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October 18, 2008

Bert's Sweet 16

Last night, FH and I attended a birthday party. It was a special party b/c it was not just anybody's party but Bert's. Who is Bert? Well, Bert is a Cocker Spaniel that lives a few blocks away from us. When we walk our pups down to the Navy Memorial, Bert is often there to greet us with his owner. Bert is 16 yrs old in Human years which makes him... well (1+(7*15))= 106 yrs old!!!

Read more about the party...

As all of our friends know, FH and I adore dogs. We especially spoil and dote on our two little ones, but we've come to really love the friends that they have made around the neighborhood. So when Bert's dad told us about this party, I of course knew we had to be there. I'm a sucker for dog parties... (Kota's 4th birthday party is a special day as well b/c it's the day that FH proposed!)

Bert's health is failing, so having this party was especially important for Bert's dad b/c he loves his dog so much. He had been talking about throwing this extravagant party for months but then Bert was on dialysis and the health bill was increasing. So instead, he threw a smaller party that was still pretty awesome. A sweet 16 birthday cake, a pate dish shaped in a dog bone, a server walking around with chicken satay, quesadillas, butternut squash soup, shrimp, etc and a bartender pouring wine. It was a heck of a dog party...even with a video montage that one of his colleagues put together (I'm going to get the clip and will post it when i do). After Bert's dad said a few words (below), a Marilyn Monroe look alike and came to sing "happy birthday" and "i want to be loved by you" (but "by bert") to him...

I wanted to share what this one part of the party... when Bert's dad read this excerpt from part of a “final word” from “Rabbi Paul:” from the book: How to Raise a Jewish Dog

[O]ne day, I was teaching a course called God: Past, Present and Future. And, as fate would have it, I opened the class by asking what the students thought God’s love was. They all started to ponder the question, except Ms. Echo Silverstein, whose hand immediately shot up and who didn’t wait to be called on to answer. “A dog’s love is the same as God’s love, she said. “That’s why ‘dog’ is ‘god’ spelled backwards.”

Well, naturally, I thought this was about the most jejune and ridiculous – and impious – thing I had ever heard. And so did the other students. A great shout of derision went up and I thought we were going to have a small riot on our hands.

But then a strange and very touching thing happened. One student, a Mr. Kyle Greenblatt, grudgingly admitted that Ms. Silverstein had a point.

Mr. Greenblatt then went on to recount a story about the dog of his childhood years. And, one by one, everyone else shared their dog stories, too. . . .


In the end, I had to agree. Echo was absolutely right. . . . In fact I would even go so far as to say that a dog’s love teaches us something we don’t always learn from God.

A dog teaches us how to be loved.

Dogs are able to do this because they sneak past our defenses and under all our walls of distraction, self-centeredness, sophistication, or what-have-you. They completely ignore our KEEP OUT signs and then, once they get in, they hit us with a tsunami of love. . . They take us out of ourselves. They draw our attention to the here and now. They show us what it means to be patient, alert, focused, calm, nuts, vigilant, brave, kind, and curious.


The party was a hit. We had a great time. And it just reminded us of how lucky we are. With the world falling apart around us, we can still take the moment to cherish the precious things in life... one another, friends, and our beloved pets... and for me personally, what Kota and Juneau have taught me is a lot of life's lessons that i often tried to ignore.

So a big Saturday shout out ... take a moment to take a deep breath and remember, don't sweat the small stuff and really cherish the ones you have around you!

2 comments:

  1. That is so sweet! I'm sure I have missed it somewhere...what kind of dogs are Kota and Juneau?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dog bday party! I love it! My mom and dad breed dogs so I completely understand the need for a bday party. Very cute.

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