When Dr. Robert Moore of San José reached 100 years old, his daughter Alison knew just how to celebrate – with a dog parade!
As long as she could remember, Dr. Moore, a retired dean from San José State University, loved dogs. He’s known locally as “the dog whisperer,” so Alison and her siblings wanted dogs at his birthday celebration.
“He just love, love, loves dogs,” said Moore or her dad. “Every dog he sees, he wants to pet. He has been like that his whole life.”
Little did they suspect that what was planned as a small outdoor meet and greet would become an event reported in international news!
Over 200 Dogs and Families Join the Dog Parade
After posting about the event on Facebook and Nextdoor, everyone was amazed when a parade of 200 dogs and their human families arrived at 11 a.m. on June 14th. There were dogs of all shapes and sizes lined up down the street, and Dr. Moore knew about each breed.
Remarkably, the dogs seemed to know they should be on their best behavior. They all got along peacefully, no doubt sensing it was a joyful, loving occasion.
Although drawing such a crowd was a shock and a little overwhelming, Dr. Moore loved meeting every dog and learning their names. Many of them were wearing cute outfits, cowboy hats, and bows.
“He was just so sweet and talking to the kids and petting all the dogs and saying their names. It was so much fun,” Alison said.
Moore’s granddaughter, who flew from New York for the celebration, shared a TikTok of the extraordinary day that left everyone smiling and in disbelief (see below). Friends and total strangers alike came with birthday cards, flowers, and birthday treats.
As each dog met the birthday boy, they lavished him with extra tail wags and kisses.
“The dogs know he’s a dog guy,” said Alison Moore.
A few neighbors drove their dogs in classic cars, knowing Dr. Moore loved those as well.
Video below via TikTok/carolswag247
Ear to Ear Smiles All Around
After two hours of a puppy parade, Dr. Moore was still “ear-to-ear smiling,” and so were many of the participants.
One of them was Rodger ‘O’B’ O’Brien, 88, who arrived with his dog Lucky. O’Brien smiled for 90 minutes straight, introducing Lucky to everyone. His daughter Denise told the Washington Post that the event was incredible for her dad, who has lived with Alzheimer’s for 11 years. The dog’s name and his wife’s name are the words he remembers.
That day, O’Brien happily told all the neighborhood kids Lucky’s name.
“It’s been a long time since I saw my dad smile for 90 minutes straight. We were the first ones there and the last ones to leave,” Denise said. “This made not just my dad’s day, but his whole year.”
The Most Joyful Day Ever at the Dog Parade
Appearing on NBC news, Moore’s daughter, Vickie Mallon, remarked that the day was a truly joyful one for the family.
“This is probably the biggest thing that’s happened in our family, that’s given us the most joy,” she said.
Meanwhile Alison remarked how wonderful it was that so many strangers went out of their way to join the celebration.
“They were mostly strangers,” said Alison. “It makes you feel wonderful about your community that people would come out and do that for your dad, that you love so much. It was really special,” she said.
Video of the celebration by NBC Bay Area: