Dogs furry up for parade in Oak Lawn
By Susan DeMar Lafferty firstname.lastname@example.org June 16, 2012 2:50PM
Shadow, a cockapoo that took first place for best costume and was dressed as a Chia Pet, walks in the parade at the sixth annual Oak Lawn Pet Parade, Saturday, June 16th, 2012 in Oak Lawn, IL. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 16, 2012 2:11AM
From 9-week-old Finn to 15-year-old Nanook, Oak Lawn’s sixth annual Pet Parade on Saturday morning was a big treat for pets of all shapes and sizes.
“Pace yourself. This is a marathon,” Sean Schrader advised Lily, his 4-year-old beagle who charged off at the start of the six-block-long parade.
It was a day for goldendoodles to strut peacefully alongside cockapoos, dachshunds, Labradors and mutts down 99th Street to Tulley Street, ending at the Metra station where the Oak Lawn Chamber of Commerce held its three-day Spring into Summer event.
One guinea pig, Thunderbolt, was brave enough to march along with scores of dogs.
“Why not?” Amy Rupsch said as her husband carried Thunderbolt along the route.
Oak Lawn Fire Chief George Sheets and his family were hoping to win the best costume as they did last year.
His pair of Westies, Izzy and Herbie, were donned in sailor suits, while all other family members matched the theme.
“I have no say in this,” Sheets said.
“It’s something summery. It’s something different,” Angel Sheets said of the costumes she purchased online.
They likely faced some stiff competition from Shadow, the cockapoo dressed like a Chia Pet, and Jilly and Bart, the Shih Tzus wearing homemade costumes that featured dice and playing cards.
“We’re a casino,” said Lynda Struck, with golden dollar signs dangling from her ears. “We have a lot of fun at the parade. I love it.”
Some just came to socialize and go for a walk.
John Stepek, of Palos Hills, walked along slowly with Foley, a 12-year-old whippet, that he recently rescued.
“I like to go to events where dogs can mix with other dogs,” he said. “We want to make his golden years the best we can.”
A small crowd gathered to watch the parade along Tulley Street.
Keith and Janine Zeilenga sipped coffee while their mutt, Nibble, enjoyed the parade from the sidelines.
“She’s too old to walk, but we’re letting her watch. She likes it, except when other dogs walk on her grass,” Jeannine said.
The Lidstrom family was holding a garage sale and wasn’t expecting all this “traffic” in front of their house.
“If I had known, I would have lined the street with dog treats to make them all stop,” Rick Lidstrom said.
At the parade’s end at the Metra station, there was a trough of water, several vendors offering dog treats, and lots of shade — rewards for good parade behavior.