Our pride and joy turned 1 year old last week! May 19th, it was a big day for our big guy. He knew something was up too, due to the major spoiling he got (even more than usual)! Here are some of my favorite pics from the first year of his little doggy life 🙂
We started by giving him some gifts. Some funny bouncy thing that is supposed to glow in the dark, and an orange duck. He loved his ducky, as any true Labrador would! Plus, the grandparents got him new toys too, including this GINORMOUS bone. You should have seen his eyes light up when he saw this thing!
Next, we gave him his birthday cake (recipe featured at the end of this blog entry). Doggy friendly, complete with his favorite milk bone treats, and a candle to top it off. It’s sort of hard to tell from the picture, but I carved the cake into the shape of a bone. I’m not awesome at making food look pretty, but it was a valiant effort right?
We tried to get him to wear a party hat, but he wasn’t too crazy about it. We were able to snag a few cute photos of him in it though.
We have not had him from day one of his little puppy life, but getting him at 6 weeks old it has been almost a full year. I always knew I wanted a dog, but never thought I would get as attached as I am to this guy! I have always loved dogs, but when I would hear things people did to spoil their dogs I thought, “That’s ridiculous! I mean, I love dogs, but I will never be that outrageous with one. I mean, it is just a dog afterall.” Boy am I eating my words now. He sleeps in our bed with us, I made him a cake for cripes sake, and as long as he won’t overheat in the car I take him anywhere I can. I never imagined what a wonderful addition to our family he would be.
It’s not just Derek and I who are nuts about this pooch. Our parents are randomly stopping by to see him, getting him toys and treats just-because, and they also got him birthday presents (one parent even wrapped them)! It probably sounds silly or cliché, but he has truly brought so much fun and joy to our lives.
Derek and I have learned to care for another creature together, using teamwork to be sure he is well taken-care of. Typically one of us takes care of getting the dog food, another will go get medicine from the vet when needed, and we share duties feeding and letting him out. We often spend time outside playing with him, going on drives with him in our laps (yes, even at 80 pounds he is still a lap dog), or just hanging out in the shed while he roams around. In just one year, this guy has grown on so many people’s hearts, and we could not be more grateful.
Most importantly, I think dogs teach us how we should act as humans. There is no creature more loyal, faithful, loving, or happy as a dog. If all of us strived to improve ourselves in all of these areas, I really believe this world would be a much better place.
I believe the commitment of caring for a dog does not stop at feeding him and letting him out, but making sure he is happy and has companionship. When you decide to get a dog, you are promising to take care of that dog regardless of if he is healthy or sick, big or small, well-behaved or a bad doggy. So yes, I bake my dog cakes, refer to him as my baby, and post tons of obnoxious pictures of him. He deserves the best though, because every dog relies on us so heavily to care for them. I may be a bit over-the-top with the affection I have for my canine, but the truth is when you get a dog you are making a commitment. Your dog may be only one part of your life, but you are your dog’s whole life. Think about that. Do it and do it well people. Peace out to you and your pooches!
Doggie Birthday Cake
(original recipe found at http://sophieinthekitchen.blogspot.com/2012/08/peanut-butter-pumpkin-puppy-cake.html)
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ Cup peanut butter
1/8 Cup vegetable oil
½ Cup applesauce
½ Cup pumpkin puree
½ Cup greek yogurt, plain
dog treats of choice for decoration (I used milkbones)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×4 inch bread loaf pan. In a bowl, stir flour and baking soda. Add in remaining ingredients and combine. Pour batter into loaf pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until toothpick stuck into the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely on wire rack, or place in fridge or freezer when in a hurry. If desired, cut cake into a bone shape with a serrated knife. “Frost” cake with yogurt. Top with your pooches favorite dog treats, a special candle, and allow him to enjoy!