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Fido Loves a Parade

I love a parade.”

“For as long as we’ve been together, Fido, I’ve never seen you walk away from a good parade. I myself am on the ambivalent side, but you’re always game. What’s up with that?”

“I haven’t really thought about it! I’m a dog, as you know.”

“Even so, there seems to be a certain set of attractions.”

“Everything is at nose level. Small humans carry pizza, ice cream, hamburgers, hot dogs, and whatnot all at nose level. And what’s at nose level is also at mouth level. It’s irresistible.”

“That’s gotten you into trouble in the past, though, when a 3-year-old human walked right in front you with a thin-crust pepperoni and mushroom slice.”

“I thought she was offering me her slice.”

“Of course you did.”

“I did not know that she was going to go into that screaming fit.”

“I know, Fido. But the thing is, you never seem to learn from these things. All these years later and you still can’t resist a good chomp.”

“When a slice is passing right in front of your nose, you don’t really have time to think.”

“Lucky for you, Mr. Beeg, we’re smack in the middle of parade season about now.”

“I loved the mule parade in Bishop. When I come back in another life, I believe I’d like to be a mule. Hee-haw!”

“I liked that one, too, Fido, although even you must admit that it’s an odd parade, and that Mule Days has a limited draw. And the mules don’t seem to know, or care, whether they’re horses or whatever.”

“But at least it gets us out of high altitude for the day.”

“In summer, you like high altitude, Fido. It’s cooler all the way up here.”

“What I really like is the coast! Lots and lots of sniffs and scents, a cool ocean breeze off the bay, and gourmet food, right at eye, nose, and mouth level!”

“That would be the Alameda parade.”

“And it lasts all day!”

“Oh, you Big Red Lug, all that is true, but it’s a long trip to get there, as you know. We have to clear the Sierra Crest, deal with the tourist traffic on the Tioga Road in Yosemite, and the heat in the Central Valley. I think we have great options right here. Bridgeport comes to mind.”

“I LOVE the Bridgeport parade! Small enough to have lots of scraps, but not so big that you have to wrestle a pig for a slice.”

“Let’s not forget the Fourth of July parade right here in Mammoth.”

“Too many small dogs for me.”

“Well, it’s an LA crowd, mostly, and L-Aliens like small dogs. I’ve never quite understood that, but there it is.”

“They yap a lot, but don’t have anything much to say.”

“Fido, are you talking about the people or the dogs?”

“The dogs! And they’re gullible, too. You can spot a tourist dog a mile away because they’re afraid of everything. Bears, coyotes, bobcats, you name it. They live in constant fear.”

“I’ve never seen a bear, coyote, or bobcat at the Mammoth parade, though.”

“But we see lots of other stuff, like breakfast burritos, right at nose level!”

“Right you are, Fido, and no fireworks anywhere near town because of the forest. The Town moves the fireworks to Crowley Lake.”

“I hate fireworks. And small dogs, too.”

“Like parades, Fido, I’m more or less ambivalent.”

Fido is a red, 70-pound chow/retriever mix. He and his human pal, George Shirk, live in Mammoth Lakes at 8,000 feet. Fido is nine years old. In dog years, that makes him the same age as his human.

Main article photo by: George Shirk