Everyone Deserves A Special Day

Honey’s birthday is coming up.

Normally I wouldn’t do much for it. I’d tell myself that as a dog, the day doesn’t mean much to Honey.

But everyone deserves a special day sometimes.

Honey the golden retriever wears a tiny birthday hat.

I can’t read. You’d tell me if any of the woman’s birthday ideas included wearing tiny hats, wouldn’t you?

Honey’s Birthday

On January 26, Honey will turn five years old.

And if I’m honest, I’m feeling a little sad.

She’s getting white hairs on her back although her muzzle is still gold. She’s healthy and fit and in the prime of her life.

There’s nothing to feel sad about.

But I know that many golden retrievers die young of cancer. And I worry.

Here’s hoping that she follows the example of my first dog, Agatha, and lives to sixteen.

Honey the golden retriever at the playground.

I hear the sign says that this playground is only for children ages 2 to 5. I’d better hurry up and play before I’m too old for it.

Pam’s Birthdays

And of course, we all know that dogs are stand-ins for our feelings about things. And I’m ambivalent about my own birthday.

Growing up, my family was somewhat… chaotic.

We celebrated holidays differently every year or missed them entirely. And birthdays, while never missed, got celebrated when it was convenient. “We’ll go out for dinner next month when things are less busy.”

As an adult, I’ve developed a fondness for ritual. I look forward to my little Christmas traditions. And I try to make birthdays special. On the actual day.

Not crazy or over the top. But special for the person.

Because everyone deserves a special day sometimes.

Honey the golden retriever rolls in snow.

I sure hope I get fresh snow for my birthday. Cuz this stuff is kinda matted down. I wonder why?

Honey’s Birthday Week

This year I’ll celebrate Honey’s birthday in a big way. By giving Honey her favorite things over a week.

Honey the golden retriever talks to a worm on the playground.

Maybe I’ll make new friends on my birthday. How about this fella?

Tuesday, January 20 – Is a busy day for me and I work late. So I’ll give Honey a new toy to play with while I’m gone.

Wednesday, January 21 – I’ll set up nose work games in the house.

Thursday, January 22 – I’ll teach her a new trick. Not sure what yet. Perhaps you have some suggestions?

Friday, January 23 – I’ll make her a special treat that we can all share.

Saturday, January 24 – I’ll take her to a safe place to walk off leash.

Sunday, January 25 – We’ll go for an extra long walk.

Monday, January 26 – Birthday day! I’ll give Honey her favorite thing ever. I’ll spend the entire day with her. If only I could get my husband off work.

And I’m hoping you’ll help make it more of a party by joining the fun.

Honey the golden retriever is puzzled.

He doesn’t say much, does he?

We’d love to see your pictures of your dogs doing Honey’s birthday activities. You can post them on the Something Wagging This Way Comes Facebook page. Or send me a link to your Pinterest page or social media picture in the comments.

Or email me your picture to SomethingWagging at gmail dot com and I’ll share it here. Make sure you tell me how you’d like the picture to be credited.

It won’t mean much to Honey to see pictures of other dogs enjoying toys or doing tricks. But it will mean a lot to me.

And everyone deserves a special day sometimes. :)

Your Turn: Do you celebrate your dog’s birthday or gotcha day? How?



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  1. Yes, I agree, special days are important :) We shall try and do some of Honey’s special things during her birthday week together with you too :)

  2. What a fun week planned, I made note so my gang can join in on the fun. I do stuff for my gang’s bday, they get cake, treats toys, and sometimes have to dress up. Everyone does deserve a special day! Us humans don’t do anything for our own but have other special days.

  3. I’m sure she will have a wonderful birthday!
    Yes, we celebrate our huskies birthdays. I usually take them for a trip to the pet store and let them sniff out their own selection of gifts. Then of course I make a doggie bday cake and take some photos!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  4. My guys get gifts and cake every year!

  5. She will love it all, even if she doesn’t know why.

  6. I made up birthdays for Ruby and Boca since I don’t know exactly when they were born, and Gotcha Days are a big deal at my house. Scrambled eggs for breakfast and a special hike.

