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Monday, July 19, 2010

A Working Dog, Even on Vacation, part 2

PET PARADE

Unbeknown to us, it was Folk Fest weekend in downtown Manistique during our annual camping trip last week.  Music, a street fair, food, the "Paper Chase" 5 or 10K footrace, and a "Pet Parade" (sponsored by the Humane Society of Schoolcraft County).

I couldn't roust my nieces to bring cc'd (career-changed) Rosie with us for the Pet Parade after dinner--they were too worn out from a busy day of swimming, tubing, and playing in camp.  So, Andy and I took Gypsy and FLD Mike and went to town.

Vendor booths, positioned along each curb of the blocked-off main drag of South Maple Street, flanked a straight row of picnic tables.  A music stage, ringed by bleachers, dominated the south end.  

The Pet Parade was like a scene right out of "Northern Exposure!"  The Humane Society of Schoolcraft County (HSSC) had a sign-up table behind the stage.  There was no cost to participate; we just had to fill out a form describing our pet.  "Rescued" pets wore a special bandana, which had to be returned afterwards.  Gypsy sure looked smart in hers!  (We got her from the Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo in 2001.)

The HSSC worker directed us, with form in hand, to the end of a long line of all sizes and types of dogs, a stroller full of ferrets, and one horse.  

At the front of the line, a volunteer took each participant's form and walked the person and pet to the center of the intersection in front of the stage.  Here an announcer read the information on the form to the crowd.  The "parade" was a simple stroll around the circle of spectators for petting.

FLD Mike was interested, but remained calm while we waited our turn; so calm, in fact, that he assumed his normal position:  lying down!




 




















As I handed my form to the volunteer, she said, "I already told the announcer to alert the crowd that no one is allowed to pet your puppy-in-training."  An educated town!  I loved it.  

Everyone clapped when FLD Mike and I walked leisurely by, and no one reached out to touch him.

As FLD Mike and I exited the HSSC "Pet Parade," I heard the announcer say, "And this is Andy, with Gypsy, a 'brown' dog who was rescued.  Gypsy helps patti raise puppies for Leader Dogs for the Blind."




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