Monday, July 09, 2007
Sitting pretty for the camera
London, ON, July 2007 [Click to make the puppy into an adult]
Our dog, Frasier, celebrated his first birthday on Sunday. He can't read, of course. Nor can he understand the concept of calendars, orbital mechanics or Hallmark cards. So as far as he was concerned, today was yet another day in his charmed dog's life. But to our kids, today was special.
Noah spent much of the day drawing cards in various shapes - dog bone, party hat, dog head, etc. - and taping them up throughout the living room. He placed them wherever the dog was likely to see them, but too high for him to actually get to. See, our beloved dog is quite the paper-chewer.
Dahlia sang him the happy birthday song as soon as he woke up this morning. She sang it a few times, with different tempos, and at increasing volume. He didn't seem to mind.
Zach ensured he had extra food in his bowl this morning - notable because the smell of Frasier's food usually makes Zach nauseous - and also made sure my wife scheduled time to go to the pet store to pick up a gift for him.
I know. Birthday gifts for a dog. Ridiculous.
Yet I can't help but think that this was an entirely appropriate way to mark a milestone in this furry being's life. In a year when he went from the well-documented birth of a purebred to a family that clearly couldn't or wouldn't care for him, and left him in a cage for upwards of 18 hours a day before we adopted him, it mattered that on his birthday he had a happy day surrounded by people who adore him. It mattered that our kids got to bring a neglected pet into their home, that they learned how to love something more than any tchatchke they could get at a store. It mattered that this little one's life got happier as the year progressed, as did ours.
For him, today wasn't any different than any day in his life these days: He plays, he gives kisses, he gets hugged a lot, he sleeps, often on us, and he chews up the occasional newspaper and shoe. But for our kids, today allowed them to formalize what they've learned about pet ownership since we welcomed him into our home almost four months ago. As a parent, it was a joy to watch.
Your turn: What do you wish for a dog for his birthday? Be creative!