We love our dogs in the UK. They are our loyal companions with who many of us share our lives. Sadly not me as no one is home long enough to be a companion to a dog. There were lots at Pride yesterday.
The Lord Mayor, Councillor Carl Austin-Behan and his husband, Simon Austin-Behan, were leading out the parade. They married last year. I’m not sure what his husband’s official title is, he will have one, Lord Mayor Consort maybe? The Lord Mayor position in Manchester is a ceremonial one in the city. Next year we will get a Mayor of Manchester who will have a lot of real power and the money to do stuff the city needs doing. Carl Austin-Behan will do important work for the people who elected him but, as Lord Mayor, there’s a lot of tree planting and ribbon cutting to be done wearing his ceremonial robes. They are red and I suspect someone had these pink ones made for him for Pride. Or they might have been rented from a theatrical costumiers I suppose. He’s had an interesting life having been sacked from the RAF for being gay (things have changed a lot since then), he won Mr Gay UK and then went into politics. He also worked in ASDA Hulme I discovered. Since he’s become Lord Mayor I’ve not heard a word said about him being gay, the city has just accepted it. They had brought their dogs, two Maltipoos (not sure what they are) called Scrappy and Oleg. Quite what Scrappy and Oleg made of it all I’m not sure. An extra long, extra interesting walk through the city with hundreds of thousands cheering them?
The Lord Mayor’s attendants and his coach.
The theme of the Pride Parade this year was ‘Once Upon A Time….’. People chose different stories to portray. Here’s Cruella de Vil in her car….
Followed by 101 Dalmatians….
When I saw ‘Grey Pride’ coming along Peter Street I thought that it was going to be out and proud senior citizens. Well they’re was none of it. It turned out to be about Greyhounds. These incredibly fast dogs are raced in the UK. But once they begin to slow down and are no longer of use to their owners they are often put to death. A few years ago it was revealed how some owners did it. I won’t put it here but it made me shudder when I read about it. There was a public outcry about it and, supposedly, it has stopped. Groups like this one try to rehome retired greyhounds.
Dogtrust, likewise, try to rehome difficult to place dogs with loving owners.
And finally, just when I thought I’d seen it all, we now have guys who like to dress up and behave like puppies. They woofed and barked at us as they went past.