This year, almost all the dogs were new to the routines since we'd had a two year hiatus because of the fact that many of our experienced dogs were getting too old. So the young pups took over and had to learn the routines and then perform them with drums booming up close, children cheering and coming out into the line to pet the dogs, helicopters over head. They had to adjust to our spraying them with water every time there was a pause in the march so that they wouldn't get overheated.
By the end of the parade we are all hot and tired, but as we rest in the shade, so many people come up to visit the dogs and tell us how wonderful they were, that we forget our sore muscles that are more use to walking than marching and just enjoy the fact that our pride in these wonderfully talented dogs has been shown to at least our small part of the world.
This is a great opportunity to show people the value of a trained dog, especially with this variety of breeds.
However my Samoyed Brigid would tell you, she was more than ready just to do the classic Memorial Day celebration by lying around with a cool drink in the shade with all her canine friends at the end of the march and soaking up all the attention looking forward to new adventures.