Well, I’m here to report that my family has partially descended into the ranks of nutty dog owners.
Nutty dog owners, by the way, are completely different than crazy cat owners. Crazy cat owners are all about quantity; the more cats you have, the crazier you are. Nutty dog owners, on the other hand, are about quality; the more you dote on your pup, the nuttier you are.
We used to be fairly sane dog owners. But then, one Christmas morning many years ago, we imagined that our Shetland sheepdog Toby was sulking as we opened our presents. “Nothing for me?” we heard him ask (inside our heads). We felt guiltier with each gift we opened.
Thereafter, Toby always received at least one gift on Christmas. And, as a hint of deeper insanity to come, we always fully wrapped it.
Toby’s gone now, and we have a new Sheltie puppy named Riley. Riley was born on December 1, 2014 and, as his first birthday approached, our live-in adult daughter Casey, who loves to bake, decided to bake Riley a cake. Then she got a tad upset when I pointed out that I’d be traveling on December 1.
“We’ll celebrate on the 2nd,” I said.
“But I’ll be out on the 2nd,” she replied.
Still, I looked forward to giving him the gift I had bought him: a plush Shetland sheepdog that was almost as big as he is.
Meanwhile, Casey placed an online order for a box of Puppy Cake* Wheat-Free Peanut Butter Flavored Cake Mix for Dogs…with yogurt frosting in the box!
According to that box, there’s enough mix to make one 6″ round cake or eight cupcakes or 24 mini-cupcakes. In other words, the creators of Puppy Cake fully expected us to throw Riley a very well-attended party.
We did not do that. It’s not that Riley doesn’t have any friends, it’s just that, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, we’ve only partially descended into the ranks of nutty dog owners.
Anyway, Casey improvised as she often does with her baking, and made three small round cakes which she then stacked into a layer cake and frosted with the yogurt frosting that was in the box. My wife Barbara, who was cleaning up after dinner, had a piece of broccoli handy and placed it on top for decoration.
We did not use candles. We did not want to start a fire. Or be institutionalized.
Casey then sat Riley up at the kitchen counter. I do not know why. She could have put the cake on the floor. But I guess it was a special occasion.
He began by daintily removing the broccoli and chomping on that, and then dove face first into the cake, extracting the top layer and attempting to get the whole thing into his mouth at once. Barb tried holding him back again, but Riley spread his paws on the counter to what seemed like an impossible degree in order to stand his ground.
He seemed to enjoy the cake. Casey did not serve the doggy ice cream, which she had also made, because it hadn’t set yet. If she has any yogurt frosting left, perhaps she can make him a sundae at a later date.
After playing with his new stuffed Sheltie friend for a while, Riley, who was also stuffed, collapsed on his favorite chair, which used to be my favorite chair, and fell happily asleep.
Happy birthday, Riley. From your nutty family.
See you soon.
*Puppy Cake makes a variety of cake flavors for dogs, including red velvet flavor. I don’t even know what flavor red velvet cake is when it’s for humans.