NEW LENOX, Ill. — The annual Will County Dog Parade, also known as Pooch-a-Palooza, began with a promising start this past Saturday until the entire parade of dogs was set wildly off-route due to a rogue squirrel appearance.
The parade is looked forward to by children and the dog-obsessed year after year, but this was one of the few dog parades in recorded history in which the merriment derailed into tragedy.
“It’s a fun thing we like to do to welcome the nice weather and put cute bows and outfits on our children–ahem, I mean dogs,” said Will County Kennel Club President Dorothy Klein. “It was all going so well until that damn squirrel ran across the street. We still have not found Bobo the dachshund.”
As the squirrel first made its appearance around 10 a.m., bedlam broke loose. Fletcher the golden retriever first spotted the tree-dwelling rodent and made a mad dash from her spot in the middle of the parade over to the sidewalk on Haven St. Fletcher, wearing a costume meant to make her face look like the center of an adorable flower, tore through a maze of leashes over to the squirrel with desperate barks, which alerted fellow parade participants Spinner the pug, Dusty the rottweiler, Princess Diana the husky, and Sharon the shih tzu.
The squirrel, immediately terrified for its life because an adorable cavalcade of dressed-up dogs were chasing it, took off like a shot along a low-hanging telephone wire through the alley off Haven St. All 28 dogs pursued the fleeing squirrel, leaving behind only Spinner the pug who got too tired. The squirrel finally made its way to the forest preserve behind the library which is where it reportedly remains and where several dogs have yet to be found.
“This has never happened before,” said Calvin Moore, a long-time parade participant and owner of Princess Diana. “I am ashamed that my daughter–er, I mean, dog–was one of the first to run after the squirrel. We’ve spent money on years of obedience training and one rogue squirrel flashes its tail and suddenly Princess Di acts like an animal. I just can’t believe my daughter–dog, my dog. Kimberly is my daughter and I have to remember that. Princess Diana is my dog.”
Calvin rambled on about this distinction for several more minutes before adding, “I don’t think anyone ever found Potato.”
Potato the Pomeranian impressed all onlookers by jumping over a low fence, proving he has indeed been a good boy in his competition training. However, Potato’s owners expressed concern that he might actually catch the squirrel, which would be bad as he is on a strict whole grains diet.
“This is by far the worst dog parade in years,” said dogless resident Hattie Jabowski. “It might even be worse than the parade in ’52 when a tornado came in and scooped all those pooches and people up. It’s hard to say which was worse.”
Stephanie Weber hopes all the dog parents remember to call their real children every now and then.
Image by texasdarkhorse.