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Today (December 14th) is Kaweah’s 15th birthday! At this time last year, Jeremy and I figured she probably wouldn’t make it to fifteen… figured that her various ailments and most of all, her age, would catch up to her before this day. We agreed to take each day as it comes and to make Kaweah as happy and as comfortable as possible. Even last night when I reached over from under the covers to stroke her soft ears, I never assumed that she would be here today. For her birthday, we are making sure she enjoys the one thing in this world that makes her happiest – food!

amuse bouche: brussels sprout leaf, carrot, cheddar, and a peanut

beef 3-ways: hand cut, medallion wrapped in prosciutto, carpaccio

birthday dessert: crushed pumpkin peanut butter dog treats in peanut butter, sliced lady apple, whipped cream, sprinkles, whole lady apple, homemade dog treats

Jeremy fed Kaweah a quarter of her usual kibble allotment for breakfast, because I had this nice birthday meal planned for her (too much food guarantees a puke episode in the middle of the night). She happily gobbled it down and wandered off to contemplate the things that Kaweah contemplates in the office. An hour later, as I was preparing her birthday meal in the kitchen, she emerged from the office looking around as if something was amiss. “I think she just realized that she was short-changed at breakfast,” Jeremy observed.

ready to start

she could not stop licking her chops

jeremy gives her a hand with the carpaccio

licking the plate clean

It’s a silly thing I do for Kaweah – making pretty food for her to devour. She’s a dog’s dog and would be just as happy if I filled a bowl with kibble. I guess I do it for me as much as I do it for her. Perhaps it’s all in my mind, but I think I see her wag more when she inhales beef or peanut butter or cheese.

intent on her birthday dessert

looking to jeremy for the go ahead

she got so excited, she started panting

birthday puppy!!!

Kaweah spent a good 30 minutes lying in the sun and licking her chops after her birthday meal. Later, I noticed she had capsized onto her side taking a much needed nap – her belly happily full. Jeremy called the vet to make an appointment for a check-up next week and the technician knew Kaweah by name. When the appointment had been booked, she said to Jeremy, “She’s pretty remarkable.” We feel the same way. It’s hard to watch a beloved pet age, but every day we get with Kaweah is a gift. She just keeps surprising us all.

Happy birthday, baby puppy. We love you so much!

outtake: sometimes her eagerness gets the better of her

68 nibbles at “fifteen”

  1. Lisa says:

    Happy Birthday, Kaweah and have more to come. She is such a good girl and we all love her so much. Always have fond memory of her stood by the windows in the rec. room watching down the drive way and waiting for everyone to come back from sailing and did not move much until the cars drove up and she started to move around. That was many years ago when she was a little puppy.

  2. S says:

    Happy Birthday Kaweah!! :D

  3. Melissa says:

    *sniff* *sob* Love. Thanks for the wonderful photos. Happy Birthday, puppy.

  4. Kath says:

    Happy 15th, precious Kaweah!

    I love all your Mommy’s stories, but the K-dawg stories are always extra special xoxo <3

  5. Anna says:

    Happy Birthday Kaweah! :)

  6. LizzieBee says:

    Happy Birthday Kaweah!!

  7. Phyllis says:

    Happy Birthday Kaweah! She’s got great parents! You may not get this message, I can’t do the captcha right

  8. Kate says:

    Happy Birthday to adorable Kaweah! She seems like such a smart, happy dog. I always love reading about her.

  9. Dani H says:

    Happy Birthday Kaweah!!

  10. AMY says:

    You are one special human. All dogs deserve a human like you! Gorgeous food for a gorgeous pup. Best wishes to you for another year with your special friend.

  11. Marsha says:

    Beautiful! Happy’s Birthday Kaweah!

  12. Linda says:

    Happy Birthday Kaweah! Everytime I see her I see my grand puppy Rowdy, who’ll be 7 on Valentine’s Day. Her muzzle is getting gray, but she’s still a puppy to us all. She used to be able to run for days on end, but now if she runs her butt off on one day, she rests the next. She’s the second most-loved and most-spoiled Lab lady in the world, I believe. Give her a scratch and a kiss from me.

    xo Linda

  13. cherie says:

    Lucky you :) Lucky her – she’s beautiful – happy birthday!

