Saturday, September 20, 2008

Laev Loves a Parade.

Last Saturday morning we went out and did some drive-building with a toy and segued into some nice heeling. Then I packed up Laev -- Shakespeare was already in the car -- and drove down to join a parade.

A nearby library has a reading therapy program, Paws to Read, for local schoolkids. Shakespeare and Laev will be participating with this program when their paperwork is done, and so they were marching in the parade. This would be stimulating enough, but the parade's theme (for some reason, despite the season) was Mardi Gras.

So Alena and I got into costume -- we do a lot of costumes -- and I made some uber-cheap dog costumes as well. These were "totally ghetto," as competitive costuming slang goes, being constructed of cheap felt and hot glue, but they looked pretty decent. Both Dobermans were decorating in red barding and fake bridles so that they looked like medieval horses.

Well, I thought they looked like medieval horses. So did my friends, and at least one spectator kid. But the majority of comments we got were something like, "Oh, look at the jester dogs! They're like, um, something!"

Considering that I looked like a Comedia d'Arte character, I guess that's okay.

So both dogs had to navigate costumed characters (including large mascot characters), lots of swarming and petting kids, noise, music, floats, other dogs, and flying candy. Laev did great on everything except the flying candy. She LOVES sugar. So as we walked down the street, she'd occasionally drop her head to snatch a sucker and gulp it whole, wrapper and stick and all. I didn't worry too much; it was all edible or just paper, it wasn't going to hurt her, and I didn't want to fuss at her too much. Nor did I want to go down her throat for a sucker in front of a streetful of people, most of whom would probably guess that I was choking her with my Mardi Gras mask.

Shakespeare was a pro, as usual, though he seemed more affected by the heat. I guess that's a sign of his age, which is kind of sad. It was quite warm, though.

Lots of pictures were taken, but I have received very few. Here's one, though, of Laev resting before the parade started.



I particularly like this photo because of what you *can't* see -- just outside the frame are a half dozen strange dogs, two or three costumed mascot characters, and a couple of kids. Laev was lying calmly with her back to them, ignoring the whole thing -- not turning away out of stress, just indifferent. I liked her blase attitude.

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