On the Fourth of July, the parade ends at the park next to our house. My animals, some friends, and I sit on the front porch and watch. This is what they think of the parade.
Makia, my white cat, says, “Independence Day is when people dress up in funny costumes and parade by our house. I think they are celebrating community and creativity.”
Serafina, my gray cat, says, “When people go by our house on July 4th they play music, but not everyone plays the same music so it sounds strange. Everyone is happy, which is good. They are celebrating a happy day, on which they get to do something more fun than on the average day. They are also celebrating food, because they are all thinking about food when they walk by our house.”
Luca, my young poodle, says, “The parade is wild, because there are many smells, colors, and costumes. I wish that I could walk with them or ride on one of those big trucks. I think the parade is fun because I get to see things I don’t see everyday. People seem to be celebrating life and friendships.”
Bean, my bunny, says, “That parade day is so much fun, because when everyone is walking by our house they are thinking only happiness, and that makes me joyful. The first time I saw it I was scared because of the drumming. Now I know that is what some people do when they are happy – not thumping warnings of danger like bunnies do. People are celebrating exercise because they have walked a long way, and also good weather.”
Seamora says, “I love elaborate flowing colored costumes. I also like smiling people. When people let their chests [hearts] be happy, their minds get happy too. I love parades. I love dancing to music! I am very excited for this year’s parade.”
Jubilee, my three-year-old appaloosa sport horse, has not seen a parade before but I tell her that I would like to ride her in one some day. She says, “Right now I have a hard time with two horses near me at once, so if I had a lot of horses near me, I might wonder how to get away from the parade.
“It sounds like fun for people, because people like to make a lot of noise. You say horses get dressed up. I would like to be dressed up like a Native American horse. [Her line of appaloosa is foundation line, which means she is related to the Nez Perez Native American Horses.] The reason why I would like to be dressed up is so I can find strength in my ancestors. Is that why people dress up in the parade – to find strength from their ancestors?”
Stormy, my 14-year-old Australian Shepherd, says, “I have seen a lot of fireworks and I do think they are spectacular but I am very sad for the birds that night because they are always frightened. I am also saddened when the parade people leave garbage outside of our house, but the street cleaners come and pick it up.
“I feel that the parade is a ritual people do to celebrate life and friendship. It doesn’t feel like it is about independence because people are not thinking about how to make their lives better. I don’t even think they are thinking about how to make their communities better. It is really about an expression of creativity and organizations of friends. It is fun to watch, and I like to join in the eating-food festival afterwards.”
To learn how to keeps your pets calm and safe during July 4th fireworks please refer to last year’s article, Things Go Boom.