We were too late to get a good spot to view the parade so we mostly walked along the route, checking out the floats as the went past.
|I think Norman found a spot with a peephole to the parade:-)|
One of my favorite things about the day was how friendly everyone was. Tons of people came up to say they had pit bulls too and show me pictures. A lot of people asked what breed they were and smiled when I said they were pit mixes. One lively group started to shout "Give Pit Bulls a break! We love Pit Bulls!" as we walked by. It amazed me that sometimes I go out and only run into 5 people and get a snotty comment while in the midst of a crowd of 1.5 million people, I did not hear one snide comment, muttering, gasp or anything. One girl was happy to give her entire bag of ice cubes to Kaya in return for some tricks.
I cannot believe how cool and calm the dogs were all day. We had to navigate through some very tight crowds where the only way to get through was to have them follow close behind me while there were people reaching out and petting them from all angles, but the hardest part is that they wanted to turn around and greet everyone that petted them. One girl even tapped me on the back and asked me if the dogs were in training. I said we are always working on things but not specifically. She said she was impressed that they were paying such close attention!
There were 2 really shocking things that I saw throughout the day. Forget naked people and outrageous outfits, forget dirty dancing and drunken displays of affection...the craziest thing to me was a lady with a cat. Not just any cat, but a cat in a stroller all dressed up with a woman who was extremely obsessed with the 4th of July. The dogs saw the cat and they were intrigued but calm and kept their distance though the cat was hissing like crazy, understandably. I led the dogs away from the cat as the lady rambled on and on to me about the 4th of July and tried to get the dogs to come closer to the cat. I nodded and used it as an opportunity to get some pictures.
The next crazy thing I saw was an off leash dog. Now the dog was no bother to us. Kaya & Norman were lying down as it marched up to us, but they have no issues with new dogs or surprise greetings and it was a friendly little dog so they all exchanged sniffs and it left, but I could not believe that someone would think it was a good idea to let a dog dodge through dozens of people across a 30-foot sidewalk toward a parade route to jump in the middle of 2 unknown large dogs. The guy had another little dog on a flexi-lead that nearly tripped several people as it tried to join us too.
After the parade, there was a huge festival with tons of live music, djs and food where we checked out a lot of fun entertainment.
After a while, the dogs really started to get beat so we got something to eat and Kaya passed out on my feet while Norman rested in the shade behind us. Kaya soon got too hot and I told her to go in the shade also. She agreed that it was a good idea and turned Norman into her personal pillow.
When we started to head back to the car, the dogs felt rejuvenated when tons of new people took interest in them. The only bit of attention that was too much for them was when some guy tried to put sunglasses on Norman. I was about to say you shouldn't do that but Norman backed up and that was the end of it. And the next thing you know, Norman spun around and covered the guy's face in kisses, something they both really enjoyed. No grudges held! In fact, Norman kissed a whole lot of faces. One guy said it was the best kiss he had all day. Another rather flamboyant guy said, "Oh no! Too much cute, waaay too much cute!" And we had to laugh because that is word for word something I say all the time, haha.
So all in all it was an amazing day and bringing the dogs made it all the more fun because we got to meet and talk to so many more people than we normally would have. We did do some things right like bring plenty of water and a portable bowl for the dogs, plus treats and poop bags. I bathed the dogs in the morning and put sunscreen on them, but not enough on me! Though I have some ideas of how to make it even better next year. I would love to come earlier and get a spot by the side so we can actually see the parade and after that it would be nice to set up a blanket with drinks and snacks on the grass to listen to music. And I did not have enough time to get cool costumes together for them like Miss M & Mr B but maybe next year!
Last but not least, here is a picture of Norman totally confused by this guy...
I think he would have stood there all day trying to figure it out!
Kaya & Norman Celebrate the 4th!
Wordless Wednesday: Be Free...
Peaks & Paws Dog Festival
Our Pit Bull Awareness Day