  14. Rosa says:

    Happy Birthday Kaweah! What a beauty she is.



  15. Judy says:

    Happy birthday beautiful dog.
    I love her face looking at the plate with the candle in it. A really puppyish face.
    Long may she live.

  16. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says:

    Awww Happy Birthday Kaweah! She looks so happy.

  17. Sandra | Foodmanna says:

    Happy Birthday beautiful! She’s so pretty and happy!

  18. Heather says:

    Happy Birthday, yu darling pup! :) You have always had such a lovely, kind disposition, and such impeccable manners!

  19. Theresa says:

    Happy birthday Kaweah! She is a special pup and I love that you do this for her. I always enjoy your Kaweah posts! I still can’t believe she’s 15 – she looks so good :)

  20. Judy says:

    Happy Birthday, Kaweah! You are one lucky dog to have Jen and Jeremy in your life.

  21. Magda says:

    Happy birthday sweet Kaweah!!!

  22. Melissa says:

    Happy birthday Kaweah!! You three are so lucky to be such a sweet family.

  23. Bri says:

    Happy birthday, you dear sweet pup! Only the finest for such an awesome dog. My boy will be 14 this year, I think he needs a Kaweah style feast. Here’s to you Kaweah!

  24. Linda Ward says:

    Your family is what love is all about. Incredible!

  25. Kristin says:

    Gah! Tears! Happy birthday Kaweah! She’s so beautiful & looks so smart, even though you claim she’s not always the brightest of pups. If I were a dog, I would certainly want to live with you & Jeremy!

  26. Lisa says:

    Happy Birthday Kaweah!

  27. Kim says:

    She looks great. Enjoy every day with her.

  28. tami says:

    i’m not crying – i have something in my eye. happy birthday to your sweet pup!

  29. Hankdog says:

    What a happy clan you three make! Kaweah is indeed lucky to have such loving people, but I understand how much joy she brings to you and Jeremy. I have to wonder, did she get to sleep on the bed last night after such an extravagant meal? If so you’re a stronger gal than I ;)

  30. Ruthie says:

    Happy birthday, Kaweah! What a beautiful, lucky pup!

  31. Rose says:

    Oh Happy Day! Blessings on Kaweah, you and Jeremy.

  32. Jillian says:

    Happy Birthday Kaweah! She might be my favorite celebrity, internet-or-otherwise. And I’m not really kidding.

  33. Twila says:

    Happy Birthday love to Kaweah. We lost our favorite dog-kid in October, but now I get to enjoy cute dogginess through your pictures and stories!

  34. Julia says:

    Happy Birthday Kaweah!! She has such an expressive, beautiful face!
    And that outtake is just the best :)

  35. M. K. says:

    Dear Kaweah ~ What a special Day it is, and how clever of you to have chosen such wonderful parents. Have a grand time celebrating!

  36. Kate says:

    What magnificent photos! A beautiful meal for a beautiful puppy!

  37. Bo says:

    This brought me to tears! So sweet :’)

  38. debbie says:

    What a beautiful dog…I just love the picture of her staring at her dessert with the candle in front. Precious baby….

  39. Megan says:

    Oh sweet girl! This makes me so happy! I have a black lab that will be 10 next year and I must do this for her.

  40. jill says:

    You have captured the essence of happiness and love in these photos. They are truly beautiful photos! So last year was her GOLDEN birthday (14 on the 14th), this birthday is a treasure.
    I’ve been dog sitting my sisters chocolate lab, and his birthday was the 13th. It was his GOLDEN birthday. I must admit, it takes YOU to make such special treats! I gave Dozer his usual kibble, and lots of hugs and kisses on his noggin. He seemed happy.
    I LOVE how you LOVE.

