Hope was a really bad dog mom this week. You’d think, with only one kid to keep track of, nowhere to go, and not much to do, that she’d be able to remember important dates.
Not so much. It wasn’t until she looked at her phone Tuesday morning and saw her calendar with the notification “Torque’s birthday,” that she had any clue. Oops. As a matter of fact, she’d mentioned to someone just last week that his birthday was in November. Oops again.
Funny things, birthdays
We all know that Torque neither knows, nor cares, He has no idea what a calendar is, let alone that some dates are more momentous than others.
It matters to us. Birthdays are more than a way of marking time. It’s a way to celebrate that one soul that matters. To let that being know they’re special, they count, their presence in our lives makes it better.
In the routine and stress of everyday life, it’s easy to take people/dogs/things for granted. Especially in 2020, we get through each day as best we can. Some are better than others. Some are truly difficult. Just like for everyone.
But on someone’s birthday, even a dog birthday, we get to break the routine and find a reason to celebrate. Ironically, Hope’s birthday this year was the day the pandemic lockdown went into effect here – the celebration dinner was carry-out. The first of quite a few lockdown celebrations.
It wasn’t her worst birthday ever. That came quite a few years ago when she turned 26. She doesn’t know why it bothered her, but it did. Maybe passing the quarter-century mark. She was also working as a newspaper editor at the time and that was a particularly bad deadline day. And, when she got home, she found out there was fish for dinner. At the time, she loathed fish.
And she felt cheated – because on “her” day, it seemed that no one was celebrating her. It wasn’t true, of course, but it felt that way. And we learned that birthdays aren’t about presents, or cake. Not even ice cream. They’re about making that person know they’re special and enhance our lives. Because everyone needs to know they matter.
Dogs matter, too
The bad preparation for Torque’s sixth dog birthday has a silver lining. Now that Hope’s been reminded we have an occasion to celebrate, she’s planning a weekend bash for her boy. There will be vanilla ice cream and new toys and chews for the boys. If the weather cooperates and we don’t have more snow flurries, there may even be a meander on the local greenway so he can check out all the pee-mail. The simple joys of being a dog.
Another lesson from our dogs
Torque doesn’t know it’s his dog birthday. It also doesn’t matter to him. Any guilt Hope feels for forgetting is all hers. He does know he got to have fun playing with his mom and family. He knows he had good food, cuddles, and a comfy place to nap. And, when we get around to an actual birthday celebration, he’ll enjoy it enormously.
So, when you see notifications come up on your calendar or social media, take a minute to celebrate the person whose birthday it is. Even if all you do is post a simple “Happy Birthday!” – it lets that person know you thought of them, and they matter.