Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bead Dogs: A Fine Idea

Problem: You have been one of the more successful 10-year-olds in your group when it comes to collecting beads during the Mardi Gras parades you attended. You donate some to charitable groups to re-cycle for next year’s parades, but you don’t want to donate everything because you really had to scramble for those beads.

One of our saved strand of beads.

So you save some. But “some” often turns into more than can be saved in a special souvenir container. And, really, how many duplicates are there in that box of special beads? And if you have several of these “special” ones, how special are they?

And what about those broken strands of beads? Those beauties don’t deserve to end their usefulness due to a broken circle.

An ornament with Louisiana SPCA written on it.

Solution: Your teacher or Scout or Brownie leader finds a solution. How about making dogs from some of the beads and then selling them to raise money to fund a group purchase or activity.

And thus began a tradition that has provided a project for generations of Louisiana schoolchildren.

And an idea for larger scale fund-raiser.

Project: Paws on Parade could be called the “pet project” of the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (LA/SPCA). The fundraiser is designed to raise public awareness of animal welfare, support local artists, and help beautify the community.

Haydel's King Cake Dog

Artist: Sharon Normand

Haydel’s Bakery adopted the Mardi Gras Bead Dog® as their mascot and donated the sculpture’s mold to promote the LA/SPCA’s mission. The Mardi Gras Bead Dog® is 4’6” long x 3’6”tall and weighs 50 pounds.

Haydel's King Cake Dog (another view)

Individuals, businesses, organiza-tions, and schools can join Paws on Parade by purchasing or sponsoring a bead dog. Sponsors could choose a design submitted by local artists or could commission a favorite artist to complete the sculpture.

Tiger Paws

Artist: Gerry Claude

As of January of this year, over 45 sponsors had committed to the project. The creatively-named levels of support start at “Salvador Doggy” (a $3,000 sponsorship), then “Paw-Casso” ($5,000), and finally, “Ren-Woof” ($7,000, at which level the sponsor gets to keep the sculpture at the end of the installation).

Bazooka Jeaux

Artist: Joan Berg Victor

The statues will be on display throughout Orleans and Jefferson Parishes until September 30th, after which they will be auctioned off at LA/SPCA’s Howling Success Gala in November (

Watch Dog

Artist: Paulette Lizano

Canine Connections

Artist: Kennett Scott, Jr.

In the future, individuals will be able to purchase a puzzle piece on the Bead Dog and have the name of their dog written on it.

Ornamental Mutt

Artist: Jacques Soulas


Artist: Micheal Guindry

The Alpha Dog

Artist: Shannon Kelley

Crescent City Canine

Artist: Paulette Lizano

Topiary Canine

Artist: Steve Ulness

Pawdi Gras

Artist: Kenneth Scott, Jr.

Pawking En Route

Artist: Carmelita Ducote

Starry Starry Night

Artist: Frankie De melo

Big Easy Beagle

Artist: Paulette Lizano

(To be continued in two days.)

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