A Fetching Party Fit For A King
December 29 2005
At his birthday party Tuesday night, Andy, the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, wore a red velvet crown that said "King for a Day" on its brim, but in this canine-adoring crowd, you're king not just one day, but every day.
Eight or so dogs - felt more like 18 - attended Andy's second birthday party at the West Hartford home of proud dog parents Dennis Hersh, a Hartford lawyer, and Debbie Hersh , who works at the Bank of America, and their 12-year-old son, Austen.
Each canine guest got a bone with his/her name on it and a piece of cake made at the doggy bakery. No party games - pin the tail on the cat would be too mean, and post office - well, you know how they feel about mailmen.
Any good party has a little gossip, and Debbie obliged by sharing this shocking fact: "They all have the same father!"
Well, in truth, not all of them had the same father, since the Hershes bent the rules a bit and invited - brace yourself - a cocker spaniel named Winnie - asked because she is the girlfriend of Andy and his brother Charlie, 3.
Myra and Harvey Fishman of West Hartford decked out Winnie with a pink ruffle around her neck, and she looked lovely (for a cocker spaniel). But as the party wore on, Harvey was feeling the pressure of being surrounded by so many Cavalier King Charles spaniels.
"They're just so regal," he said. "I feel like we have a mutt."
There was another dog from outside the breed. Andy and Charlie's dog-walker, Pat Powers of West Hartford, brought Leila, a Portuguese water dog she was pet-sitting.
"Leila, it's not your birthday," Powers gently scolded her when she started to fuss.
And somehow, a poodle slipped into the party - the only one who refused to wear her party hat.
Andy was lucky enough to have his "grandmother," Ann Aust of Winsted, there. Lisa Hudson came from Old Saybrook with her CKCS Spencer - "best little doggy ever, just look at that face!" Lynne and Art Tarantino of West Hartford brought their daughter, Alexa, and their dog daughter, Sophie, who is related to the birthday boy.
Sadly, there were guests who were dogless.
"But we have a grand dog," said Dan Sullivan of Avon, trying to feel part of the party. "My son has a shih-tzease - part shih-tzu, part maltese."
He'd never make this party list.
Copyright 2005, Hartford Courant