The Valuable Silliness of Doggie Birthdays

Next week is Shiva’s birthday. Roughly, anyway, since we have no way of knowing when her actual birthday is. We adopted her on April 15th, 2009 and they told us she was about a year old. So that date works as good as any, I figure.

Last year we didn’t do a whole lot to celebrate. I had this mental fantasy of buying party hats and throwing some sort of party but since Shiva didn’t have any friends, the plans kind of fell through. Instead, we just went to the Three Dog Bakery, asked them to put her name on one of the funky bone cookies, and made her wait three hours to eat it while we snapped photos. I posted about it here, back when nobody was reading this blog but me. Hence, the terrible photo quality.

Excusing the nasty red-eye, Shiva did a very good job waiting for permission to scarf her birthday cookie.

This year, I have this brilliant idea of making doggie cupcakes and taking them in to her agility class to share with her “friends”. (Perhaps a peace offering for Mia?) The dog treat cookbook my friend gave me for Christmas has some great and very simple recipes. It will be hilarious. That is, if I actually have the guts to take them in. That remains to be seen.

A large part of me still feels a little foolish about celebrating my dog’s birthday. It’s not as if she knows or cares what day it is. Most people would probably think it ridiculous to spend so much time and thought on something that really doesn’t matter. My parents certainly never celebrated my childhood dog’s milestones. I don’t even remember us buying her a new bone. However, I’ve noticed their feelings toward such things have softened a lot with their new dog, Rikki.


Not that I can blame them. Isn’t he the cutest thing?

Even if birthday celebrations are more for the humans than for the dogs, there is still no harm, is there? My dog certainly likes any extra attention or special treat. Even if said treat is gone in less than thirty seconds. It’s about having fun together. I don’t think adults do enough of that these days. Any excuse to dance around the room or laugh out loud should be taken, no matter how silly it seems at first. Dogs are excellent at giving us these excuses. Shiva has a mini-party every day when one of us comes home for work. If only us humans could live like that.

Maybe it is a little ridiculous. Maybe I am turning into that crazy dog lady. But it has been a long, long, long two years with this mongrel. We’ve earned a little frivolity.

I hope you find a reason to dance today!

31 thoughts on “The Valuable Silliness of Doggie Birthdays

  1. No, no, Kristine, you’re not crazy to celebrate Shiva’s birthday. After all, she’s a big part of your life and you love her, so it makes sense. We celebrate George’s birthday every year. We don’t make too much of a great deal of it, but we don’t let it pass unnoticed either. A doggy cake, a nice walk, cuddles and a new toy seem to do the trick.
    Looking forward to birthday photos 🙂


  2. I saw do it! Dogs usually aren’t too picky when it comes to soft cake. I have wanted to do the same but don’t have a recipe that does not involve liver.. and I will NOT cook liver in my not nearly well ventilated enough kitchen.. sad too as I could get it cheap and the dogs would love it.. wonder what dried liver would smell like.. hmmmm..

    We usually will give a special treat, maybe a new toy, good lovin’ and an outing if we can.

    Luna does a dance any time I come back inside, and when she does it on top of her plastic crate I always say she’s tap dancing. I really should turn this into a trick or something…

    Good post, and happy early birthday to your pup.


  3. I think most people reading will understand and agree with your desire to celebrate Shiva at least one day a year.

    I think rituals of all kinds are important and we don’t take them seriously enough in these modern days.

    That said, I’ve never celebrated any dog birthdays and I think it comes from being raised in a family where rituals of all kinds could be skewed by the mental illness of a family member. Sometimes we missed Thanksgiving. Birthdays were celebrated whenever it was convenient. Christmas was unpredictable.

    I’ve been trying my entire adult life to bring more celebrations to my life. Maybe celebrating Honey’s birthday and adoption day would be the way to do it. I have no childhood baggage around the occasion and it’s not a national or international holiday with lots of big expectations from others.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

    Oh, and if someone brought birthday treats for their dog to a class I was taking, I’d be thrilled! I say go for it!


  4. I love the idea of bringing treats to class! I might have to steal that one.

    I think that you should do whatever you feel like doing. That’s the beauty of having a dog. If you can step out and do something “crazy” they will be right there with you, but if not they are as equally content to sit back and let it go. THat’s the best lesson our K-9 friends can teach us, not to judge. But I have a feeling that if you do decide to celebrate you will have the entire blog world behind you, and probably all your other doggie-people friends.


  5. I think it’s sweet to celebrate them! We just got both our dogs at the same time, and on March 28 I was looking through the paperwork their owners gave us and realized Crash (the purebred who had pedigree papers) was born on March 27 of last year. And Eli’s Humane Society put him at “a year and a half” back in September, which meant he turned 2 in March – they can share a b-day!

    So then I felt really guilty because we had JUST MISSED their birthday, and I chased them around to try and hug them shouting “but it’s your birrrrrttthhhdayyy!!!” and they just didn’t care.

    Maybe next year I’ll remmeber to buy party hats or something. I think baking dog-friendly treats and bringing them to Shiva’s class sounds like the cutest idea ever!


  6. I think most of us reading this post are crazy dog people…so no worries there. 😉 The cupcakes sound like so much fun and I bet the other dogs (and people) would love it too. 🙂

    Happy Early Bday to Shiva!


