At the Oct. 27 Sunnyvale Pet Parade, Sunnyvale Mayor Larry Klein served as the Grand Marshal. Klein and other local dignitaries led crowds of mostly costumed canines and their owners down Murphy Avenue in Downtown Sunnyvale. The costumes often matched the owners to their dogs, from beekeepers with a pet “bee” to Mr. Monopoly with his Scottie dog to a hot dog vendor with a hot dog.
When Tony Spitaleri was the Sunnyvale Mayor, he started this pet parade.
“This is our first pet parade in 10 years,” Spitaleri said. “The City of Sunnyvale has been a great partner and we hope the City will make it an annual event. 2008 was the year that we started the parade, 2009 was the last year that we did the pet parade. We haven’t done one since 2009 because of the economy then.
“My hat goes off to Andrea Gung from the Duo Duo Project, who was this parade’s lead person,” Spitaleri continued. “She has been very-detail oriented about everything we needed to get done.”
Participating in the parade were Edward Chua and Ting Ping. This Sunnyvale couple brought Mochi, their Irish wolfhound, who came costumed as a pony.
“We are participating in the parade as a community with some neighbors in our apartment,” Ping said.
“We got to see a lot of other dogs and puppies today and a lot of people came over to say ‘hi’ to us and Mochi,” Chua said. “Everyone always jokes that Mochi looks like a pony. She weighs 110 pounds and is seven months old. We made her costume, including her saddle and her mane.”
At a fair following the parade, Saurav Gandhi, 15, a Life Scout for Sunnyvale Troop 443, connected with community members about his hopes to build a memorial for K9 Jax. K9 Jax was a police dog and a German Shepherd who died in the line of duty while serving in the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety.
“I’m on the planning committee for the Sunnyvale Pet Parade with Tony Spitaleri, Andrea Gung and Edwin El-Kareh,” Gandhi said. “At the pet parade [was] a tribute to K9 Jax. We hope to raise money for the memorial and get community input on what people want to see in a K9 memorial.
“It was Oct. 31, 2017 when K9 Officer Jax died during a stabbing incident with a domestic violence suspect,” Gandhi continued. “When the suspect would not comply with the police, K9 Jax was sent to apprehend the suspect. But the suspect stabbed him. K9 Jax died at the age of four. He had 26 arrests to his credit. K9 Jax was just as important as any other police officer out there. I made my Eagle Project about building a memorial dedicated to K9 Jax. It will honor the past and current K9s working for the City of Sunnyvale.”