THROW ME A BONE, MONSIEUR! ANIMAL RESCUERS JOIN BARKUS FOR A DAY OF DOGGONE FUN!
The only Mardi Gras krewe in New Orleans by and for the canine population sniffed the streets of the French Quarter for the fourteenth year Sunday, February 19, 2006. The theme, the Wizard of Paws allowed for deft social commentary on that other hurricane -- Katrina.
The dogs thoroughly enjoyed the doggy company and costume lunacy of the day! Dorothy, Tinman, Cowardly Lion and Strawmen showed up alternatively as dogs and as people. Toy dogs loved the opportunity to be Lollipop Men and Munshkins amidst the many Great Danes.
The wizard showed up behind the blue tarp that's been used to insulate the roofs across the City Of New Orleans. "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"
All types of designer breeds strutted, including as many Mutts. "It is great to be able to come out and have a good time," said Richard Crook, one of the first animal rescuers to show up in New Orleans.
Others looked wistful as they celebrated a poignant day, with tears sometimes just a sentence away. Many lost their animals during Katrina, but they were there to bless the animal rescuers that showed up. "We love you guys! We know what you did!" shouted a local as he rushed over to offer up beads from around his neck and a treasured Mardi Gras cup to a MuttShack volunteer. It was all the treasure he had to give, and he gave it willingly.
The animals represented some of the handful of pets that survived. Sadly, thousands of others died. But the dogs seemed oblivious, all very social, politely taking cookies and treats and stopping to enjoy some water that thoughtful spectators brought with them.
There's no place like home! was the Mardi Gras statement of the day... but the one that could be heard only at Barkus. "We love our Katrina Animal Rescuers!"
We love you too New Orleans!