Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Shown here are some of my favorite pictures of the babies. Both of them were taken during one of Abby’s birthdays, one when she was four and the other when she was ten. I’m not sure what spurred this tradition, but I’m pretty sure it started when Abby was three. I’ve always loved baking, and of course I’m crazy about my dogs. Who else would dedicate a whole blog to his pets? Once this started, I continued it not only for Abby, but I’ve extended the birthday party celebration for Pandy Please on his birthdays. When I gave them cupcakes, Abby loved it. But Andy really loved it. I think that Andy believes that cupcakes are dog food and are made just for him. Sure, I have made cup cakes for the dogs’ birthdays, but now Andy thinks that whenever he sees a cup cake, he is supposed to get one too. He will jump up and down and stare me down until he gets his cuppy cake. There have been times on days not on their birthdays when I’ve purchased some cup cakes from the store, and Andy has thought they were for him. It was so funny to see his cutey-pie face gazing at me in his pitiful attempt at begging.

The recipe I use is from a Hershey’s pamphlet that my relatives purchased when they visited central PA many years ago. The recipe is a favorite, but there are many other good recipes in that pamphlet that have yielded some impressive dishes that family and friends have loved. By now, some dog lovers reading this will be screaming “You can’t give chocolate to a dog!!” Maybe they are right, and maybe we have beaten the odds, but we have never had a problem with the babies eating chocolate. Granted, they are big dogs and they only received 6 cup cakes over the span of three days. Possibly I was playing with fire when I had my birthday celebrations with the babies. Fortunately nothing ever happened to them.

Some reading this may wonder why I’m delving into my eccentric tradition describing my celebration of my dog’s birthdays. Today is Pandy’s 12th birthday! In many, many ways I’m so happy that my baby boy has made it this long. Last year at this time, he was partially paralyzed in his back legs, could not walk and had to be escorted in and out of the house with a special device to help support his back legs so he could propel himself with his front legs. A year ago, had I given the nod to have Andy put-down, no one would have faulted me for it. The vet would have understandably euthanized Andy without second doubting me. I would not do that, but instead spring for the thousands of dollars needed for the surgery needed to make Andy better.

When Andy was younger, he was the model of good health. He ate right, kept active, ran and swam every day. He was always fit and trim without having the weight problems Abby did. I thought he would live forever. We did everything right with him. We fed him well, but not too much. We walked him at least a mile a day, and let him play fetch outside for 30 min or more day. When his back went out and he almost died, it was a kick in the teeth. We were not prepared for his death. Abby, on the other hand, had slowly slid into poor health. Her arthritis limited her mobility. And let’s face it; she was a lazy fat baby that loved to eat. It was a miracle she made it just eight days shy of her 13th birthday. Andy’s rapid health decline was so stunning for us making the likelihood of his dying hurt a whole fucking bunch. Later, I’ll describe the events leading up to Andy’s partial paralysis. But today, I’ll celebrate his being here and how much we love him. Of course, Abby will be with us in spirit. Had it not been for her, Andy would not be here now. On this day, Andy’s 12th birthday, a year after he almost died, I’ll borrow the words of Vice President Biden to note this occasion: this is a big fucking deal.


  1. Happy Birthday to Andy! And sorry about Abby. You're right... it is a big f'ing deal!

    And this is the first time I've seen your blog. Where've I been? I love your kitchen!!

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