Posted by: Hallie Levine | February 26, 2011

Jo Jo’s birthday party–and how it went to the dogs (literally)

Jo Jo doesn’t turn three until tomorrow, but we celebrated with a party this morning.

Here she is primping in her bathroom before her guests arrive:

Ivry was a big hit among some of the older boys, who spent the first hour chasing her around the playroom and family room. Hopefully she lost a couple pounds in the process.

We had Dawny Doo provide entertainment. I discovered her last summer at another friend’s birthday party. Once you get past her name, she’s really great. The kids were totally mesmerized and she managed to captivate them for about 45 minutes, or at least until the pizza came.

Jo Jo and Teddy with their amazing nanny, Ingrid, and her daughter.

I was going to use Jo Jo’s birthday post as a way to wax all soppy and nostalgic about my daughter and what she means to me. But then something unexpected occurred. Jamie picked up Johanna’s uber fancy, uber expensive birthday cake this morning and decided the garage would be the best place to store it, since it was so cool. While our guests were eating, I told him to go out and get it. He walked back in ashen faced, holding a completely mangled, chewed up bakery box. “Something awful has happened,” he said somberly and opened the box up.

Almost half the birthday cake had been devoured. And there was a large paw print on the frosting, so you knew who was responsible.

Several of the guests’ parents stood in our kitchen, gawking. I stared at the mess. Ivry had eaten about $40 worth of birthday cake. About half was still salvageable, but that wasn’t the worst of it: it was a chocolate cake, which is toxic to dogs. “Oh god,” I said, horrified. I had this image of Ivry going into convulsions and dying some horrible spastic death as everyone sang “Happy birthday dear Jo Jo”. Our gaggle of youthful guests would be in therapy for the rest of their childhoods.

Our fat four legged culprit, looking sheepish.

Thankfully, Jamie remembered that Ivry had eaten an entire chocolate babka a couple years earlier, and the vet had recommended giving her a tablespoon of peroxide so she’d vomit it up. We forced it down her throat and threw her outside onto the deck, where she promptly took a large dump for the viewing enjoyment of those folks who were still hanging out in the kitchen enjoying their last few bites of pizza.

Jamie was able to rescue the rest of the cake, so Jo Jo was still able to blow out her candles (with some help from friends) and we had just enough for our small guests and their parents.

As for  Ivry….five hours later she still hasn’t thrown up, but she’s alive and well and hovering around the carpet sucking up pizza crumbs, so I’m guessing she’ll weather this without any permanent damage. Mommy’s still a little scarred, though.

The princess proudly feeding herself.

So happy b-day Princess Johanna. May you have many, many more. And may my loving, wonderful, oh-so-intelligent husband have the wisdom to never leave a ridiculously expensive birthday cake within reach of a certain overweight 85 pound labrador retriever again.



  1. Daddy and I can’t stop laughing over this post! The image of a doggie paw print in the center of the cake beats all!!

  2. Oh, poor mom! At least it will be a birthday event you’ll never forget! My most favorite holiday was Thanksgiving 2009 when we locked the turkey in the oven and couldn’t cook any side dishes. I opened the spice cabinet over the salad and every spice dumped in (I still don’t know why they were open?!) and my sister’s mom dropped the food she was bringing in the driveway. We had a lot of liquor and green bean casserole we cooked at the neighbors. Best holiday ever!

  3. […] dogs. Ivry had devoured half of a chocolate cake almost three years earlier and emerged unscathed, ( but this was clearly more dire. I imagined returning with my brood later that afternoon, only to […]

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