For the Love of Furry Family Members

Published by Table for One

When I was 16 years old, my parents woke me up with the best surprise a teenage girl could have hoped for.

I remember it perfectly. It was another typical morning of wanting to do nothing but stay in bed (remember, I was sixteen years old…), so the endless giggling of my mom and dad entering my room did nothing but annoy me. I was not amused when I started to wake up and pull the covers over my head, scowling at them to go away. Unfortunately for my grumpy teenage self, they did not leave. As I tried to ignore the commotion and pretend that they weren’t in my room so I could get back to sleep, they dropped something on me. Sure enough, my stubborn self still ignored it. My efforts of going back to sleep were unsuccessful. I was very annoyed. Then, I felt something move.

I was confused, half-asleep, and still under the covers. It felt like feet moving on top of me. As I turned over and took the covers off of my head, I thought to myself, “We don’t even have a dog…”

Then I saw what it was.

A puppy!

a sweet puppy

A six-week-old, sweet, clumsy puppy who stole my heart that morning.

Immediately, I sat up in my bed and cuddled him. I mean, who knew how much time I had with this ball of joy?! Surely I wasn’t keeping him. He must have been one of my dad’s friend’s dogs that he brought over to show me.

“He’s yours.” My dad then stated.

“WHAT?” I exclaimed, jaw dropped.

“Yep, he’s yours!”

“Wha— where did you get him!?”

“My friend’s dogs just had puppies, and he let me choose one for you.” My dad’s smile was almost as big as mine.

As I heard this news, I tried to figure out what emotion I was feeling. Was I happy? Surprised? Confused? Was this puppy really mine? I was only sixteen for crying out loud!

“He was the only puppy who looked like that in the litter,” my mom stated. “All the rest were light brown and looked differently. Your dad chose this one especially for you.”

My heart leaped for joy. I couldn’t believe it! My very own puppy! My very own ball of joy!

My very own Oliver.

holding a puppy

Now, let’s skip the failed attempts at house breaking, sleepless nights of hearing him cry in his kennel, and overall lack of obedience training since that was NOT my first priority when getting a puppy (remember, SIXTEEN…) and fast forward to six years later.

I don’t know about you, but a dog is a very important part of the family for me. I feel as if every family should have a dog!

I see this quote everywhere on Facebook and Pinterest:

“Whoever said diamonds are a girl’s best friend never had a dog.”

I can relate to this quote so much! Oliver has been with me for a long time now, and has seen me go through quite a bit. No matter what happens to me, great or horrible, I can always count on hearing the pitter-patter of his feet as he excitedly jumps around in circles when I open the front door of my condo.

No matter what I do, my ball of joy will always be happy to see me. I got a gift for one of my boyfriend’s brothers last Christmas who also understands the love of having a dog that stated, “Be the person your dog thinks you are.” Everybody needs this kind of affection in their lives. A dog will never be mad at you for forgetting to do the dishes, or making a mess in the kitchen, or for never cleaning your room. A dog will still think you’re the best, even if you argue with your parents or siblings. Every family needs the anchor of a dog’s love to hold down their ship.

I really hope you agree with me as you read this, because that will lessen the chances of me being judged when I say that I threw Oliver a birthday party on Sunday night!

dog in a birthday hat

There were six of us here to celebrate another year of life for this dog that we all love, and if you recall my uneasiness of feeding a bigger group of people from one of my previous posts, you’ll probably wonder how I did it this time.

Again, it was simple! Thank goodness for Recently Empty Nested’s Irish Apple Cake recipe, because it is a perfectly safe cake to feed your dog!

ingredients for Irish apple cake
Ingredients for the cake. I doubled the recipe since the pan I had was bigger than the recipe calls for.
Too bad Table for One doesn’t have an electric mixer!
ready for the oven
Ready for the oven!
ready to eat
All finished — YUM!

I’ve gotta say — I am pretty grateful for the easy instructions given in her recipe. This was the first out of the three homemade desserts I’ve made that came out a complete success!

dog ready to eat his cake
Even Oliver saw how good it looked!

After we sang Happy Birthday to Oliver and watched him swallow his piece of cake in 2 whole bites, we shared plenty of laughs and jokes and got to know each other better as we played a couple of board games together.

This is what makes time around the table so valuable! Whether it is for Sunday dinner, a quick mealtime in the middle of the week wedged in between your busy schedules, or for a birthday dessert for our beloved pets, we must take advantage of the opportunities we get to share these moments together… and that includes our dogs.

holding a puppy

How do you celebrate your pets’ birthdays? Let us know in the comments below! Remember — no judge zone!