Please note that some posts contains affiliate links & I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links Find out More

Celebrate Dog Birthday Every Day: Magic Is Eleven!

by | Jul 24, 2017 | Dog Training & Care | 6 comments

I’ve written about Seren-Kitty’s recent 21st birthday, and we also celebrate Karma-Kat’s “gotcha-day” since we don’t know his birthday. Read about those here.

For our Magical-Dawg, though, we were on a waiting list for two years to get him as a puppy. We not only know his exact day of birth, but also have pictures of him with his mom and littermates before the puppies’ eyes opened.

Take a look at the picture on the right, SQUEEE! That’s Magic at 17 days old.

German shepherd with puppies

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MAGIC!

That was eleven years ago. Yes, my baby-dog is a senior citizen canine, and has been for some time. Perhaps some folks might look askance (give the “side eye?”) for those of us who celebrate a pet’s birthday. But if it makes you happy, I’ve got no problem with it. Magic doesn’t even know the day is any different, so it’s not for him—it’s for me. A celebration that marks the doggy milestones over the last decade and how that has impacted my life.

All pets make an impact on the people they love, of course. Because so many of us consider pets to be part of the family, it makes sense that we’d include them in anniversary celebrations. In my case, Seren, Karma and Magic are not only my family members but also the inspiration for my life’s work.

Magic’s Gotcha-Day picture! First day he came home to live with us.

MORE THAN A PET…BUT AREN’T THEY ALL?

Magic came into our lives after a long “dog-less” period. My first canine companion inspired me to become a pet writer, and Seren arrived after my first furry muse had been gone several years. She was our only pet for nine years. During that time, I became most known as a “cat writer” despite writing equally in the canine field.

Then Magic arrived and disrupted Seren’s world, and brought wags and laughs into our lives. He also gave a canine face to my nonfiction work—and more than that, Magical-Dawg became the hero dog “Shadow” in my thrillers. Had he not been here, I wonder if my fiction career would have happened?

DOGS AGING GRACEFULLY…OR NOT

For a German Shepherd, an eleventh birthday is a milestone. Large breed dogs don’t age nearly as gracefully as smaller dogs. I have no illusions that we won’t have another decade with him, as we’ve enjoyed with Seren. Yes, I understand. But I don’t have to like it.

In February, I wrote about a health scare with Magic. His mobility became an issue and initially was attributed to arthritis. I’m happy that pain medication from his caring veterinarian has helped relieve the achy joints, but the aging changes continue to progress.

DEGENERATIVE MYELOPATHY

I had feared his symptoms pointed to degenerative myelopathy (DM), a progressive spinal disease of older dogs that ends in rear-end paralysis. You could think of DM as the canine equivalent of ALS.  But DNA tests of Magic’s parents performed by his breeder (yes, she’s that responsible!) indicate he should not be susceptible to DM.

You see, his sire tested NORMAL and not affected by DM, but his dam tested as a CARRIER. That means all the pups of that breeding could, at worst, be carriers and would be “highly unlikely” to be affected. Despite that hopeful note, I learned that this past February, one of Magic’s littermates was diagnosed with DM and subsequently euthanized. The research indicates the disease ends in rear end paralysis within 6-12 months of the onset of symptoms.

Yeah. Not cool, at all.

MAGIC’S SITUATION

Last February, the veterinarian attributed Magic’s issues to arthritis. He noted that most DM-affected dogs won’t correct a toe-under rear paw positioning. Magic corrected his posture immediately. These affected dogs also show wear on rear claws due to dragging the foot. At the time, Magic showed neither of those issues, only a bit of rear-leg weakness.

His arthritis medication helped enormously to relieve his arthritis pain. But five months later, his rear left paw does drag when he’s tired. The claws on that paw are clearly worn. Positioning that foot in a toe-under position doesn’t prompt him to correct–he just stands there, wobbly and weaving but panting happily. He has more and more difficulty standing, loses his balance easily, and no longer attempts to jump and only rarely runs.

BIRTHDAYS MATTER

I’m not a veterinarian and can’t diagnose. If genetically it’s unlikely to be DM, I don’t really care what it’s called. I’m grateful to know that DM is not painful, if that’s what this is. And I’m grateful and celebrate each doggy smile.

