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Devin’s Tails: Pets and Play Dates

By Devin O’Branagan

In The Red Hot Novels series I write, Talisman the Australian Shepherd is famous for her play dates. One Halloween she goes to the Canine Costume Ball dressed as Xena: Warrior Princess and comes away from it with her very own fan club. She also has a regularly scheduled play date with her sister, Maddie, who is a working cowdog. Once a month Talisman’s people drop her off at the ranch and let the sisters romp freely for the day. (One time this went terribly wrong, Talisman was mistaken for her sister by a new ranch hand, and ended up having to work as a cowdog…despite her fresh manicure and penchant for luxury. Talisman’s and Maddie’s adventures are documented in the comic novella, Show Dog Sings the Blues.)

In the upcoming Red Hot Stars, Talisman is going to have a pool party, complete with edible party favors specially baked for the occasion by The Back to Eden Tree Hugging Organic Granola Shoppe. While working on this scene, it occurred to me to ask my Facebook friends what kind of play dates their pets have.

These were some of their responses:

  • Jen Wylie: “Pets have play dates? Huh…?”
  • Kimberly Pearson’s chinchillas, Fleagal and Stinky, like to play chase around their cardboard castle. “Sometimes I place little forage piles around the room for them to find like a mini ‘Chindiana Jones’ adventure!”
Fleagal and Stinky playing around their cardboard castle. Image: Kimberley Pearson

Fleagal and Stinky playing around their cardboard castle. Image: Kimberley Pearson

  • Mariah Underwood’s Kaia (a black Golden Retriever/Standard Poodle mix) and her mother’s Australian Shepherd/Australian Cattle Dog mix, Zorra, love a good play date. “They are both puppies. My mom and Zorra spent the night on Monday so the girls could have a slumber party. Oh, and we also have birthday parties for our pups, which involves cake and doggy friends coming over. My kids are still young enough to find this awesome and not weird…yet!”
  • Not many of my Facebook friends have had success with cat play dates (as Ashley Robak said, “I don’t think cats would ‘do’ play dates.”), although Stephanie Schneider said, “Yes! Our Bengal girl went to play with my friend’s Bengal boys!!! They chased toys, ran through tunnels, and climbed the scratching post tree!”
  • Rickie Roo, a lovely Rat Terrier, has this to say: “We have Rat Terrier play days up at my friend’s horse property where we run as amok as we want to. And we have super fun agility parities at our training yard. We also sometimes have doggie birthday parties at our friend’s house. We are a social pack.”
  • Jessica Morris works hard to make each of her pets feel special: “My pet celebrations are different. We have three dogs and a cat. When we are celebrating a special day for one of them, I make it a day to focus on just that specific pet; no other pets vying for our attention and loving.”
  • Every year since 2007 Julie Howells has held a puppy party to celebrate her furbabies, complete with party hats!
  • Puppy party! Image: Julie Howells

    Puppy party! Image: Julie Howells

  • Cathie Solie: “I take mine to the dog park to play with other dogs.”
  • Ronda Barger Stephens: “Katie’s play date is every Tuesday with her pals at Lucky Dog Ranch (a doggy day care facility located on 30 acres).”
  • Angi Miller Candias: “Every year each of my dogs get a birthday party with their own cake. I had a friend throw me a ‘puppy shower’ at my training facility when we brought Chase home…it was adorable! Here is a picture of Chase on his first birthday last year. This is the one time every year the dogs are allowed (and required) to sit in the dining room chair!”
"Here is a picture of Chase on his first birthday last year. This is the one time every year the dogs are allowed (and required) to sit in the dining room chair!” - Angi Miller Candias

“Here is a picture of Chase on his first birthday last year. This is the one time every year the dogs are allowed (and required) to sit in the dining room chair!” – Angi Miller Candias

So, to answer your question, Jen Wylie, yes pets do indeed have play dates!

Do your pets have play dates? If so, I’d love to hear about them! Please feel free to comment below or on my Facebook wall.

Copyright © 2014 – Devin O’Branagan – All Rights Reserved

Devin O’Branagan is a bestselling author who writes novels about uncommon heroes. Her genres include young adult urban fantasy, paranormal thrillers, comic mysteries, and fiction about dogs and cats. She is a member of the Dog Writers Association of America, the Cat Writers’ Association, and many of her writing projects support animal rescue. Her books have been published by Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Books in English, Heyne Verlag in German, and Dogan Egmont in Turkish. All of her books are available in both print and eBook formats. Visit her website at DevinWrites.com, and check her out on Facebook and Twitter.

More Devin’s Tails:

Dogs and Cats in Books

Pet’s New Year’s Resolution 2014

Diva Dog Meets Mr. Cool

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