Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Real dogs don't eat cake

Best friends forever
London, ON, July 2008

Birthdays are very special in our house, even if you wear fur and don't speak a recognizably human language.

Frasier turned two today. Of course, he doesn't know that. As it was last year (click here for his first birthday entry, and here for all dog-related entries) he woke up to three children competing with each other for hug time with their favorite dog before breakfast. This being an extra special day, the hugs were a little tighter this morning, sprinkled with liberal singings of the Happy Birthday song and more than a few extra treats, too.

On the way home from camp in the afternoon, they insisted on stopping off at the pet store and getting him a present. Much discussion ensued before we settled on a large-ish stuffed whale.

He leads a charmed life, our dog, and we'd have it no other way. He doesn't do a whole lot around the house. In the year-and-a-bit since we brought his bedraggled form home from a family that really ought not have had a dog in the first place, he's chewed through more than his fair share of slippers, cables, garbage bags and plates of leftovers. He barks at the most inopportune times - in the middle of the night, during live radio interviews - and he barfs on the floor right at the moment that I'm running out the door to an appointment. Let's not discuss his behavior when he encounters neighbors' dogs during a walk.

Beyond this, he doesn't contribute to the mortgage. Nor does he clean up after himself. From a purely practical perspective, he's useless. But this little useless animal has burrowed himself into the fabric of our family. Our kids have learned the importance of caring for an pet who can't care for himself. We've watched them grow as they've figured out how to be responsible dog owners.

I hope we have many more happy days like this - both with him and with each other. We've learned in the past year how fragile life can be, and I find myself hovering over them and him, trying to remember every last aspect of what it feels like to experience moments like this.

Your turn: Remembering a special day. Please discuss.


Anonymous said...

the dog is cute~ >.<

Nestor Family said...

I have been away for a while... saw this post on Frazier's birthday and just had to immediately wish him a happy one!!!

I grew up celebrating many pet birthdays and they were just as special as my own! Those furry creatures are here for a reason... and I know that it's all about love (just like us, doncha think?)

kenju said...

Your children are growing SO fast! Both they and Frasier are darling!

Unknown said...

Dogs are very special family members even if they do all those things at the inappropriate times. Happy Birthday Frasier!! Its a dog's life after all!!

Canadian Mark said...

Great post. I wouldn't have been able to relate to it two years ago, but things have sure changed.

I was never much of a dog person until a year ago when I met my wife (she came with dogs). I'm still amazed at how much a part of the family they are and how much unconditional love can be doled out to them despite their inability to clean up after themselves and (often) obnoxious behavior.

Canadian Mark said...

Oh, and a happy birthday to Frazier, of course!

MorahMommy said...

It was a wonderful day with a fabulous puppy. I can't remember what life was like without him!

He has enriched our lives.

Happy Birthday sweet puppy.

Sara said...

Happy, Happy birthday, Frasier! I can tell you are a well loved dog!!!

Heather said...

Happy Birthday Frazier! I woke up this morning with my 8lb cat Cali curled up next to me, head on my shoulder, paws wrapped around my arm, purring contentedly. It was a nice moment. I never wanted cats (I have 3). Now I wouldn't give them away for anything.