Pet owners fete dogs with lavish birthday parties

Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:03am EST
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By Jill Jacobs

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Children aren't the only ones being lavished with expensive birthday parties. Pet owners are also marking their dog's special day with celebrations.

Lexi, a year-old black and white dachshund, celebrated her birthday in a Manhattan apartment with multi-colored balloons. She munched on dog-friendly cakes made of peanut butter, yogurt and carob, sipped Prosecco and nibbled on miniature cocktail hot dogs with her 15 canine guests.

"I've met so many people in the neighborhood, thanks to her," said actress Robin Brenner, who said she wanted to do something special to celebrate the occasion.

"She's kind of brought us all together."

But not all dog owners are ready to meet the challenges of holding a party for their pooch at home.

New York-based media buyer Jessica Winston, has held two birthday parties for her 3-year-old Bichon Frise, Ernie, including last year's "Bark Mitzvah.

"In dog years," she explained, "Ernie turned 13."

She recently celebrated her pet's third birthday at a dog-friendly watering hole, "Drop Off Service," in Manhattan's East Village.   Continued...