For the second year, potcake star AMIGO wowed the crowds in New Orleans as he sailed through the French Quarter, on his own float, as “Grand Marshall” of Barkus, the animal parade of Mardi Gras.
Sporting an elaborate feathered headdress and silk cape in the Bahamian colors of yellow and turquoise, Amigo, accompanied by his ‘human,’ Frances Singer-Hayward as well as his beloved trainer/friend Bill Grimmer, happily acknowledged the large, enthusiastic crowds that lined the route of the parade, to support him.
Amigo is very much aligned to New Orleans and its struggle to survive.
After Hurricane Katrina, he ‘helmed’ The Amigo Express, a rescue mission that transported a large number of animals from the stricken Gulf Coast to the ARF facilities in East Hampton New York and as the ‘rep’ for challenged potcakes, Amigo is seen as a very fitting representative for the challenged animals of New Orleans as well as the Bahamas.
A NEW CHALLENGE FOR AMIGO
Most recently, Amigo faces yet another challenge, having been diagnosed with cancer, requiring the amputation of one of his hind legs, and extensive chemotherapy treatment. His brave little spirit prevails and he continues to work to fulfill his ‘mission’ - that of trying to ‘make the world a better place for potcakes’ by raising awareness of their plight.
‘Barkus’ is one of the most popular events of Mardi Gras, bringing together hundreds of dogs and their owners, all dressed in elaborate costumes who congregate at Armstrong Park to give a wild sendoff to the leaders who travel in style, in elaborately decorated floats, to the music of Dixiland Bands. The theme of the parade this year was “A Streetdog Named Desire” inspiring many Tennessee Williams look a likes, as well as Stellas and Blanche DuBois’ – all characters in the famous play and movie, “A Streetcar Named Desire” which starred Marlon Brando.
There is still a poignancy to the event, which is in aid of the animal rescue groups in New Orleans who are still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and thousands of animals who are still displaced.
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