Lily turns three – Celebrate your dog’s birthday with style

Mar 25, 2015

I can’t believe my silly Lily is three years old! Well, actually I can. It seems so long ago that I found her sleeping on that bench in downtown Raleigh at three months old.  She may be black and white, but she has brought so much color to our lives.  From two emergency trips to the vet, to eating so many different things around the house, to greeting us every time we walk in the door or downstairs with one of our shoes in her mouth, she is a NUT.  But a very very sweet nut.  She has grown so much.  Lily can stay downstairs most of the day now without getting into too much trouble.  She is crated when we leave the house, but really only spends the overnights in her crate (after her daddy fluffs her blankets for her) most days.

Many of you have asked about her and Baxter.  I’m so happy to report that both dogs remain in our house and have not had any incidents in about a year and two months!  I really didn’t think they would both be able to stay together, but am so glad that we have been able to keep both dogs safe, happy and under one roof.  Lily calmed down quite a bit after she hit two years old last year and she and Baxter are both on anti-anxiety medicine.  Baxter stays upstairs and Lily has downstairs.  They can both safely go on walks and car rides together.  Baxter remains a nervous nelly in general, but has really grown a lot as well. Despite his anxiety around children, he has also been amazing around Claire.  He prefers to just keep his distance.  Lily has also been amazing with Claire (minus eating a few bottle nipples without any trouble).  Every now and then she just wants to get her tongue all over Claire and love on her.  Claire isn’t a fan of doggie licks to the face, but does love to watch her doggies and smiles when they give her licks on her hands.  I have no doubt Lily and Claire are going to be besties as they continue to grow together!

Lily’s Cake Smash: I always look forward to watching the dogs devour their birthday cakes. I found this cute headband party hat at a baby boutique.  The other pink headband is actually Claire’s. See…they are already sharing accessories! Lily is such a good sport dressing up, much like Claire.  I wanted to find a bright blue wall to shoot downtown, but the company who owns the building I wanted to use didn’t allow us to photograph there. I did get one shot while testing out the lighting (see below).  I knew of another colorful mural in downtown Raleigh that would work and there is relatively little traffic in the area.  I was quite ambitious to attempt the shoot on my own and have Claire tag along in her stroller. Thankfully I had an extra pair of hands from a former client who purchased my old camera and is getting into photography!  Even still…it’s always crazy getting a dog to sit and drool over a delish cake for photos before they can dig in! 

Here are my tips for celebrating your dog’s birthday with style:

1) Accessorize! Find a cute colorful collar! If your dog has lots of hair, opt for a bowtie or flower accessory that attached to their collar. Birthday hats are of course fun and easy to find.

2) Coordinate! I usually pick my accessories first and then plan the cake to match. That didn’t happen this year, but the colorful background pulls all the colors together.

3) Find the perfect cake! I always order my cakes from Gourmutt’s Bakery in North Raleigh. They are very affordable, creative, made fresh in-store and safe for dogs to eat!  Plus you can customize your cake!

4) Have help! If you are taking photos, make sure to find a helper.  Even if your dog doesn’t need to stay on the leash or you are shooting inside, it’s a great idea to have extra hands to grab the cake in case your dog wants to dig in before you have a chance to snap your photos.

5) Let them eat cake! After getting a few great shots looking sweet and posed, let loose! Enjoy watching your dog dig in!  Just be prepared for some colorful…well you know. What goes in must come out! 🙂  Do be mindful if you have more than one dog at home to let your pup enjoy their cake solo.  Once they’ve celebrated, cut up chunks of cake and offer to other dogs to avoid any food aggression issues.  We always want a safe and happy celebration!

For more inspiration, check out these past Smash the Cake sessions!