Last weekend, Ma’am and I went to our first Atlanta Pride… and (spoiler) we had a great time! Whoo-hoo!
Friday night, we got things rolling w/ Sir’s Pride Kick-off Party. Ma’am and I were supposed to drive down together, but she got stuck late at work (due to computer failures), so I went on down myself, and she followed about 4 or 5 hours behind me (picking-up our Poet along the way).
I got to see a lot of great people at the party, and I enjoyed playing Cards Against Humanity w/ some of them. There was, of course, lots of drinking – imagine that! I had extra fun bantering w/ my pal Max (whom I’ve known approximately forever) b/c when Max gets drunk he gets loud and starts telling everyone his life story. When Sir gets drunk he gets loud and bite-y. Well… more bite-y. I think our Saint Bernard reached the point where he would bite anybody who came within striking distance. We probably should have muzzled him. :P Ma’am and Poet didn’t arrive until most of the guests had left, but there were enough of us around to have some laughs, my Owner rapidly caught up w/ our drinking, and we had some fun time in Sir’s hot tub.
Saturday (Pride booths… and more Drinking)
Saturday morning started w/ sexy-fun-time in bed w/ a Poet, a Kitten, and a Wolfhound. Then we took our Dalmatian with us to breakfast before we all went to Pride to wander among the exhibitor booths. We met-up w/ Max and Jake… and ran in to various other cool folks from the Dominion crowed, Panthers, Team Friendly, etc. By 3:00 we were hungry and Sir, Bishop and Gwynn had all finished their shift at the Team Friendly tent, so we all went to get some yummy Asian food before heading on out to Bishop and Gwynn’s house (after a stop-off at Sir’s where I got the backing piece on my Atlanta Dominion pin which I lost someplace). Bishop and Gwynn have a great house… and a puppy pillow the size of a king size mattress!!!! We called dibs on that, and Ma’am, Poet, and I slept there… but not before another fun night of fire spinning, drinking, playing Cards Against Humanity, and having lots of fun – minus Max and Jake, because after dinner they went back into town to go clubbing/cruising and were never seen again… so either something really bad happened to them or something really good.
The morning began with me getting into Bishop’s underwear. ;) Then we had to head back into town for the Pride Parade. Sir had invited us to march w/ the Southeast leather groups behind the Panthers’ float. (As I said: It’s my first Pride, so may as well begin by marching in the parade, right?) The logistics of getting there was tricky. We had to take two cards: Bishop ridding w/ me and Poet riding w/ Shdwkitten. Placing the two puppies in the lead car didn’t result in the smoothest journey, especially as the plan kept changing on he fly. (We got a message that there was no parking left at the Eagle… then we decided to park here and do this… then we thought we’d park there and do that… then – oh, look! Squirrel!) Once we finally got parked, my exasperated Owner, getting out of her car, exclaimed, “How do puppies ever get anywhere or do anything that requires any form of organizing!?”
I simply answered: “Loki.”
Fifteen minutes later, when we found Sir, Ma’am just walked up to him and said, “You can take charge of the pups now! I’m done!” LOL.
(For the record: I’m the well-behaved one. Sir has said so.)
So we met everybody at the parade staging area an hour before the step-off time. I was very amused to see that the PETA group (“Fur is a Drag!”) was positioned right next to the leather floats! LOL. Then I was informed that that the Anti-circumcision people were put next to the LBGT Jewish group. LOL. Whoever organized this parade definitely had a sense of humor. We (the Eagle float, the Panthers’ float, and then those of us on foot representing mixed leather groups) were close to the back of the parade, so it was actually about two hours before we got moving, so we found a wall in the shade were Ma’am sat, Poet perched, and I (w/ gear on) lay down on the cool concrete for a little puppy nap.
I was wearing my tail, leather puppy hood, pads, and “paws.” I know a lot of pups like volleyball pads, but my favored knee pads are skateboard pads, designed for skidding on pavement, so they not only cushion, they turn impact into a little slide, really protecting my knees. (I tend to do more walking on my toes rather than knees – I can move faster that way – so my knees tend to just skid as I move.
So, before we ever stepped-off, I noticed that lost my CAPEX pin. *Growl* This is why I don’t have eight million pins on my vest. Having just replaced the back of my Dominion pin and now having completely lost my CAPEX pin, I seem to have no luck w/ pins, so I’m trying to keep just a small, personally significant number: my wolfhound pin, and my CAPEX & Atlanta Dominion pins (my two primary clubs). I’ll now have to replace my CAPEX pin at our next event…
Everybody loves a parade! I’ve never marched in a parade of any kind, much less marching/“crawling” in pup gear, led on leash by my lovely Owner in front of literally thousands of people. It was a fantastically fun experience! I noticed my Owner was smiling and giddy the whole time as well. It’s very hard not to feel really, really good when you’re marching along and thousands of people are waving, smiling, and cheering you – of course they aren’t cheering you; they and you are celebrating and cheering an idea. But you certainly can’t help but feel very good and very optimistic.
By necessity, I walked most of the parade on two legs… but whenever we came to a momentary halt or slowed down, I dropped to all fours. Many times (and I absolutely loved this) when I dropped to all fours the crowd around us erupted in a roar of cheers. That got my tail wagging, for sure! (“Puppy” is another word for “attention whore.”) There were several fun, cool, silly moments along the parade, but definitely one I will never forget was when a family allowed their little girl (she was maybe four or five) to come out into the street to see me and pet me. I thought that was just so cool. :D
Unfortunately, we didn’t think to get a photo of us on our phone, so I’m searching online hoping a good picture of Shdwkitten and I will turn up, since we did get photographed a lot. Sir posted the group photo of the SE Leather Contingent on his Fet at https://fetlife.com/users/548007/pictures/22903084 . Way over on the right you can see the lovely Shdwkitten in green and a rather tall wolfhound standing right behind her. I also spotted us on 11-Alive’s coverage of the parade at http://www.11alive.com/pride/ . In Part 5, skip 21 minutes in and you see the Eagle float and then the Panthers float go by, and right after that Ma’am walking a very tired puppy on leash (this was near the end).
If anybody spots a picture of us in the parade anywhere else online, please let me know.
The parade was about 2 miles. My knee pads and “paws” (MMA fighting gloves) held up rather well – but I seriously wrecked the toes of my boots crawling over pavement. (I am a bootblack’s nightmare.) But the fun we had was well worth the sacrifice.