I've been told that readers like answers better than questions, but there are some things I can't answer with any certainty. Take the Pug Parade for example. What brings hundreds of people and pugs out on a blustery and rainy day to a side hill to watch funny looking dogs participate in costume contests and march down that same hill in a parade at the end of the day? Why would we drive a hundred plus miles to attend such an event and why does a parade of pugs bring so much pleasure? I found myself wanting to ask people these questions as I passed pugs in lion suits, poodle skirts, dinosaur costumes, pumpkin hats, hotdog buns and more. I wanted to ask them even though I am one of them because it is not a question I really ask myself until I am confronted by it. To be honest, it just seems so natural and fun.
Some people suggest that dogs ease the loneliness of lonely people, standing in for children, spouses and family who are absent. But no one at the Pug Parade seemed lonely. Couples came with children in toe, there were people there with non-pugs, too, and those that said they were just interested in the breed and I bet the answers for why they were there were as varied as the people themselves. But judging from the smiles and the laughter and the many snapping cameras, one thing drew us all together. This really was fun!
Some dogs were bred to hunt, others to herd. It is said that pugs are born clowns and it seems they are doing their job. In a world where you can't turn on the radio or the TV without hearing about the recession, unemployment, war, global warning, credit scores, etc., etc., a pug parade provides a marvelous alternative. Pugs make you smile, pugs in costumes? Even more so. Here, the most pressing political question is black or fawn? (In reference to the pug's coat color, of course). The fun is relatively inexpensive so no fear of going into debt on this one and rather than being stuck behind the computer, chatting on Facebook, these events show us that we are still human, that there is a world of people out there with whom we can connect and that we still hold things in common -- like a love for squished-faced, curly-tailed dogs.
Or perhaps we drive those miles and buy those sill costumes because we just can't help ourselves. Like sheep dogs herding their flock, perhaps pugs do their magic and draw us together for a good laugh.
For more photos of the Pug Parade check out my facebook page at www.facebook.com/kjgiffordphotography