16 Paw Party

Sometimes, in the face of death, we need to find life, and celebrate it.

Because life is to be celebrated. What a great and wondrous gift our God has given us. Can we even begin to fathom this if we truly think about it?

As I looked into the mirror of reality and faced the knowledge Smokey was leaving me soon, I decided it was finally time to have that 16 Paw Party I had been contemplating for some time.

Plus, and this is just a bonus, I love to play dress up with my pets. Ever since I was a little girl I have tried to dress up my pets. The cats we had growing up were going to have none of that, thank you very much. And well, none of the 4 cats I have or have had as an adult were going to have it either.

But now I had two dogs. And dogs, well, they are a lot more tolerant of the game of dress up than cats. My first dress up attempt with Layla and Christmas antlers for Christmas of ’13 was quite the bust, as was trying to get antlers on the cats. But then came Maggie, and I got to start this game with a brand new puppy. Not knowing any better, she has become the most willing, although yet to be exuberant, participant, and this Christmas we were able to get actual photos of 2 dogs, and 1 Smokey in antlers. We cheated with Smokey of course and just held them there for the pictures. And then we got to do a successful dress up again for St. Patrick’s Day. Both events are worthy of another blog post at another time. Because today I want to show you some footage from our 16 Paw Party.

All 16 paws in our house have a birthday (or an adoptiversary) sometime in the spring. Layla, we think is 4 now, is in late February (the adoptiversary – we have no clue when her birthday is), Maggie (almost 1) is sometime in mid April, Periwinkle (who is the only we have a definitive date for) is May 1 (she will be 11), and Smokey is sometime in early May (his 16th).

When you have a party, you have to, of course, invite guests. So we invited my parents from NJ. Or rather, I planned to have the party when they were visiting us over my spring break about two weeks ago.

First, the Layla and Maggie got bowtied up, because, as it turns out, neck wear is fashion that stays on the dog!


Then we lined up the party hats. See, even Smokey is curious this time.


Then Smokey and mom got their hats on.


Then Periwinkle got her hat on. I mean, she didn’t run away the second mom tried to put her hat on.


Maggie got her hat.


And Layla got her hat.


Grandpa got his birthday hat and somehow grandma cheated and didn’t wear hers.


Then the birthday bones came out. And a certain song was sung.


And Maggie and Layla waited. It’s hard to be a dog.


Then birthday tuna came out.


And all 16 paws got to enjoy their birthday eats.


And presents. There have to be presents. (Ooops, no photo, this is a shot from the video) . Layla likes to open her own presents and Maggie is a good sport and lets her go first.  Don’t worry, the cats got something too.


And finally, post party crash. Periwinkle is there too, you just can’t see her head, she is partied out.


I know a 16 Paw Party may seem silly. But to me, it was a way of saying yes to life. Next year Smokey will get to party with us from Heaven, and what a glorious party that will be. But this year, I got to make Amazing Memories with our 16 paws, my husband and parents. And this reminded me to celebrate life.


3 responses to “16 Paw Party

  1. My dear Cheryl, you are indeed a treasure. You remind me to celebrate life…I get so caught up in the day to day struggles that I forget to celebrate the daily triumps…thank you for reminding me that it is actually the small things that often matter in the long term

  2. Dad and I had a wonderful time at the party! It was a fun and funny evening! Celebrating life with family is beautiful at the time and beautiful in the memories we have to cherish. I am glad you documented this special time in words and pictures. And you know I wore my perky hat most of the times.

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