Cavalcade of Canines

Mister PresidentIf you were at Union Square Park in Manhattan today, you would’ve seen a lot of dogs, like mine, and a lot of crazy dog people, like me and my girlfriend. We were all there for The Great American Mutt Show, a non-profit event designed to encourage the adoption of mixed-breed canines from animal shelters and rescues. There were several booths for dog adoption as well as cat adoption, and booths for dog training companies and local animal activists, too. I even got handed a flyer from a group promising “political action for animals,” who are dedicated to advocating animal issues and animal-friendly advocates in the state legislature and the city council.

My mutt, Mister President, was part of a group of dogs assembled by Who’s Walking Who Dog Training — all mixed-breeds, all adopted from shelters — who trained for about six weeks, learning various obedience and performance tricks. He took part in a few group obedience sequences, played a few games of canine-style musical chairs, and even performed his own two-minute solo routines to a medley of “Hail to the Chief” and “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”

This is clearly a case of me getting a bit too enthusiastic about my dog, but it was ultimately really fun (even if the training was a bit laborious) and for a good cause. There were several shelters and rescues represented at the show today, so hopefully a lot of mutts found new homes. He was exhausted and so were we by the end of the day, but I felt that, in our own vainglorious little way, we did something good today.

Right: Mister President, just before the show.
Below right: Rounding the matts in a heated game of canine musical chairs.
Pre-Performance Close-Up
Musical Chairs, Canine Style

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