Today is Jana’s 6th birthday. I decided to take a few hours off work and do some fun things with her.
Last night we went to an agility class. She’s taken beginning agility classes and has learned most of the equipment, but she has fun with it. We’re nowhere near ready to run full courses but she really enjoys the classes. She was alert, engaged, and really loved all the treats.
Today, I took her to the river for a swim. I threw sticks in for her to swim after. She doesn’t really retrieve them, not fully believing that she’s a retriever (or even a dog, for that matter). She swam, rolled in the grass, swam some more.
Then we went to the Dairy Queen for a treat. I got ice cream. Then I asked for a plain hot dog, no bun. “Nothing, no bun?” the Dairy Queen lady asked. “Well, it’s for my dog. It’s her birthday and I promised her a treat,” I answered. “Oh, for your dog. Does she want it in a little baggie?” The woman smiled at me, then frowned at the cash register, wondering how much to charge. She only charged me 50 cents. Then she asked, “Does she want a doggy cone for dessert?” “You DO that?” I asked. Yes they do. Dairy Queen lady pulled out a tiny little cone — maybe 2 inches tall — and filled it with Dairy Queen ice cream, a little glob on top, just like a grown-up cone. Only tiny.
I got into the car and told Jana she was the luckiest dog in the world. I showed her the hot dog. Her eyes got really big. I gave her bites of hot dog. Then, I offered the cone. Her eyes lit up and got even bigger. She bit off the top glob of ice cream and then — very daintily — licked the ice cream down to the cone and nibbled at the cone. Finally, she gobbled the cone. Then she started eyeing mine…
Now she’s sunbathing in the yard.
A couple of years ago, on Jana’s birthday, we were driving from Richmond, VA to Jefferson, MA, where we lived at the time. It was a very long day in the car. At one of our stops, I got myself some ice cream, then got Jana a small bowl of vanilla. When I got her out of the car and offered it to her, she was absolutely incredulous. She looked at it, then looked at me, back at it, and back at me, as if to ask, “For ME?? Really??!!” I said, yes, for you, and she eagerly and happily started slurping away.
So. When’s the last time you did something nice for your dog? For many people, living with a dog is all about what the dog does for them. We should all take a look at the world from our dog’s point of view sometimes. Figure out what her favorite activity is, her favorite toy or food or color (Jana’s is pink). Our relationships with our dogs add so much to our lives. I like thinking of ways to make Jana really happy so she knows how much I appreciate having her in my life. Happy Birthday, Jana!