A happy 4th with our 8th

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Adagio has his doubts about the wisdom of dogs wearing hats.

Steve and I have lost count of how many times we’ve marched in the Coronado Fourth of July Parade with CCI puppies. Did we first do it with Tucker, our first pup, 13 years ago? It feels like we’ve participated forever. Nonetheless we signed up to do it again yesterday,  with Adagio (our 8th trainee), and we were happy we did.

We parked our van a good mile and a half away from where the CCI contingent was assembling. Adagio seemed excited to be out and about, and certainly the day was beautiful, the streets of Coronado as festive as always. (Folks there are nothing if not ardently patriotic.)

We met up with the group a little before 10, when the parade officially starts. But our group was #56 in the line-up, which meant we didn’t stand up and begin to move until well after 10:30. This wait is pretty boring for puppies, since they’re not allowed to socialize much with each other, but at least we waited in a shady spot. And Adagio got some hugs he seemed to enjoy. DSC09996.jpgMarching at last, I felt the burst of adrenaline I always get from the experience.

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Adagio’s littermate, Apple, on the right, turned out. As always, he seemed happy to see her.

The most exciting moment comes when we turn onto Orange Avenue, where thick crowds invariably line both sides of the street.

DSC00006.jpgWe only ran through our traditional drill routine a few times, which was all for the best. (Adagio is still weak on the Down Stay). Mostly we strolled, and the humans waved to the throng, and sometimes we took our dogs over to the curb to be petted. Adagio seemed to like this at first…

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…but after block after block of marching, he was noticeably flagging.

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Kids? No thanks. I’ve had enough for today. 

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Toward the end, all the puppies looked tired. This was something of an illusion, as this year’s parading was followed, as it has been for many years, by a rollicking party at the home of a CCI supporter (and former puppy raiser) who lives almost at the end of the parade route. He welcomes the dogs to swim, and many of the pups adore this. Adagio doesn’t; he’s not a swimmer. Yet he was thrilled by the opportunity to play.

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He got damp by contact with the other pups, if not with the pool. 

Back at home, later in the afternoon, we hosted a small party for friends. It was way more boring, Adagio thought, whenever he was conscious. Mostly,  he was asleep.

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Parading again

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I’m not 100% sure why people parade. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s partly a form of entertainment — to watch marching bands and floats and various animals troop by, or to be among the troopers. It also gives people a chance to display their civic involvements: their schools and scout troops and community service clubs… and in our case, the fruits of our volunteer work with Canine Companions for Independence. Whatever the reason, parading with our puppies has been a pretty regular fixture in our lives since we got involved with CCI.

With most of our dogs, we’ve made it to the Coronado Independence Day parade. Kyndall (our 6th pup) missed it because she was in heat, and last year Beverly was too little to participate. But we’ve paraded down Orange Avenue with all our other CCI trainees, and we’ve always been happy we made the effort. The event every year draws huge, enthusiastic crowds.

At almost 15 months old, Beverly still has not yet gone into heat, and Steve and I were nervous she might do so and miss this year’s festivities. But that didn’t happen, so this morning we lined up with almost a dozen other CCI pups and their handlers. (Sadly, for the first time in memory, we could not include Tucker. At 12 and a half, he can still walk, but not for long distances.) Because we only had one dog, Steve wanted to march with Beverly, and I was content the cede the leash to him.

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Waiting for the parade to begin.

I marched next to them, and it was just as big a rush as ever when, shortly after 10 am, we turned onto the main street and took in the sight of the crowds.

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Steve was very good about regularly walking Beverly over the curb to greet some of the spectators. Kids love the puppies.

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And Beverly was great with them. Several times she snuggled up and tried to lay down next to various groups of them.

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It’s a long route, well over a mile, and it took us almost an hour to complete it. Beverly held up well, appearing calm in the face of pile after pile of horse poop, and unbothered by the obnoxious honking of the Model Ts chugging along behind us.

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As always, the group adjourned to a dog-centric post-parade party in the home of a former CCI puppy raiser with a great (dog-proofed) house very close to the Hotel del Coronado. To our amazement, Beverly mustered enough energy to do a lot of romping, albeit no swimming. She was one of the very few who had no interest in the canine pool party.

She seemed to enjoy the social experience greatly. I guess both humans and dogs still prize that.

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