Happy Birthday, Cinderella! My Girl Is 5 Years Old Today

Happy Birthday to Cinderella the Dog

Cinderella! (Photo: Lev Kuperman)

Happy Birthday, Cinderella!

OK, I have no idea if today is actually her birthday. There’s a 1/365 chance that it is. But three years ago today, this sweet little dog came into my life. Since she was a stray without papers, my husband, Phil, and I anointed the day we got her as her annual feast. The vet guessed she was about two years old then, so five it is!

I shared Cinderella’s story last year: Happy Birthday, Cinderella! My Favorite Running Gal


Cinderella gets cozy on my pink Cinderella running costume.

This year, my favorite running princess—like so many runners—is coming back from injury. Her vet diagnosed her with intervertebral disc disease, which is essentially a herniated or slipped disc in her spine. She had most of the symptoms when I took her to the vet a week ago Monday. She’s been on pain killers and Prednisone since then and dedicated to a regimen of complete rest. In other words, she’s been lethargic and in pain.

It’s been breaking my heart to see her like this. When she’s not sleeping on a pile of laundry or, in this photo, a running costume, she’s usually running, playing, or trying to stop me from working. Cinderella is a dog full of life.

Yesterday, she finally perked up for the first time, chewed on her antler—which had been wasting away—and rifled through the bedroom garbage. I’ve never been so happy to see her chewing on something she shouldn’t! Hopefully, she’ll be her old self soon with another week of rest and running by my side once more in no time.

So happy birthday to my girl! Here are some of my favorite pics of Cinderella the dog. It takes every ounce of self-restraint that I have not to plaster my Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and blog with them on a daily basis. After all, I don’t have a daughter; I have a doghter. But today? Sky’s the limit!

Karla Bruning


Karla Bruning is a race announcer at the TCS New York City Marathon + other major events, TV host for the New York City Triathlon + contributor to Shape, Redbook, Runner's World + other publications. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now it's her job. She's run 8 marathons, 30 halves, 10 triathlons + open water swims. When she's not running, talking about running or writing about running, she's snuggling her baby, spoiling her dog + compulsively traveling.


04 2014

36 Comments Add Yours ↓

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  1. 1

    Awww…Happy Birthday Cinderella, I love all the pictures! I’m glad to hear she’s starting to perk up and feel a little better, it must be so hard to see her in pain!

    We’re also not 100% sure of Madison’s birthday. Her paperwork had 2 different dates on it and one was the day after my birthday, so we went with that one since it would be easy to remember (and I secretly like that we almost have the same birthday!).
    Danielle recently posted..Cherry Blossom Weekend: Touring DCMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      I would love it if Cinderella and I had the same birthday!

  2. 3

    What unusual timing, I was just sitting down to try to write about our dog Shyloh when your email popped up. We had Shyloh for 14 years and last night we had to put her down. While it was incredibly sad, particularly for my kids who have know her their entire lives, we were so lucky that until the last 3 days she was still bouncing around (followed by 6 or 7 hours of sleep!) and was happy right to the end. You can’t ask for anything better for your dog.
    So, happy birthday to your adorable dog and may she be blessed with a happy and healthy life, just like out Shyloh was!
    Kristi Raz recently posted..How Did I Run Such a Solid 30k?My Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      Thank you, Kristi. I’m so sorry to hear about Shyloh. It’s never easy losing a pet, but at least she had a long, happy life.

  3. 5

    Cinderella is absolutely precious! Happy, happy birthday precious girl from myself and my sweet Gemma princess (we chose July 4th as her birthday, she was a stray and we figured that would be a good birthday for a rescue pup). LOVE these pictures. xo

    • Karla Bruning

      Thank you! I love July 4th as a doggie birthday!

  4. 7

    Happy birthday to Cinderella! She’s an adorable princess :)
    Jojo @ RunFastEatLots recently posted..Race Week TrainingMy Profile

  5. 9

    Happy birthday Cinderella! Looking at the pictures, I’ll say she’s quite happy with her home and humans.
    Lesley recently posted..Where in the World?My Profile

  6. 11

    She is so precious!! Happy Birthday Cinderella!!

