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Monday, June 20, 2011

Belated Happy Father's Day!

FLD Gus wishes his dad, Sy, a very HAPPY FATHER'S DAY, if just a bit late.

He has a good excuse.

Yesterday, FLD Gus marched in the Lilac Festival Parade on Mackinac Island with a contingent of Future Leader Dog puppies representing Leader Dogs for the Blind.

Here is a parade of pictures!

First, a boat ride to the Island.

Thank-goodness I took Dramamine--it was a white-capped-roly ride on the Arnold Transit Company ferry.  Gus didn't seem to mind at all.

An unfazed FLD Gus looks up at me as if to say, What's the problem?

FLD Gus took the milling tourists on Main Street in stride as we wound our way to the parade staging area in front of the Mission Point Resort.  Like most of the other puppies waiting, Gus was more interested in the other Future Leader Dogs than the horse teams and other parade participants around us!

FLD Gus ignores the draft horses and keeps an eye on the other puppies.

Keep your own eyes open for a nice picture of our "calm" puppies posing in front of the Leader Dogs for the Blind parade banner; you won't see it here, though.  This is what it looked like as puppy-raisers maneuvered their puppies for a group shot.

FLD puppies and raisers trying to line up for a picture!

At last, underway!

A few quiet streets before the mayhem on Main Street.

For those of you unfamiliar with Mackinac Island, there are no motorized vehicles allowed.  Only horses.  Which necessitates a great need for street cleaners armed with shovels.  Which also means when you walk in a parade on Mackinac Island, there is always the risk of road apples.  Which many of the Future Leader Dogs thought were treats left just for them!

FLD Gus thinks about it.

Can you guess what was the most repeated phrase heard from our group?
(Yup: LEAVE IT!)

Another technique to avoid retrieving road apples from a Lab-puppy's mouth.

The street was cleaner on the main drag.  Good for tourists.  Good for puppy-raisers!

The jammed-with-tourist sidewalks on Main Street.

After our prance downtown, we pressed our way back to the boat docks through thongs of people who kept pawing at FLD Gus.  Gus took no mind, but I said GUS, LEAVE IT, in a commanding voice, hoping that the offenders would take offense and keep their hands to themselves.

Again, FLD Gus looks back at me like,  "What's the big deal?"

Boarding the boat brought excellent training opportunities besides exposure to crowds of strangers.  Undulating gang-planks, narrow stairs, and slippery surfaces.

FLD Gus handles the gang-plank like an old salt.

Stairs?  No problem.

FLD Gus was calm and confident on the swaying boat, but he did show concern when I left him with Andy so I could take a picture of the Mighty Mackinac Bridge.

"Hey, where are YOU going?"

The Mighty Mac.

FLD Gus must have figured out I was okay--when I returned from my picture-taking expedition, he was fast asleep at Andy's feet.

Andy and FLD Gus, relaxing after a good day.

Happy Father's Day, Sy!


  1. My goodness-that Sigh must be busy. He is Glacier's Dad too. :)
    I love that Island. I visited there with Jetta and "leave it" was used quite often, but it was because she liked the horses. It sounds like you had a beautiful trip. :)

  2. Jess--how cool that FLD Gus and Glacier are step-siblings! I hope that Gus grows up to be just like Glacier.

    Erin--it was fun! Thanks for visiting and I hope Rob is doing well.