  41. kelli says:

    happy to see her looking so good. my puppy Loona is about to turn 14. and I make her a special dinner too.

    there are three dogs on my street, 2 named Joey both 16 and Othie is 18!!!
    they are all happy, loved dogs
    happy dogs live a good long time
    so cherish every day and there will be a lot more of them to come, she will surprise you how long she can go with love and a belly full of good food!

  42. Cyndi says:

    Aww! sniff Happy Birthday Kaweah! Lost my beloved Weim at 13 last January. Wish I had as many lovely pics of her as you take of Kaweah. Jen, you are a gifted photog. The one of her licking her chops while staring at beef trio if my fave.

  43. hungry dog says:

    Happy belated birthday to sweet Kaweah! And you guys are so lucky to get so much time with her. Very happy for you all. And her bday dinner is amazing!

  44. Cindi says:

    Happy – belated – birthday, Kaweah! She looks so good and you two are just the best puppy parents! Sending hugs to you all.

  45. Sandra says:

    So sweet! Happy belated birthday Kaweah!

  46. Cheal says:

    What a sweet, wonderful birthday dinner for Kaweah! It always makes me smile to see Kaweah posts. :-)

  47. Chatelaine says:

    Happy Birthday Kaweah! She is so loved and it warms my heart.

  48. swan says:

    dear jen and jeremy–i cannot thank you enough for being the best dog parents in the world! much love to all of you–i cannot believe she’s 15!!!!


  49. Jen says:

    Normally I would make fun of you for this but I love you and I love your dog! And she looks so good for her age so she must be happy. Happy Birthday, Kaweah!

  50. Darcy says:

    What a sweet post and a cute dog. It’s not silly at all to spoil her on her special day… pets bring such joy and it is nice to return the favor!

  51. Sandy says:

    Kaweah I hope you have many more look fab at 15!

    Belated Happy Birthday to a great looking dog.

  52. Louise says:

    Happy Birthday! what lovely photos. looking forward to next year’s food and pics of your puppy

  53. Sil says:

    Feliz cumpleaΓ±os Kaweah! She’s pretty remarkable indeed. :-)

  54. Brynnie says:

    Well thanks for that big, blubbery, cleansing, ugly cry…. I feel better now! :) Jen, your Kaweah is admittedly one of the sweetest reasons I have read your blog for years now. I feel so blessed to have shared in quite a few birthdays with her (and the parents!) by now. I love your gift of pretty food for her. She may not need “beef three ways” but you can rest assured she has an even better doggie dream during the after-dinner nap with that as her meal. Very special!

    Happy Birthday, Baby Doggie… you are so precious and loved, whether for days, weeks, months, or years more. We are all better for having shared some very sweet birthdays with you. <3

  55. CoffeeGrounded says:

    Precious puppy dog, Happy Birthday! … Sorry my wish is belated. You are a beautiful girl.

  56. brenda s 'okie in colorado' says:

    This is the sweetest post ever! Happy Birthday beautiful Kaweah! I love how you fussed over her gourmet dinner and dessert. He is one lucky fur baby to have you two in his life. This is why he chooses to stay around a bit longer. Merry Christmas to the three of you.

  57. Helens says:

    Happy Birthday Kaweah!

    She’s such a beautiful old dog.

    I can entirely sympathize with feeling surprised and grateful for every day you get to spend with her. Mine is seven months past his fifteenth birthday, but this time last year we really didn’t think he’d make 15, let alone the following Christmas. And now he seems healthier than ever (except for being a bit wobbly on his back legs).

    May you have many more days with the lovely Kaweah and her soft ears.

  58. Chef V says:

    Happy Birthday Kaweah! It’s been a pleasure watching you grow all these years!!

  59. Jenn. says:

    I LOVE THIS POST! All 3 of you are blessed. Here’s to many more years with your beloved Kaweah.

  60. Grace says:

    Happy birthday Kaweah! Whenever you write about her my eyes fill with happy tears. You always beautifully encapsulate how much love we have for our dogs and how special they are to us. Thank you.

