Mark the birthday or adoption day of your family’s favorite four-legged friend with a goofy game, pet-pleasing crafts and yummy chow for all.
Guest of honor
Serve the guest of honor a bit of her regular food in a cupcake holder (we added a rawhide chew “candle”). If your pet is game and can handle excitement, let the crew serenade her with “Happy Birthday” while she dines. To set the scene, transform inflated balloons into cats and pups, adhering paper features with glue dots. Tape the balloons on a length of yarn. To make a stamped table runner, see “Paw Printing,” below.
These edibles will feed hungry beasts of the two-legged variety. For the Dog Bites, insert cooked hot dogs into hamburger buns. Add eyes and ears cut from white American cheese (fresh slices from the deli counter work best) and black beans for pupils and noses. Secure the features with dabs of mustard.
For Kitty’s Fave Pizzas, roll out a 13.8-ounce tube of pizza dough on a floured surface. Use 3- or 4-inch heart- and egg-shaped cookie cutters to cut the dough (we got six of each shape from one tube). Press a heart and an egg shape together to form each fish. Add pizza sauce, shredded cheese, a black olive slice for the eye, and half a black olive slice for the mouth. Bake the pizzas as directed on the dough’s packaging.
Silly human tricks
Fill a clean pet bowl with folded slips of paper, each inscribed with a pet trick, such as “jump through a hoop,” “shake,” “roll over” or “wag your tail.” Provide a hula hoop and any other props needed. The first player chooses a slip and performs that trick. The next chooses a slip, then performs that stunt, plus the first one. The game continues until the player who went first has to perform all of the tricks in the right order. Repeat the game until everyone has had a chance to be the first player.
Kids will beg for this fool-the-eye treat. Cover a store-bought angel food cake with frosting, adding the name of the birthday dog or cat. Fill the center with scoops of ice cream and top the cake with cocoa-flavored cereal balls (leave about an inch of space all around for the bowl’s rim).
Make paw prints on a table topper using a carrot stamp.
1. Bundle one fat and four thin carrots with rubber bands, then slice across the ends. (For extra pawthenticity, cut a small notch in the fat carrot.)
2. With an ink pad, stamp the prints onto a length of wrapping paper.