How to Celebrate a Dog’s Birthday
Dexter The Dog’s 8th Birthday Celebration
What can I say? I just love Dexter so much. “To the moon and back,” as I always say. Or, “It’s all about Dexter.” But really, it is.
I’ve always been a dog lover—no, an animal lover. There’s just something about the way animals behave and love that has me mesmerized. I’ve been lucky to have lived with my fair share of amazing dogs and cats over the years, but there’s just something different about the relationship I have with Dexter.
My Heart Dog. That’s Dexter. When I met Dexter on November 15, 2009, at 5 weeks of age, and brought him home at 12 weeks, I never knew that Dexter was going to become my world. But it didn’t take long before I knew we had something special. For Dexter, I think he knew the first day we met!
Picking Out Dexter
Before Dexter, there was Theo. Theo was cursed with extreme dog anxiety. He was terrified of thunderstorms, loud noises, and fireworks; he had separation anxiety and dog-to-dog reactivity. Theo taught me more than I ever could have imagined, and I thank him for allowing me to care for him throughout his life.
Because of Theo’s stress, I knew I was going to be very proactive with Dexter’s care and puppy training. We went to puppy training class 2-3 times a week. Okay, grandma took him through the dog training classes I taught. 😉 We went on daily dog adventures for puppy socialization. I worked hard on preventing dog behavioral problems such as separation anxiety and thunder phobia. We took dog-friendly vacations together. You name it—we did it.
Maybe it’s the fact that Dexter has been my constant companion since day one, or maybe there is just something extra-special about him—I don’t know. But the end result is the same. I love him to pieces, and I will do anything and everything I possibly can to ensure he has the best, fullest life possible.
September 2012 would be a life-altering month for me. Dexter was diagnosed with Chiari-like malformation (CM) and Syringomyelia (SM). In a nutshell, the base of Dexter’s skull pushes into his spinal cord and obstructs the normal flow of spinal fluid. This causes the spinal fluid to build up pressure at the base of the neck, forming fluid-filled cavities along his spine. Unfortunately, there really isn’t any successful cure, and the disease is progressive.
Dexter’s diagnosis shook me to my core. I couldn’t imagine my life without him, or worse yet, him in pain. However, I am happy to report that over the last 5 years, I have been working with Dexter in a variety of ways to keep his symptoms at bay and to continue to provide Dexter with the quality of life he deserves. If anything, this disease has brought Dexter and me closer, and just proves that we have to live each day to the fullest and have no regrets.
Even though today is Dexter’s 8th birthday, it really isn’t any more special than any other day we have together. I don’t want to celebrate Dexter’s life once a year; I want to celebrate his life daily! In honor of Dexter’s birthday, I am asking you to do two things, starting today.
- Please donate or volunteer at your favorite pet rescue. These amazing animals are just waiting for someone to come along and help them learn about love and respect. We will be donating to Cavalier Rescue USA in honor of Dexter’s life.
- Please, please, LIVE LIFE DAILY with your pets. They are on this earth for such a short time, so cherish every moment you have with them. We only get one shot at making it a good one. They want your attention more than anything else. Now, go.
How do you celebrate your pets? Tell me in the comments.
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