Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Not Your Average Sunday

Do you ever take a step back and think about how bizarre your life looks? Sometimes I think that fiction would be less odd.

My parents have been divorced for less than two years and I’m 29. They still talk to each other several times a week, work together, and occasionally attend social functions with their new significant others that the other is at. Of course I’d rather it be that way than the opposite but you still have to admit that it’s a little unusual. Sunday I planned to spend the day with my father and his fiancé for some quality family time. Over pancakes one of them comes up with the idea that we should go to the Beggin’ Strips Barkus Pet Parade in Soulard with their 16-week-old French bulldog puppy, Isaac. To further complicate the matter, my father decides it would be even more fun if we swing by my mother’s house first and pick up the two English bulldogs, Butch and Petey, which she kept after the divorce. After all, he’s never enforced his right to visitation, right? My mother who is scared that her precious and fragile boys, 75 and 80 pounds of solid dog, will be lost forever by me and my father reluctantly agrees and we’re on our way to Soulard.

I have never been anywhere near Soulard during any Mardi Gras festivities before. The news estimated 79,000 people in Soulard on Sunday and 8,000 dogs. I have to say I believe it. It was wall to wall people and dogs. Isaac, the little French bulldog, was sporting a fluorescent orange vest and a blue baseball cap with the bill turned up. Butch, the old man of the group, wore his brown leather and sheep skin hunting cap and Petey kept the sun out of his eyes with his multi-colored, dog print sun visor and accessorized with several strands of sparkly Mardi Gras beads around his neck. So we each had a dog and we trotted through the parade route with the onlookers cheering us on. The outfits on our dogs paled in comparison to some of the dog ensembles we saw. Some people even dressed like their dogs. One guy had two wiener dogs in a red Radio Flyer wagon and was wearing a matching ringer t-shirt and trucker hat that said I ♥ My Wiener. There was a white standard Poodle that had all of her hair dyed hot pink for the day and her human dyed her hair to match! Lots of dogs dressed up as super heroes and cartoon characters too. Butch was particularly enamored with a female bulldog dressed in a pink ballet outfit complete with tutu and ballet slippers. You may ask how I know this. Let’s just say he made it very obvious several times and showed her a little K-9 love. Proceeds went to a local animal shelter and a good time was had by all. You should check it out next year.

I thought it was going to be a chill Sunday at the movie theater or something. I had no idea what I was getting into.

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