Reporter Diane Herbst has provided her own version of a Bark Mitzvah for her dogs, Rudi and Smokey.

Smokey's Bark Mitzvah

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 frosting. At 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.



Dr. Doogie singing his Bark Mitzvah
 ('you can howl if you want to')


Bark Mitzvah at Camp Canine Doggie Daycare (Ft. Lauderdale 9/08)


Elvis: The Bark Mitzvah Highlights Film


Helzner of Tikvat Israel Congregation Cantor Rochelle Helzner's tribute
at her Cockapoo's
Bark Mitzvah