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River Oaks In Rose Bowl

River Oaks makes the Rose Bowl parade: Are you ready for a 22-foot-tall German shepherd?

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1 K9s4COPS Rose Bowl float December 2013
The K9s4COPS float features a 22-foot tall German Shepherd covered in seeds and grasses to create realistic fur. Photo courtesy of K9s4COPS
News_Shelby_Romance_John Schiller_Kristi Schiller
K9s4COPS founder Kristi Schiller will be joined on the float by her husband John Schiller and their daughter Sinclair. Photo by Patrick McMullen/New York
3 K9s4COPS Rose Bowl float December 2013
The float will be accompanied by real canines will both ride on the float and provide an escort.  Photo courtesy of K9s4COPS
2 K9s4COPS Rose Bowl float December 2013
Photo courtesy of K9s4COPS
K9s4COPS benefit, September 2012, Harris County Sheriff's Dept. Deputy Dave Thomas, K9 Boomer, Sinclair Schiller
Sinclair Schiller, shown here with Harris County Sheriff's Department Deputy Dave Thomas, will ride the float with her parents.  Dave Thomas, Sinclair Schiller Photo by © Fulton Davenport/PWL Studio
1 K9s4COPS Rose Bowl float December 2013
News_Shelby_Romance_John Schiller_Kristi Schiller
3 K9s4COPS Rose Bowl float December 2013
2 K9s4COPS Rose Bowl float December 2013
K9s4COPS benefit, September 2012, Harris County Sheriff's Dept. Deputy Dave Thomas, K9 Boomer, Sinclair Schiller

When the floats begin rolling down the streets of Pasadena, Calif., on New Year's Day, K9s4COPS will be among the 45 entries in the 125th annual Rose Parade. It will be the only Texas non-profit represented along the 5.5 mile course. 

The coup was the brainchild of K9s4COPS founder Kristi Schiller, who felt that the parade with an estimated 500 million viewers would be an effective way to expand the K9 audience nationally and internationally. Financed through private donations, the float featuring a larger-than-life German shepherd is designed by Tim Estes, owner of Fiesta Parade Floats. That company has won the Sweepstakes award for best design in each of the last 20 years.

Decorative flowers will include 50,000 roses to comprise the lush  red carpet gardens.

Kristi and John Schiller and their daughter, Sinclair, will ride the float along with K9s4COPS mascot Johnny Cash (the pooch serves as the Schillers' personal protection dog). Joining them will be K9s executive director Liz Lara-Carreno, Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Deputy Ted Dahlin and K9 Daisy and Harris County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Mike Thomas with K9 Tamara. 

The 22-foot tall stately German shepherd that is focal point of the float will be covered in a variety of seeds and grasses to create a realistic look of fur. (Black onion and beige sesame seeds with accents of pharmitas and pampas grass and nyjer seed on the "protective" vest are employed in the design.) An interesting design feature — the dog "folds" from its full height down to 16 feet, allowing the float to pass under low wires and a freeway bridge.

Decorative flowers will include 50,000 roses to comprise the lush red carpet gardens, plus floral displays of orange, red and purple in red ginger, Lobster Claw, Rostrata, Caribaea and Parakeet heliconia, bird of paradise, leucadendron, liatris, roses and specialty anthuriums. In addition, thousands of Oncidium orchids, roses and bird of paradise will decorate the rear of the float.

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