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Cinco de Jackie

by Jennie Guido   •  photography by Aimee Guido


While August does not necessarily signal a change in seasons or the onset of fall, some of the events that begin in August suggest the coming of that summer-to-autumn change from the swelter of summer to brisker times ahead. From football and school getting off the ground to a change of pace in day-to-day life as vacation time and opportunity subside, August is a time to get back to routines.


For me, the beginning of August is a time to celebrate. While people my age are getting married, starting families, and planning birthday parties for their tiny tots, I am planning those same parties for my own kids—of the four-legged variety. My eldest Beagle, Jackie O, is celebrating her fifth birthday this year; and the party we will be having is quite the fiesta.


Yes. I like to have a theme for each birthday. While some may find that silly and think Jackie O doesn’t know one given day or occasion from another, I believe she does know her birthday is her special day. She shows a little pep in her step, naps a little less, and gets to open a present or two; and all of the four-legged family members (as well as the two-legged ones) get to celebrate her and enjoy special treats.


For Jackie O’s first birthday, we celebrated with dog-friendly cupcakes and party hats. Yes, we provided a party hat and individual cupcake for each of the family pups. When she turned two, we made dog-bone-shaped sugar cookies and had “hipster” photo props for our picture-taking session. For three, her “twenty-first,” we enjoyed a key-lime pie, taco salads, and margaritas (for the humans, of course). At a pet store in McComb, Mississippi, I picked up pre-made treats with bright frosting and even sprinkles. Four was a fun one with specially made lemon-flavored petit fours decorated with paw prints, a bottle of bubbly for her Mommy and PawPaw, and French toast for dinner.


Just a couple of weeks ago in the middle of July, we celebrated the first birthday of my youngest Beagle, Jo. She enjoyed sampling vanilla cupcakes, seeing balloons, and chasing bubbles with her sister and Boykin Spaniel-cousin, Honey. Jo thinks every day is her birthday; but this first birthday was a special one for my sweet rescue Beagle.


However, for Jackie’s fifth, we will be celebrating “Cinco de Jackie” on August 5 with a piñata and all. So, Happy Birthday, Jackie O! May this one be as special as all of the others have been.


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