She called herself an angel. She lived every kind of life and dreamt every kind of dream. She was wild in her wandering, a drop of free water. She believed in her life and in her dreams. She called herself an angel, and her god was Beauty. ― Roman Payne
Four years ago, just before Thanksgiving our beloved canine companion, Hocus Pocus, and her siblings were born to a gentle homeless dog in the poorest county of the United States. Below is the adoption ad that we responded to:
• 3 week old puppy
• Large breed
• Primary color: Tricolor (Brown, Black & White)
• Coat length: Medium
• Shepherd/Cattle Dog Mix
This was Hocus Pocus’ Rescue Story:
Cinnamon and her brothers and sisters were saved just in time. Their mom, Lola, was found very pregnant just rolling around in the middle of the street. Lola only had a couple more weeks before she was due, and lucky for her she and her babies were saved by one of our volunteers. – Robeson County Humane Society No-Kill Animal Shelter, Lumberton, NC
Fast forward to four amazing years later: A few weeks ago someone reminded me that Hocus’ birthday was coming up, but as the day got closer we kept forgetting. It wasn’t until just before bed last night that I realized we had missed her “official” birth date. So of course we felt bad, then we laughed at ourselves, gave her a bunch of late-birthday-love and went to bed.
When I woke up this morning I was reminded that Hocus Pocus has the kind of life in which she’s celebrated as if it was her birthday every day, so missing her birthday doesn’t matter. I know that she feels the love and gratitude that we have for her 356 days a year. Plus, she doesn’t use a calendar. Dates don’t matter to dogs. Unconditional Love does.
No, no! The adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time.― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
Hocus Pocus lives a very enriched life. She has ever since she was a wee puppy. Now at four years of age (She’s in her mid-30s!) Hocus hasn’t slowed down a bit, and her life continues to be enriched in innumerable ways.
The inspiration behind why I teach others how to have this kind of healthy and happy lifestyle with your animal companion in my workshops and with my clients is because this the kind of life I lead with my animal companions – 365 days a year.
We don’t wait for “special occasions” to have special adventures and games. We do it daily.
A while ago I made a promise to Hocus (and myself) that I will always make time for her. I promised to never make excuses for why we can’t spend time together. I promised to live every day like it was our last together. We have daily adventures. We live life to the fullest. Even if physical challenges creep up on me, I don’t make excuses; I find compromise. I know that one day she may have physical challenges but that won’t stop her from wanting to explore and have adventures.
I am honestly the worst at getting presents for people. And when it comes to pet-prezzies, I am not much better. When the animals need something, we get it at that time, so when their birthdays come around (and I actually remember) I am out of gift ideas. So I asked myself this question last night:
Then I thought, “Wait. But you don’t know how to make pupcakes.”
My next thought was, “How hard could it be??”
Turns out, it’s crazy fun and super easy.
And apparently irresistible.
Here’s the lowdown:
Gather meats of choice. (Use only meats that you KNOW your dog is not sensitive to!)
Mix in food processor/blender.
Bake at 350 degrees in a muffin/cupcake pan for about 20 min.
Cool. Then serve to the salivating birthday pup!
These were fun and easy to make, and Hocus went NUTS for them! (Well, she has only had one so far …. I am making them last all day!)
I don’t eat meat or know how to prepare it very well, so if I can make these, you can too! If you forget about your pup’s birthday, don’t fret or feel bad. You can make your pup a pupcake at the last minute and your pup will enjoy his/her birthday thanks to your baking!
Let Go of Guilt.
I mention the guilt idea because we all have busy lives and it’s easy to let things slip by us. If you have ever forgotten a loved one’s birthday, you know how silly or even guilty you feel, but we don’t have to feel like that. I have learned that when we are celebrating the ones we love every day their birth date kind of seems like just another day on the calendar. If we forget a birthday (or “hatch” day) we aren’t missing out on celebrating our friend, family member, or animal companion if we are honoring and celebrating their life every day of the year.
Celebrate Your Loved Ones Every Day
The fact that Hocus came into the world on Thanksgiving is no coincidence to us. “Thanks” and “giving” are what I think of when I see her sweet face, or think about her huge heart. Every time I look at her my heart swells and fills with endless gratitude and love. Her presence in our lives has made life exponentially more fun, more challenging, and more rewarding, and more alive. Hocus Pocus has given us endless love, joy, and laughter. She has also given these gifts to the lives of countless others. As I have written about before, it’s so important to honor and celebrate our loved ones every day. Today and every day we give thanks to the life that she has chosen to share with us.
Birthday Blessings to your huge heart, Hocus! Now let’s GO PLAY!
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride! ― Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967