Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Pet Parties! You're invited

SPECIAL BOOK GIVEAWAY! One lucky commenter will win an ARC of Hank's upcoming book, The Wrong Girl.

ROSEMARY HARRIS: Not petting parties (if anyone's old enough to remember that expression!) Pet Parties.

Happy Anniversary, Max. Nine years ago this week my husband and I fell in love. Not with each other - with a sloppy, two year old red golden retriever named Max.
We had lost our beloved Patrick four months earlier and didn't think we'd have room in our hearts for another dog so soon. But I got the itch and contacted Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue in Hudson Massachusetts.

After an interview process that I imagine could only be rivaled by the adoption of a child from the Ukraine (including providing personal references and submitting to a home visit) we were deemed suitable.

It was determined there were two candidates. The first was a skinny golden mix. Very energetic. Very nice. Next.
The second dog bounded away from his handler and delivered sloppy kisses all over my face. It was love at first slobber. Particularly since Patrick, another rescue dog, had been a little standoffish.

Max was two and his previous owner was, we were told, a young woman who could no longer take care of him. I'm not surprised. I wouldn't recommend a two year old golden to anyone with a full-time job. Not because they're so demanding - you will want to spend hours a day playing, canoodling, retrieving your own socks and dish towels from your pet's hiding places and simply snuggling in the big brown chair with your furry friend.

So nine years later, we will make Max an anniversary hamburger (maybe a rawhide candle) to celebrate the day he joined our family.

Fess up - have you ever celebrated a pet's birthday? Anniversary? Summer haircut?

Share your pet's homecoming or party story.

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Pets. Pets. My dear cats Lola and Leon, RIP, were both fabulous, hilarious, and lived together for 14 years without acknowledging each other's existence.  Now, we don't have pets, there's no way in the universe we'd be able to take care of anyone, we can barely handle ourselves.
But! We do have an animal anniversary--every year, on March 14,--amazingly, almost exactly on March 14th--the ducks come back to our pool. I know the date because I was looking for a picture of them, and discovered two year's worth--each first one taken on March 14. How do they KNOW?
We love them so much--and we feed them. But they are fine without us. And that works out well.

LUCY BURDETTE: Oh happy birthday Max! Love the story Ro:). I don't really have a pet party story, but how about an adoption story? We adopted a dog too, and after that, another, who is my devoted Tonka.

But the first Australian Shepherd in our life was named Poco--his family gave him up when he was eight because their son was leaving for college and they wanted to travel. Can you imagine? I really can't. And neither could the Aussie rescue lady--she was horrified, and so happy to find him a good home. And he opened our hearts so we were ready for Tonka six years later, who was much younger and livelier. He's still a handful but I wouldn't trade either of those dogs for all the trips in the world.

RHYS: Alas we have no pets. We are never in one place long enough. But Jane's dog Sunny does come to visit quite often and is thoroughly spoiled when she's with us--we'll have her for 2 weeks when Jane goes to England next week. And she does get her own stocking at Christmas from me, so I guess I'm a pet softie.

HALLIE EPHRON: Pet parties? No. Never. But I don't think it's at all weird, and if you want to invite me to yours, I'll even wear a party hat.

ROSEMARY: I might have a party just to see Hallie in the hat....

Well, here's the perfect present for your doggie if there is a party in his future - the 2014 Yankee Golden Retriever Calendar.  It's a terrific organization and we thank them every day for Max!

Oh...and those bitchin' tank tops - well by popular demand EVERYONE wants to see Jack in one - so he gets one, and since the Reds are nothing if not generous Shizuka and Denise Ann also win. Please send your street addresses to me at Shirts will ship on Aug. 27.


  1. Pets . . . the dogs were wonderful with the children; the cats were always independent but tolerant of the children’s antics . . . it was a perfect match for everyone . . . .
    The goldens were fence climbers and they would regularly escape from the back yard, precipitating neighborhood hunts; the retrievers generally passed on gallivanting around the neighborhood without us!
    I can’t say that I recall any pet parties, but the pets were always around for the children’s parties! The cats would huff off to the window sill or some other place deemed temporarily appropriate; the dogs would camp out under the table where they were assured the children would slip them some special goodie . . . .

  2. Happy Anniversary, Max!

  3. My wonderful and amazing assistance dog Kendall became my helper when he was two years old. He was trained since birth, starting with volunteer puppy petters, puppy raisers, and professional trainers before we met for the selection process at Power Paws in Scottsdale.

    At boot camp there were 3 students and 6 dogs. After a week of study and practice with all the dogs, we were paired with the dogs to make the best working teams. I was ecstatic that Kendall, a gorgeous golden retriever, was selected to be my assistance dog.

    Kendall helps with the laundry. He can turn lights off and on. He gets groceries from the shelf and puts them in the shopping cart. He can help me walk a little by helping me balance. He picks up things I drop. He wakes me up in the morning. He reminds me to feed the birds. He knows over 100 commands. He makes me feel good and safe. I need that.

