Wake up, Sleepyhead!
Way too early, Mom - what's up?
Just tell me, so I don't have to get up yet.
Say what - it's my what??? I didn't quite hear you!!!!
IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY, PHANTOM!!!!! 16 YEARS YOUNG!!!! Yes, you were born on this day 16 years ago in a little house in Manchester, CT. You were a birthday present to Mom from her human kids - it was a very special year. That was when you came home to join Angel Dakota and the two little cockapoos Lucky and Shamrock.
Well, if it such a big day, why don't I see anything special around here???
Oh my goodness, what have we here? I see BIG boxes of milkbones, my bedtime snack.
And Dr. Tim's natural turkey chips AND oxtail chips.
And Orijen black angus beef treats, and Bil Jac liver treats,
And Trader Joe's pumpkin treats. I am so overwhelmed with all this goodness, that my legs are giving out.
Hurry, Mom, not sure I can hold this pose much longer.
Oh, one more I forgot - more pumpkin treats - Doggy Delirious - I am getting delirious with desire to taste ALL of them.
Ciara and Lightning, why are we out here? I thought Mom was going to give us SIXTEEN of those treats to celebrate me turning 16.
Oh, there you are, Mom - sure, I can manage another nice pose for you.
Now this is getting out of hand, Mom - let's start the party.
Nom, nom, nom, crunch, crunch, crunch - yummy, yummy, yummiest!!!
And the race is on to see who finishes first.
Lightning is stepping forward for more.
Phantom is gasping at seeing only a small crumb left.
Checking for any stray pieces.
How did that happen - they are all gone already!?!
Hey, look, Lightning - there are two more of those BIG boxes of milkbones.
Oh, thanks for telling me that, Lightning - these two boxes are the ones I am going to share with the less fortunate pups at the local shelter. I think they will enjoy helping me celebrate too.
I really don't play with toys anymore. Mom had a hard time deciding what to get for me or how to honor my special day, so we decided to make a day of thanksgiving and sharing. That is why we are going to share these milkbones with those dogs waiting and hoping for homes.
We also want to honor the staff at the veterinary clinic that has cared for me for 15 years and 1 month of my life here in Overland Park. The veterinarians, the vet techs, the office help, the kennel help, and the groomers have all had many opportunities to care for me over the years. There have been many changes in staff as time has gone by, but I have never met a vet who didn't treat me like a king. The vet techs have been great too, helping the vets during my visits, giving me my Adequan shots every 7-10 days, trimming my fur between the pads on my feet, trimming my nails, keeping tabs on my weight, and just giving me lots of hugs. The office help are always there to greet me with a big "Hi, Phantom", a smile, and a box of treats on the counter. Even that cat who sits up there is pretty decent. Until this year, the clinic had a boarding kennel, and the kennel help was super. They tried their darnedest to get me to eat - I sure gave them a challenge. They gave me and my pack lots of good outdoor time too. And now that the kennel part of the clinic has closed, the vets have still said they will keep me if Mom and Dad have to go away. Lastly, I have to thank the groomers for the loving and gentle baths and grooming they have given to me, especially in the last couple of years when it hasn't been easy for me to stand for a long time. And so, Mom and I are going to the clinic today for my Adequan shot AND to bring this to my pals.
I know they will really enjoy this!
Thanks to all of you from me and Mom.
Mom, I think you forgot something - there is only kibble in my bowl - I had made a special request for some steak.
I bet you have it stashed in here.
Yeppers, found it!!! I just knew she would remember. I know I won't be getting the bone, but Mom saved me the whole tenderloin and a piece of the other side of a superb t-bone. I know it is going to be delicious in my dinner bowl tonight.
And what are all those question marks for? Well, that is where you are supposed to see me modeling a present for me that Mom says I am not going to want but that I definitely need. So where is it? Stuck in the UPS la-la land - it was supposed to be here two days ago:( Oh well, I will show you as soon as it arrives.
And don't forget my other request - I want to be sure I get some of that turkey next week:)
And now from Mom - today is a day I never thought I would see. Phantom is the only dog I have ever had to live to be 16. One other was 15. I never dreamed that Phantom would have much more time after we lost Dakota because it was only days after her passing that he had that massive chest surgery to remove a huge malignant mass. Without clean margins, the prognosis was not great. His tumor was the type that is likely to return and spread and sadly it has. But he has coped with all his ills so very well. He is such a stoic boy, rarely complains or cries out despite the fact that he has a bad tummy and arthritis and spinal deterioration and all those bad lumps. He takes several medications to keep him comfortable. There are many days I wake up to see him very tired and unresponsive and I think this could be the day, but then he perks up and he gains another day. He still enjoys a walk, short though it may be. He likes to spend time in the yard with Ciara and Lightning, who are both very good to him and with him. They just seem to know that he needs a different kind of fun time. Who knows how many more days we will have together, but I am thankful for every day I can have. He is that kind of dog who makes it easy to love him - AND I DO!
Happy Birthday, my sweet boy Phantom.
Woos - Phantom, Ciara, Lightning, and Mom
Note: Many thanks to our very good friend Ann of Zoolatry for the birthday graphic.