Eleven basset hounds draped in homemade red, white and blue blankets and top hats trotted Thursday morning down the main stretch in Johnson to essentially cap off the annual Fourth of July parade.
The cute low-riders drew several audible “aws” from some of the couple thousand spectators lining both sides of Johnson Road, and forced others to whip out their phones and cameras to video and photograph the patriotic long-eared hounds.
Jenny Neuburger, who breeds the hounds, led five of them on leashes. Her mother, Sindy Neuburger, controlled three other leashed pooches and pulled a red Washington State University cart carrying another three dogs inside — one of which tried to escape at times, but never did.
Jenny Neuburger said she has taken the pooch pack, which ranges from 12 weeks to 12 years old, through the Johnson parade for about the past five years, and they are always a big hit with the crowd.
“We can’t miss the parade,” Jenny Neuburger said. “We’ve only missed it one year and that’s when she was born.”
Neuburger pointed to Lady Liberty — one of the hounds.
“She was born on the Fourth of July four years ago,” she said.
Jenny said her favorite part of the parade is watching excited onlookers, some of whom sported patriotic colors and held small flags Thursday, take photos and pet the dogs.
She said the animals most enjoy sitting in the shade and getting attention from spectators after the dogs’ long walk in the parade is complete — as they did Thursday.
“They get pretty pooped from one parade,” Jenny said.
The hounds, while a crowd favorite, were only part of Thursday’s parade festivities.
Whitman County Sheriff Brett Myers threw candy to children from his sheriff’s office cruiser; a Whitman County Fire District 12 ambulance cruised through with sirens blaring.
Plenty of classic cars and trucks strolled through. One truck hauled a flatbed trailer behind it with people on board and “God Bless America” playing.
Some, like Nina Sullivan, 7, participated in the parade dressed in Fourth of July-themed costumes. Sullivan sported a Statue of Liberty outfit while representing Montessori School of Pullman.
She said she liked seeing all the red, white and blue decorations at the parade.
“I also liked smiling a lot and waving to people,” Sullivan said.
Nicholas, 8, walked in the parade wearing a hot dog costume and his sister Violet, 13, represented the mustard. Violet wore a yellow shirt with “French’s” written on the front, and she sported a yellow hat that closely resembled a lid for the condiment.
Violet said Nicholas pulled out his hot dog costume from Halloween for the parade because it is a traditional Fourth of July celebration food.
“I don’t like ketchup so I chose mustard,” Violet said.
Garrett Cabeza can be reached at (208) 883-4631, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.