The ceremony was brief: a blessing over egg challah and
grape juice "wine," a speech about my gratitude for my
youngest's presence in my life and all that he's brought,
and a swim in the frigid fresh-water creek.
The Bark Mitzvah of two-year-old Smokey — or about 13 in doggie years, the
bar and bat mitzvah age of Jewish boys and girls
continued with a modest reception at his home in New Jersey,
with three other dogs and a dozen humans who ate a cake that
had "Muzzle Tov Smokey" written across its white frosting by
a bakery worker who said "Hey, I like all cultures" when I
apologized for my odd request.
As a female Jew who sees her dogs as her children, why
not make a Bark Mitzvah? ... The first Bark Mitzvah I threw was in
2004 for my oldest, Rudi, a golden retriever. A modest
affair, I ordered doggie yarmulkes and a Tallis (Jewish
prayer shawl) and a beautiful $70
doggie/human carrot cake with sugar-free cream cheese
Party City I found a red dog-shaped piñata which I filled
with treats and bobbed from a broom handle as Rudi and her
puppy pals tore it open and gorged themselves.