Jewelry designer and event stylist JunJun Ablaza is a lover of pets. His residence is also home to 80 dogs of varied breeds. There are French Blue Bulldogs, Chinese Crested Dogs, Afghan Hounds, Borzois, Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, Siberian Huskies and Tibetian Mastiffs, to name a few. “I first began collecting birds and later dogs,” starts JunJun.
His love for canines began years back. “I used to live in a condominium when I started to take care of dogs. After a while, the dogs took over my living space and so I had to move to a larger residence.”
CANDY FOR DOGS
Junjun has styled numerous theme parties for different occasions. He holds that a get together need not be confined to birthdays, anniversaries or special occasions. “A person’s birthday is important, of course, so why shouldn’t your pet have a party that’s just as fun? A dog’s birthday is a great excuse to get your friends and family and their dogs together for some fun.”
Junjun’s pet parties get his nephews and niece much excited. On the afternoon of the canine celebration, a bridge leading up to the home had been set up with throw pillows, a makeshift boudoir for pets and a buffet filled with dog treats. Junjun suggests, “You can cover the tables with paw-printed fabrics; paint bones or paw on balloons and tie them to chairs and other objects around the room or yard. Decorate the hall or yard by displaying your dog’s photos or some funky dog paintings and art pieces. Don’t forget to purchase some cute doggie bowls to use for serving food.”
Spreads that resemble a candy bar has a wide variety of dog chow. Bowls around the venue are placed on tables containing colorful treats. There are festive serving trays on the dining table for the humans, too. “Cupcakes and cookie are usually the must-have party desserts for the afternoons.”
HAUTE COUTURE FOR HOUNDS
Adding to the novelty of a pet party are fashion creations designed especially for the occasion. A pooch dress code brings out canine versions of bikinis, tutus and onesies. Dogs and their owners preferring the grand entrance arrive with a baby stroller in tow. “A birthday party is one event where your dog gets a chance to show off his or her personal style and get decked up in cute clothes and funky accessories. Get your pooch ready by dressing him/her up in pretty dresses (for birthday gals) or smart tees (for birthday boys).
“Pearls aren’t the only accessories suitable for a glamour dog’s birthday. Tiaras and tutus are every bit as fabulous, but those really only scratch the surface when it comes to pet costumes. You can also create a rock star with stylish accessories like party collars, bandanas, bow ties, hats and hair clips. Dressing up your dog in a darling costume is definitely an idea to explore when preparing for any pet party”
A party for pets is one way to show appreciation for the love and loyalty of the four-legged friend. It is also an activity that helps develop a dog’s capacity to interact with humans and other canines. Junjun explains, “Your dog needs socialization for long-term development. Exposure to novel sights, sounds, smells, people and other dogs in a safe, clean, supervised environment is key to a dog’s wellbeing and happiness.”
Large homes or expansive gardens are not the only places for pet parties. Junjun offers, “You can also conduct the event in a dog park, a doggie daycare or a pet resort.” Regardless of the venue or scale, Junjun insists on finding creative ways to celebrate the special bond between canine and human. “Your dog always deserves the royal special treatment.”
HOW TO THROW A POOCH PARTY
1. Decide on the Date. Even if you are unaware of your dog’s actual date of birth, you can celebrate the birthday on the day you bought him/her home. Just decide on a date and celebrate your pooch’s birthday on that particular date every year.
2. Craft the Birthday Invitation. A personal handwritten note is always nice, or for larger parties, personalize invitations and announcements to share your big news.
3. Prepare the Guest List. Invite a small number of dogs that get along with yours. Don’t forget their human companions.
4. Choose a Venue. Pick a place with plenty of room for the dogs and your guests to run around and play, especially if you have a large group.
5. Select the Party Food. Just like us, dogs love food! Boiled or grilled chicken or steaks are certified dog pleasers. It’s best to mix this with your dog’s regular dry dog food to avoid upset tummies. Make sure not to over feed, and keep the dog and human edibles separated for everyone’s sake. Have plenty of water on-hand. Keep plenty of water bowls filled. It’s a good idea to have as many bowls as there are dogs. Order a personalized birthday cake for your pooch and plenty of healthy dog treats on-hand to keep the hounds happy! Avoid chocolate, grapes, onions, apple or pear seeds and caffeine.
6. Get Pooch Party Ready. Make sure you have plenty of cleaning supplies on hand in the event there is a doggie accident indoors. Also, make sure (as much as possible) that there is an area for dogs to go outside when they need to.
7. Prepare Party Games and Entertainment. Have lots of balls, Frisbees and other dog toys on hand. That way, the human guests can play with all of your dog’s guests and have some fun, too! Bonding through play is a great way to keep both dog and human happy. Have a puppy pageant or dog show. Pick judges among the human attendees and give the dogs a chance to strut their stuff. Even if your dog or his guests are not show dogs, most have cute little tricks or habits that are fun to show others. It doesn’t have to be a formal dog show or pageant.
Words by Bianca R. Salonga
READ OTHER PARTY RELATED STORIES…