We did it! Sadie and I made it a year together in one piece. Well, we are almost there. Sadie’s first birthday is July 1st but since it falls so close to America’s Independence it leaves the window for a party very small. I settled on the celebration to commence on June 20th, this past Saturday. If any of you are planning on executing a birthday party for your fellow pup I thought it would be helpful to give some suggestions from my recent experience.
Step One: Find a location Unfortunately, there is only one dog park near my town and it forces the big dog and small dogs to be separated in different gates. This would not work for my situation so I instead chose my backyard. Luckily it is big enough but it does not have a fence. This meant the dogs had to be on leashes for safety purposes. A little bit of a buzz kill but didn’t hinder the fun all that much!
Step Two: Pick a date As mentioned earlier, I knew that the actual week of Sadie’s birthday would not work so I picked a few weeks in advance. Since summer books up fast I decided on sending out invitations about a month in advance. I would advise to do the same amount of heads up even if you do not pick a busy month because it is always nice to spread the word as early as possible so as many people can attend as possible.
Step Three: Invites I chose to go the snail mail route because I love cards in all forms. My father is a designer so he was able to whip something up rather quickly. After I put the image on a CD I it over to Staples to get it printed. I would recommend trying to find another store to complete this task. Staples charged me twenty five dollars! An e-blast through gmail or even Facebook would be much more cost efficient and most likely quicker. Up to you! As mentioned earlier, please try to send whichever form in advance.
Step Four: Decorations (store) The dollar store is your friend! Party City and all those other fun zone websites are a rip off! Why pay ten dollars in shipping for ninety-nine cent paw-print confetti? Instead you should hit up the dollar store for everything you can get your hands on. In my case, I purchased the table cloth, serving ware, and even some fun dog bowls to store the chips and popcorn. What a find! Unfortunately, it did not have balloons so that was something I bought off my Amazon prime account. The balloons and delivery charge was about the same price as all stuff total I got at the Dollar Store.
Step Five: Decorations (DIY) Unlike my parents, I do not have an artistic bone in my body but I still enjoy doing some simple crafts. Any type of DIY you can do is helpful on the wallet. Instead of paying a fortune to purchase a customized sign I decided to create one. I purchased a white foam board and cut them into two bone shapes. Added a little sharpie note and voila!
Step Five: Food People love food and so do dogs. However, I learned that when you have a bunch of dogs running around it is difficult to concentrate on eating when you are chasing after all of them. I made a ton of food and a lot of my guests were more interested in enjoying the sunshine and taking a walk with their pooch than they were chowing down. Fine by me! If I were you I would just put out a bunch of chips and dip and call it a day. No need to make it a big deal!
Step Six: Activities As mentioned earlier, most guests are just interested in spending a Saturday afternoon with their furry friend but it is still nice to have at least one activity for the dogs to participate in. I decided that the best bet for a hot summer day would be to get a kiddie pool. The dogs absolutely LOVED it. I purchased it at a True Hardware store for fifteen bucks and it was worth every penny. Each dog went in and even some people stuck their feet in to cool off. I decided even if it was a flop at least the pool could be used as a watering hole for the thirsty dogs.
Step Seven: Remember the Memories I have essentially no memory at all. I can’t even remember what I had for breakfast, but I knew I wouldn’t want to forget this day. Of course snapping a lot of photos is the best answer but I also decided to also blow up a picture of Sadie and have everyone who attended sign a nice note to her. This way I wouldn’t forget all the fun we had that day. I purchased this image from Staples at a bargain price of only ten bucks!
Step Eight: Pamper! It is always nice to have the guest(s) of honor be nice and primped. I booked a haircut for Sparky (westie) and a blowdry for Sadie(cockapoo). Sparky donned a tartan tie and Sadie wore a precious bow. Please be make sure to leave these steps until right before the party because it is VERY easy to wreck the prettiness.