Thursday, August 4, 2011

How to Throw a Birthday Bash for Your Dog (No, Really)

First let me say that I am not a crazy person. I do not routinely have parties for animals or otherwise treat pets like children. (Well, okay, our old dog did have a small wardrobe, and I may have frequently occasionally signed her name to Christmas cards and the like... but that was during the B.C. era-- before children!) I swear I am now reformed from that sort of behavior.

That said, we celebrated our dog Ritzy's fifth birthday over the weekend. Mia had been asking for months when her birthday was (I had told her "sometime in the summer.") and if we could have a party for her. When I asked Mia what she wanted to do for Ritzy's birthday, she told me we needed to have a cake, streamers, balloons, party hats, a present, and we needed to sing "Happy Birthday." We took the kids to the store and picked out a bone, which I wrapped in doggie covered gift wrap. Next, I pulled out some of my Dollar Tree crepe paper streamers that I keep in the craft supplies and let Mia and her cousin Eric, who was visiting for a few days, decorate the dining room chairs. I twisted red and pink streamers together and hung them in the dining room entry. There were no balloons. I drew the line at balloons.

We did, however, have a cake, and I am pretty pleased with how it turned out. I found the recipe for a Peanut Butter Carrot Cake (that promised to be safe for dogs) on this website. This cake wasn't too huge so it didn't seem very wasteful to make, and as a bonus, it contained ingredients I already had in the house. The cake was a huge hit with Ritzy and her "cousin" Greta, who was also visiting. It looked pretty, smelled good, and didn't taste too bad (not that any of the human party-goers were that keen on eating it). Instead of pureed cottage cheese icing, I used my offset spatula to frost the cake with low fat cream cheese. I decorated the cake with Milk Bones and inserted five cut-up Pup-peroni "candles." We sang "Happy Birthday," attempted to get the dogs to wear party hats (generic Happy Birthday hats from Dollar Tree), and then watched them wolf down their slices of cake (after first looking at us suspiciously to figure out why we were serving them what appeared to be "people food" on regular plates).

In case you are wondering, I pulled off this entire party for under $5. I will warn you, though, that Dollar Tree's party hats are very cheaply made, (Duh! You get 8 for $1.) so the elastic broke on all of them. Anyway, I think it goes without saying that dogs do not like to wear party hats. I couldn't get a picture of Ritzy wearing hers for the millisecond that it stayed on, although I got a couple of "cousin" Greta. All in all, it was the best birthday party I have ever thrown for a dog. (Remember, I have never done this before, I swear!) Would I do it again? Sure. It made the kids happy, and it was even kinda fun for me. I really enjoyed making and decorating that birthday cake for the dog. Add that to the list of things I never thought I would say... until I became a mom.

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