This is Fur Baby's 5th Birthday - Puppy Love Thursday

Now, I know you've already sent her gifts via messenger - lots of chewies, comfy dog beds, perhaps a spa session downtown - since her birthday is tomorrow, but if you're still labouring over what to get Miss Gigi Baby for her 5th (or 35th) birthday, she's also looking for donations to help pups less fortunate than her over at our pal Ashley's blog. Ash has a heart like no other and works tirelessly to rescue dogs in need. She's an inspiration for me every single day and could really use our help, so please make a visit to her blog and donate to her rescue organization.

But let's get back to what's really important eldest fur baby. I was 25 when I brought Gigi home. I had really wanted another dog for a while and one Saturday morning in April 2007 I woke up and decided that I was getting a dog that very day. I didn't know then what I do now about pet stores and puppy mills. Gigi wasn't a rescue dog, but going forward I'll only adopt fur babies who need love and a safe home. Gigi was brought into the shop with her two sisters on the Thursday evening and until I showed up, nobody had paid any attention to her. One of her sisters was taken home on Friday. The afternoon I showed up with my cousin, I peeked into a cage to see a teensy ginger pup tucked into the corner. The associate told me nobody had asked to see her, but that her sister had been courted by several families. Maybe the kid was giving me a line, but I don't care. When I heard that the timid, sweet, orange pup had been ignored I knew she was the one I wanted.

My new fur baby garnered adoring gazes as I carried her to the car. She shivered for the entire ride and as soon as I got her to her Nanny's (my Aunt Sharon) house, she was showered with kisses, treated to a bath and introduced to grass for the first time. She jumped around in the sun the way puppies do. She was all jumping and frolicking...but she still didn't have a name.

Before I ever met my fur baby, I knew I wanted a small dog who I would name Tonka. When I adopted my little girl though, she didn't seem like a Tonka to me. I went through a lengthy list of names. Cici, Maxine, Macy and others I can't remember. Throughout the day I called her Good Girl and then my Dad suggested Gigi. It was perfect. She was perfect for me.

I'll be honest with you, I adore Gigi, but I'm under no delusions that she's a perfect dog. Does she bark like a maniac at dogs much bigger than her? Yes. Does she whine for treats? You bet. Does she lose her mind when anybody touches me? She's my Kevin Costner. Am I aware of all this and have I put her through puppy class? Ya...twice. It's not for lack of trying. I've had private in-home sessions with a trainer, but my girl is who she is. Perhaps I'm a bad fur mama, but my girl and I aren't changing for anybody.

What means more to me than any amount of doggie tantrums is how much Gigi loves me and how responsible I feel for her safety, health and happiness. To Gigi, I am the entire universe. She waits at the door (my family has confirmed) when I leave the house. She gets shotgun in my Jeep and she's only 14lbs. She is the one being on earth that I always want to cuddle with. She runs right to my side when I cough or sneeze. And the best part is how I look through her eyes. To Gigi, I am perfect without even trying. Her love is unconditional even when I'm barely home and leave her in the capable hands of her Papa, Auntie or Uncle. Her love is unconditional even though I clipped her nail too short over Easter weekend and I had to wrap her poor little paw in a bandage. Her love is unconditional even though I leave her for work every morning. Her love is unconditional because she knows I'm the one person who would do absolutely anything for her. She's right. Each day I want to be the person Gigi already knows I am. She's had that much of an effect on my life.

So, this morning while I was getting ready for work, Gigi was having a birthday breakfast of kibble and cheesy scrambled eggs with her fur sisters. This weekend she's getting a trip to the conservation area for an extra long walk and a visit to our favourite pet boutique for a special birthday cookie. Your first baby only turns five once.

Do you do anything special for you fur baby's birthday? Do you give them presents at Christmas? Is your fur baby a part of the family? Let Gigi and I know what you and your fur babies do to celebrate birthdays :)

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