Monday, July 1, 2013

Don't Rain On My Parade

There are many advantages to living in a small town. Sometimes those advantages can seem like disadvantages, so that what we refer to as a "sleepy little town" can also be construed as a place with "nothing to do." 

 On the other hand, when the town plays host to a three-day Firefighter's Convention, people in a small town can rally around this event and turn it into a big deal, welcoming these brave people with gratitude.

So the 110th annual Six-County Fire Convention of Pennsylvania culminated on Saturday with a parade that went all through the town of Schuylkill Haven. 

I've lived here ten years and it was by far the longest parade I've seen-not only the route, which was 1.7 miles long and covered much of this little community, but also the duration.

Now, having marched in too many parades to count while participating in band in middle and high school, I don't get too excited over these things. I mostly associate them with feeling painfully hot and claustrophobic while sweating my face off in a wool uniform and patent leather hat.

 Of course there's also the time we marched in a Disney World parade, and I tripped over the RR tracks and hit myself in the mouth with my instrument. Ever the professional, I kept marching without even checking myself out until a young child pointed at me and yelled, at which point his mother gasped. It was then I realized that the warm and wet feeling on my face was not caused by sweat by rather blood. Welcome to to Disney World kids! 

Anyyywayyyy, while I appreciate the huge effort that went into planning this parade and respect the sacrifices of those it recognized,  I might not have sat through nearly two hours of it were it not for the chance to expose Wiley to something completely different.

Yes - that driver is wearing a kilt.
 Hubs and I sat in our driveway with Wiley while countless loud trucks (no sirens though), the occasional band, and strange people went by. There were also strangers along our normally quite sidewalk and other dogs too.  Oh yeah, and horses!

Ok so the Rescue Dog Blog readers' question is "How did Wiley handle all this?" Well. . . the way he usually does. His first approach was to turn his back to it and pretend it wasn't going on at all.

He also gazed wistfully at the back gate of the yard hoping to be allowed back in there. 

 Once he realized we would not give in he reluctantly started taking in the sights.

He turned to his dad for comfort.

And his mom.

He eventually reconciled himself to the fact that we were staying right where we were and he calmed down.

Even the horses didn't bother him too much, and this one turned and looked right at him, as my husband captured in the picture.

By the way, those of you readers who are old enough to have consumed adult beverages might recognize the name on this horse wagon. The Yuengling Brewery, which is the oldest in America, is about five miles away from our town. 

It's not uncommon to see a lot of Yuengling sponsorship in the area.

When our friend Ashley drove by, we tried to get Wiley to pose with her. She was even kind enough to pull off closer to us during a delay in the parade. It was all a bit much for Wiley, so this was the best shot we got. Ashley looks good though!

And speaking of sharing pictures, I wanted to share this one too. I got all excited when I saw a purple firetruck approaching, since purple is my favorite color. When it got close I realized it was from the community that surrounds my hometown and where my dad went to high school. So I'm giving Coal Township a shout-out.

The only part of the parade that really caused Wiley anxiety was the bag-pipers, and who can blame him?

They were preceded by a large float with men in kilts handing out beads.

So not only was Wiley dealing with the noise, but also with complete strangers walking right up to us and handing us something. He handled that part well but he pulled in the opposite direction when the bagpipes got close. Still, that was only a quick little moment of anxiety and then he was back to taking it all in, beads included.

Wiley made it through his first parade quite well, all things considered. We were lucky that we could expose him to it on his home turf.

We are also very lucky to have such brave men and women who do the unfathomable task of protecting us from this very real danger. We'd like to thank the Schuylkill Hose Company No. 2 for organizing and hosting this big event.

So how did we end this day of Americana? By taking Wiley for ice cream of course. It started to rain so I couldn't get too many pictures, but just look at his intent expression here while he waits for his dad to come through the door of the ice cream parlor with his little cup of vanilla.

BOL! Well he certainly earned it! Tomorrow we will get back to sharing your rescue stories, and of course on Wednesday is our Oral Fixation Photo Share so send me pictures of your pets with their mouths full. Email me at

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  1. This was so entertaining to read :) Thanks for the picture! & the compliment! Not sure if you can remember back to my awful sunburn days in high school, but I was just as, if not worse, burnt from riding that day!

    1. Oh Ashley I bet it's awful. Riding all day on the dark streets. . . yikes! Believe me I know sunburn.