Izzy turns 9!

I know I’v’e said this before, but time sure does fly! It seems like it was only yesterday that I brought this cute little roly poly puppy home! But last week she celebrated her 9th birthday!

golden retriever birthday party

In dog years she's 9
In hooman years she's 56
If she were a Disney character she would be Eeyore
If she were a human she'd be the laziest teenager ever
Her favorite food is pretty much anything
Her favorite thing to do is be by my side
She loves Florida only because she can swim in the ocean
She prefers to ride in the front seat of the car
She hates it when you blow air in her ear
But we love her to the moon and back!

golden retriever birthday hat

I’ve always enjoyed doing something special to commemorate Izzy’s birthday. I know she doesn’t really care, but honestly, it’s just an excuse to get out my camera and photograph her. One day I’ll be grateful that I have these photos marking milestones in her life.

puppy cake 3 tier bone cake

This year, I decided to do something simple. I picked up a box of Puppy cake in peanut butter flavor and some peanut butter ice cream. Once I cooked the cake, I used a bone shaped cookie cutter and cut out enough to make a 3 layer cake. Then I used a smaller bone shape cookie cutter for the top layer. The box comes with mix to make icing - it’s really simple, add enough water to the consistency you want and spread it on top or in between the layers. Izzy enjoyed her cake in about, oh, 4 or 5 bites. The hard part was keeping her from chowing down before I got any photos of her with the cake!

golden retriever eating birthday cake

The morning of Izzy’s birthday, the first thing I thought about was how my other golden retriever, Mika, was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma 3 days after she turned 9. Seven months later we said goodbye to her as she lost her battle to cancer. While Izzy shows no sign of illness, I know it’s probably just a matter of time. Canncer is so prevalent in the breed causing the average age to be younger than it used to be. Knowing this, I intend to treasure each day I have with her, while keeping all my fingers and paws crossed that we have many more years together. Happy birthday Izzy!

Thanks for reading!


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Izzy turns 8!

I almost let Izzy's birthday go by without even wishing her a happy day! I had all these intentions of having a birthday cake smash photo session for her this year. I even bought a puppy cake mix a couple of months ago in anticipation of making this happen. The next thing I knew, it was the day before Izzy's birthday and I had nothing planned nor prepared. Her party was going to have to wait a couple of days. Thank goodness she has no idea it's July, let alone her birthday!

After baking her cake one evening, the next afternoon I set up her surprise. I don't think Izzy had a clue what was going on. That is, until I got out my camera gear and set up my equipment. She's learned that when I do this, treats are involved. So she's always ready to be photographed! Baking the cake was easy - just add an egg, water and oil to the mix then cook for about 20 minutes. I chose the pumpkin flavored mix and it sure smelled good! It's suggested that you use a 6 inch cake pan, but I only had a 9 inch one. So the cake was more thin than I would have liked. There wasn't enough batter either to make a double layer cake, but in the future I would buy 2 boxes and do this. I also didn't have enough icing and wished I had some yogurt on hand that I could have put in the freezer and used.

It wasn't the prettiest cake I ever made, but I don't think Izzy would mind. I set her up at my dining room table and began snapping away. At one point I sang "Happy birthday" and she seemed to really enjoy that. Mostly though, all she wanted was for me to give her the ok to eat her tasty treat! And just as I predicted, she loved it!

Sometimes it feels like it was ages ago that we brought home this tiny little 8 week old puppy. Other times, it seems like it was just yesterday. It's true what they say, time does fly. I can't imagine our lives without her!

Happy birthday Izzy!

golden retriever birthday cake smash 1
golden retriever birthday cake smash - 2
golden retriever - birthday cake smash - 3
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Happy 7th Izzy!!!

Cookies, a walk and ear rubs. If I had to guess, this is what Izzy would say are her favorite things. So with her birthday coming up, I asked myself what do I think she would like to do to celebrate her special day. Sure, we can walk someplace new. Get different (and bigger!) treats. And we’ve been doing just that all week long. We even took her to a different town to explore a park we’ve never been to before. She had a great time, if for no other reason, there were a ton of squirrels to chase!

I often wonder if dogs could talk what they would say. I’d especially like to hear what the dogs who live with photographers have to say about their lives. In addition to doing something fun to celebrate Izzy’s birthday, every year I also come up with some photo idea to commemorate her special day. Last year we had an ice cream party and I photographed a series of her licking the cold treat. Another year, I had a garden party complete with balloons, gifts and pupcakes.  Sometimes I think pet photographers like myself come up with ideas just so we can photograph it! With the slew of treats and attention, I’m not sure our pooches mind though!

For Izzy’s 7th birthday I toyed with ideas like a cake smash and a pool party. But in the end I decided to do something that would include me being in the photos. While I photograph Izzy often, I don’t really have many photos of her and me. And as she gets older, knowing the history of cancer with golden retrievers, I get nervous that we won’t have much more time together.  So I set up my backdrop, put my camera on a tripod and took some selfies of us. However, there was a problem I had to figure out how to work around. I’ve had an eye infection for almost a week. Probably allergy related. My husband says I look like a sad sack of potatoes, like I’ve been crying for days. My eye doesn’t hurt, but I know wearing eye makeup isn’t a smart thing to do right now. So I bought a fun swirl lollipop and built a theme around it.

This is our selfie! Happy 7th birthday Izzy!!!