The anniversary of my 29th birthday falls in the early springtime. It happens every year, it does. And I do love that time of year, right at the cusp between winter’s end and the renewal the more temperate weather brings to our days. That wonderful season of windbreakers, yellow daffodils, and rain boots.
And it’s an extra coolness when my special day actually falls on Easter Sunday, which puts a whole new glorious spin on the celebration. Sure, this has only happened once that I can recall, but it was a great theme party that year.
Of course I don’t have griping rights about sharing my birthday with a big holiday. Even something as powerful as the Easter celebration. Odds are, I have more chance of winning the lottery while being consumed by a tiger shark than getting another Easter Sunday birthday. So I can pretty much expect the same amount of gifts year after year. And by gifts, I’m referring to the stuff I buy for myself.
But I hear the folk who have their birthdays around the Christmas season don’t always get off as lucky. Christmas and birthday gifts sometimes get combined, lowering the meter on the happy scale into the yellow zone. Kids especially can feel a little slighted about their celebrations getting mixed in the holiday rush of family activities. You still get stuff and maybe even lots of it. But what about your special day? You know, when your sister has to be nice to you and does the dishes when it’s really your turn.
One friend has solved this by celebrating his Half Birthday. A clever way to get your day of personal Me attention, I think. A full balloons and cake celebration in July instead of December. Smart fella.
So with all this in mind, we were sensitive to Yaxley and his first birthday that fell on December 22. Yax was the fourth pup born in the aptly named Yuletide Y litter for Canine Companions for Independence. These undecaplets met the world in the warm, caring hands of Susie Nash and her awesomely incredible team of whelping assistants.
Yaxley and his ten littermates were born to Keara, a full golden retriever. The dads were either Camden or Hickman, both Labradors, and paternal heritage was determined at eight weeks old by DNA testing (Yaxley is a Hickman pup). Susie is renowned in that league of most excellent of breeder caretakers for CCI and once I began watching the videos of Keara’s Y litter, I just knew I wanted to raise one of these amazing pups.
Here’s the Y litter on their actual Birth Day, courtesy of Susie Nash. Eyes and ears closed, these fuzzies begin life with the comforting smell of Mom and warm milk in their tummies. About three minutes of newborn puppy goodness.
So was that just precious or what? Well, check your glucose levels folk, cuz I got another batch of puppy sweetness coming up. Again, by the awesomeness that is Susie, we have a video of the Yuletide Y’s noshing upon their first Eukanuba meal. This one is especially near to my puppy lovin’ heart as little Yaxley has finagled himself as the center of attention.
You can watch for the neon green collar for identification, but Susie does give him a personal call out. A couple of times or so. This is the Y pup’s first solid meal as they’re weaned from mother’s milk. Dunno about you guys, but this is seven minutes of time well spent for me.
Ah, but back to the topic at hand. What can we do to make Yaxley’s holiday birthday a special day? The answer is rather easy, you know. Because he’s a pup, he’s a live-in-the-moment kind of critter. Hungry is in his doggie vocabulary. Along with Sit, Down, Bed and Hurry. But Happy Birthday is not. We give him an extra doggie cookie to mark the occasion. We’re nice to him the whole day and he doesn’t have to do the dishes that night, even though it was his turn. And as we’re tucking him in at bedtime, he says, Thanks! I had a good day.
It’s not hard to make a pup happy.
As human beans, however, we want a little more for the little yeller feller. It’s his First Birthday, after all. Let’s celebrate!
We were wonderfully surprised by a gift from Inga’s family. Inga, the first CCI pup we raised, is now a Skilled Companion to a young fella in Pennsylvania. And I admit, I struggle with the words to express how blessed we feel that this family has embraced ours and included us in their lives. We sent Inga off filled with our love to share. And now it’s coming back to us. This, my friends, is just awesome stuff. [sniff]
|Hey Yax, I think today’s my half birthday. Just sayin’.|
The accompanying note instructed us to open the gift before we celebrate as it contained something Yax would want to put on his birthday cupcake.
Now don’t feel pity for Yaxley when I share this next tidbit. He didn’t get to actually eat the cupcake. I rather enjoyed the chocolatey thing in his honor. Instead, he was rewarded handsomely for not touching people food. He got his very own Iams dog biscuit.
|Make a wish, Yaxley!|
|I wish that were a dog cookie.|
Which, when you consider it, means his birthday wish really did come true.