  7. What a wonderful way to repay Honey for the companionship and love she gives you. Birthdays for our guys are low-key: we give them good-sized pieces of cheese, their favorite treat. Our guys are 5 and 7, so I hear you on that point. May you both enjoy Honey’s birthday week!

  8. Happy Birthday Honey! You share the same birthday as my mother in law. She will be ninety years young. How old is that in dog years? Have lots of fun celebrating all week.

  9. I barely remember to buy gift cards for the humans in my life. When my dogs start complaining, I’ll make a fuss over them. Do i sound like the Scrooge of birthdays?

  10. That reminds me I forgot B’s gotcha day. It was Dec 28. Oops. Good thing she didn’t notice!

    Maybe you could teach her spin? I don’t remember what tricks Honey already knows. Or you could teach her to turn the light off and on or open the fridge? Of course, teaching any dog to open the fridge could backfire. 😉

  11. Love the idea of a whole week of Birthday celebrations! Honey is a lucky girl!

    We will definitely be celebrating with you and sending some pictures of the fun :)

  12. We’ll definitely be doing indoor nose work and long walking, the other items perhaps. Sounds like a really nice week for her!

  13. I realize celebrating their birthday is for me, not them, but I think I do it to celebrate the joy they give me in life.

    Monty and Harlow (…and their rather weird person)

  14. WOW…that’s going to be some birthday week! Lucky Honey. Happy (early) Birthday!

  15. That’s an awesome idea to celebrate over the course of a week! I think I’ll do that for my guys. 😀

    I absolutely celebrate birthdays and Gotcha Days. Nola just had her 4th ones in Oct. and Dec., and Pike’s birthday is Feb. 7th.

  16. What a fun birthday celebration–I like to stretch out my own birthday celebration as long as possible, too! I always celebrate Barley’s birthday and adoption day–even though they’re less than a month apart–because I feel like they’re both really important days; her “birthday” is actually her in-take day at the shelter that they listed as her birthday, so without that day, she wouldn’t have had the chance to become part of my family and her adoption day is the day my life changed completely, so we celebrate both :)

  17. Normally, I find some way to celebrate each of my girls’ birthdays with them — even if it’s “just” spending the day with them. Shadow’s 2014 birthday was bittersweet because it was the day that Callie had her second ACL surgery…so after leaving Callie with the surgeon that morning (Ducky was already at daycare), Shadow had me all to herself for the rest of the day. But we both missed our Callie when we went for our walk at the park.

    I will have to put Honey’s birthday on my calendar so I remember to help her celebrate.

  18. What a wonderful week you have planned for Honey! We’re not big on birthdays around here for humans or dogs, but this past year we did make a big deal, since it was Luke’s first and both girls’ 10th. Lots of special treats and playtime in the yard made all three of them happy!

  19. What a fun birth week celebration. My girl will also be five this year, in March. I almost get sad about it as well, because I think it is considered middle-aged for large dogs.

  20. Sounds like a wonderful birthday week–and what a great idea to do something fun every day. Lamar’s favorite trick was “whisper”–and there are pictures of him doing it at http://peacefuldog.blogspot.com/2011/07/lamars-go-to-trick.html as well as a description of how to capture it if you ever want to try it with Honey (although it is probably best for a dog who has an annoying bark reflex, which she may not :))

  21. What a brilliant idea!!

  22. Great idea, a week-long birthday celebration for Honey! I know what you mean about being a little sad as our pups get older, but then I think about how we celebrate, love and appreciate them every single day. It helps keep me grounded and living in the moment. I’m looking forward to celebrating with Honey starting tomorrow!

  23. What a loving way to celebrate her birthday. Harley will definitely make sure he sends a special birthday greeting to Honey on the 26th. Can’t wait to see all the photos on FB.

  24. Great idea – we do it up big for Jack & Maggie – since they are both adopted and we don’t know their birthday, we created a “Gotcha Day” for them and we made it the same day as our Sally’s real birthday. We did it up big with a virtual party last year with prizes and a donation to the rescue where we got Jack. We’ll be sure to join Honey’s party this year!