Caroline Golon, the human behind popular humor blog Romeo the Cat, will share the stories of pet owners who have gone the extra mile for their pets in this series, The Things We Do for Love. And sometimes, the extra mile is only the beginning!

dogs in party hats

Jessica Stern of Cleveland, Ohio, dotes on her two rescue dogs: 11-year-old Miniature Dachshund Gracie and 8-year-old Boxer Dubs. And what better way to show her love than to celebrate their birthdays in style? Stern started throwing parties for Dubs four years ago … and the bashes keep getting bigger.

Dubs’ First Soiree

The first party Stern had for Dubs’ April birthday was low-key. She invited a couple of friends to a dog park, baked a cake for the dogs and let them run around together.

The party was so much fun that Stern decided to plan another one the following year. This time she invited her coworkers from her job at Embrace Pet Insurance. When company president Laura Bennett learned about the party, she suggested Stern have it at the company's offices.

Stern agreed and began planning the event. She soon learned that her coworker Michael Lambert had a dog whose birthday was close to Dubs’. The two colleagues decided to have a joint party, complete with cake, candles and gifts for Dubs and Lambert’s Airedale, Finnegan. The party was such a hit that Stern vowed to make it an annual tradition.

Bigger and Better Each Year

dog in a dress

This year the entire company participated, and more than 10 dogs showed up at the office for the fun. Dubs sported a bow tie for the event, and Gracie wore a fancy party dress.

Stern hired a local dog bakery to deliver a large dog-friendly birthday cake, and the guests sang "Happy Birthday" while Dubs and Finnegan, the birthday pups, blew out their candles (with some help!). And no plain white paper plates for these special dogs. “Of course I got fun little party plates for the dogs to eat their cake on,” says Stern, laughing.

Party guests showed up with gifts for the dogs — mostly toys and treats. “Dubs did get a collapsible water bowl, because we like to go on hikes on the weekends,” Stern says. “It was so nice!”

As for Gracie’s birthday, like many kids whose birthdays fall near Christmas, her special day gets lumped in with the winter holidays. But Stern says there’s no need to feel sorry for the Miniature Dachshund. Stern bakes her a cake, saying, “She gets plenty of extra stuff from my whole family!”

Stern plans to continue the parties because the dogs — and the people — enjoy them. “There’s no fighting over cake or anything!”

What do you do for love? We’re looking for the funny, sweet and special stories that will make other pet parents smile. Email us at [email protected] to share your story. Please put "The Things We Do for Love" in the subject line.