nateparade

We wrapped up our Mardi Gras weekend by marching in the Barkus & Meaux Pet Parade in Galveston. As ambassadors for Greyhounds everywhere, the kids walked our hounds (plus a few that we borrowed) down the Seawall in gorgeous 80-degree weather, throwing hundreds of Mardi Gras beads, and introducing everyone they could to the Greyhounds.

Here’s what wrong right and wrong according to each family member…

Sam loved all things parade, but he especially loved throwing Mardi Gras beads to the crowds.

Unfortunately, our huge stash of beads didn’t last the whole two-mile parade. Which is crazy. After collecting hundreds of beads at the parades on Saturday night, I had guessed we had enough  to more than cover two miles. But the crowds were out and our kids were a little too enthusiastic about throwing the beads.

Live and learn. Next year we’ll have to collect a lot more.  Or we’ll have to teach our kids to reel in their throwing enthusiasm.

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Maybe all nine-year-old girls have a thing for dogs. Maybe they all hang puppy posters on their bedroom walls and want to visit animal shelters and save every stray animal in the world.

Or maybe it’s just Catie. She has helped start this GreytKids group to raise awareness about Greyhounds that need homes. She runs to hug one-hundred percent of the dogs she sees on the street. For Catie, spotting a greyhound in a crowd is about as exciting as spotting Taylor Swift.

So marching in a PARADE of Greyhounds and hundreds of other dogs? This was just about the most awesome way she could spend an afternoon.

The only low point was realizing not all dogs are as friendly as Greyhounds. More than one dog skirmish broke out among the four-legged parade-marchers. Here’s hoping that this experience will help her realize it’s not a great idea to hug every single dog you spot on the street.

Especially if they’re foaming at the mouth and wearing a spiked collar. True story.

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Elisabeth is normally the most timid of our kids. But put her in a parade–a DOG parade–and she becomes an extrovert. Even though she didn’t talk to any of the parade spectators, she did make sure our Greyhound Manny worked the crowd.

When the oohing and aahing made her nervous, she paused to hug Manny and whisper reassuring words into his little ears. Together the two of them made the perfect team.

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Perhaps the best part of the parade was watching Mike.

Last year, when we were considering adopting a Greyhound, Mike wasn’t on board. “Can’t we just get a Golden Retriever?” he asked. “Greyhounds are such a thing. Seriously, I’m afraid we’ll become the weird Greyhound people.”

Over the past year, we’ve had the chance to meet lots of Greyhound owners. It’s a community of people who are crazy-passionate about their dogs. As we became more and more involved with Greyhounds, and our kids fell in love with them, I realized Mike was right.

Owning a Greyhound is a thing.

We had two options.

We could either deny we had become the crazy Greyhound family…

Or we could walk down the middle of the street, in a parade, walking a bunch of Greyhounds, and carrying a huge banner.

Excellent choice, Mike.

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