I went to a dog’s birthday party and it was awesome

My now-girlfriend made an unusual request of me on our second date.

“Hey, so my dog got invited to this dog’s birthday from her doggy daycare,” she said. “Would you like to be my +1?”

Would I? Would I enjoy spending a Sunday afternoon playing with a room full of good dogs and singing “Happy Birthday” to the birthday dog?

Um, absolutely.

The owner of the birthday dog invited a bunch of her dog’s friends to this birthday party, which was to be held at the doggy daycare, despite the fact that she had never met any of the dog’s humans herself.

Sarah seemed great to me, we get along real well, and even though the request came on our second date, I figured a dog’s birthday party was something I could not pass up the opportunity to be a +1 to because those kinds of invitations don’t exactly grow on trees.

This is Sarah’s dog Roxanne, by the way. She is a very good girl:

(This party hat lasted another five seconds on Roxanne before she pawed it off.)

So on Sunday afternoon, during the Bears game no less, Sarah and I packed up Roxanne and headed to her doggy daycare, DoGone Fun! in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood, to attend a dog’s birthday party.

You guys, I say this without a hint of exaggeration: Crashing a random dog’s birthday party was even more fun than I thought it was going to be.

For starters, the guest of honor, Reese the birthday dog, wore a tutu and a fancy tiny birthday crown.

Reese was clearly in her element, as evidenced by the fact that it was tough to get a non-blurry picture of her because she was making the rounds, greeting her many pup friends.

You see, Reese has many pup friends because Reese is a very good girl.

The dogs played and the humans, myself included, laughed and took pictures, awash in the wonder that comes with being surrounded by roughly a dozen very happy, very good dogs.

Was there cake? You bet there was cake. This was a birthday party after all, and no birthday party is complete without cake.

The birthday girl wasted no time digging into her cake.

As you can see, she managed to get some frosting on her fur. But Reese, the good birthday dog, didn’t care. She was rocking a tutu, looking fierce, and she was the very good girl we all came to celebrate.

But why would you go to a dog’s birthday party during a Bears game, people wondered.

The answer, my friends, is simple.

Life affords you very few opportunities to spend an afternoon basking in the glow of pure, unadulterated happiness, or in this case a bunch of dogs running around and playing with each other, unfettered from the restraints of their leashes and any other rules of decent society.

It was joy, distilled down into its purest form, plain and simple.

The Bears will play 13 more games this season, but I won’t be going to 13 more dog birthday parties this season, so that was as good of a reason as any to spend an afternoon hanging out with a bunch of dogs and telling them how good they are.

Chicago-based freelance writer as seen in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, RedEye, ESPN.com, and others. Bourbon and pajama pant enthusiast.