  61. Meredith says:

    Just found my way to your beautiful blog this afternoon and promptly fell in love with it after reading Kaweah’s birthday post. What a beautiful dog! Happy belated birthday to your sweet girl! We love all dogs but we have a special place in our hearts for black labs because of our own lab, Orvis. Would you mind terribly if I asked if you give Kaweah any particular supplements? I’m in awe of her fifteen, surely incredible, years! Enjoy the holiday season, Jen!

  62. Yvonne says:

    I very much enjoy your beautiful food and photos, but I mostly come back for the Kaweah stories!

  63. Beth says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a long time and am so happy when I see pictures and stories of your beautiful girl. Happy 15th!!!!!

  64. dawn says:

    this is love :)

  65. Katie C says:

    Happy birthday (albeit belated), Darling girl! I’m so happy to see you bright-eyed and waggy-tailed at 15. Big belly rubs, and please give your mama and daddy a nuzzle for me!

  66. Laura says:

    Happy Birthday! She sitll looks young!!!!

  67. jenyu says:

    Awww, thank you everyone! I wish Kaweah could somehow understand just how much people out there love her, but most likely, she would just search all of your hands to see if you had a treat for her ;) Thank you for loving our baby puppy. You guys are THE BEST. xxoo

    Mom – thank you. I was surprised that she was so well-behaved back then. Grops even pet her on the head and she was not a fan of dogs :) xo

    Phyllis – I got it, so you did it right! :)

    AMY – you’re very kind. Thank you.

    Linda – I never thought Kaweah would slow down, but at the age of 10, she finally started doing less (and being less crazy). But look, she’s gotten so many more years beyond that with lots of love and treats! There are many ways to love a pup and make them happy. Food is definitely one of those things for a lab ;)

    Bri – happy 14th to your sweet boy! xo

    Hankdog – Kaweah doesn’t sleep on the bed anymore. She gets squirrely after a while and wants to jump off which… she can’t do on her own without wiping out. So we keep her on her nice doggy bed and do everything in our power to minimize her risk of injury :)

    Jillian – you are such a dear! xo

    Twila – I’m so sorry :( I know that time is approaching for us with Kaweah. Sending you many hugs.

    Julia – ha ha!! Isn’t she nuts?!

    M.K. – xxoo

    Megan – oh, I hope your baby pup enjoys her 10th!!

    jill – Glad you were there to give Dozer extra auntie lovin’. All old dogs deserve extra special care and treats :) xo

    kelli – thank you xo

    Cyndi – I’m sorry about your fur baby :( Isn’t it so sad that we lose them, and yet I wouldn’t have it the other way… I would rather we always be there for them for as long as they need us :) xo

    Brynnie – such a sweet sweet note. Thank you!! xo

    Helens – yes, the wobbly legs. Kaweah is wobbly too. We just take each day as it comes. Many more good days (weeks, months!) to your fur baby xo

    Meredith – Kaweah is not on any supplements. We’ve always fed her Iams (which I know is “junk” in terms of dog food, but her vet didn’t want us to switch her to a new food so late in life as she has done incredibly well on it so far). I really believe it is genetics. Kaweah was gifted to us by my MIL who got her from a breeder in NM. Her father was a field champion and her mother was probably from another line of super healthy and friendly dogs. It also helps that she has been a trim and strong dog all her life with lots of exercise and regular diet :)

    Katie C – xxoo!!

  68. Melanie says:

    I’m “catching up” on my butter posts. Had to jump to this one about the sweet pup. I love that you make her special birthday meals and that the photos are so nicely done. It was only later in my dog’s life (he’s gone now) that I started getting him birthday cakes (liver or meat loaves from PC’s Pantry in Boulder) and taking his picture. I wish I’d done that more. PCs always gave me dog cookies that were in the shape of the numbers that made up his age.

    I think you’re right about exercise and fitness being a key to long & healthy lives for the dogs (and for us!). I hope you get to have several more years with the sweet girl!


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