Eight years ago today, I helped deliver the tiniest little puppy & her two sisters, right on my bed. I knew I was going to keep one of those puppies (if not all of them!) but I instantly started to gravitate towards one in particular. Hope. As we celebrated her eighth birthday today, I sat back and reflected on everything we have been through together: fights, my divorce, moving a dozen times in one year just to move again the following year, financial drought, me having my two kids, travel, flyball competitions, Petsmart modeling, hiking, camping, a rattlesnake bite, & so many other little things in between. Hope truly is my heart dog and every year I try and give her a day where she is a little extra spoiled. She is, after all, another daughter to me. So what did we do today to celebrate?
We started off with a hike to Monument Canyon in the Superstition Mountains. It is a fairly easy hike & you get to run into some cool old fireplace remains at the end. The only downfall to the hike is all the rocks, which Hope wasn’t too fond of this time around. I think with age her feet have gotten more sensitive & as soon as we hit the rock trail, she slowed down. Once we got to the little fireplace we sat, ate a protein bar, took some photos & then just took in the view of the city below us. As we headed back, I carried Hope out of the rockier areas. Little did she know where I was taking her next.
What would a birthday be without a Puppaccino from Starbucks? Well, Hope didn’t have to find that out because Starbucks is where we headed next! Mom got an Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte and Hope got her Puppaccino. She was overwhelmed with excitement & had then entire cup devoured before we could even get home. Who knew a little cup of only whipped cream could be so delicious! (I think it would make me sick! LOL.)
After Starbucks, we went on home for some much needed R &R. Although, I don’t think I did much resting, or relaxing. Hope, on the other hand, passed right out & stayed that way until we went to pick Maddy up from school at 1:15 p.m. Once we had Maddy, we made our way to Petsmart!Hope got some birthday love from some fellow customers & she even made a few doggy friends as well. She ended up with a “Birthday Girl” cookie, Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Bites for dinner, some oatmeal/aloe shampoo & of course…a shiny new tennis ball (as if she didn’t have enough already). You could tell she knew all of this was just for her. Her tail didn’t stop wagging the rest of the day.
I had planned on giving her a bath before the night was over, but I was reminded today was my grandfathers 83rd birthday & there were plans to go out to dinner & celebrate. So for the first time, all day, my sweet little girl had to go in her crate & wait for me to get home. Upon getting home, two hours later, Hope was out of her crate & playing fetch with my daughters until they went to bed.
How do you celebrate your dogs special day? I would love to hear about it! I am always looking for new & creative ideas every year. If I had the time, I would have definitely thrown Hope a full scale birthday party. I used to laugh at the people who threw birthday parties for their animals and then it hit me. Animals have emotions. They have feelings. They can also definitely tell when you are doing something for them that is extra special. For all the times our pets are there to comfort us, get excited with us, love us unconditionally, & protect us…the least we can do is give them a little something extra on their special day. Don’t know their exact birth date because you adopted them from a shelter? Celebrate their “Gotcha Day”, the day you brought them home from the shelter & their lives started with you. I know Hope would have been happy with just a 99 cent tennis ball, but I decided to take the day a few steps further.
Remember. Your pets are the only creatures that will love you more than they love themselves. They will always put you first & never be selfish. So go cuddle your pet tonight & start planning their next birthday festivities. Watching their faces light up is one of the best feelings in the world!