  7. Two years ago I was at a leadership summit in Banff when the PH emailed me a photo of Shiva. I showed all the people at my table the photo of the new grand daughter. I am back in Banff this weekend and will be showing off my 2 year old plus grand daughter


  8. Yeah Shiva! I think celebrating your dogs birthday is fun and totally NOT a crazy dog lady thing because ultimately we’re actually celebrating the amount of years they’ve been in our lives and their importance to us first and foremost. It’s an excuse to reflect on how much we’ve grown together more so I think than how they have grown.

    I say CELEBRATE your heart out! 🙂


  9. Celebrate! Take any chance in this world to celebrate. You, the PH and certainly Shiva as well as the long suffering Kitty Meister deserve a very special day (well, Kitty Meister may not think so…). Sharing pupcakes is an awesome idea. Happy Birthday early, Shiva :).


  10. We celebrate our dogs’ birthdays here, and heck, we often make them birthday cakes! I don’t see any harm in it, even if it is more for us than for them. The sad truth of it is, dogs’ lives are much shorter than ours. I think that’s even more reason to celebrate their presence in our lives every time the big day rolls around. All those happy memories we create with them help make losing them one day a little more bearable. 🙂 The girls say they’ll enjoy some Frosty Paws on Shiva’s birthday to commemorate the day here. They assure me it’s not a hardship at all, or just an excuse to eat Frosty Paws!


  11. You said it best – we could always use and excuse to celebrate. What is the harm in taking time to celebrate your furry family member? I mean, they are important to you and you want to show them a little extra love on the day they were born because you were happy they were born. Also, you mention that it may be silly because they don’t know what the big deal is… well, people celebrate their child’s first birthday and I can guarantee those kids don’t have any idea what a birthday is. It’s all for us and it’s cool to celebrate! I say embrace it!


  12. I always say YES to celebrating with our pets – birthday, adoption days, whatever you want. They are important beings in our lives and it’s okay to show them some love!


  13. You know, we don’t celebrate enough in life! What’s wrong with celebrating something, someone or somedog that makes your life so much better? 🙂


  14. I liken it to having a birthday party for your one-year-old. Nobody questions it, right? But they’re never going to remember it – it’s really more for the family of the baby. 🙂 Don’t you dare feel guilty for celebrating her birthday – she’s your furbaby, after all! No harm in making the pretty girl feel good with extra treats. 🙂


  15. You think a dog-birthday is crazy? I know someone who threw birthday parties for her Cabbage Patch Kid doll as a child, and had her mom make cupcakes and buy party hates.

    Yes, I WAS that someone.


  16. I don’t think it’s crazy! I think you should bake those cupcakes & go for it! I always forget about my dogs birthdays until about a week later. This makes me a bad person, I know 🙂

    Happy Friday!


  17. Yes to the cupcakes:) I think everyone will be thrilled about that, maybe you should make some for the people too so they don’t feel left out?

    We celebrate approximate birthday in Frankie’s case (like Shiva, I don’t know for sure when it is) and Beryl’s birthday and both their Gotcha Days here. For me, every day with them in my life is worth celebrating:)


  18. We always celebrate Daisy’s birthday, and “gotcha day” when she came to her forever home, plus anything else we can think of. Hey! Any excuse for a party will do! And there is so much to celebrate.

    So do it up good! Special treats for all involved, especially you and Shiva.



  19. Both my dogs recently celebrated their first birthdays donning birthday hats and eating personalized Three Dog Bakery carrot cake. Sure, the hats were over the top, but the dogs got to eat special cake and had a full morning of undivided family attention. I suspect that next January, when the party hats come out, the boys will do a little party dance in anticipation of the ensuing cake bliss. It is projecting, yes, but SO worth it!


  20. I say go ahead and have the party! Or, at least make the cupcakes. Shiva will enjoy it and so will you.

    I atually know someone who used to cater doggie birthday parties here in Minnesota, so you are certainly not unusual. I also had a friend who had a doggie party at the dog park. Turbo gave out little gift bags with dog treats in them. It wasn’t any big to-do, but her kids had fun and so did we. I also know a woman at the dog park who has a dogue de bordeaux and she had a real party (with the hats!) for her dog’s first birthday.

    I say Go For It!


  21. Who needs a reason to have a party? We just attach some event or being to the party date and viola’….we have a reason to party! I say rent out the Taj Mahal for Shiva and go for it!

    I dropped by to tell you about an event at my blog. Next weekend while I’m playing on this hop, I’ll also be hosting one at my blog. I’d love to have you join in to help homeless bunny friends find furever homes. Check it out


  22. I LOVE your idea of making doggie cupcakes and bringing them to her classmates. Too darn cute. Funny that this post of yours on birthdays happened to be on MY birthday, so I especially appreciated your “Hope you find a reason to dance today” comment (and am just now getting around to thanking you for that!). So thanks! 🙂


  23. Can’t say that I’ve celebrated any of my pets birthdays, but if there is food and friends involved, why not? I’m sure that all od Shiva’s agility classmates will appreciate the cupcakes 🙂


  24. Oh, I do hope you go for it and take the cupcakes! I grew up with a dog who had fabulous birthday parties, complete with hats, balloons, games and treats. Few canines attended, but lots of humans. Why, yes, my mother was one of those crazy dog ladies! It added a lot of fun and spice to life. Go for it! (And, yes, we celebrate our dogs’ birthdays, too.)


  25. Pingback: Tasty Tuesday: Fancy Pants Cheesecake | Kol's Notes

Comments are closed.