That harried dogcatcher Rose Parade viewers saw running down Colorado after a carload of canines on the La Cañada Flintridge float wasn’t just a whimsical creation for the 2014 parade. He was modeled after the CEO of the Pasadena Humane Society (PHS), Steven McNall. But more on that later.
“Dog Gone!” was designed by artist Jacob Maitless based on a concept by an 8th-grade Orange County girl whose dog loves to run away. She won a contest sponsored by the La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association (LCFTRA). The float won the Bob Hope Humor Trophy for Most Comical & Amusing Entry on Jan. 1, 2014.
LCFTRA had a bump in the road during the building process. Thieves broke into the yard and stole supplies, but the community of LCF and float builders rallied to ensure the entry would be ready for parade day.
“Dog Gone!” presents the Rose Parade theme “Dreams Come True” from the perspective of five dogs who take off in the dogcatcher’s truck. The truck bounces over a stone and concrete bridge made with oatmeal and a seed mix, while the dogcatcher runs in pursuit. The animation on the truck used three large hydraulic cylinders, mounted free to rotate at both ends, with three pivoted struts for stability, creating the effect of a speeding vehicle careening off obstacles. LCFTRA believes this is the first time such animation has been used in the Rose Parade.
The dogcatcher’s trousers were made of a cloth material covered with green mung beans, so as his arms and legs pumped, the trousers draped naturally. “Steve” wore a jacket and cap of yellow button mums.
The five dogs were named by five LCFTRA members who made a donation for the privilege of honoring their dogs: Shasta, the rosy-cheeked driver, covered in palm bark; Gunnar, the passenger, in peach and tan carnations; shaggy sheepdog Morgan in pampas grass tipped with onion powder for the gray/brown color; Gypsy, the poodle in her summer cut of white mums and carnations; and Winston, hanging on for dear life, in coconut and dock seed. Shasta and Gunnar looked from side to side and Morgan shook his head until his ears flopped.
A past PHS board member donated to name the dogcatcher Steve. Readers can see the real Steve in action with KTLA’s Gayle Anderson here. PHS serves Pasadena, La Canada Flintridge and six other cities. It has a mobile unit that takes dogs out into the community to promote pet adoption; Tournament of Roses Examiner spoke with volunteers in 2011 and 2013.
Flowers used included 16,000 chrysanthemums, 1,200 button chrysanthemums, 5,000 roses, 4,000 carnations, 2,000 iris, 700 gerbera and 700 exotics. Other details are in the captions to the photos in the attached slideshow.
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