Hattie Is Three: A 21st Dog Birthday Party! - Victoria Rayburn Photography
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Hattie Is Three: A 21st Dog Birthday Party!

I can hardly believe it, but our puppy girl is three! And, in crazy-dog-mom style, we had to celebrate!

So, feel free to judge me and leave this post now, or keep reading to see photos from Hattie’s 21st dog birthday party and a recap of her third year of life!


Hattie’s 21st Birthday Party

A few months before Hattie turned three, I jokingly said to Zach, “You know. Hattie will be 21 in dog years on her birthday. Wouldn’t it be so much fun to have a 21st birthday party for her? We could invite all her dog friends and get them puppy wine.”

To my surprise, Zach was on board! He did make me scale back. I mean, if I’d had it my way, there would’ve been balloons, dog beer and wine, a signature Hattie drink, and a long list of other things Hattie wouldn’t have cared about.

So, we settled on making a dog cake and inviting Hattie’s closest dog friends and their parents to hang out in our basement and play for the evening. It was amazing!

For the dog cake, I scoured Pinterest and ended up combining this cake recipe and this frosting recipe to create a naked cake. As you can see in the photos, Hattie LOVED it!

The other dogs too, which has me almost decided to make baking for dogs my new hobby. I mean, baking is fun, and it doesn’t matter if the cake is fantastic or subpar. Dogs are so happy to eat anything other than dog food!

My initial plan was to just take a couple photos of Hattie with the cake, but once she got a lick of the frosting, there was no going back! (Zach says she’s just like me in this way.)

So, I let her enjoy a little cake and then just added more frosting. I mean, it’s a cake for dogs. Germs don’t exactly matter here!

She was pretty sad when I put the cake in the refrigerator, so I can’t help sharing these! Ha!

I wish I had more photos to show you (These are all cell phone photos by the way.) of all the puppy fun, but to celebrate Hattie’s 21st birthday, we had SEVEN dogs in our basement. They played and played, and I’m sure they all slept hard after.

At one point, I looked at Zach and said, “I think we should have seven dogs. I want my life to be like this every day.”

Hattie’s friend Kavu brought her a beer bottle squeaky toy. Talk about a perfect 21st birthday gift that all the dogs loved!

The cake was clearly enoyed Mackey, Hattie’s brother, ate his faster than we could get a photo of him eating it!

Forever proud puppy parents! I’ve embraced how pathetic we are. It’s fine.

And, it was, of course, Hattie’s brother Mackey’s birthday too! After we found Hattie, I told Kelli—a lifelong best friend—that we were getting a puppy. So, Kelli decided to adopt Hattie’s brother Mackey.

It’s so fun to get our pups together, and I can’t help sharing these before and after photos. They were once so little (and better at looking at the camera)!

I wish I had more photos to share with you, but the dog birthday party was lots of fun. I think it’s safe to say that there’ll be more in the future.


A Recap of Hattie’s Third Year of Life

After a wonderful year with our pup, celebrating with a party only made sense. From traveling to spending time with the people she loves most, here’s a recap of Hattie’s third year of life!

In 2017, we discovered how easy it was to travel with Hattie when we stay at Aloft Hotels. Aloft allows dogs to stay—no questions asked—if the dog is under 40 pounds.

We made it a goal to take more weekend trips this year, and because Aloft allows pups, Hattie got to go too! So, Hattie got to go to Chicago once (She didn’t care much about the Bean as you can see in the photo) and Louisville twice.

We also took a few trips without Hattie. So, she stayed with family and friends. During one trip, Hattie got to go to her good dog friend Stanley’s birthday party, and Angel (Stanley’s mom) sent us this sweet pic!

Before I left Treefrog, Hattie was the office dog. It took her a few months to get used to me working from home. (She was pretty bored for a while.) So, here’s a photo from one of our last days at Treefrog!

As you can see in the other photo, I made a mistake this year . . . One weekend while he was gone, I made the mistake of letting Hattie sleep in bed with me for the first time. There was no going back after that. Sorry, Zach. My fault, but you have to admit she’s the best cuddler!

I mean, look at her. She’s such a good snuggler!

And, Hattie had lots of photos taken.

Seriously. A lot!

And, yes. We’re those crazy people who include their dog in all of their family photos!

We took daily family summer walks, which Hattie loved, but I think it’s safe to say she loved running through leaves and playing in the snow even more.

Hattie went to all of our Christmases with us this year because she’s family too!

And, we took her with us to ring in the New Year in Louisville with some of our best friends. Yes. That’s us. With our dog. In the hotel bar.

And, Hattie’s made the best business partner. Not a photo is edited or a blog post is written without this sweet pup by my feet (or on my lap).

So, happy third birthday, puppy girl! We love you so much and don’t know what we’d do without you!



  1. Nan says:

    LOVE this blog! The pictures were awesome! Hattie is the most photogenic dog and she behaved so well with that cake!

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