Category Archives: dogs and holidays

Tips for a successful dog birthday party

On Saturday, we celebrated Izzy’s 8th birthday with a walk at the beach and an afternoon tea at The Beach Cafe on Waimairi Beach.  It was a gathering of our closest friends – all who have dogs in their families.

Here are my tips for holding a successful dog birthday party:

  • Know your guests – if your friends have a dog that is aggressive or anxious, then maybe these dogs are best left at home.
  • Go for a walk first.  Our party started with a group dog walk at the beach; everyone was tired and happy when it came time to sit down for food.
  • Keep the number of guests manageable.  I suggest no more than 15 people and 10 dogs
  • Book the party in advance with the cafe so they can set aside an appropriate table location for you.  In our case, I asked specifically for a table in the corner (away from the main entrance to the cafe) and where we had some shade and would be sheltered from the wind.  Some cafes may want to limit the number of dogs they have on their premises – so they’ll be prepared for the arrival of your party.
  • Serve dog-and human-appropriate fare – and keep them separate.  No one wants to have an upset tummy after a party.  I booked a set menu of sandwiches, savouries and cake for the humans.  The dogs were given party bags of treats and I also baked the dog birthday cake which had layers of liver and salmon.  I brought my own paper plates for the dogs to eat their cake – so there were no risks or concerns about hygiene.
  • Casual dress only – dog parties are no place to become a fashionista.  Tidy and casual dress is recommended.  One of our guests was wearing leggings (a good choice) which came in handy when she was slobbered on by a Bernese Mountain Dog.

    Finally, relax and have fun.  If you are stressed out about arrangements, neither you or your dog will find the event enjoyable.

I’m happy to report a good time was had by all.  Happy birthday, Izzy!

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

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Dogs at the wedding

Wedding photo

Penny, front and center, posed with the family following the wedding of Linnea Elizabeth Sanderson and Dr. Robert Collier Davidson, right, in February. Credit Kieran Kesner for The New York Times

Dogs are part of the family and, increasingly, they are being included in their owner’s Big Day.  (I’m invited to a wedding in October that will include the couple’s dogs – Bernese Mountain Dogs –  and look forward to sharing that with my readers).

In this article from the New York Times, a Vermont-based photographer says that half of the weddings on his schedule this season involve a dog. And most of the owners interviewed say that they wouldn’t think of not involving their beloved dog in the ceremony.

Did you include your dog in your wedding?  I’d love to see the photos!

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Happy Mother’s Day, Izzy

Izzy didn’t choose to be a mother.  It was her final job as a racing greyhound to pass on her genes to another generation of racers.  One of those puppies, Bella, has been re-homed and I can see from the racing register that four other puppies are now racers…I so hope they are safe and healthy.

Izzy deserved to have a Mother’s Day.  She had breakfast in bed with buttermilk pancakes and liver/pumpkin gravy.

Tonight she is playing with her newest toy – a rubber chicken.

Happy Mother’s Day, Izzy!

 

Breakfast in Bed for Mother's DayIzzys Mothers Day Pancakes

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Halloween and your dog

halloween+dog

Halloween is only a couple of nights away.  Time to start putting your dog inside at dusk (if he/she isn’t already).

Halloween can be a very scary time for dogs.  Lots of people out on the street and ringing the doorbell.  It’s a lot to cope with.

Then there’s the individually wrapped candies that aren’t good for your dog.  Put them out of reach and monitor your dog carefully on the night to ensure he/she doesn’t sneak a bite when you’re not looking…

Decide which area of your house is your dog’s quiet place and make the area comfortable with a bed, toys and suitable dog treats.

Personally speaking, I don’t like costumes for dogs.  Keep your dog happy by not dressing them up and humiliating them.

With a few precautions, you all can make it through Halloween safe and happy.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

It Happened Last Night

Nikitaland

Yesterday afternoon the dogs caught me. Caught me wrapping up their Christmas toys! Dogs don’t miss anything! A simple crinkle noise from a package, sends them running to investigate. I sat on the rug in the living room wrapping up each new squeaky toy, rope pull, and stuffies, while they hoovered over my back the entire time. I was caught, but I continued to wrap!

NIKITA WATCHING PRESENTS6

But I made a mistake. When wrapping up a larger stuffie, I pushed down on it while wrapping and it “oinked”! “OMG” I thought and I turned around to look at Nikita and Bella and they were close to drooling! Their eyes were glazed over and the moved in to sniff the wrapping paper. I can’t believe that stuffie gave me away and squeaked on me! (darn stuffie)

NIKITA PRESENT WATCHING1

I did not think much about the toys after I placed them in their Christmas stockings and…

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Memories and moving on

This is my first Christmas and holiday season without Daisy and, although I now have Izzy to nurture and care for, there are many memories I have of summer days and holidays with my special girl.

In my garden are now two daisy plants given to me by customers in the days following Daisy’s loss.  On sunny days like today, the daisies are in full bloom:

Daisy's daisies

And then it is clear that people are noticing that the addition of Izzy has changed things.  I received a lovely note in my P O Box from the ladies at the Papanui Post Shop.  It reads:

“Just a short note to say hello!  It’s good to see you smiling.  Daisy was such a kindred spirit, even though we didn’t see her much.  I’m sure she was just as gentle and lovely like you.  Kind regards, Faye and Karen (Papanui Post)

Izzy and Christmas trees are not compatible at this stage in her life; but I’m sure we will find a way of celebrating our first Christmas together.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Dogs and Christmas

Feliz Navidog

Are Christmas and your dog compatible?

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand