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Pooch Parade returns to Back Bay after hiatus

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  October 1, 2010 11:30 AM

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(Pat Greenhouse/Globe file photo)

Pooch Parade participants in 2005.

After a five-year hiatus, the Back Bay Pooch Parade will march once again on all fours to the sound of bagpipes down the Commonwealth Avenue Mall on Saturday.

In addition to collecting donations for a dog-care group, the event is meant to be a social affair.

“A lot of friendships have begun out on the mall from people meeting each other while walking their dogs,” said neighborhood resident Linda Selzer.

Selzer and Paula Welte live in the same building on Commonwealth Avenue and used to see one another occasionally, but a friendship never blossomed until they started to frequently run in to one another while walking their dogs, Meg and Fedora, in the area, Selzer said.

“We would see each other walking our dogs more than any place else,” Selzer said.
So in the spirit of reuniting a group of neighbors, many of whom know one another’s dog, but not the owner, by name, the two women revived the tradition this year.

They hope the good weather forecast will draw around 100 people and approximately the name number of canines.

Hosted by the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay and open to members and non-members alike, the pooch crew and their owners will circle the grassy area between the eastbound and westbound lanes of Commonwealth Avenue from where the road intersects with Dartmouth Street to where it intersects with Clarendon Street.

“From Bischons to Borzois, from Puppy Mill Survivors to Blue Ribbon Show Dogs — all are invited to attend,” said an event announcement.

Though it is being dubbed the “First Annual Back Bay Pooch Parade,” the event had been held for around half a dozen years, if not more, before a five-year hiatus ensued when the event’s original organizer moved out of the area, according to an association representative.

Donations and all registration fees from the event will go to the Buddy Dog Humane Society and the Tufts Veterinary School. Pre-registration is $15 or day-of registration is $20.

A bagpipe player and Dr. Jake Tedaldi, a Tufts alum and Newton veterinarian who makes house calls, will lead the procession, Selzer said. The event will also promote “good canine citizenship” – doggy disposal bags were donated by the city parks department, she said.

The group will meet at the William Lloyd Garrison statue at the corner of Commonwealth and Dartmouth across from the Vendome condominium building. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the parade will kick off at 10 a.m. All dogs must be leashed and up to date on shots. Organizers request that owners do not bring a dog that is in heat.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at

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