WORLD TRADE CENTER RESCUE WORKER "Cody," CROWNED KING OF MARDI PAWS 2002
Mandeville, LA -
Cody "Bear" Morgan prominently wears his New York Fire Department (NYFD) patch, a reminder of his Ground Zero volunteer search and rescue work.
The day after terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center's twin towers, Cody was on site, searching though five stories of smoking debris for possible survivors. Sadly, he uncovered the remains of three firefighters. But Cody takes it in stride, living for the moment, one day at a time - as most Golden Retrievers do.
In recognition of Cody's heroic work, the courageous canine has been named king of the 2002 Mardi Paws parade, themed "PAWSitively Patriotic." The parade will roll on Lundi Gras, February 11, beginning at 11:00am on the Mandeville Lakefront.
"We could think of no more deserving dog to serve as King of this year's Mardi Paws parade," said Denise Gutnisky, president of Have a Heart thru Art.
Paul Morgan, a former Green Beret and paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division, served in Vietnam in 1965 as a Ranger advisor with the 30th ARVN Ranger Bn. There, he traded a .38 caliber pistol and a set of sterling silver rosary beads to a French Priest for a German Shepard named Suzie. That dog would not only save his life, but ignite a passion for working with other dogs in his own K-9 security business for twenty rewarding years after the war. Paul Morgan has written two highly-acclaimed books, K-9 Soldiers: Vietnam and After and The Parrot's Beak, both published by Hellgate Press. Morgan will accompany his life-long pal along the one mile parade route and be available after the parade for photographs and to sign copies of his books.
LOCAL HEROINE MUCH MORE THAN "QUEEN FOR A DAY"
She is one of only two canines in the entire State of Louisiana trained to sniff out arson fires, and she's a next-door neighbor. Emma,who resides in Covington, is a bona fide member of the Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office, working in the Division of Arson Investigation.
Soon, however, the 3-year-old Labrador retriever will assume a royal role - that of queen of the 2002 Mardi Paws parade.
"She was a natural selection for parade queen, a perfect combination of both beauty and brains," Donna Beakley, co-founder of Mardi Paws, said.
Emma's courtly parade entourage will include handler/trainer Richard "Rick" Jones, who works with Emma for the state arson investigation division.
Hailing from an animal shelter in Florida, Emma got her big break when she was chosen to travel to Maine and undergo training for arson investigation. It was there that Rick claimed her, and they underwent an intensive 7-week course together. In the past few years, Emma has arrested dozens of arsonists and saved insurance companies millions of dollars.
2002 Canine Court is comprised of:
No stranger to the patriotic arena, "Snooks" Boettner, will be stepping in to fill the absence of "Gizmo" Price as this years Parade Grand Marshal. It seems that Gizmo will be on the slopes this year, and his father, Mayor Edward Price III saw it only fitting for Snooks and his mom, Mandeville Councilwoman Adelaide, to fill his shoes. The 4-year old shih-tzu will be be decked in red, white and blue.
The officers of the krewe recently announced that the parade's Celebrity Grand Marshal for 2002 would be none other than "Bahji, Jr." Stallone, escorted by Sylvester's mom, Jacqueline Stallone. Family friend, Chris Owens, New Orleans' own entertainment legend, will be accompanying Jackie and her year old Maltese for their ride this year. "Bahji, Jr." Stallone was named after Chris Owens late Maltese who was King Mardi Paws 2000.
The most eagerly awaited proclamations were for Lady-in-Waiting and Grand Duke. The officers of the Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws go by strict guidelines similar to the Miss America pageants, and if for any reason, King Cody or Queen Emma, are unable to fulfill their responsibilities, the Lady-in-waiting and Grand Duke must be prepared to jump into their roles.
Lady-in-waiting, "Betsy Ross" Stammen made it clear she is poised to fill the title. Betsy Ross is a 5-year old shorthaired dachshund hailing from Folsom. Her own entourage, namely the stars and stripes, will accompany her. Beauty pageant mom, Regina "Queenie" Stammen, who also doubles as a local nurse anesthetist, lobbied on behalf of her daughter with a photo album highlighting all of Betsy's attributes and accomplishments.
Maid "Tica" Winston is quite familiar with service to her community. Her grandmother, State Representative Diane, who has championed causes for canines and humans alike in her district, will accompany the 8-yr. old Australian shepherd beauty.
Surrounded by past royalty in her home when the announcement came, "Rosy the riveter" Stroup squealed with delight about her inclusion in the Stroup household's monopoly of the crown. Although her responsibilities this year will be as Scepter Bearer to Her Majesty, the petite Labrador mix is hoping this will push her further into the glamorous world of the royal hairs.
Grand Duke Barney "Bush" Parsons is a distance relative of the famous Scottie found in Washington these days. Like the President, Barney knew that without sage guidance, the country could go to the dogs. So he assembled a few highly respected barkers (mostly from his own family) to provide wise counsel and accompany him for the parade. Senior advisor "Colin" Parsons lets Barney know what's happening over at State (like the current state of the dog food and chew toy supplies). "Condoleezza" Parsons advises Barney on security matters (such as when someone's left the door open so they can go outside to play). And Eleanore Roosevelt (former advisor to Hillary) provides the Democrat view, just to keep things in balance.
Duke "Dutch" is a stately 8yr-old chocolate standard poodle. St. Tammany Councilwoman & Chairman of the Republican Party, Pat Brister, will be escorting this politically savvy pooch along the parade route.
Cody, one of the first dogs to lend assistance amid the rubble of the World Trade Center (WTC) remains, began his years of service as a young pup in 1997. Fellow rescue worker and best friend, 65-year-old Paul Morgan, trained him.