Not your typical parade with floats and bands and politicians…
“Look, Grandpa, a parade,” Addie said pointing at the car lights a hundred yards in front of them.
Lights were flashing from oncoming traffic, car emergency lights mainly. Twenty cars were stopped going the same direction as the two who were out for a walk. The traffic was divided by a grassy median 30 feet wide.
“I see that, Addie. Let’s go find out what it’s all about.”
“Think there’ll be bands and fire trucks and beauty queens?” she asked.
“I don’t know. Oh look, the parade’s coming down that side of the road over there. All the brake lights are off on this side. There they go. We missed this side, but maybe we can watch the other.”
Traffic started moving. but the oncoming traffic was slow. Emergency lights were still flashing.
Alongside the road was a Yorkshire Terrier running a little, looking back to see who was following, crossing the road, strutting down the middle of the road, and trotting a little more.
On the median was a boy, about 12, running and trying to catch up with the dog while keeping an eye out for the slow-moving traffic to his right.
Much further behind was Mom, on the phone and trying to run after the dog, though clearly was in no physical condition to run.
The Terrier, like a Drum Major in a band, led the way for those metal band members behind it. She could see the lights flashing and an occasional horn honked as she pranced down the road, straddling the dotted white lines, and oblivious to the people she was inconveniencing.
Or perhaps she was entertaining them.
“Look, Grandpa. The little puppy is leading the parade. Is that the puppy’s owner running, that boy?”
“Could be. Probably is.”
“Here, puppy. Here, puppy,” Addie stopped and called out.
The dog heard the child’s voice and noticed the girl and her grandfather who were now parallel to her so the Terrier crossed the median and wandered across the other street, not slowing down for the traffic, and ran to the little girl.
Fortunately, other cars were slowing as they watched the parade progress.
Grandpa still held tight to his four-year-old granddaughter as she squatted down and held out her hand for the dog to sniff. Satisfied Addie was safe, the dog jumped into Addie’s arms and began licking her face. The boy slowed his pace, looked for traffic, and walked over to Addie.
“Thank you so much,” he said, out of breath with his arms on his hips.
“She got away from ya, huh?” Grandpa asked.
“Yeah, she did.” The boy turned back to the oncoming traffic and thanked them with a wave. Several drivers returned the wave and two honked.
“What’s her name?” Addie asked.
“You be a good little girl, Sparks,” Addie said, touching the dog’s nose and handing her to the boy. “And don’t run away again.”
Sparks wagged her tail, panted, and barked once. The Mom, still far behind, was on the phone again, but slowed her pace because Sparks was now safe in the hands of her son.
I don’t blame the mom for being more worried about her son than the dog. But glad Sparks was saved go from the traffic. That story warmed my heart. A feel-good day of a start.
Thanks for this wonderful “parade” story, David. Wonder how many dogs are named Sparks…