Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Harry Paints the Town Red

Schuylkill Banks Dog Park has become a weekly stop for us.  It's the easiest way for us to completely exhaust Harry without exhausting ourselves.  Last week we made a bonus stop on Thursday, and Harry frolicked and sprinted with a brindle pit mix named Bella and a teenage boxer named Logan.  While we were there, I noticed a flyer posted to the dog park fence for a Phillies Pup Rally on Sunday as part of the Phillies "Paint the Town Red" week.  On a whim at the end of the baseball season last year, I picked up a Phillies jersey for Harry at our favorite stop Fairmount Pet Shoppe.  We decided since we were bringing Harry to the park on Sunday anyway, we might as well dress for the occasion.  As you'll notice, it's a little snug.  Harry has grown.

Harry burst into the park with endless energy.  Sprinting like crazy in his jersey, he managed to get the top button undone, showing off his manly heavage.  Only one other dog in the park had Phillies gear on, so I immediately assumed we would win the costume contest at the end of the parade.

Around 1:00 we made our way over to the playground next to the dog park where a crowd was forming.  Upon our arrival, there were plenty of pooches donning Phillies gear to the extreme.  Not only were there jerseys just like Harry's, but there were t-shirts, homemade costumes, dogs wearing socks, even a dog painted green (not that I condone painting your dog).  My only hope was that Harry's whiskers and in your face personality would win over the judges.

I signed us up by filling out a waiver and getting our sticker that the judges would use to score us.  Then what seemed like endless waiting ensued.  Having not had the chance to exude all his pent up energy in the park, Harry was psychotically pouncing, jumping, and pulling toward every dog in costume.  Perhaps it was a tactic to ruin their outfits and increase our advantage, but I think he was just being overly outgoing.  If the judges were witnessing this, then surely we weren't going to win for good behavior either.

Being the dog freak I am, I circled the competition and took pics of my favorites asking strangers if I could take pictures of their dogs.  These were my kind of people, as they were happy to oblige and even returned the favor by snapping some shots of Harry.  Then the crowd shifted as the red Phanatic made his way into the parade.  More people were snapping photos of their dog with the phanatic than of their child with the phanatic.  Again, my kind of people.  I swooped Harry up into my arms (swooped is actually making that process sound easy...it's more of a squat, adjusting his arms onto my shoulders, wrapping my arms under his bum, and using my legs to lift myself up.  Then I support all of Harry's 45+ pounds on my lower back) and waited patiently in the crowd for our turn to snap a pic with the Phanatic.  

In a dramatic turn of events, Harry abruptly squirmed which threw my grasp off balance causing me to DROP him in front of everyone.  And he didn't fall gracefully like a cat, he fell like a clumsy dog right on his back.  Of course he flipped over, was fine, and attempted to get in everyone's face again.  I on the other hand, was mortified and convinced that everyone thought I was a bad mom.  Shamefaced with hot eyes, I escaped from the crowd to the back of the parade line and proceeded to make Harry sit in my meanest mom voice.  The boo pointed out that most of the dogs were much better behaved than Harry and we didn't have to do this parade, but I was set on competing with Harry even though our chances were pretty slim given that 8 other dogs were wearing the same thing as Harry except behaving like heavenly gentle therapy-like dogs.  

Eventually, the parade began.  We all lined up behind the Phillies ball girls and in slow progression, made a tiny loop around the Phanatic.  And then we all stood there not knowing where to go.  My grip on Harry's leash was fierce, but somehow the boo captured me looking quite calm cool and collected.  The entire process was completely worth the struggle when Harry and Phanatic met.  The Phanatic squatted down on the ground and Harry crept towards him with ears perked in curiosity.  Then Harry danced forwards and backwards, not sure if this beast was A. a dog, B. a toy, or C. a monster.  Surprisingly, he didn't crash to the ground in his fear pose which he does when we pass the statue in front of the old GlaxoSmithKline building.  The whole moment was captured by Comcast SportsNet cameras, so I'm obviously stalking them to see if they'll post a video of my baby.

After the touching moment, the event announcers determined the winners over the loudspeakers.  First place went to a bulldog dressed as a $1 Dog Phillies hot dog.  His parents made his costume, and he looked happy to wear it.  2nd Place went to a Phillies eye patch wearing beagle (see pic 5 in link).  His parents made his costume as well....and apparently the dog did need an eye patch which makes me sad.  And third place doesn't ring a bell, because in the words of Ricky Bobby, "If you ain't first, you're last".  Harry came in last.  We'll be back next year, hopefully with better manners, and definitely with a serious costume.

No comments:

Post a Comment