A Bark Mitzvah for Phoebe May 11, 2017 09:41

The translation of Mitzvah is “good deed” and so on Phoebe’s 13th birthday we celebrated her and her amazing, kind personality.  My husband and I are so happy to have shared 13 years with this wonderful dog that we wanted to have a full-blown party.

Hand Painted InvitationBark MitzhahPersonalized Pet Party Centerpiece

We held a service where our daughter read us a portion of the Torah and our friend, a minister, told us the story of Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. My husband presented Phoebe with an award for being a very special dog and I read the following poem, which brought many to tears. 

 So God Made a Dog

And on the 9th day, God looked down on his wide-eyed children and said they need a companion.


So God made a Dog

God said I need somebody to wake up and give kisses, pee on a tree, sleep all day, wake up again, give more kisses and then stay up till midnight basking in the glow of the television set.

So God made a Dog

God said I need somebody willing to sit, then stay, then roll over, then with no ego or complaint dress in hats they do not need and costumes they do not understand. I need somebody who can break wind without a first thought or a second thought. Who can chase tails, sniff crotches, fetch sticks and lift spirits with a lick. Somebody no matter what you didn’t do or couldn’t take, or didn’t win, or couldn’t make, will love you without judgement just the same.

So God made a Dog

God said I need somebody strong enough to pull sleds and find bombs, yet gentle enough to love babies and lead the blind. Somebody who will spend all day on a couch with the resting head and supportive eyes to lift the spirit of a broken heart.

So God made a Dog

It had to be somebody who would remain patient and loyal. Someone to care, cuddle, snuggle and nuzzle and cheer and charm and snore and slobber and eat the trash and chase the squirrels. Someone who would bark and then pant and then reply with the rapid wag of a tail when their best friend says let’s go for a ride in the car or a walk in the park.

So God made a Dog

God said I need somebody to stand guard, play games, snore for hours and repeat as needed. Somebody to give you strength when you have none of your own. Somebody to hold on to your soul as if it were their favorite toy. Someone to be your companion and guide in this world.

So God made a Dog

Bark Mitzvah CookiesPersonalized Paw NapkinsBalloons

I had so much fun finding the decorations and planning the food for this event.  I found Golden Doodle balloons online.  At my local party shop I found a darling table cloth with images of dogs playing together.  I had napkins printed in Phoebe’s favorite color.  But the centerpiece was the very best.  The flower dog looked just like Phoebe and made the table look so festive.  I had a fruit plate and veggie tray and the sweets had Phoebe’s name, and some her likeness, in frosting.  I also found a cookie cutter online with her name and made sugar cookies.

All in all it was such a fun way to honor an extraordinary dog, our beloved Phoebe.  My friends and relatives may have thought I was a bit crazy to go to the extent I did, but in the end a good time was had by all …and Phoebe is still playing with the gifts she hasn’t chewed up!

'So God Made a Dog' is a parody of Paul Harvey's 'So God Made a Farmer.’ You can hear it read here.