This past weekend included a very special event. My friend’s dog, Ripley, was celebrated with a ‘Happy Birthday’ party, ‘thrown’ by her granddaughters – Kai, age 8 and Grace, age 5 – to help mark Ripley’s first birthday. Actually my friend and her daughter-in-law did all the prep work, but the girls did suggest the idea. I don’t ever recall being invited to a dog’s birthday party before but it was quite the place to be on Sunday.
Poolside (Ripley is a true water dog) and with both of the girls swimming with her, splashing about, Ripley was in her element. There were decorations set up around the backyard, festive party hats, even a crown for the honored canine celebrant. And my friend found a ‘pup cake’ for Ripley, big brother Tek and my little dog Bella to share while her granddaughters had frosted tea cakes topped with sprinkles.
Bella, a Maltese, is dwarfed by both Ripley and Tek; she has known Tek since they were both just young pups. Ripley – being just a year old to Bella’s nine (almost 10) – gets so excited when Bella is around that she can’t contain herself. Her tail can be classified as a weapon when she’s moving it that fast wagging it. Guess the best definition I can come up with is that Bella tolerates Ripley unless she invades her space too much and then she forcefully voices her displeasure. But she doesn’t move. Bella will stand there, curl her lip and bare her teeth in an effort to show Ripley who’s boss, Ripley will back off but Bella won’t move. She prefers to stay in the same spot and wait for Ripley to come back so they can do it all over again. Seems to me it would make more sense to leave the area but Bella would rather stay put and snarl.
She was quick to join the crowd, though, when she saw that pup cake get broken out of the wrapper. And Ripley was nice enough to share with all her friends attending the pool party.
The girls also got goodie bags and one of the items inside was bubbles, with Kai blowing bubbles toward the pool. Ripley would try to get them, a few times jumping in to the pool in an effort to snatch them out of mid-air.
Everyone had a good time at the party, enjoying the sun, the pup and tea cakes, the many gifts for Ripley – three new chew toys and some dog treats – so even though I don’t have any other puppy party to compare it to, I would say it was a success.
The day before the party, my daughter and granddaughter came by to dip their feet in the pool and enjoy a little lounging time in the sun. Ripley once again was swimming and when she shook water on my granddaughter after getting out of the pool and rushing over to greet her, the giggles that erupted were priceless to hear. Lorelei could hardly contain herself, laughing with delight at Ripley’s antics. True belly laughs; Lorelei loves her dog, Sonny the Corgi, but this was her first time really getting a chance to interact with Ripley the Golden Retriever. When Ripley licked her face, the laugh got louder. Ripley is a little older, Lorelei just turning seven months old this week. But it got us thinking that we better start planning for Lorelei’s first birthday party as well. Probably won’t be poolside, since it will be in January, but time between now and then will fly, if the last seven months are any indication.
Time to get those invitations mailed out.
Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.