A real dog's dinner ...

I have been invited to a dog's birthday party and I am livid. I can barely muster the enthusiasm to get dressed up and celebrate a human friend's birthday these days '“ now I have to pretend to enjoy socialising with their pets.

Thursday, 3rd August 2017, 2:14 pm
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 12:32 pm

The invite cites the dress code as ‘smart’ and includes a gift list.

Dog pillows, chew bones and something called a bungee ball.

Not only that, it refers to a ‘drinks reception’ and ‘sit down meal’. They were contemplating a buffet but it seems the dog, who regularly buries his own faeces, thought it wasn’t sophisticated enough.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Darryl Morris who works at Rock FM and is a Lancashire Evening Post columnist

Don’t get me wrong; I do love dogs. Had my ex-girlfriend not kept ours during the break-up, I’d be the proud owner of one to this day.

But never in a million years would I drag my friends through the indignity of 
attending a birthday party for an animal from which they receive an occasional sniffing and the odd lick.

I don’t care – the dog doesn’t care – what’s the point?

It turns out I am wrong. When I mention this on my radio show, I am met with an intense backlash.

Darryl Morris who works at Rock FM and is a Lancashire Evening Post columnist

Beyond a handful of people agreeing that it’s the height of ridiculousness, my text screen and phone lines are filled with support for pet birthday parties, gift ideas, holiday destinations and even a wedding.

Jay got in touch to say his wife throws a yearly themed party for their Labrador. This year, it was Mexican. How they knew their dog was partial to Latin American festivities is, and will remain, beyond me – but they kitted the garden out with the party accessory every canine craves; a piñata. They invited the local dogs to join in ripping the piñata to pieces. I can only imagine how long they spent getting their nails done in preparation.

I was also introduced to a dog-loving woman called Helen. I feel Helen may love her dog too much.

When he hit the milestone age of 10, Helen felt the need to mark the occasion with a bouncy castle and a clown. A clown. Take a moment to think that one through.

Even I’m a bit scared of clowns and I’m able to process the reassuring logic that it’s just a fat man with bad breath in make-up. Apparently, the pup wasn’t overly keen and after half an hour of solid barking, he ate the clown’s wig and punctured the bouncy castle.

Money well spent, claims Helen, without a hint of sarcasm.

Then there was Anne-Marie. Anne-Marie makes Helen sound completely reasonable.

For she was so convinced her Pug was in a loving relationship with the dog next door – based, I imagine, on how often she talked about him over dinner and texted him while they were apart – that she and the neighbour agreed to hold a dog wedding; two completely rational human beings, funding and hosting a wedding… for their dogs.

They even hired a DJ.

I can’t help feeling my invitation could have be a lot worse.

I’ve ironed a shirt and ordered a bungee ball.