Sophie will be five tomorrow. Wow...five. And as much as I am "into" dogs....I have never celebrated her birthday other than a blog post or a shout out on facebook. No party, no presents, no cake. It's just never seemed to be mine...or Sophie's...thing. But something has shifted this year...maybe it's because she is getting older...or because I am.
This year, I bought her some "birthday" presents...a toy, a treat, a "happy birthday" dog cookie.. But more importantly I plan to give her this "great day" tomorrow...a day full of long, off leash walks on the trails; and some crazy play time; and indulgent meals and treats; and a whole day just being together. And maybe, I realize, it's not that either of us is getting older...maybe it's that I read Jon Katz's book: Going Home. Finding Peace When Pets Die. A wonderfully written and excellent book, that I would recommend to any pet owner, that talks, in one chapter, about giving that beloved pet a "perfect day" before they go. Maybe I wished that I could make every day in our life together perfect for Sophie. But since I can't, given all the other demands in life...work, family, friends...the least I can do is give her that "perfect day" once a year in celebration of her birth, rather than just at the end of her life. In celebration of a day that would forever change me -- a day that would make me better, that would make me whole...by bringing this little being into my life. And the funny thing is....I have this strong suspicion...that it won't just be her perfect day...it will be mine as well. Happy Birthday, my Sophie...my love for you is the purest thing I have ever known....and a pefect day, once a year, is the very least I can give you in return.