my second home town – Silverton, Oregon

We made our annual pilgrimage to Silverton last weekend for the Children’s Pet Parade. This tradition began in 1932 when civic minded folks thought they should have event to take their minds off the Great Depression. They didn’t have Prozac back then so this was the best next thing. I know when I am depressed, a good pet parade is what I need.

I debated until about 15 minutes before we left whether or not to take Ozzie. Since we hadn’t had taken him too many places with lots of people and other animals, I wasn’t sure how he would do. Glad to say, he was a pretty good boy. The only time we had any trouble was when a couple of smaller dogs got snarly with him. But otherwise, he was fairly calm and only freaked for a few seconds when he saw a horse for the first time. Otherwise he tolerated the scores of dogs, sheep, rabbits, cats, chickens, possums and other assorted furry and scaly critters, very well.

I have taken a few other dogs to the Silverton parade. Spotty and Daphne preceded Ozzie. This was my 10th attendance at the Silverton parade. It started when I was researching the book on Bobbie.

Now we go down and sign books and judge the Bobbie look-a-like contest. I have gotten to know scores of Bobbie wanna-bes and have enjoyed every minute of it. It is a part of my life now. And the faces of the people of Silverton are as familiar to me as the folks in Woodlawn here in Portland.

The only dog who has never gone with me is Stormy. She has been to Silverton but never for the parade. This is because she has always been uncomfortable around a lot of people and other dogs.

And now as her last days are approaching, I can only think of all the things that she has missed out on in life because of her abuse in the past and her fear of the world.

As I hold her close each night and give her kisses and she rubs her head against my arm, I know that she at least has felt safe with me and has learned the gift of trust.