Birthdays. Some of us look forward to them. Some of us dread them or let them slip by unnoticed. Others are too young to realize they’re being celebrated.
I didn’t do much with my last one – the day I officially became closer to 50 than 40, as a good friend reminded me a minute after I turned 45. My mom has a big one coming up with a five at the end of it and I’m sure she’ll want to do the same.
My daughter talked about her 4th birthday for about 11 ½ months leading up to the celebration, and is already fired up for five, even though it’s still months away.
And, my son? He turns two in a few weeks and we’re conflicted. I’m pulling for a low-key deal while my wife wants to go big with all his friends, maybe a piñata. Friends? He doesn’t really have any yet, and won’t even know the party is for him. Still, I’m I pretty sure I’ll lose this disagreement.
So, how does an organization celebrate a birthday? Our Center for Compassion in Burlingame turns 1 next week. In dog years, that’s either 7, or 15 if you use the “new school” dog/person age conversion.
We’d love a huge party with traditional party games, but somehow letting people take turns whacking a stuffed donkey with a stick seems like bad form for a humane society.
Cake for hundreds of visitors might get messy. And cake for our shelter animals would definitely lead to upset stomachs, which won’t be fun for animal care staff cleaning rooms the next morning.
We could sing happy birthday to ourselves. Our president can tickle the ivories and three members of our Customer Service/Adoptions staff are in bands. That’ll be good for a minute, then what?
We still have a bit of time to plan this shindig. That said, we received one gift a few weeks early. One of our dear supporters, Vanessa Getty, visited our Center for Compassion and was so impressed with our new place and the work going on inside, that she made a generous gift which will help us launch a new program. Vanessa’s present was just a smidge bigger than the b-day card from grandma with a 20-spot.
The best part is that we’ll use her gift to give lots of little gifts - free spay or neuter surgeries plus 20 smackeroos for local Chihuahua owners.
The $20 incentive or, “ball bounty” ($10 per!) is for real. Chihuahuas are producing accidental and some not-so-accidental litters at alarming rates. As a result of this, Hollywood’s glamorization of the little dogs – from commercials and Disney movies to paparazzi shots of divas with diminutive dogs in handbags – and families who assume the tiny breed is a perfect plaything for the tiny child, have made them the most likely breed to be dumped at shelters. And, we’re going to the root of the issue. Details to follow.
Now that we have that figured out, back to the party. We really want to celebrate the first year in our new home by doing more than castrating Chihuahuas, as festive as that will be. We could tie the new program (the un-birthdays) into our birthday. Ok, that could use polish.
How do you think we should celebrate? Drop me a quick message, a card, or a $20 bill from grandma for our animals.