Monday, November 10, 2003

Final Post on the Parade
Interesting challenge getting thirty dogs staged to do a parade.

According to the parade instructions we were supposed to be there at some early hour of the morning. Based on last year's parade experience Gail told us to be there by ten am, forty-five minutes before parade start. It was still too early. Briarwood was entry 54 out of 90. We didn't leave the staging area until an hour after the first parade entry and almost two hours after arriving. A long time for dogs to wait. A long time for people to wait on a sunny but cold day.

The staging area was all pavement with no place for the dogs to relieve themselves. And they were excited and needed to go even more often than usual. We had to walk out the gate to find a small strip of grass full of people waiting for the parade to start. Of course people wanted to pet the dogs and the dogs didn't want to be petted. They wanted to pee and poop. Once the pooping started, the people departed, so that problem took care of itself. (Yes, we had baggies and cleaned up after our pups.)

The human members of the crew wore matching gold lame capes. Denise made over thirty of them so we would all look "pulled-together" without having to dress alike. The capes also allowed for dressing for the weather whatever the weather turned out to be. Since it turned out to be very cold we were all stuffed into layers.

The dogs wore matching gold lame neck ruffles with bells. The ruffles looked festive and served a purpose. They covered the multiple collars the dogs were wearing. Being concerned about cymbals, sirens, and other parade noises that freak dogs out, we all had our dogs safely leashed and we weren't depending on just one collar to hold them.

Once we got going, the actual parade went very well. Fraulein pulled the rickshaw without a problem and the Papillons stayed in their seats. The crowd loved the two little dogs. There were "Oh looks!" and "Aren't they cutes?". DH was home watching the parade on TV and reported that the TV camera zoomed in on Sunny and Pappy for about three seconds. He said they were so cute he could have watched a whole half hour of nothing but Sunny and Pappy.

The afterglow was wonderful. The dogs slept the rest of the day and most of Sunday. Riding in a rickshaw is exhausting.

Parade pictures are in Picturetrail.