Ogled by hundreds of amazed spectators, 92 of Sarasota's cutest pugs gathered at Five Points for the fifth Annual Pug Parade. To the strains of "Who Let The Dogs Out" the little darlings waddled around the park, tongues hanging out, led by Grand Marshal Jessie, the hero search-and-rescue dog who worked at Ground Zero. Jessie and her handler Roger Picard received the Bone to the City from Commissioner Lou Ann Palmer, a gracious replacement for the Mayor, who abandoned the pugs at the last minute to present the Key to the City to Bob Denver of "Gilligan's Island" fame. I think this pretty much sums up the Mayor's priorities. Pug owners have long memories, particularly around election time.
The Pug Parade is getting so big that dogs come from all over Florida. People are starting to build floats. The judges-David Grimes from the Herald-Tribune, cartoonist Chris Browne, fourth-grader Gregory Christo from Sarasota Christian School, and yours truly-had a difficult time but finally chose winners in the categories of Most Physically Fit, Most Studly, Miss Congeniality and Best Costume. And 11-year-old cancer survivor Otis was selected Best in Show.
Peanut, once again, was robbed. He never wins. But then, he works best alone, as evidenced by his recent appearance at the AIDS benefit, where he opened the show to wild applause. And can you believe that one of the local dog bakeries is using his picture to sell dog biscuits?
Can dogs sue?