October 1, 2011
White Dog and the others were resting on the porch. It was a perfect New Mexico autumn day, azure and pleasant. October had begun with a good omen, Albuquerque's 40th Annual International Balloon Fiesta Opening Ascension went without hitch at dawn with calm winds; we set the world record for most balloons launched in one hour, sending 345 hot air balloons into the sky from Balloon Fiesta Park. It is an amazing sight; one which the White Dog Army is excluded from because the noise of flaming propane being released into the canopy to raise the balloon is painful to pup's ears. They can appreciate the photos without torment.
As we sat (we live just down the street from the University and a half block from historic Route 66) we heard sounds that made the WDA uneasy but made me smile with memories of my youth. There was a protest march underway! YoYoMa nervously started pacing and Puff started barking as the bullhorn chant of "Hold Wall Street Accountable!" dopplerred closer and closer. I stood to usher the pups inside in order to ease their anxiety and noticed that Central (Route 66) was cordoned off by police in riot gear! Suddenly two helicopters could be heard overhead. I was curious and wanted to walk over to see but all of the White Ones were rattled by now. I stayed to reassure them and hand out distractionary duck jerky.
Michael came in from his volunteer work at the Museum and had all the news. There was a band of protesters carrying signs and shouting; the police were keeping them orderly and were dressed in riot gear...not that there was any indication of the march being anything other than ordinary. Michael was all abuzz and the pups not happy...fortunately our little sixties' moment was over within a half an hour as the action moved on or dispersed. By the time Steve got home from work, everything was calm again.
Over dinner we discussed the event. Michael wanted to make the protesters out to be lawbreakers and had a hard time understanding why civil dissent is sometimes a good thing. The Other White Dog went over and explained it in a way that made sense, "You must speak out against those things that you feel are truly wrong. Whether it is an abused dog or unfair banking practices, wrong is wrong. Being able to say that loudly in public to call attention to the problem is what makes our country better than most."