Sunday, April 29, 2012

Dog Tales: William and Bagpipes

I haven't shared a story about William in a while, so, since many of you have told me you enjoy them, here's one for the day after the first parade of the season in Hudson.

William went with me to the Inspection Day Parade yesterday. He doesn't particularly like parades, but he likes being out on sunny spring days, so I figured I'd take him with me to the parade. Lick had announced they would be open yesterday and today--for the first time this season--and I thought we might get some ice cream after the parade, but William had other ideas. As we passed Lick on our way to the 300 block, where I thought we would watch the parade, William bolted through the shop's open door. So we got our ice cream first and settled on a bench out in front to enjoy our sweet indulgence and wait for the parade. 

Once the ice cream was eaten and the Hudson fire companies and their trucks had passed, William was ready to move on. We took advantage of a break in the parade to cross over to the sunny side of the street, where we walked along for a while, keeping step with the parade. Just beyond the PARC Park, William started behaving like a spooked animal. He tugged at the leash, wanting to cross the street, but there were firetrucks in the way. Finally, there was another break in the parade, and we headed across. That's when I heard what William was already hearing: bagpipes!

William hates bagpipes. They are the principal reason he dislikes parades. Years ago, I took him to a Flag Day parade. That day, we settled down to watch the parade directly across the street from Rural Residence. When the bagpipes approached, William started howling as if in pain and made a beeline for home, tugging me behind him. We headed south and west, through the municipal parking lot, diagonally across the alley, through the Youth Center parking lot, over the lawn, and jaywalked across Third Street--pursuing as straight a course for home as possible. It amazed me that a dog who'd only ever been walked on sidewalks could instinctively find the shortest distance between two points--in a city, where buildings got in the way.   

William resting on the morning after
Yesterday, instead of racing home at breakneck speed, we took refuge from the sound of the bagpipes at Hudson Wine Merchants. I needed a bottle of wine, and Michael Albin, who knows about the canine aversion to bagpipes, kindly let us hang out there until the pipers had passed.    


  1. Aaaaah! Shades of yesterday. Boy-Boy hated(was afraid of) parades,loud noises, bagpipes, marching bands
    but most of all FIREWORKS. I stayed home with BB for most parades. Glad William survived the day and had ice cream too.

  2. The only times I have thought I really would lose Lulu—that she would pull out of her collar—was when I took her to two parades. The first was the Fourth of July parade in Kinderhook Village, which puppy Lulu spent flattened against a building, and the second an Inspection Day parade, when she cowered under a parked car. Finally, I had learned—the bagpipes, the drums, something: Lulu hates a parade.

  3. My dog Lady Shelagh,who is part collie, part Golden Retriver loves the pipes, she has even marched in the Capital District Scottish Games with our Macpherson Clan. I guess its in the genes. Slante Anne Macpherson
    P,S, Love, Love Rivertown. Keep up the good work