Today Chad, Suvi and I walked in the 40th Annual Minneapolis Pride Parade. Minnesota Pit Bull Rescue and A Rotta Love Plus team together for this event every year - it's a great way to promote another group that often feels the effects of discrimination - pit bulls!!
Suvi wore her Pride shirt, and gave out tons of kisses along the parade route. Here's a pic of her pre-walk:
You can check out more pics from the parade on A Rotta Love Plus Facebook page.
Unfortunately, it was pretty hot today. Suvi was a trooper, and made it through the entire nearly three-hour process without complaint. We learned a hard, scary lesson today though...
We've always known she's picky about how she drinks her water. She REFUSES to drink from another dog's water dish, especially if they're slobbery. Of course, two very responsible rescue groups brought a wagon filled with gallons of water and many dog dishes. Suvi would NOT drink water from them - she'd sniff, decide she smelled another dog's slobber - and turn her nose away. We kept her drenched in water throughout the walk, but by the end we could tell she just wasn't feeling right. I carried her the last few blocks, stopped in the grass and shade for a rest, and bought some water. We let her drink directly from the bottles, just pouring them into her mouth, and she lapped it up like crazy - so we could tell she was thirsty.
It was too little, too late, though - and on the way back to the car, she over-exerted herself and fell over on the sidewalk. Chad and I both freaked out - she started limping, and then just fell over. There were some city workers nearby, and they were incredibly helpful. They misted her with water from their hoses while Chad held her, and I ran (sprinted) to get the car and crank up the AC and pick them up from the sidewalk. We gave her some more fresh water, and she bounced right back. But for about 10 minutes, my heart stopped - we pushed her too far today.
Lesson learned - know your dog's limits, and ensure that you are prepared for their quirks. We were SURE that she would drink water if she were thirsty enough. We even had someone from another rescue say "don't try to force her - they self-regulate. If she's thirsty, she'll drink...." I wanted to believe that, but the truth is, I KNOW my dog...and I knew she was thirsty and choosing not to drink. She's such an amazing dog, and so loyal and trusting, that she'll do whatever we ask of her, without complaint. It's our responsibility to know the signs, to ensure we're giving her what she needs, and to be prepared. I feel like I let her down today. But of course, she's forgiven me, because she's the best dog ever.