We’re celebrating his birthday in a big way. Magic doesn’t know it’s his birthday. He only knows he feels good today. He knows his human and fur-family is with him and loves him. His best friend Karma-Kat continues to tease him. Seren continues to hurl cat curses at him. And Magic continues to inspire me with his never-ending happy attitude, his joy at simple things (“Frisbee! Treatz!”), and just being my baby-dawg.

MAGIC’S PRESENTS–TREATZ, OF COURSE!

So what’s in store for his birthday celebration? He’s got a new bear-toy. Actually, it’s a purple fuzzy dog-shaped stuffy, but he identifies them all as “bear.”

Magic also got a new tasty chew-bone. He used to love car rides, but can no longer leap into the back seat, but we’ve got a ramp so he can still have the occasional outing. In this hot weather, I think a game of hose-tag is in order, too. Oh, and I think an entire can (maybe a couple of them) of CAT food as garnish for his regular meal. I can see him drooling now…

On second thought, why celebrate one day only as his birthday? Makes more sense to make every day a Magical-Day. Yes, that’s a much better idea!

What about you? Do you celebrate pet birthdays? Enjoy every day you have ‘em. Magical-Dawg sends happy wags and woofs–cuz he’s just that kinda dawg!

YouTube Button

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book giveaways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!

 

6 Comments

  1. edithchase

    Happy Birthday Msgic!!!

    Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      Thanks so much! He had a lovely day.

      Reply
  2. justthreadtwiddling

    Our two Border Collie pups were born on July 4, 2010. Our granddaughter was born on that day as well. Two high-energy pups at once might seem crazy, but they really did (and still do) keep each other busy and engaged. Ike is much larger than Tina, and seems to be showing his age more. We really do celebrate every day that we have the pups with us!

    Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      What a fun way to celebrate the grandaughter’s and the pups’ birthday together! Yep, it’s a great idea to find ways to celebrate every day. Thanks bunches for visiting the blog and sharing.

      Reply
  3. Dakota/Caren/Cody

    oh Magic!! What a special, SPECIAL birthday this is!!! Wishing you a most HAPPY, HAPPY 11th you amazing woofie, you!!!! xoxo
    DakotasDen

    Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      Thank you so much! Wags to Dakota and Cody, too.

      Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. How to Deal with Pet Loss Grief: Love Lives Forever - […] worries about when normal hurts. We were able to relieve the hurties to a degree, and in July our Magical-Dawg…
  2. Back Problems & Chiropractic Care for Pets: How to Treat At Home - […] ← Celebrate Dog Birthday Every Day: Magic Is Eleven! […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Categories:

Recent Posts

Top 5 Dog Exercises to Keep Fido Fit and Strong for Life

It’s time to get physical! Love it or hate it, exercise is just as important for your dog as it is for you. I walk on my desk treadmill every day to keep my joints loose and muscles toned. The Pet Health Network notes that obesity can lead to future health issues like arthritis, heart and breathing issues, and can even take two years off your dog’s life!

I love sharing pet health tips from other pet professionals. But always check with your veterinarian about your own dog’s specific issues, to make sure they stay happy and healthy. Here are my top five fitness tips for dogs.

Dog Taste Buds: What Flavor Do Dogs Love?

Do dogs have taste buds? Yes! But do dogs care about taste? Again, they clearly have flavor preferences. Of course, we know some of the odd and nasty weird stuff dogs eat—I really do need to record an Ask Amy about why dogs drink out of the toilet—but do they actually taste such things? How dogs taste remains a mystery in many ways.

Dogs taste sense mirrors that of humans, one reason your dogs beg for yummies from the table. For young dogs, smell of the food seems to trump taste. With some dogs, dirty socks might be a flavor enhancer . . . Read on, to learn what tastes dogs love, hate, and more!

How to Promote Cat Purrs for National Cat Health Month

February is National Cat Health Month. In the past, I’ve also written about the CATalyst Council declaring September to be Happy Healthy Cat Month, dedicated to finding ways to keep kitty companions happy, healthy and purring all year long. Keeping cats healthy should be the focus all year long, don’t you think? After all, they offer all kinds of health benefits to us.

