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a puppy’s first 4th of July

06 July 2011
Great Dane at the July 4 Parade

will drool for food

It was the horses riding short figure 8s when the parade temporarily halted. It was also the mariachi trumpets right behind them and their loud staccato. Finally, it was the exceptionally loud blanks fired from fake .50 caliber machine guns mounted on Willy’s Jeeps driven by World War Two reenactors.

These were the low points of an otherwise festive day for our Great Dane puppy Luna. Other than the fleeting terror they caused, the first Independence Day that our very dependent puppy experienced was a fun and patriotic opportunity.

A Long Hot Summer Day

On a date when the mercury exceeded 95 by midday, we drove downtown and introduced Luna to her first parking garage. It was the first of many firsts during the day. She gingerly descended a steep staircase to the ground floor and exited into the blazing sun.

We were approaching the parade route and looking for a shady vantage point when Luna espied the horses. The parade marshalls had stopped the marchers, allowing a half-dozen riders and their mounts to perform a semi-elaborate choreography of turns, sidesteps and general prancing. It was the first time she’d stood within barking distance of a horse.

Cue the irrational dog behavior. Luna immediately went nuts, frantically pulling backwards and refusing to approach any closer.  She tugged and pulled, tugged and pulled, as upset as any Rush Limbaugh fan reflecting on the real prospect of a second Obama presidency.

The horses finally finished their dance and recommenced their leisurely march forward. Luna calmed herself, a calm that lasted but seconds before the mariachi band took the opportunity to start their mariachiing.

Mariachi songs are enthusiastic musicianship. There are lots of trumpets, staccato notes, and high spirits. You almost want to shout Ole at the end of each song! It is festive for everyone other than young pups. Luna was not amused or a fan of traditional Mexican music as they played. She repeated the frantic tugging and pulling until the band, too, stopped and advanced once again along the parade route.

We finally settled into a shaded alcove where Luna relaxed on her padded towel. The remainder of the procession was a disparate reflection of our community.

Celebrating with Drool

As drool slid from her jowls, Luna watched the passage of a wide range of the people and organizations whose beliefs and hobbies—from fringe to respected—comprise the town in which she lives. Representatives of politics (Tea partiers, the local Democrat party and aspiring School Board candidates), local businesses (from construction and trucking outfits, to insurance brokers), and sports organizations (local martial arts fighters and competitive swim teams) walked past, waved and threw hard candy at kids’ heads.

If I’d received a dollar for every neighboring parade watcher who exclaimed what a beautiful dog Luna was, despite the drool they apparently ignored, I would have been able to take MW to dinner. Maybe I should just set up a booth at one of the farmer’s markets and advertise a “Kiss a Beautiful Puppy” opportunity for a buck.

The parade ended with a local homeless cyclist attired as Uncle Sam riding a homemade three-wheeler. We went home where Luna, beaten up by the heat, slept the remainder of the day away (not much of a surprise there!). She was so zapped, she also missed what would have been another first, barking at the sounds made by something called fireworks.

We still have fireworks celebrating the end of summer on Labor Day for her to enjoy that first.

Happy Birthday to The United States from Luna Dog

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