With the exception of last year’s Covid-cancelled parade, between 70 and 100 dogs trot along the parade route in the Patriotic Pups entry. Thankfully this year, dogs and their owners are invited to join the Fourth of July marching pack.
All potential marchers should call Marilyn Haaker at (310) 962-5830 and leave their name, telephone number and the pup’s name.
People participating must sign a waiver before the parade (1 to 1:45 p.m.), and the forms will be available at the owner/canine meeting location, under the trees at Palisades Elementary, corner of Via de la Paws (Paz) and Bowdoin. Owners should bring water for their pets.
Haaker credits her sister Margaret for starting, back in 1995, one of the most popular entries in the parade. (The Haakers’ parents, Julie and Ed, moved to Pacific Palisades in 1952 and had three children — Marilyn, Margaret and Julie, who grew up watching the parade.)
When Margaret approached PAPA about entering dogs in the parade, the idea was not well received. “My sister was told that the dogs would bite people and there was no one to sponsor it,” Marilyn Haaker recalled.
Undeterred, Margaret took full responsibility, and her dog, Bijou, and Marilyn’s dog, Timothy, were among the initial parade walkers.
“Every single detail was hers,” Marilyn said about her sister’s idea to form the brigade. “Margaret put so much effort into it.” She thought of the name “Patriotic Pups” and ways to grow the entry.
“She sent out postcards to people who had marched in prior years and reminded them to participate,” Haaker said.
Marilyn Haaker, who helped her sister for years, took over the event several years back. Her twins, who are now college age, helped her with the banner and the parade.
Although neither Margaret nor Marilyn now live in the Palisades, Marilyn said “I debated doing it again this year,” but ultimately decided that “I couldn’t give up the event my sister started.”
This year, her two small rescues Edgar and Murphy, will join other dogs in the Patriotic Pup entry.
(Editor’s note: If you have never marched with the Pups, it’s loads of fun. CTN has participated on several occasions.)