    Power Paws Kendall has a community Facebook page to support the effort of Power Paws of Scottsdale. I like to provide information and help promote assistance dogs to the public and especially for people who might be thinking about applying for one for themselves or for a child.

    Kendall's birthday is November 17. We celebrate with a good run around the neighborhood and a lot of hugs and kisses.

  4. Wooo Hooo! I'll be wearing the BITCHES OF BROOKLYN shirt at some point during SeaScape -- major photo op. Bring your camera, Lucy. Thank you, Ro, and all the Jungle Reds.

    Never had a pet party, but way back when we used to play a kissing/petting game called "flashlight."


  5. Pet Parties - Yes!!!! Our Harley Doodle Barley was born on the 4th of July. He's eight. and we have a party for him every year, hats included. gifts in pretty gift bags included. treats and candles . . . (too much?)

  6. This is reminding me about a wonderful book, THE POSSIBILITY DOGS. Susannah Charleson (she visited Jungle Red talking about her earlier book, SCENT OF THE MISSING -- Remember Puzzle?). Susannah has a houseful of "unadoptable" dogs who are treasures.

    Want to know more? Stay tuned! On September 6 Susannah will be visiting Jungle Red and talking about her new book, her dogs, and what she's learned from them.

  7. Reine, your dog sounds amazing--what a treasure!

    Jack, I will bring my camera. But are you certain you want that circulating around the internet??

  8. I have no pets, which is probably a good thing, because I would want at least half a dozen dogs but condo bylaws permit only one! When I was in HS my family got a puppy, a dachsund and cocker spaniel mix, right around George Washington's Birthday so we always thought of that as Oliver's birthday, too, and often celebrated with cherry pie. We soon learned that we HAD to get him something for Christmas because he would whine pitifully when the family opened presents and he was therefore NOT the center of attention! (Did I mention that he was narcissistic and neurotic?) We would give him his nice new chew toy just before passing out the gifts to the rest of the family and he happily chewed away while watching the rest of us. Sometimes he got up to sniff someone's gift. He also like to run off with discarded wrapping paper. Family members who decorated packages with little chocolate Santas had to hide them out of his reach. (He also had a "thing" for tinsel but I am NOT going to get into that! I frequently was the designated dog walker..., designated by Oliver, I should add. SUCH fun.)

  9. YES, we MUST have pictures of Jack!

    My capcha is wrequest ...I think that's a sign to bring on those pictures!

  10. I cannot wait to see picture of Jack wearing the B-Shirt!

  11. I would love to get an ARC of Hank's book - I have never met her in person but think she is one of those people I call a rara avis.. the rare combination of charm, talent, grace and kindness. I am so proud of what she has accomplished and loved doing a blog about her last winter. Thelma in Manhattan

  12. I have several dogs, five to be exact. Four are rescues, including a Standard Poodle and a Saint Bernard.

    I know four actual birthdays, but Kingston (a lab/pit mix, who is the sweetest dog ever) was found on the highway, so the day I got him became his b'day. They all get a chew bone or toy, with a special dog treat with dinner.

    They get Christmas presents too. Never had a pet party with cake, candles, and party hats, though I'm trying to imagine Bella, the Saint, wearing one :)

  13. Don't get me started on dogs. When I was in utero, all the dogs on the base where my dad was stationed got rabies, and all the people had to line up and get rabies shots-- so maybe I picked up my dog obsession as a result, but frankly, I think it is genetic (all but one sibling have it).

    I'm currently owned by Buster (ostensibly a Yorkie, but there may be something else in his tiny bod), rescued June 2, who turned 12 on July 1. Before that, Muffin, Sparky, Scooter, Gremlin and Ginger-- all but Gremlin came with their names and, as they were older, I was reluctant to change them. Gremlin was a nameless stray rescued off Death Row, who was given the name of one of my parents' dogs on base, because she resembled the photos of that dog.

    Party? Every day's a party!

    NOTE TO ROSEMARY: NO RAWHIDE. It is bad for them, can expand in their stomachs and cause torsion, which can be fatal. Try an antler instead (moose shed them, dogs seem to love them, and lately they are what most vets recommend-- or ask your vet).

  14. Vickie and Ellen, you are so lucky, and so are your dogs! I cannot believe the rabies story--that is horrible!

    Christmas, of course! Every pet has a stocking, just like every person:)

    Thelma, so funny that you haven't met Hank--seems like you should be old pals...

  15. Ro, I LOVE this: It was love at first slobber.

    As to pet parties, every year for Scout's birthday (my beautiful Lab/Shepherd/Malamute mix who died less than a month ago), I bought him gifts and he went on car rides and received other things he loved. And was forced to take an obligatory picture wearing a pink crown, which he hated.

    But last year, for his 13th birthday, we had a bark mitzvah. I bought a yarmulke and prayer shawl for him, which he wore happily all night. A small group of friends came over. He received presents and way too many treats. It was a lovely evening, the memories of which I'll treasure forever.

