Wednesday, July 7, 2010

How did you celebrate the Fourth of July?

This year, Scott and I spent time dodging crowds and watching children pet my two Weimaraners, Duke and Kaiser. Both were on Gentle Leaders and with the torque produced from 92 and 123 pounds of dogs, it was surprisingly easy.

Then there were the other dogs on regular leashes. The “Marmaduke”, bigger than a pony and the small furry, rat-like creatures, drove my dogs crazy.

We staked out a shady spot close to the popcorn vendor and waited for the Boone parade to begin.

The dogs like an adventure and time to be with their humans. There were “ooohs” and “aaahs” and “What kind of dogs are those, Greyhounds?”

They performed tricks for the children after they were petted: “shake”; “paw”; “sit” and “down”. They got plenty of popcorn for their efforts and I heard “They are well-trained dogs.”

The parade was typical for a small town. There were 20 cars of Democrat and Republican candidates, throwing out candy; neither the dogs nor I got any.

There were cloggers and cheerleaders, scouts and “Save our water” campaigners. Vintage cars rolled past, Uncle Sam made an appearance in stilts, 4 groups of VFW chapters carried banners and American flags waved.

Then the two worst possible groups appeared-50 Harley Davidson riders and at least a dozen EMT and fire trucks passed by.

Duke and Kaiser hate motorcycles. They stopped in front of us and revved the engines. My husband and I fought to restrain the dogs until they were out of sight.

It was futile when the sirens and horns blew- all at the same time. The dogs barked and then howled. It was a mournful howl, pitiful and helpless. And just as loud as the sirens. People stared at the dogs. People laughed and it was embarrassing to have these well-trained dogs “lose it”.

We thought about seeing fireworks, but those in our neighborhood terrified Duke, so we stayed at home, watching the John Wayne movie “Hatari”.

We all had a great Fourth and slept like peaceful dogs.

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