One of the many advantages of rescuing a pet is that you’re not restricted to celebrating an actual birth date; you can choose any one you like. In a post that I wrote in the first year of my blog, 2009, I explained that I chose the Fourth of July for Frankie’s birthday because of the name he came with, the name of the golf partner of his rescuer’s husband.
Now Frankie is not a duffer-type pup — although he has been known to pee on the greens at resort courses — but the name nevertheless suited the little guy to a tee. So I kept it.
But of course it turned out to just be the base for the riffs I play on it. Frankie soon became Frankie Doodle, a spin on Yankee Doodle, because I thought he was dandy. And, as the chorus of the George M. Cohan song goes,
I‘m a Yankee Doodle Dandy,
A Yankee Doodle, do or die;
A real live nephew of my Uncle Sam’s,
Born on the Fourth of July.
I also expounded quite a bit more in the post about other dog names and, if I say so myself, it’s pretty funny. You can check it out here.A year ago, I used the occasion to discuss how much I learned about dogs in general and Frankie in particular since the first Fourth of July after I got him, when I was clueless enough to take him to a political picnic. Instead of subjecting him to the adoring crowds — and, because he was wearing the outfit pictured here, he was indeed adorable — I re-created the outfit he wore and kept him away from the masses last year.
I lost my camera in San Diego — a new one is en route — so I’m just posting the same picture again this year. I’d be tempted in any case; it’s awfully cute. To read the rest of the post and to see another picture of Frankie looking very grumpy about getting dressed up in a cocktail napkin and streamers, click here.
Those past two years, I didn’t do anything special for Frankie’s birthday. But this year, I had BIG plans. Because I’d been thinking Frankie was going to be 13, I was going to throw him a Bark Mitzvah. After all, he’s been circumcised (very), and without permission — take that, San Francisco! — in Jewish tradition. And, he’s been known to eat Evanger’s dog food, which is kosher. And, really, how charming would he look in a yarmulke?
I’m afraid I didn’t get it together. And I felt very bad. But then I did some math. I got Frankie in October of 2004 when he was said to be five or six. I’d been going for the higher number — I’m not sure why; perverse reasons I suspect — but my vet has him down as 11. So I’m going to go with that number and celebrate his 12th this year, saving the bark mitzvah for next year.
In the meantime, I’m a bit intimidated by some footage I found on YouTube of another terrier celebrating the occasion with a reading of the “Arf Torah.” I’d better start preparing Frankie right away!
I just love how Elvis’s parents are kvelling over him.
So, next year…not in Jerusalem, but in another desert city.
Today, have a happy — and safe! — 4th of July, however you choose to celebrate.