  7. 13

    What a sweet girl. I love the pictures. Happy birthday, Cinderella and get better soon so you can get back to running with your mommy!
    Beth @ Miles and Trials recently posted..2 Weeks AwayMy Profile

  8. 15

    Happy birthday to Cinderella, your doghter. Love it!
    Elle recently posted..A Brief History of Hoboken and Jersey City by Paddy Runs for BostonMy Profile

  9. 17

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY CINDERELLA! Aww, I’m sorry the poor thing is in pain, but yay that she’s showing signs of her old self! Hopefully she’ll be back to 100% in no time, and with such a fabulous mommy taking care of her, I’m sure she will be :)

    And btw, I give you full permission to plaster pictures of your dogther (love it!) all of the place! She’s so cute!
    Kellie recently posted..Week in Training (and NO Time to Cook) 3/31-4/6My Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      Haha, thanks, Kellie! I love seeing pics of other people’s dogs too, but I never know how much is too much when it comes to my own.

  10. 19

    Looks like a happy pooch! Happy birthday! We’ve got two rescue mutts, Guinness and Bailey. They enjoy runs too!
    Scott Evans recently posted..Lunch with a Celebrifriend, Track Workout, & Fun CornbreadMy Profile

  11. 21

    I LOVE FUR BABIES! Happy Birthday to Cinderellie!!
    Katrina recently posted..More Gluten Free dining options out at Grillsmith!My Profile

  12. 23

    I don’t object to lots and lots of dog pictures… EVER. And happy birthday!
    Nicole @ Pink Elephant on Parade recently posted..How to annoy people (by sounding like a Disney ride)My Profile

  13. 25

    You can share pics of her WHENEVER you want! <3 Dug says HI!
    Krissy @ Shiawase Life recently posted..Why I Want to Join Team CHOCOLATE MILKMy Profile

  14. 27

    I didn’t realize when I saw that photo yesterday that she hadn’t been feeling well. So sorry to hear it, and I completely understand. Recently, one of my cats got a cruciate tear (akin to an ACL tear in people) and the surgery or no-surgery decision has been so tough (neither is perfect), and it was this whole round of med visits. On one visit they also found a heart murmur, which is more worrisome for cats than people and required echo/ekg. Anyway, I have much empathy for what you’re going through and am very glad to hear she’s doing better. (And I also relate to the restraint required not to plaster pet-child photos everywhere!) Hope she continues to feel better!
    Diann_D recently posted..5 Exercises Every Runner Needs to Do RightMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      Thanks, Diann. So sorry to hear about your cat! That sounds worrisome. I hope you’re both hanging in there!

  15. 29

    Happy Birthday Cinderella!!! My parent’s dog has had disc problems and was confined to “bed rest” for a month. It is so hard to see them lethargic and just not themselves (my parent’s dog has since recovered and is back to chasing balls all over the place). Glad to hear Cinderella is perking back up and will hopefully be back to her old self in no time.
    Emily recently posted..2014 GO! St Louis HalfMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      Emily, thanks for sharing that! It’s so encouraging to hear about a dog who’s back to business. It’s been two full weeks now, and while she’s definitely better, she’s no where close to 100%. More rest for now…

  16. 31

    Awww, what a great dog! I hope she is on the road to recovery. I had a labrador growing up whom I shared a birthday with! That was pretty special! My parents have a yellow lab named Bella and my dad wants to get a black one too. I told him that he will have to name her “cinder”, so when they yell for the dogs they will be yelling. “Cinder, Bella”! Have great day!
    Meranda@fairytalesandfitness recently posted..A Memory No Runner Should HaveMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      SO cute! I love that! One of Cinderella’s nicknames is RellyBelle or RellyBelly. Cinderella and Belle just go together!

  17. 33

    What a sweet dog! So sorry she’s been having a hard time, and hope she’s on the road to recovery (even if it means digging through the garbage, haha). Hope you two are running together again in no time!
    Jennifer @ The Final Forty recently posted..Race Recap: Rutgers Unite Half MarathonMy Profile

  18. 35

    “Dogter!” I love it! Hope she gets better soon, and so happy for her that she found a good home with you :)
    Sadye recently posted..The ultimate carbo-loading experienceMy Profile


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