An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

December 12, 2010

Sometimes a Parade Is Needed

Over the years the holiday season has lost much of the luster it once had for me. Perhaps a career in retail where Christmas begins in October and the emphasis on acquisition over all else, can be blamed. This year there are also other events keeping the holiday lights a little less bright for me. Several people I care about are going through life changing events with uncertain outcomes. Combining all of this with seasonal logistics and hustle can make it difficult to step back and actually enjoy this time of year and what it has to offer.

In an effort to help lift the brewing holiday funk, a parade was in order. On Saturday Penny and I walked with the Isle of Wight Humane Society in the town of Smithfield's Christmas parade. My son and his buddy also came along and were enlisted to walk available dogs. All four of us had a great time enjoying a big event for a small town. Penny especially had a good time seeing old friends and meeting new dogs, plus she really liked working the crowds and soaking up their attentions. We had to leave poor Loretta at home, as she is not fond of loud noises, strange situations or crowds which kind of keeps parades off of her to-do list.

Here are a good number of the participants taking one last trip to the fire hydrant before the parade started.

The Humane Society

Penny did not like the jingles on her costume and kept trying in vain to remove them.

Penny Did Not Like Her Jingles

While we were waiting for the parade to start, I had time to fall in love with Teegan...


... and this lovely hound.

A Lovely Hound

Everyone was glad when the things finally got underway.

Dogs on Main St

As much as I would disagree, most people want a little more out of a parade than seeing a few dogs walk by, and the viewers were not disappointed.


Grinch in a Vette

There's No Place Like Home

Sheriff Taylor

Ring Girls



Stay on the Curb

Girls Like Trucks

Smile and wave to the judges.

Make Nice for the Judges

Being able to participate in the Christmas parade did me a lot of good and should be part of what keeps me grounded during the holidays. I urge each of you to steal a moment (or several) away from what can be a stressful time of year and enjoy the things that seek to make it otherwise.


  1. Penny looked very cute in her Christmas bells. The little cars are hilarious.

    I'm glad you felt better after the parade. Christmas is over-hyped, especially on the commercial side.

  2. Looks like a fun outing, Les. And I'm sure Penny has already forgiven you the bells.

  3. That looked like so much fun with cute dogs, elves, Mr Grinch and all! Its not so much the parade but just getting together with lots of people and animals that make it so like Christmas. Hope the parade brought back the glitter in your Christmas!

  4. Those are great shots - what a lovely event. I do think dogs and Christmas go together, both about pure love. Penny and Teegan are adorable!

  5. What fun! That grinch is so realistic. Hopefully some of those wonderful dogs got some new homes?

  6. The photo of the little boy and the big Dalmatian says a thousand words. Thanks for sharing. This brightened my day.

  7. Poor Penny, lol. I'm sure she was thinking 'Really Dad?' ;) What a great way to get in the festive mood this season. Hope your family had a wonderful time.

  8. What fun and look at some of those bare legs!!! We are in the single digits today.

  9. What great shots of the dogs and the Grinch is so realistic.

  10. Love Penny's festive collar! And that Grinch was certainly showing a lot of leg!!

    Having been through my share of retail Christmas seasons I feel your pain. I used to make it a tradition to watch the Charlie Brown Christmas special every year when it was on TV, it always made me feel better.

  11. Gotta love the puppy parade. That first one you fell for is a cutie. Looks like it is a Catahoula mix.

  12. Oh, how these pictures make me miss my parents' house in small town NH.....for three minutes, until I remember how cold it is! Delightful post!

  13. I have one member of my family that totally responded to those small cars! Unfortunately he now is requesting one from Santa!
    Thanks for this post Les :-)
    I will have my revenge!

  14. Les, Sometimes we all need a parade! Love the dogs and you've captured them beautifully~ Hoping the holiday season brightens ~gail

  15. Dogs are the greatest. I suppose it could be argued a parade requires other elements than dogs to be successful, but not by me. Glad you're cheered up a bit, Les. I agree that it seems to take extra effort to find the cheer in the holidays this year. Wish I had Teegan's poise!

  16. Sweetbay,
    She may have looked cute, but she hated the bells.

    Like all dogs, her memory is situational. She has forgotten all about it - unless she see it again.

    Thanks for your comments, and yes it is about being together.

    Teegan was SO cute, and only 4 months old.

    Most of the dogs already had good homes, but there were several up for adoption.

    That was one of my favorites as well. I have been reluctant to take people pics, but am trying more so lately.

    Don't feel sorry for Penny, she had a very good time. As we walked down the street she was constantly going into the crowd for lovies.

    It was not warm, but compared to some of the other days we have had lately, it was comfortable.

    I did not see the Grinch until he was about 5' away, and it was startling.

    I love the Charlie Brown special!

    She was an Australian cattle dog, and I could have eaten her with a spoon.

    I love small towns as well, and there are plenty of them in warmer places than New England.

    My son and his buddy who went with us started making plans on the way home to build their on cars after seeing the Shriner's.

    Thanks for the your holiday wishes, I hope your Christmas is a good one too.

    The parade did me a world of good. Thanks for coming by.


  17. Les, you folks sure know how to have a parade. Thank you for that... an absolute delight and I stopped and smiled at every photo. Penny is quite the beauty.

    if I don't see you before Christmas ;)... many blessings to you! It has been wonderful to share with you this past year.

  18. Nice Christmas parade, looks like you had a lot of fun, nice initiative!

  19. I think the smiles say it all Les, don't you?

    Merry Christmas.~~Dee