I had the most fun I've had for years yesterday at the party for our dog's eighth birthday. Yes, I know, it sounds completely ridiculous, but it was hilarious and joyous and fantastic.
It was all Jemima's idea, and seeing as my new principle is to 'say yes as often as possible', we decided to go ahead with it. She wrote invitations to four of the neighbourhood dogs and their families, set up the backyard, made phone calls and iced the (bone-shaped) cake.
The dogs arrived, and the children spent 10 minutes or so taking them over a jump/obstacle course. There were no fights, but we did have to keep the biggest, boisterous one away from the others, and some of them showed a little bit too much affection for each other... (both desexed males... what is going on?)
We then played 'duck duck dog' before cutting cake (for humans) and opening presents. The dogs got treats too - probably too many for the little one who was on a diet.
The children loved it, but I think we adults had more fun. We all just stood there and laughed for a full half-hour. Perhaps joy comes from such child-like things as throwing a dog party?