Cats love us in countless ways, and we want to return the favor. All cat “parents” want to keep their felines healthy and happy, and I’ve updated my list based on what Karma-Kat demands and I know he needs. Check out the CAT-egorical Enrichment info! In the comments, please let me know which ones you already do — or share some feline favs from your furry crew!

National Love Your Pet Day: 15 Ways How Pets Show Love

At my house, I see how pets show love every day. If you wonder, how do I make my cat love me, it’s easy! February 20 is National Love Your Pet Day, but Valentine’s Day comes in just a few days. At my house, pet love happens EVERY day. Whether you love your pet with special attention, treats and toys or lap snuggles, pet love has become a given in our pet-friendly society.

In mid-2020, we multiplied our pet-love quotient by welcoming Shadow-Pup into the house. He arrived at a time when we really had no plans for another pet and struggled with the reality of dealing with Bravo-Dawg-s cancer (sadly, he lost his battle, but his love lives on). And Karma-Kat welcomed the pup, too–but for Bravo, the added attention/distraction helped enormously as he went through scary treatment, losing a leg, dealing with pain, and more. So I’m adding another way pets show love–by showing up when you need them!

Valentine’s Day: Pet Danger Advice

I’m often interviewed by media about various cat behavior and dog training issues, and of course, Valentine’s pet dangers top the list this week. Pet hazards are common when our normal routine goes out the window, so pet parents are vigilant around the holidays. Refer to this post about Easter dangers for pets.  And don’t forget that pet safety issues for Christmas are similar to those for Valentine’s Day but it’s always good to refresh our watch list.

Spoil Your Cat: How to Show Cats You Love Them

Cats are great actors and try to convince pet parents they’re already purr-fectly healthy and happy. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s a good time to think “outside the litter box” and find special ways to love your cat.

Recently, I’ve received a boatload of emails with product suggestions for spoiling cats with healthy fun. So check out some of the offerings–and in the comments, add suggestions of your own! Then share the blog far and wide to spread the kitty love!

Pet Music Therapy? The Sound of Success!

Pet music therapy can help solve dog and cat behavior problems as well as offer physical therapeutic benefits. Our pets are attuned to sound and are incredibly sensitive to noises, including music. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, some pets with “stranger danger” issues are in for a rough ride. Pet music therapy can help. Read on for more tips.

Carbon Monoxide Danger for You and Your Pets

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas. It’s a natural by-product of fuel combustion present in car exhaust and improperly vented furnaces, space heaters, water heaters, fireplaces, and tobacco smoke. It can quickly kill people as well as their pets. Children and pets have died in as little as 15 minutes inside running cars while parents shoveled snow outside the vehicle, unaware of the blocked tailpipe.

Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself…and your pets.

UPDATED AGING CAT BOOK DISCOUNTED!

I’m delighted to announce the release of the 2024 edition of COMPLETE CARE FOR YOUR AGING CAT. This book, when released, received multiple awards from the prestigious Cat Writer’s Association. I got the rights back after the first edition, published by New American Library/Penguin Books, and released an updated version first in 2010, and again in 2017. But the latest 2024 version offers the most comprehensive revisions and updated material.

Learn more–and how to get deep discounts on the Ebook, Paperback, and Hardcover editions!

6 Easy Fresh Breath Tips & How to Brush Doggy & Kitty Teeth (Without Getting Bit!)

Do you brush dog teeth? How about brushing cat teeth? The AVMA sponsors National Pet Dental Health Month every February to help prevent pet dental problems.

According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by age 3.

But it’s never too late (or too soon) to get your pets’ pearly whites checked out by your veterinarian. Often the doctor has some great tips for keeping cat teeth clean and dog breath at bay, including how to brush doggy teeth.

Does the thought of brushing dog teeth make you cringe, roll your eyes, whimper, slink away–and feel guilty? You’re not alone. But once that puppy-sweet breath morphs into curl-your-eyebrows stench, it’s long past the time to address that stink-icity.

Visit Amy's Website

Amy Shojai CACB is an award winning author.  You can find all her publications and book her to speak via her website. 

On Demand Writer Coaching

AmyShojai.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com http://amazon.com/.

Awards

Memberships