It's so hard for me to believe that my darling Shaye has turned the big 4. I remember so vividly the day he arrived on the doorstep after a long trip from the Queensland border; smelly and just a handful at 3kg. A tiny puppy with big ears, a long tongue, and big legs and feet and yet only weighing 3kgs.
I decided to do the usual 'mummy' thing for his birthday so I bought 4 cupcakes and a rope toy and a chewy rubber toy. I gave him his presents early in the day and he spent the rest of the day happily playing with them. Although he is 4 he still loves his toys and ferrets around in his toybox for whatever he has decided to play with.
After dinner I put a candle in each cupcake and lit them. We sang happy birthday to him and because he couldn't get the hang of how to blow out the candles :) I did it for him. My son ate 2 cakes, I ate one and Shaye ate one. It was kinda cute and made me feel all warm and fuzzy.
Shaye is now around the 43kg mark and is so handsome. I just adore him (as if you didn't know that by what I write). Everyone who meets him ends up wanting to kiss him and pat him. My son calls him the 'pat pig' because once you start patting him he nudges you to continue should you dare to stop.
I read that Golden Retrievers are not known for their guard-dog abilities and yet I have seen people running down the driveway out into the street when they come to the front door and inside the wire is a large barking, snarling, animal with his hackles full up. Mind you, Shaye would lick them to death if they got inside the door but whilst they are outside and unknown, then I'm not quite sure what the outcome could be if I opened the door. He is fiercely loyal to his family and is always on guard even at night when he either sleeps on my bed or on the carpet in the bedroom or in the hall on the tiles between bedrooms.
He still has his skin condition that has once again flared up because it's spring in Sydney. All through winter it's been okay with the exception in May when he had a bad infection from scratching and biting around and on his testicles. I haven't a clue what upsets him because his life is the same and his diet is always the same. There is something that bothers him in the warmer months and it's such a pain. I now have him back on antihistamine pills and I'm using the stop itch lotion on his sore spots. I imagine I will have to take him to the vets in the near future for an injection and pills. The only option I have to try and find out what the cause of his itch is means extensive testing and cost without the vets being able to promise that they will then have the answer. As he has had this problem since he was a little guy I don't believe that anyone will actually find the cause and be able to eliminate it.
Help your dog to feel special on his/her birthday. It really does make you feel like you have given back just a little of what your hairy friend gives to you every day of his/her life. It doesn't matter that he/she hasn't a clue what is going on. You know, and so does your family, and your smiles and laughter will make pooch happy too.
Note: I did take Shaye back to the vets and another bill over $100 to have him injected and supplied with pills for a few weeks. I had to put the plastic collar on him so that he couldn't bite himself and he looks like he is going on a space ship! Still no ideas on what is the reason for this problem but I have made the big decision to have him desexed because of the very real dangers of cancers that start in the testicles and spread around a dog's organs etc. Of course I keep finding excuses to put it off but I believe that I should do the right thing for his health. There is no other need except to keep him hopefully healthy for a long time.