Several years ago, my niece Priscilla threw a princess-themed birthday party for her dog, Lily. It was a masquerade party of sorts, with all of us humans and canines dressing as princesses.
My dog's crown made it only to the front door where, with a shake of her head, it fell to the floor. The birthday girl, however, resplendent in pink, kept hers on until she'd greeted all of her guests.
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We had birthday cake -- there were two cakes, one for the dogs and one for us -- played a game and enjoyed each other's company. It was a fun way to spend the afternoon.
If you're thinking of celebrating your dog's birthday with a Dog Birthday Party, Nicole Pajer, www.cesarsway.com, and several other websites and articles offer suggestions for making your party a success.
Safety is an important factor to consider since there will be mix of a dogs attending. Keep an eye on the party guests at all times and have a separate gated area for dogs that aren't playing well with others. Put away anything the dogs can get into and keep the people food away from the canine guests.
Pajer's Dog Birthday Party Planning Guide offers suggestions for planning the date, party theme and location. When considering the date for the party, it might be around the dog's birthday, or if you don't know his actual birthday, the day you brought him home from the shelter.
Themes might include a party representing the personality or the breed of your dog, black and white favors if you have a Dalmatian, a western theme with dogs wearing bandannas around their necks, or a famous dog theme, using Lassie or Snoopy as your model.
Invitations, decorations and favors for guests may reflect the theme of the party. You can purchase invitations and favors or make your own. Include a photo of your dog inside the invitation as well as the date, time and location of the event.
Draw chalk paw prints on the sidewalk outside your home leading up to the door you want your guests to use.
Put a paw-print tablecloth down and decorate the room, up high, with garland. Put out treats for guests in bowls you can use as party favors, or give goody bags filled with dog treats and a toy appropriate for the size of the dog.
You may also want to take pictures and send them out with your thank you notes.
As with all birthday parties, location is an important consideration. Pajer suggests a grassy outdoor area such as a fenced-in backyard. The safe area should have an open space where the dogs can play, and a shaded area where they can rest. She also suggests renting out a room at a doggy day care facility.
Entertainment will depend on the location of your Dog Birthday Party. You can include balls, toys or Frisbees for the dogs to play with or for throwing and retrieving, or set up an obstacle course.
Food should include fresh water for each dog guest to drink throughout the party. Dog treats should be up on a table for distribution during the party. Canine birthday cakes are available at pet stores, freshly baked and sent out from online sites, or you can bake your own.
Dog birthday parties are fun to plan and attend. After all, we're spending time with our pets.
And speaking of birthday parties, here is your invitation to the Buddy Foundation's 18-year birthday bash.
The event is at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at Moretti's, 1799 S. Busse Road, Mount Prospect. Cost is $30 in advance or $35 at the door.
There will be a buffet and birthday cake, a raffle and auction, along with music and entertainment.
Sorry, only humans are invited to this event.
Please remember our events are our only ways of raising money for the shelter. We receive no state or local subsidies of any kind. All donations go directly to assist the animals at The Buddy Foundation. There are no salaries, no paid staff -- everyone is a volunteer.
Happy birthday, Buddy Foundation!
• Contact The Buddy Foundation at (847) 290-5806; visit us at 65 W. Seegers Road, Arlington Heights; or online at thebuddyfoundation.org.