with regular commentator
By Permanent Guest-Commentator Marcia Spatzelberg
THE DOG BIRTHDAY PARTY
Marcia Spatzelberg is author of several books including Feline Soiree and Wine, Cheese and Cattle: Your Guide to a Bovine Get-together.
So your dog is turning 10 years old (we’re not going to go into dog years versus human years here) and you’d like to throw him a special birthday bash for all that wagging loyalty given to you by your pup over the years. Maybe it’s just a special thank-you for not vomiting behind the couch for the last year or not mauling your slippers. In this article you will find everything you need to make the perfect doggie birthday party.
Once you’ve set the day, you must make preparations. Dogs cannot read, obviously, but their owners can. When inviting Rover’s little friends over, you should pick up a container of dried pig’s ears and write the party information on them in non-toxic ink (or imitation smoke flavoring). Your best friend’s best friends will take the chewy pig’s ear home, where their owners will see the party information. Expect not to see a few canine friends. Some dogs are hungrier than others.
While you’re thinking of invitations, remember that your dog and his friends will certainly enjoy a surprise. Pet stores often carry large white rats for consumption by pet snakes. It’s a poorly-known fact that felines also enjoy the taste of rodent. So pick one up and write the party information on it in non-toxic ink (no imitation smoke flavor). Cats can read, so make it look like a cat birthday party. Make the time about an hour after the party actually starts. Your surprise for the pups will be just as surprised as they are.
Dogs are quite easy to please, so don’t worry too much about the hors d’oeuvres. A dog-food cake is quite simple to make. Take a can of dog food, put the contents on a plate and decorate with bacon strips and kibble. You can also flatten the dog food and put more on top of it to make a layer cake.
It’s a party and dogs are going to want more than just water to drink. If you take a bottle of store-brand soda and put a half can of dog food in it and let it sit for a week, you’ll almost have the perfect doggie birthday beverage. Don’t forget to strain the food bits out before serving.
The dogs might also like snacks and here’s your chance to put the ultimate coat shine into your guests. Take a rawhide stick and roll it in egg-yolk. Then crumble some dog biscuits in a bowl and coat the rawhide stick in the crumbs. Preheat the oven to 350 and let bake for 12 minutes. These are perhaps the biggest hits of the season for doggie birthdays.
Your dogs will need some entertainment, too. Your cat friend should be arriving just about now. When the doorbell rings, make all the dogs hide in the closet and invite cat in for the party. When the door is shut, open up the closet. This should entertain your pack of partygoers for at least ten minutes. If you’re up for it, you might want to invite two or even three cats over at half-hour intervals.
Once the cat fun has been exhausted, you might want to let the canine companions play pin the tail on the dog. Hopefully you remembered to invite over a boxer or Doberman pinscher. Get a length of fabric or an actual dog tail from a veterinarian. Put nose plugs on the first player and give him the fabric or tail. He should now try to pin the tail on the dog. If any fighting occurs, provide more rawhide sticks.
Dogs don’t respond to television very much, so you might want to forgo the usual party movie afforded at the birthdays of human children. Your canine child and his friends will probably enjoy the neighborhood bitch in heat more, just don’t let them get too close. You don’t have enough rawhide sticks to break up that fight! (You can also invite the bitch over later in the day after the party as a special treat for Rover.)
If you want to have some great fun, before the dogs leave, give them all a hit from the helium balloons. They’ll all feel like puppies again. Send them on their way with some noisemakers and people masks. They’ll have a lot of fun being “human” on the way home.
When all the guests have left, make sure to give Rover a special something for his birthday. His very own toilet to drink from or a “Because I Can Reach There” doggie shirt are two common presents. If you’re trying to be original, perhaps you can get a doggie bed for him with his favorite garbage smell on it. Personalized pooper-scoopers and crap baggies are all the rage this year.
These are the main ingredients for a successful doggie birthday bash. You may also include a card game for the party, but keep in mind that only herding and fighting dogs really enjoy cards. (Reference C.M. Coolidge to get the details straight.) Other than that, just use common sense and keep your wits about you. Being the host can be trying, but remember: Have fun!