UCLA Pups on Parade

I was in the middle of writing this when we had a massive power outage in the neighborhood. I wondered if it was the universe telling me that my post sucked. I’m going to assume it was just a result of the heat wave we’re having and “power on.”

ELBEE If that was supposed to be funny, I should be doing stand-up. 

At the risk of sounding corny and emotional, I have to say that the Fourth of July was very special this year. No matter what side of the political, social or grocery aisle (shout out to all you vegans) people were on, there was a real sense of wanting to reach out and connect with each other.

That doesn’t mean that I didn’t run to have Marsha, Gus’s groomer/colorist, dye his ears and tail red and blue as soon as I knew that he was going to be in a parade. She even came up with the idea of putting paper plates over his ears to keep the color where it was supposed to be while she was applying it.







ELBEE I admit that I was a little jealous until I saw that photo. Paper plates on my ears! As if!

GUS It’s the price of beauty.

Since we had to do the color a few days before the event, I sort of forgot about it until I took the dogs walking. Almost everyone we passed smiled and wished us a happy fourth. There was a pervasive sense of patriotism.

On the day of the parade, we met in Pacific Palisades with several of the other teams from the UCLA People Animal Connection. From the moment we arrived,   the atmosphere was incredibly warm and friendly. People seemed truly happy to be uniting in appreciation of America. It was a celebration of our history and our freedom.


I had been in the parade a couple of times but this year seemed different. The crowd was larger and if possible more enthusiastic.


Gus was so excited, his red and blue tail never stopped wagging. Before we started walking, he flirted with Ella, a Golden Retriever, and drooled over Gracie, a darling Chihauhau who is the smallest dog in the program in terms of size but not of heart.

As we started down Sunset Boulevard with all of the other dogs, Gus played to the crowd. He visited with spectators along the route and even did a few impromptu dance moves. With the children, he was spectacular. I have never seen so many smiling faces. Okay, once or twice he got a little tired and I had to carry him.







In the other two parades, Charley was by my side, greeting celebrants, young and old. As you know, we lost him this year but we also lost Tovah, another special member of PAC. She was a beautiful Dachshund who happened to be Charley’s “girlfriend.” They often worked events, including the parade, together, with Tovah riding in her wagon as she got older.

I cherish this photo of them. It will always represent the Fourth of July to me. Without even trying, Gus is once again following in his big brother’s paw prints. He’s carrying on in the tradition of Charley and Tovah, making them both proud.




I’m a Yankee Goldendoodle Dandy


THE DOODS Let us make it clear that we are in no way responsible for the title of this post.

When the daughters were little we used to have big fancy gourmet picnics for the fourth of July. Just kidding! We’d actually grab some Colonel Sanders and an old blanket and go watch fireworks at a local college. They had sky divers, games, and a petting zoo so it was a pretty good celebration.

One year we decided to buck tradition and  go to a stadium where Pat “April Love” Boone was singing. Unfortunately it was during his heavy metal phase! It was painful.

The only thing I really miss are the patriotic sing-a-longs with my dear friend Lillian. Neither of us can carry a tune but we’ll belt out “America the Beautiful” with the best of them as long as no one can hear us.

Lillian and I have five daughters between us. They should be relieved that neither of us can sing or we would have taken our act on the road years ago.

These days we’re happy to stay home with the Doods on the fourth. They’re afraid of all the noise and chaos so we keep them in the house and watch fireworks on tv.

20160702_170811_1467584338477_resizedELBEE Excuse me, who says we’re afraid? Speaking for myself, I’m kind of an adrenaline junkie. I’m more afraid of her singing!



GUS Okay, I’ll admit it. All that noise makes me a little nervous. I’ve heard they have special calming vests but I don’t want to seem like a wimp. 




20160703_195938_resizedCHARLEY What Pack Leader neglected to mention is that she jumped all over this holiday as an excuse to dress us up…again. As you may know, I’ve been in a few parades on the fourth and the costume was appropriate. But wearing it around the house is a little over the top for my taste.