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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Misha the Scottie Turns Three

Have you ever been to a dog’s birthday party? I hold fond childhood memories of Hansel, our dachshund, inviting over Candy the chihuahua, and Cleo the basset hound for a backyard bash. All wore party hats and feasted on ground round. The melee was kept to a minimum and it was carried on Page 3 in the social columns.

Recently, our beloved Misha passed into his third year. That makes him 21 or so in dog years, an age where his input was deemed necessary for the party preparations.

At a time when friends’ multi-million-dollar mansions were going into foreclosure due to no fault of their own, Discrete and Understated would be the order of the day. Their dogs were already miffed enough to be moving to the other side of the tracks, no need to rub their wet noses in any shameless shindig. We would limit the affair to family-only.

Since Misha was a boy… well, make that a man… well, technically, make that less than a man in some regards… he did not need the ubiquitous Little Black Dress. That, alone, saved on the shopping budget. He was more of a black-tie-and-tails type of guy, but as a black Scottie, none of that would be seen anyway. Misha gave a nod and an approving bark to the Mickey Mouse party hat selected for the occasion. In his overgrown and ungroomed state, it was the least we could do. The groomer was busy for another two weeks.

Our family visited the local Doggy Bakery, suprisingly still afloat in this economy. We purchased two supposedly doggy-ingredient-friendly “cakes” the size of miniscule brownies, and costing us as much as a whole tray of brownies. Thanks to us, the place made their budget for the next month. We hoped Misha would like the gold-encrusted sprinkles.

Back at home, the Big Moment arrived. Misha and little Grisha would celebrate together in separate, but equal, worlds. When it came to dogs and food, togetherness was not always a good idea.

We placed the diminuative cakes in front of them, rather unremarkable squarish slabs. (Note to self: I could do better making them on my own.)

Grisha, as with all treats, took his and ran, not a very sociable creature when it came to fine dining. His shifty eyes told me he would be back soon enough, probably to swipe Misha’s morsel, birthday or no birthday.

The Divine Mr. M, on the other hand, craved entertainment. He chose to prance and lunge, asking us with his nose to slide the square back and forth, similar to a cat batting with his paws a mouth-watering mouse meant for the slaughter. But Misha just liked to watch, rearing up and pouncing down, as the cake careened past him. I chuckled to think we had avoided the Moon Bounce Inflatable Tent, the Pony Rides, and the Dripping with Sugar Sno Cones. I could hire myself out as Cesar Milan’s party-planning arm.

That night, Misha moaned quite a bit. I found myself questioning those birthday cake ingredients and the wisdom of departing from his usual bland diet. While upset tummies were often a sure sign of certain birthday party success, I still felt bad for my sweet Scottie fur-baby.

But at 21, he could start deciding for himself. He was a Big Boy now. Yet I was happy in the knowledge that beard and bushy brows notwithstanding, he still needed me, and I, him. Happy Birthday, Big Guy.

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