Dog party

By Nishelle Gonzalez
Reader Contributor

When my coworker and friend Lydia texted me and asked for my mailing address, I was curious. What showed up in the mail was an invitation to Sol’s third birthday party, so in dog years, that gorgeous Samoyed was celebrating his 21st birthday and my golden retriever, Willow, and I were invited to come. 

I was actually delighted and looking forward to the event way more than I ever had for a human’s birthday party.

I brought along my 10-year-old son, Sawyer, because of course he wasn’t missing out on this.

We arrived at the dog party location and there were dog obstacle courses like you’d see at a dog show, a kiddie pool for the dogs to play in and a dog-friendly cake. There was also a lovely spread of food for the humans, placed on very high tables so the dogs couldn’t reach. 

We showed up to a few dogs running about, sniffing and marking territories. By the time everyone showed up, there must have been more than 20 dogs! 

My face was hurting from all the laughing and smiling happening. It was pure fantastical chaos, dogs chasing and humping each other, peeing on each other and everything else, including the cornhole game the people were trying to enjoy.

Willow was the most enthusiastic swimmer in the kiddie pool, making sure she rolled around the pool and then the dirt for good measure. I don’t think that many of us had ever experienced this type of party before, and it may sound insane. 

For instance, getting someone to want to host this assault on a yard is probably not easy. It may sound like a huge mess and a totally ridiculous reason to gather, but the sheer delight in the indulgence of “just because” turned out to be a real lifeline for me. 

I felt effervescent and light for the next few days, just giggling to myself about all the funny things that happened when we participated in the unexpected and whimsical side of life. Humans take themselves and each other so seriously, especially in these moments around heated elections. In the age where we feel guilt and shame when we aren’t being productive or proactive, I encourage you to do something silly and meaningless with no goal but to be in the present moment and see what transcends. 

And, if you have the opportunity, please go to a dog’s birthday party if you’re ever invited, it’s truly a sight to see.

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