulldogs.  Once in a while there is a pause, which I suspect is caused by quick consumption of the ice cream resulting in bullie brain-freeze.  When the plates are licked clean, they meander to the family room and lay down on their designated pillows, bellies full and hearts happy.  I don’t pretend that they really understand why we make all the fuss.  To them, it’s probably just that random day when I go a little bit more off my rocker and they get puppy cake, ice cream and a special toy.

Quality Time

This year, the routine will change a little bit. We will take Tank to his favorite store while his brother and sister stay home.  He needs some special bonding time just with us.  He often takes a backseat to Missy and Coal when we take them all out together. On his birthday he deserves to be the center of attention.  We will have the cake celebration at home and he’ll have to share his chosen toy with his siblings, but with age and maturity comes certain privileges.  The first is the solo trip to his favorite place. Another recent change for him is that he is now allowed to sleep in our bedroom on his favorite pillow at night instead of his crate. When we have to run a quick errand, we let Tank remain on his pillow or wherever he happens to be napping, instead of crating him like Missy and Coal. So far, we’ve come home to find the house still intact and Tank asleep, usually right where we left him.   Eventually I hope the younger two can demonstrate the ability to handle not being crated anymore, but for now, this is exclusively Tank’s privilege.

Yes, I might be a little crazy to make such a big deal out of their birthdays, but these aren’t just dogs to us.  They are like our children, only without the teenage years and attitude. We don’t rent a bouncy house or a mini zoo, we just make the day a little more special. And for all the love and happiness they give, don’t they deserve that?”

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Image Credit: Randy Pertiet on flickr

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8 Responses to “How Do You Celebrate Your Dog’s Special Day?”

  1. Jan 01. Jun, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

    Scooter gets a party…We have a special doggie cake made up by a local doggie bakery here in Austin, TX. We normally invite his current and past trainers over along with family and friends. And we provide doggie gift bags for the people guests to take home to their four legged kids.

    People guests are treated to a pool party and a grill out – I guess it is a little bit of a thank you party for his trainers – and a birthday party for the Scootie – hang time with some of the people that have loved and shaped Scooter and made him just the best pup ever!!

    Scooter always “made out” in the gifts department gifts in the past – but this year the invite request will be to bring a gently used blanket or towel to be donated to a no-kill shelter instead of a gift for Scooter.

  2. Elizabeth Deitz 01. Jun, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

    It is very nice of Scooter to share his good fortune by helping other dogs in shelters – that is just the sort of gentleman he is! So when is his birthday? I hope I get an invite?!

  3. Jan 01. Jun, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    OH YES!!! You are on the top of the invite list!! His birthday is in July – and most likely the party will be towards the end of July – I found some really cool doggie invites!! So dig out your swimmy suit! Party is in the near future!!!

    I also found the cutest thing for your baby – it will go perfect with the pearls she likes to wear as she sashays around doggie class! Will bring it Sunday!!!

  4. Heather C. 01. Jun, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    We definitely celebrate birthdays.. all 3 of them! Barret in January, Gatsby in May, and (starting this year) Sara in October. We usually do the low-key thing, a special toy (that they refuse to share until the next day :) and puppy cupcakes with candles! I agree with the author here, I believe they know that this special day is about them and that they can get away with being a little naughtier than usual. I wrote about my plans for Gatsby this past May on That Pet Blog:
    friends-special-day/ The photo in the blog is of Barret from his 2nd birthday party.

  5. Michelle S 01. Jun, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

    That’s a great idea, Jan! You guys really go all out for the Scooter!

  6. Elizabeth Deitz 02. Jun, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    Nicely spaced birthdays…you get to celebrate all year round! I will try your Peanut Butter Cupcake recipe next time. They sound wonderful.

  7. Elizabeth Deitz 03. Jun, 2011 at 7:59 am #

    So are the dogs doing anything special for Matt on Father’s Day?

  8. Michelle Stark 22. Jul, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    E – They give him a card every year – usually a dog-themed one, ‘signed’ by all three of course! And lots of love, they give him lots and lots of love.

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