June 4, 2007 - Don't Blame The Dog
After watching Saturday's 13th Annual Big Dogs Parade bark its way down State Street, we were hounded by a nagging question that itched like a flea underneath a nylon collar. The question was this; is the Dog Parade a parade of dogs, or is it a parade of people who own dogs?
Let's be serious here. It wasn't the dogs' decision to enter the parade. And, it wasn't the dog that suggested wearing his-and-hounds Hawaiian shirts. The dog didn't say,
"Hey there Master, could I go as an airplane this year?"
"How about a pirate? I loved the movie!"
Nope, the reality of the situation is closer to the slogan of a popular TV commercial - In the parade of life there are dogs and owners.
Owners wanted. In other words, it's a case of the tail wagging the dog, but the tail is the one who buys the dog treats and pays the vet bills.
But, the dog-foolery doesn't stop there. Not only do the dog owners dress the dogs, but they dress themselves as well. Just as a thin leash separates man from man's best friend, it's a fine line between cool and what-were-they-thinking-don't-they- own-a-mirror. And, often it is the person who is the cause for pause - four legs and a tutu might work just fine, but a Shaquille O'Neal look-alike in tights? We don't think so.
Aside from the Dog Festival going to the humans, the dedicated staff of edhat.com uncovered another Dog Parade trend - fewer dogs.
As in past years - we counted. In 2004 we counted 871 dogs. In 2005 we counted 867 dogs. In 2006, we didn't count any dogs (because we missed the parade). This year (2007) we only counted 701 dogs. The Dog Parade officials said that there would be 1,200 dogs. Maybe they're using the same math that determines the News-Press to have 38,000 subscribers.
If you went to the parade and sat through the full hour of the dog-and-master-show, you would have thought, "wow that was a lot of dogs". But to put it in perspective; Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and Barry Bonds have each hit more major league home runs than there were dogs in the parade. Wow, that's a lot of home runs!
Edhat took a whole bunch of Big Dogs Parade pictures. Check them out!
It seems that more people were swayed by the parade officials' projections than previous results. CA N8VE was not. With a guess of 679, she wins Santa Barbara's top dog item, an Edhat t-shirt.
Surprised that we found fewer dogs than publicized? We're not. That was the plot of our movie!