We brought Otis home within a couple of weeks of moving to North Carolina. He was a cute little brown puppy with a couple of spots of white fur. He liked to chew on things (like my brand new Lucky jeans). Aside from a hamster and a couple of goldfish, he was my first pet. He quickly figured out that he'd stay cool if he laid on the air conditioning grate in the kitchen and that if he snuggled in shortly after doing something bad, he probably wouldn't get in any trouble.
I know it sound cliche, but he is our first kid... a good learning experience. We used to take him out on every birthday for a treat and a new collar. He outgrew collars quickly back then. Nowadays, he's had the same collar for a couple years and it isn't in need of replacement. But we still take him out for a special treat.
We went back to our local doggie bakery this year. Otis enjoyed sniffing around, but he was the only dog there this year and once he'd gone through the store, he was ready to sniff somewhere else.
This year's birthday topped last year for Otis because our next stop was the Wake Forest Dog Park. This also doubled as a playground trip for the youngest three Slavik brothers, so everyone had a good time. Otis ran around till his heart was content and he was tired of fending off some... agressive... socially inappropriate... dogs.
Otis took a breather while we ate some dinner and gave the boys baths. Then he perked up again when we sang Happy Birthday to him and gave him his special safe (no chocolate) iced Happy Birthday baked treat.
Happy birthday, big dog! You're a wonderfully patient, understanding, and most-of-the-time gentle "big brother" to Luke, Will and Matt! We love you!