  16. This is a topic after my own heart. I'm one of those slightly crazed, maudlin, political (premarin mares, don't get me started!) animal lovers.

    If I were good at science I would probably have been a vet, or a wildlife biologist, or something. I even dreamed of being a National Geographic photographer for awhile.

    Recently, ants appeared in my condo. I let them stick around for a few days so I could observe them. Fascinating little creatures, they are. I got rid of them by scouring the kitchen with bleach water. Nothing to eat, they left. (No chemicals.)

    Anyhow, that's me...crazy animal girl. My friends tease me because I stop to pet every dog.

    I have a one-eyed rescue spaniel named Luna, and a goofy Siamese mix (also rescue) named Trio. They crack me up!

    Agree with Ellen: NO RAWHIDE, everyone.

    (Reine, can't wait to see Jack in the t-shirt either!)

  17. Lucy, apparently the world was different during WWII and before (and perhaps after, at least for a decade or so). My mother was astonished to learn that I took my dogs to the vet regularly, and got them preventive shots.

    All the dogs at Ft. Jackson apparently ran loose, none had shots, and first there was a wave of distemper, then one of rabies. People just accepted that as part of life. My mother could never have fathomed my pet health insurance!

  18. A bark mitzvah--you could start a super trend there Barb! We are still sorry about Scout:(--the worst moment in a pet lover's life...

    Me too Lisa, crazy animal girl:) Yoda is lying on the desk next to my laptop wondering when he'll be mentioned...and purring...

  19. Barb Goffman, I LOVE the bark mitzvah!

    We've always celebrated our dogs' birthdays. They get special treats (no rawhide, pig's ears, or antler!) and toys. They get Christmas stockings, too, and one of our favorite memories of Hallie (our German shepherd who died at fourteen last fall) was the Christmas we bought a stuffed toy for her stocking a week or so before Christmas. We hid the thing everywhere in the house and no matter where we put it, she'd find it. We finally just gave it to her early.

    Our cats are rescues, so we've given them arbitrary birthdays. They just want more canned catfood:-)

  20. Boo, short for Boolie the ideal son in Driving Miss Daisy, is a rescue dog. He was 4 when we got him; he's 10 now. He is part border terrier and the rest mystery. He is the first dog to sleep on our bed with us. Evidently that was his spot in his former home and he wasn't going to give it up. To this day he growls at my husband returning to bed in the middle of the night. Or barks at him. Frank loves him even if he badmouths him at those moments. He takes him for walks that invariably include a café where he can get a glass of wine and sit outside. Dogs are welcome there. And the help all know Boo. Others bring their dogs too to sit outside and socialize or read or compute. If anyone has food Boo is their best friend. He has no shame!

  21. Rawhide isn't safe? damn. Our vet has said no real bones either.
    Got off track. I buy Christmas presents for the family dogs. Brother's dogs, sister's dogs, niece's dog, and brother's cats if I'm feeling generous. Usually treats.

  22. While I don’t have any pets my sister-in-law is a big dog lover, throwing fun birthday parties every year for her two yellow labs. She bakes them a fabulous carrot cake and the lucky birthday dog gets the first slice. We are not allowed to sing Happy Birthday unless there is carrot cake available as they recognize the song and come running for cake.

  23. Lucy/Roberta, we have two Aussies! Aussie (oh so original) is a red merle. Sam is a black tri and a rescue dog. We could tell he was abused and hated all men except my husband and father, but Sam has been with our family ten years (wow, has it been that long??) and we can't imagine our life without him. No pet parties, but the kids love singing Happy Birthday to Aussie.

  24. Roberta, love the name "Yoda" for a cat! I'm picturing a very wise cat on your desk. :-)

  25. Debs, you had a GERMANY SHEPHERD named Hallie? How did I not know that?

    I think of Hallie is more of a schnauzer.

  26. I've had a total of 7 rescue cats, 5 of them currently alive and living with me. When my boys were little and begged for pets, I said we would get two kittens, so they would have each other to play with and not destroy my house.

    We went to a Pet Rescue place to get them. We found two kittens in a bottom floor cage. As we knelt on the floor, ooohing and aahing over the kittens, I felt a touch on my shoulder. I lookup to see an older cat, stroking my shoulder and purring at me. and purring at me, and reaching out with the paw...and purring at me. Yes, dear reader, I came home with THREE cats...and a sore ear, from being yelled by my husband on the cell phone, on the way home in the car.

    We walk in the house, I let her free, and she runs promptly over to my husband, wrapping around his legs, and purring, and stroking, and kneading at the ground by his feet...he was catnip in her paws.

    Don't ask how we got the last two. I am a fool for a sob story.

  27. Oh, running in late..LOVE all your pet talks!

    My tortoiseshell Lola came from the shelter..she definitely picked ME. Reached out a paw and I was hooked. She was so tiny, she couldn't even go up stairs.