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What does your dog's birthday mean to you?


Rhodesian RidgebackSyd turned 9 yesterday. It wasn't our typical birthday celebration that revolved around outdoor activities like a nice long hike. There weren't lots of treats and a new item to chew on like a water buffalo horn or elk antler. Syd had dental surgery that had some unexpected surprises last week. We enjoyed the day nonetheless.

This year as I look through pictures to use for this post, I reminisce. And as I realize how she has changed physically, I deeply feel the importance of the present moment and going with the flow of life.

After I had a lovely lunch with my family to celebrate my mom on mother's day, I went home to spend the rest of the day snuggling up to the best dog on the planet.

She started feeling a lot better this weekend. Her personality is back and I paid closer attention to all of the details that make her Sydney.

She is serious about sleep. Don't ask her to get up earlier than necessary unless it is to move from her bed to someplace we get to snuggle up or if there is food involved.

She has a better sense of humor than most people. She does stuff to make me laugh daily and she also has a tendency to enjoy messing with me. When she thinks I have been concentrating too hard on work, she knows how to get my attention by doing something that will be annoying and funny at the same time. 

She enjoys people and meeting lots of new people, but, she only loves a few. You know if you are one of her few. She doesn't hide it. Unless you are me and you left her behind when you went someplace she wanted to go. 

This brings me to one of my favorite traits. She is conservative with the use of her tail wagging. She needs a really good reason to wag her tail. If you get a tail wag, it isn't for nothing.

Sometimes she tries to keep her tail from wagging. I mess with her until she can't control it. We both get a good laugh.

You can't fool her. She knows where you are going and where you have been. She knows if you have seen her favorite people without her. The only way to make up when this happens is to give her treats.

Don't mention the names of people she loves unless they are about to walk in the door. Otherwise, she will look for them at every door and window and when she figures out they aren't on their way over, she's going to give you the cold shoulder. Treats will fix this.

Yes, she knows the names of all her people. I didn't teach them to her. She is extremely observant. The most observant dog I have ever encountered. At 8 weeks old in obedience class she watched the demos and made me look like the best trainer in the world. She copied what the instructor was demonstrating every time. While all the other puppies were chewing on stuff and distracted by each other, she was the nerd watching what was happening. She was the kid that didn't need to study for tests. This isn't the only way she makes up for my short-comings.

She pretends she doesn't want attention. She plays it cool. Until you ignore her. If I ignore her enough she will sit next to me and lean in until she gets her forehead kissed. I fit in as many as I can until she turns away like she is disgusted. I think she hits a limit where she feels like she sold herself out.

As much as she has adapted her behavior to fit in with humans, she acts 100% on instinct out in nature. Rest in peace to the skunks and bunnies that underestimated her speed. This quality has also made us professionals at getting rid of skunk smell. I would be happy to share our secrets if you are ever in a bad skunk sitch.

She is the only dog I know that will not touch open garbage. I did not teach this to her. I cannot imagine what I did to deserve this. Maybe the dog/human matching gods were rewarding me for my patience with my dog Sam. That amazing creature ate a lightbulb once and survived without having it surgically removed.

 She is the first dog I have had that has never, ever displayed any signs of guilt. You know how you say your dog's name when they do something wrong and they cower or squint their eyes or do something that we interpret as guilt? She has never ever done that. Is it because she never gave me a reason to say her name that way until a year or so ago? I don't know. I know when I say her name that way now, it's to get her up and make her go outside when it's cold and her response is to growl at me and if I touch her to make her get up she bites me. Don't be alarmed. I bite her back and now it's a game. Point being, she doesn't display signs of guilt.

There a million other things I love dearly about my girl. These are just some of the things that came to mind during our lazy birthday celebration.

What are the things that make your dog unique? Please shoot a comment below. 

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