April is a special month, my husband and I share birthdays 10 days apart, and 10 days later we get to celebrate my dog Jackson’s birthday.

I’ll be honest, I know that a multibillion dollar pet industry sells treats, clothes, and raw/paleo food to our favorite companions, but I’m a bit stingy when it comes to pet gifts.

Because as much as he seems human, he does in fact eat frozen goose poop, which leads me to believe that these gifts would generally go unappreciated.

That being said, I do like to celebrate his birthday, and give him a better day than normal (normal meaning a long walk in the morning, unfettered access to my face for kisses and breakfast crumbs, and the ability to sit in my lap while I attempt to work).

Just like Kim & Kanye might opt for a lavish birthday weekend in place of a simple celebration on the day of, we likewise decided that several days of festivities would be more suitable for our furry friend.

We started our Saturday with a leisurely walk along the Hudson.


Lauren wanted me to take some pictures of her with Jack, I obliged. The problem was that ungluing him from my side was upsetting, and it was his birthday after all, so I let him do what made him feel comfortable. Which was howl at the moon and beg for an escape…


…and then pin me against the barrier for what I would imagine to be a pretty serious make out session. But as much as I love him, I can’t always give a brother what he wants.

Poor Jack had to settle for some companionship of the less frisky variety.


Even Sam and Lauren got caught up in the moment.


Finally we headed home.


We arrived to find that in our absence, Emma had hit the sauce a little too hard.


That one…total lightweight.

Lauren thought it would be fun to style Sam’s hair and pretend to draw on the walls.


You may have noticed that crayon already marked the walls. Apparently they were pretending to draw where there were already marks, making it more realistic. Clever….

After some downtime at home, we headed back out to the park for one of those glorious Spring days. Balmy breeze, trees blooming.


Lauren practiced with her jump rope which involves launching 3 feet in the air at each turn of the rope. I don’t have the heart to tell her that there’s a more efficient way to do it. Just like I don’t want to tell Emma that it’s actually “mine” not “mines”. I treasure these things.


Sunday night, Rodney packed his bag and hit the road for some work travel. Jackson wasn’t happy at all. Weekend travel isn’t acceptable for anyone in the family, especially Jackson. It makes him anxious.


For the record, I’d like to pull that stunt the next time I have some anxiety issues. Pin myself against the nearest person and hope they’ll nuzzle me and give me a biscuit.

At last, it was his birthday. Jackson woke up to a homemade dog collar….


….and then dragged me into the pet store to buy him some treats including some luscious Elk tendon.


How could I say no? He really is the best dog in the universe. I just wish his breath would smell a little better. So Jackson, a very happy birthday. To 8 wonderful years, and with any luck 8 more.

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