Red Carpet Birthday Party
I acknowledge that I’m pretty obsessed with my dog, but in my defense, he’s really quite perfect. I rescued Parker from the Colorado Humane Society five years ago, and it was the perfect case of “the dog picks you, you don’t pick the dog”. I had been on my puppy search for a couple of weeks, and how I didn’t end up with a dog after my first shelter visit is beyond me. I met several dogs that were exactly what I wanted on paper, but none of them seemed “right” enough to take home. What did I want? I was looking for a dog that was not a puppy (2-3 years old), who was medium-sized (20-30 pounds), and had a permanent-puppy look (my favorites were Puggles and King Charles Spaniels).
Anyway, I get to Colorado Humane and it was pretty depressing – the first cage I noticed in the Green Mile-esque hallway had 9 small dogs crammed in, and every one of them was barking like crazy….except a little Lab-mix puppy. This little guy had his paws perched up high in the chain-link fence with his tongue sticking out, a HUGE smile, and he was staring right at me. I leaned down to pet him, and he just kept smiling and staring. I quickly reminded myself that I wasn’t looking for a puppy and kept on walking. As I walked down the long hallway to peruse the other dogs, I occasionally peeked back only to see the little Lab still staring. Still smiling. There were other potential adopters walking the halls, but he only had eyes for me. I made my rounds, but came up short – there weren’t any dogs that fit my list of criteria. I stopped to see the little Lab again before I headed out – the shelter was closing in 10 minutes, and I figured I should get out of their hair. But there was something about him – he was literally the only dog in the shelter not barking, and he was so happy. Genuinely happy. Just then I saw a shelter employee approaching me and asked if he knew anything about the puppy – he shrugged his shoulders and said, “we think he’s a Labrador and Beagle mix”. “Interesting combination”, I said, “how big might he get?” With no hesitation the employee said, “not too big, about 50 pounds”. So he’s presumably a puppy, going to be pretty big by my standards, and not likely to maintain his puppy good looks – that is, the exact opposite of what I wanted. Naturally, I had to take him to the “puppy interview” area.
After about 5 minutes and a quick call to my Mom for reinforcement, I decided to take him home. As I was signing the adoption paperwork I casually asked if they knew his ‘story’. The woman behind the counter dug around in a file cabinet for a few minutes and eventually found a file that said he was rescued from euthanization in New Mexico a few days earlier, he was between 3-5 years old, and his name was Houdini. It’s funny how things work out – I fell in love with him thinking he was the opposite of what I wanted, only to find out that he was exactly what I had envisioned….I just didn’t know it. I have since referred to his adoption day as his 3rd birthday, and celebrate it every year. So on the 5th anniversary of his adoption, I decided to throw my little guy a not-so-little party.
I went with a red carpet theme for this year’s bash (his last big party was a Dog Prom theme), the focal point being the Paparazzi pictures with a custom-made step and repeat backdrop. I also hired a professional photographer to document everything – before you judge, because I know I would, a friend of mine provided this logic after suggesting that I hire one, “you put so much effort in these events, so you naturally want pictures of it all – wouldn’t you rather spend a few dollars and let someone else do it so you can enjoy the party?” She was right. Next year I’ll be applying the same logic and hiring out the catering for most of the food.
Below is the basic gist of the event – I’ll provide follow up posts in the coming weeks with tutorials though. Enjoy!
- We had a very well stocked bar that included a mimosa bar – four different juices and plenty of champagne.
- For food, we had a slider bar that included beef patties, buffalo chicken sliders, and black bean veggie burgers.
- And for dessert (my favorite!) I made puppy dog and popcorn cake pops, popcorn cupcakes (the popcorn is actually marshmallows with yellow food coloring), and cake batter chocolate chip cookies.
- Last, but not least, I made adorable party favor bags for the dogs and kids with personalized Hollywood Walk of Fame Stars on the bags. The puppy bags were filled with rawhide dog bones, a birthday cake dog toy, and a mason jar filled with dog bones made by yours truly. The kid bags were filled with noise makers, bubbles, coloring books, crayons, Hollywood jewelry, and more.